"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

#MaleChauvinistPigsGalore continues: another male jerk - oops, judge - punishes a female attorney defending her clients in court, by handcuffing her. To teach her "courtroom etiquette" - or submission, according to the Bible?

Meet the Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen:

A white male judge who ordered handcuffed a female attorney with a Muslim name Zohra Bakhtary - simply because she was trying to make a record to prevent unjust incarceration of her indigent client.

From the official court biography of Judge Hafen, one learns - of course - that he is "a man of faith", that was really necessary to include into a judge's profile:

Judge Hafen also is a former prosecutor:

Not only that, Judge Hafen is "famous", or, I would say, infamous for helping to severely undermine criminal defendants' rights against self-incrimination in custodial interrogations, in violation of 4th and 5th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Hafen helped eliminate such protections through his argument as a a prosecutor before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Hibel v Sixth Judicial District, 542 U.S. 177 (2004).

Judge Hafen is very proud of his "accomplishment" in Hibel, he even placed that "accomplishment" into his official court biography:

As a religious man, a Christian, a "man of faith", Judge Hibel, of course, must know this text:
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."  1 Timothy 2:12-13.

And, in front of Judge Hafen was a public defender, a beautiful young woman with a Muslim name, Zohra Bakhtary.

Zohra Bakhtary, according to online sources, is an immigrant from Afghanistan:

The white Christian male elderly - and ugly - judge ordered a young female immigrant attorney (no doubt, speaking with an accent since she immigrated into the U.S. only at the age of 14) with a Muslim name, during her argument raising due process liberty interests of her client (arguing against jail time for an indigent client on violation of probation charges) "to be quiet". 

Because Judge Hafen wanted to "teach her a lesson".

Because Judge Hafen had "problems" with her for the last 6 months, according to his own admission.

Attorney Bakhtary allegedly interrupted Judge Hafen.

Of course, Judge Hafen turned off videocameras, so that it would be his and his stenographer's word against the attorney's word, as to his and the attorney's demeanor and whether the attorney interrupted the judge or was simply trying to put in a constitutional argument for her poor clients edgewise, while run over by the - old Christina ugly male chauvinist judge Hafen.

After all, who knows what kind of feelings a beautiful woman like Attorney Bakhtary stirred in Judge Hafen that could not be satisfied other than through petty vengeance. 

And the judge did "teach a lesson".

He ordered criminal defense attorney for the indigent, Attorney Zohra Bakhtary who came to this country as to the "land of the tree, the country of the brave", the land of the "rule of law", from Afghanistan torn by war - to be handcuffed for making constitutional argument on behalf of her poor client.

So that she would learn her place and "be quiet" when a man tells her to do so.  

Attorney Bakhtary's boss, a male attorney Phil Kohn, who "promised changes" when first elected in 2004, held a "closed doors" meeting with Judge Hafen.

Yet, when he was elected, attorney Phil Kohn also reportedly said:  "I've wanted this job for a long time, so I am very happy".  

So, in order to continue to be happy, Phil Kohn threw attorney Zohra Bakhtary under the bus.

Attorney Kohn did not file a misconduct complaint against the male chauvinist pig judge Hafen.

Attorney Kohn did not file a motion to recuse Judge Hafen from all proceedings where Zohra Bakhtary represents clients, for the elementary purpose of preventing the very same retaliation that was already visited by Judge Hafen not only upon Attorney Bakhtary, but also upon her indigent client.

Instead, the white male attorney Phil Kohn

 had a "closed-doors" meeting with Judge Hafen, and "emerged from the meeting with a positive outlook".

Saying this:

"'I don’t think there’s going to be a hangover from this', Kohn said. 'She’s tenacious. It’s probably why today happened. But I don’t believe for one second that this will deter her from doing her job zealously. I know that she will continue to fight for her clients. As far as I’m concerned, it’s behind us.”

How about a little help to a woman abused by judicial misconduct so that she would not be "deterred" from "doing her job zealously" and for continuing to "be tenacious" and "fighting for her clients".

What will happen next if she fights for her clients?  She will be put in jail?

And her boss will hold another "old boys" "white male to white male" closed-door meeting, emerging out of it with a "positive outlook"?

And saying - oh well, things happen, the woman is tenacious, she will endure more abuse, she and her clients. 

No need to turn the pig judge in for misconduct.

No need to protect clients by motions to recuse the pig judge.

Oh, and yes, the cherry that tops the cake, so to say - Kohn said reportedly that "he was concerned that cameras installed in the courtroom to capture audio and video had not been turned on, though that’s not a requirement under state law."

Kohn said:  

 “I would love to watch what happened,” Kohn said, “not just what words were spoken, but how they were spoken.”

So, he recognizes that the demeanor of parties and their body language may make a difference.

And that's exactly why the #MaleChauvinistPigJudgeConradHafen turned off he video and audio cameras.

I do not share attorney Kohn's optimism that Ms. Bakhtary is so "tenacious" that she will continue to take abuse from Judge Hafen without any help from authorities to control Judge Hafen's obvious misconduct, and will continue to jeopardize her law license and livelihood, asking for more contempt citations - without any protection from her boss or from other authorities.

Recently, a Canadian study found that female lawyers leave criminal defense in "alarming numbers", citing as one of the reasons, gender-based courtroom discrimination and abuse.

The situation is no different in the U.S.

I have no doubt in my mind that abuse of Judge Hafen against Ms. Zohra Bakhtary was gender based - as well as ethnicity-based, immigrant-status-based, accent-based and Muslim name-based.

I have no doubt in my mind that Judge Conrad Hafen would never have handcuffed a fellow Christian fundamentalist white male attorney - he would allow such an attorney to speak as much as he wants.

So - will MaleChauvinistPigJudgeConradHafen be disciplined for his misconduct, or is this "episode" is "behind" everybody involved - as Ms. Bakhtary's cowardly boss Phil Kohn said?

Until the next time the Pig Judge strikes?

 I would also like to point out that attorney Zohra Bakhtary does not exactly lack political connections in high places - having been a Clerk to the U.S. Senate Majority Leader Democratic Senator Harry Reid.

Apparently, even such connections cannot protect from a female attorney from abuse in the courtroom by male chauvinist pig judges like judge Conrad Hafen.

So - should a female attorney tolerate abuse and risk jail each time she enters a courtroom because some white Christian fundamentalist chauvinist pig judge wants to subdue her, as his religion (or baser considerations) teaches him to do?

I hope that judge Conrad Hafen is taken off the bench for this "episode".

Then, the episode will be truly "behind us", the public and female attorneys in the courtroom will be protected from judicial misconduct, and integrity of judicial office, undermined by the PigJudge, will be restored in the public's eye.

I will continue to follow this story.

Stay tuned.


  1. I hardly think that one bad judge is a basis for an attack on Christianity. It's a tad bit anecdotal, don't you think?

  2. First, I consider it a common courtesy (which is lacking here) to criticize under your own name - not through an anonymous profile created for the specific purpose of this criticism.

    Second, to answer your question - no, I do not think that it is "a tad bit", or at all "anecdotal" that a judge who is pushing his religion in his official court biography, despite of required constitutional separation of state and church, would try to push the superiority of his religious view in court, as "his" law, or his "discretion".

    Happens again, and again, and again. In this case, in Alabama, where the Chief Judge is pushing his religious views upon the entire state and court system, in the D.C. case I just described in another blog where a Catholic judge was sued for improperly awarding a child custody to a Catholic parent from a Muslim or Hindu parent. I, as an attorney, was on the receiving end of this discrimination, too, when I was asserting for my clients (of various religions) their right to religious freedom, or to freedom from any religion at all.

    Let me offer you a hypothetical - you know that, under the 1st Amendment's Establishment Clause, the state may not show preference to one religion over another. Now, do you think that any judge will be allowed by the court system to put into his official court biography that he is, let's say, voodoo, or practicing "sky-cladding" (a religion with nude rituals) or Druids, or any other pagan religion? And describing the wonders of voodoo practice and his accomplishments in his pagan religion?

    I saw many a judge being propounded through their official court biographies and even Senate bills "honoring them" for their service as "men of faith", and it is always through Christian religion.

    I do not attack Christianity. All I want is not to see any religion, Christianity included, jammed down people's throats by the government, by the very government officials who took their oaths of office to support the U.S. Constitution, including the 1st Amendment, including the Establishment Clause.

    That oath should not be forgotten and left behind by judges right after it was taken.

    All I am saying is that the judge must set his religious beliefs aside when he enters a secular courtroom - which, more often than not, and I have my own vast experience on the subject, does not happen. I do not care what religion the judge belongs to, but, if the judge makes it his point to publish in his official court biography that he belongs to a Christian religion, he'd better not give an appearance to the public that he establishes that religion, as the rule of the judge's own law, in his courtroom.

    In too many cases, the opposite happens.

    The only reason why you claim it is "anecdotal" is because the victims of such behavior are afraid to come forward. But, if archives of complaints about judges become public, I am sure that the statistics will show that Christianity is asserted by white male judges as the law in American courtrooms.

    Religions and the secular government are separated by the U.S. Constitution. And that should remain so in court, too.

    In this particular case, it is a very clear appearance that the judge's Christian beliefs that a woman must be submissive and not talk when a man told her to "be quiet", and that the judge was not "teaching" the female attorney with, "coincidentally", a Muslim name, "court decorum", but was asserting the superiority of his religious beliefs upon her.

    When asserting Christian beliefs through government actions stops, I will stop criticizing such behavior. But not before that.

  3. Tatiana Neroni has a serious misandry streak. Because person 1. has a penis he must be a sexist. Because person 1. is white he must be a racist. Because person 1. is an open Christian he must be an intolerant egomaniac... SO if an gay male Hispanic judge holds a white male attorney in contempt is it because he is a heterophobic racist? NO of course not it is only white heterosexual males who are inherently evil and everything they do is obviously based on being homophobic, misogynistic, racists... Tatiana I don't know what happened with you and your father but seek counseling.

  4. An interesting comment made at an interesting time. No comment about the essence of the case, but instead an implied defense of an indefensible behavior of the judge. And, the comment is made after voters already ousted Judge Hafen, most likely because of the storm in social media, to which this blog contributed.

    So, I presume that it is "misandry" to accuse a male in power of mistreating a female appearing in front of him. And, it is hating the Christians to openly say that it is improper for a public official to wear his religion on his sleeve and to enforce the canons of his religion that are against the law he is sworn to protect, in a public courtroom.

    And, it is bad, I guess, to call racist behavior racist behavior.

    If all of that is true, I am guilty as charged.