"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 3, 2016

#TheMokaySaga gets more and more bizarre: attorney Richard Harlem now claims under oath his own purported client is lying. And asks the court to make a person who never was a party in the case to sue my husband and accept paid representation from son-of-a-judge Richard Harlem. Wow.

I wrote on this blog extensively about the "Mokay saga", the case litigated by a son-of-a-judge Richard Harlem of Oneonta, NY, an attorney who brazenly stated to several courts during 8.5 years of litigation that he represented a client, David Mokay, on whose behalf he brought the lawsuit - while never calling David Mokay to testify, even at the trial on damages, and while blocking any possibility of direct contact with David Mokay through discovery, interrogatories and depositions.

After the trial on damages was over, after a judgment in favor of David Mokay and other purported plaintiffs in the Mokay case was made, David Mokay came forward and provided an affidavit saying that he never hired Richard Harlem or his law firms to represent him in the Mokay case and never sued my husband, Frederick J. Neroni.

The affidavit was provided in November.

The affidavit said that Richard Harlem was confronted by David Mokay that his signature on the alleged retainer agreement from 2007 was a forgery.

 Richard Harlem fought tooth and claw to block us from seeing the original of the retainer agreement, and Judge Becker obliged in allowing us only to see the copy - that could have been that forgery that David Mokay claims it is, made on a copying machine.

Anyway, there is an original affidavit of Richard Harlem's purported client David Mokay.

Richard Harlem claimed to the court under oath that Richard Harlem represents David Mokay in an appellate proceedings started in June of 2015 with filing of a Notice of Appeal, let's remember the date when proceedings where Richard Harlem is making that claim started.

My husband submitted an original affidavit of David Mokay saying that Richard Harlem does not represent him in any proceedings pertaining to the Mokay case - and never did, and that David Mokay never sued in that case.

The ONLY path for an attorney after a client provides such an affidavit to the OPPONENT in litigation is to disqualify himself from the ENTIRE case.

That's not for Richard Harlem.

Richard Harlem instead, without making a motion to withdraw from the case, did the following:

1) claimed to the court that David Mokay (his own client) is lying on the issue that Richard Harlem is not representing him, and never did;

of course, claiming that the attorney's own client is lying REQUIRES that attorney to withdraw - but not for Richard Harlem, Richard Harlem goes on;

2) Richard Harlem provided an affidavit from David Mokay's brother, a co-plaintiff in the Mokay saga on behalf of himself individually and as Executor of the Estate of his father - so the brother had an obvious financial interest in the outcome of the appeal.

Richard Harlem, completely disregarding the screaming impropriety of what he is doing, submitted an affidavit of his client Daniel Mokay.

In that affidavit, Richard Harlem's client Daniel Mokay is accusing of lying and a crime of perjury Richard Harlem's claimed client David Mokay who denied ever having been Richard Harlem's client, and did it under oath.

Daniel Mokay says "I saw David Mokay sign a retainer agreement with Harlem & Harlem".

Wait a minute, Harlem & Harlem was dissolved in 2012 when Richard Harlem's father Robert Harlem died, that was 4 years ago.

Richard Harlem is opposing an appeal in 2016 that was started in 2015, and where a separate retainer agreement is required, for that appellate proceeding, so even if Daniel Mokay were telling the truth - which David Mokay denies under oath - Daniel Mokay's statement would be irrelevant because it is not the same law firm and it is not the same proceeding, and a new retainer agreement, as of 2015, with Harlem & Jervis, would have been needed.

But, Richard Harlem is not to be deterred from his crash course.

Now we have two affidavits from:

  1. Richard Harlem's client Daniel Mokay and from 
  2. Richard Harlem's purported client (who denies being a client) David Mokay.
Both of affidavits are on the issue of representation of David Mokay by Richard Harlem and his law firms.

David Mokay says Richard Harlem does not represent him, and never did.

Daniel Mokay says David Mokay signed a retainer agreement with Harlem & Harlem - without indicating the date when that event allegedly happened, and Harlem & Harlem is dead, as well as its partner Robert Harlem.  Dead for many years.  And the original retainer was never submitted into the record, only a copy.  And David Mokay claims that copy is a forgery.  He claims it under oath.

One affidavit of the two is the "impeaching affidavit" of one client against the other, purported client, and is submitted (and, I am sure, drafted), by Richard Harlem himself.

Now THAT is one OUTSTANDING conflict of interest.

But, what does Richard Harlem say about the whole mess?

He says this:

1) why does Frederick J. Neroni bring up the issue of the affidavit of David Mokay only 5 months after he received David Mokay's affidavit?  

Note that Richard Harlem does not contest authenticity of David Mokay's signature - because an original affidavit was submittted to the court, where the notary in the state of New York, a person who we do not know, verified David Mokay's identity before he signed it.

Note that my husband's statute of limitations to sue Richard Harlem for fraud and fraud upon the court under New York State law is 6 years, so whether my husband held onto the affidavit for 5 months or for the entire 6 years, or for 100 years, does not change the authenticity of the affidavit.

The next claim of Richard Harlem is - "the issue of my disqualification is not properly before the court, because Mr. Neroni did not make a cross-motion to disqualify".

Mr. Neroni did not make a cross-motion to disqualify.

Yet, Mr. Neroni did raise before the court the issue of Richard Harlem's ongoing fraud for two limited reasons already explained to the court in Mr. Neroni's sworn statement:

1) to prevent the ongoing fraud from continuing; and
2) to mitigate Mr. Neroni's losses for purposes of future lawsuit against Richard Harlem for fraud upon the court, as required by New York State law.

Yet, Richard Harlem asks the court - please, please, please, disregard the fact that:

1) Richard Harlem made a sworn statement that he:

  • represents David Mokay;
  • is opposing the appeal of the judgment that he obtained on behalf David Mokay;
  • the judgment obtained is based on his legal fees against David Mokay for over 8.5 years;
and that

2) David Mokay made a sworn statement, after the judgment on damages was already in, that 

  • David Mokay never sued Mr. Neroni,
  • that Richard Harlem never represented David Mokay,
  • that David Mokay's signature on the copy of the retainer agreement (the original was never submitted to the court) was a forgery;
  • that Richard Harlem was confronted by David Mokay about his fraudulent representation and about the forgery, and that
  • Richard Harlem proceeded with his fraudulent representation anyway
and that

3) Richard Harlem, to fight the affidavit of his own purported client David Mokay, presented an affidavit from an interested witness, his other client Daniel Mokay, accusing Richard Harlem's purported client David Mokay of lying under oath (crime of perjury); 

and that

4) Richard Harlem asks the court to disregard all this mess, and to allow Richard Harlem to proceed opposing the appeal after his disqualification and misconduct in the case sank to a monumental depth and INDISPUTABLY REQUIRES Richard Harlem's disqualification from the case - and if Richard Harlem would do that, he should be sua sponte forced to do that, by the court.

What Richard Harlem asks the court to do is actually to allow Richard Harlem to MAKE David Mokay accept Richard Harlem's costly representation in an appellate case while David Mokay says that he never hired Richard Harlem, never was a party in that case, and does not want to have anything to do with it.

The court simply does not have authority to make an individual sue anybody.

That's what Richard Harlem asks the court to compel David Mokay to do.

By the way, David Mokay was not noticed with that claim - and that would be a requirement, a personal notice to David Mokay where Richard Harlem, an attorney with an outrageous conflict of interest, accusing David Mokay of a crime of perjury, nevertheless begs the court to make David Mokay to accept paid representation from Richard Harlem in a case where David Mokay claims under oath he was never a party.



Let's hold our collective breath as to what the 3rd Department will say NOW.

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