"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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The quick-fix job by New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore for the employer of her husband - the woman has no shame

When Chief Judge Janet Difiore was "nominated" for the position of Chief Judge by her buddy Andrew Cuomo, I asked the New York State Senate permission to orally testify in opposition.

I was denied that opportunity.

I submitted written testimony anyway, asking to investigate and criminally prosecute DiFiore for corruption, specifically involving gaming industry and covering up Cuomo's connections with such industry when she was the Chief of Public Ethics Commission, and for her criminal behavior in the "nanny scandal".

DiFiore's shenannigans in how she did that coverup are described in a book, and I pointed out that the book's author for the New York State Senate, and witnesses identified in the book, press and blogs who could can help investigate DiFiore.

I also pointed out that, after DiFiore covered up for Andrew Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo returned the favor by 

(1) appointing DiFiore's husband Dennis Glazer to the casino-citing board,  
(2) opposing previous Chief Judge Lippman's stance to increase mandatory retirement age so that Cuomo would be able to nominate DiFiore once Lippman retires, and by
(3) nominating DiFiore for the position of Chief Judge - to fix cases for Cuomo further.

My written testimony was disregarded.  

DiFiore was confirmed as New York Chief Judge.

First, DiFiore put Cuomo next to herself among judges of the court and had her subordinate Judge Pigott call Cuomo "Judge Cuomo".

Then she dismissed my constitutional disciplinary appeal as of right, as if it was discretionary, in retaliation for testifying against her confirmation and asking to criminally investigate and prosecute herself and her husband for corruption.

Then she started to continue to fix cases for the gaming industry - the industry where her husband works and where her benefactor Cuomo has ties.

In yesterday's decision in Kent v Lefkowitz, where DiFiore authored the opinion, not only DiFiore did not reject the appeal "for lack of constitutional question" or on some such other grounds, but she accepted the appeal, even though Judge Pigott said at DiFiore's confirmation that the New York State Court of Appeals has a policy of choosing its own cases - even when it is mandated to review a case by the New York State Constitution and New York jurisdictional statutes. 

So, first of all, the New York Court of Appeals, under the guidance of DiFiore, somehow chose to "pick" a case where a decision adverse to a gaming and wagering board was made by the appellate court below.

Such use of "discretion" after DiFiore, with her own, her husband's and her benefactor Cuomo's ties to the gaming industry, was already suspect.

Then, DiFiore did not recuse from the decision where her participation obviously raised issues of "appearance of impropriety", in view, once again, of her husband's connections to the gaming industry, her benefactor Cuomo's connections to the same industry that she covered up as Chairperson of the Commission for Public Ethics.

DiFiore actually, on the opposite, made sure she presided over the case, authored the decision, and reversed the decision of the lower court adverse to the gaming industry.

The issue was that 

"[i]n January 1996, respondent New York State Racing and Wagering Board (the Racing Board) reduced per diem wages for its seasonal employees by 25%

In response, the Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO (PEF) filed an improper practice charge, alleging that the reduction in wages violated Civil Service Law § 209-a (1) (d). "

 So, the issue was wage discrimination of seasonal workers in races whose pay as cut 1/4 - while DiFiore's own pay was raised this year, by the way, without budgetary allocations.

Imagine inflation growing, taxes growing, costs of living growing - and 1/4 of your wage being cut off. 

But, the rights of some low-life seasonal workers do not matter much where there is a chance to fix a case for her benefactor, Andrew Cuomo, and the gaming industry that DiFiore's husband and Cuomo are connected with.

The lower court decision unfavorable to the gaming industry was actually made on July 17, 2014 by the 3rd Department.  

Please, note the footnote (no pun intended) in the 3rd Department's July 17, 2014 decision indicating that 

"1. Effective February 1, 2013, the Board merged into a newly-created entity known as the New York State Gaming Commission (see Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law § 102)."

Once again, the Respondent in the action is the New York State Gaming Commission.

Please, note also the decision of Respondent, the New York State Gaming Commission, made 10 days before the decision of the 3rd Department was made, on July 7, 2014:

Judge Leslie Stein dissented in the 3rd Department decision against the New York Gaming Board.

And was rewarded by Cuomo with a nomination to the New York State Court of Appeals - for her dissent and for ruling Cuomo's way within a week after her nomination in another case that was important for Cuomo, our DEC case that had the potential to reverse multiple civil and criminal sanctions against New York landowners on constitutional grounds.

Cuomo-driven NYS Gaming Commission, a party Respondent in a lawsuit, during the pendency of an appeal in the 3rd Department, appoints the husband of Cuomo's friend DiFiore, Dennis Glazer, to a lucrative position, the New York Gaming Facility Location Board.

After an appellate decision disfavorable to the Respondent Gaming Board, Cuomo appoints Gaming Board's nominee Dennis Glazer's wife Janet DiFiore to the position of the Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.

The wife immediately takes the bull by the horns, fixes the case for the Gaming Board, reverses the 3rd Department's decision and reinstates the unlawful 1/4 wage cut of seasonal workers.

I wonder what kind of tricks were additionally involved to have the case drag on for TWO YEARS since it was decided by the 3rd Department on July 17, 2014, so that Lippman would retire and DiFiore gets the wheel of the New York State Court of Appeals.

But, even the corrupt judge Fahey, apparently, could not swallow such an adamant bending of the truth, and dissented:


I respectfully dissent and would affirm the Appellate Division order. The side letter agreement (side letter) is the product of a negotiation between the New York State Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO (PEF) and respondent New York State Governor's Office of Employee Relations. Both of those sophisticated entities are well schooled in the art of negotiation. To say that PEF implicitly agreed to a 25% wage reduction strains credulity.


 Said another way, in assessing the side letter we should not confuse quantity with specificity so as to conclude that the absent item is present. "


A judge is writing this about his boss, the Chief Judge, practically accusing her of fixing the case based on something she invented rather than on the record!

But, dissent or no dissent, the decision was made, and I wonder whether there were any constitutional questions raised in the process that would entitle further appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What I also wonder about is this.

Here are the lawyers arguing the case in the New York State Court of Appeals:

David P. Quinn, for appellants Lefkowitz, et al.
Julie M. Sheridan, for appellants New York State Governor's Office of Employee Relations, et al.
Lisa M. King, for respondent.

Here are the lawyers arguing the case in the 3rd Department:

Lisa M. King, New York State Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO, Albany (Steven M. Klein of counsel), for appellant.
David P. Quinn, New York State Public Employment Relations Board, Albany (Alicia L. McNally of counsel), for New York State Public Employment Relations Board and another, respondents.

My question is - if I found the connection and a disqualifying conflict of interest between DiFiore and the Respondent Gaming Board in two seconds, on the Internet, in public access, without leaving my arm-chair and laptop, why attorneys for the parties could not do the same, did not raise this issue and did not make a motion to recuse DiFiore?

They were too afraid of losing their law licenses?  To the point of selling out their clients?
  So now, dear seasonal workers, because of cowardice of your attorneys who did not make a motion to recuse a corrupt judge who was very clearly appointed to the court to fix this case for the gaming industry, you can kiss 1/4 of your wages goodbye.   

Sorry, folks, but DiFiore's benefactor, and his masters, needed their pet judge to do a job, even if you, your families and the law were to be collateral damage in that "job".

And she did it all right.

The seasonal workers' 1/4 wage cut is now reinstated.  

The gaming industry can now save a bunch of money - on the backs of seasonal workers.

I wonder if DiFiore will get her kickback in hard cash or "in kind" for her hard work.

Does she do hunting trips?

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