"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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Judge Richard Northrup of Delaware County, NY, re-enters - as a judge - a case from which he was recused as a prosecutor, for purposes of choosing a judge

I was advised that Richard Northrup, after recusing as a prosecutor from a case where I was a defense attorney before my suspension, filed an ex parte affirmation with the court as a prosecutor requesting transfer of the case to another court (which he at that point had no right to do), but he did not stop at that.

Northrup then became a judge, re-entered the case where he was a - recused - prosecutor and engaged in ex parte communications with judges in local justice courts (several of them) offering to preside over a case of my former client, proceeding without me pro se.

After one judge recused, Northrup offered the case to another judge.

Then, somehow Judge Rosa got involved and, also based on an ex parte communications with judges and prosecutors, sent the case to yet another judge, without vacating Northrup's sending the case to a different court.

So, now the case has been sent to two different courts - to one by Judge Norhtrup, the former prosecutor in the case, and another by Judge Rosa, who is also full of conflicts of interest in that particular case.

The case involves not only ex parte communications of ALL judges who so far were involved in that case, and those are:

  1. Yvonne Pagillo, of Walton Village Court;
  2. Douglas Card, of Deposit Town Court;
  3. Joseph Cawley, Chief Administrative Judge of Criminal Courts in the 6th Judicial District;
  4. Robert Mulvey, at that time Chief Administrative Judge of the 6th Judicial District;
  5. Michael Coccoma, Chief Administrative Judge of upstate New York;
  6. Richard Northrup, Delaware County Court judge (and former recused prosecutor);
  7. J. Neal Phelby, Deposit Town Court;
  8. Gary Rosa, Delaware County Court judge;
  9. Michael T. O'Brien, Hancock Town court judge;
  10. Herbert Buckley, Hancock Village court judge.
10 judges.  From the top administrative level to the justice court level.

On a traffic ticket case.

All engaged in ex parte communications with the prosecutors in fixing the case.

And that is not just me talking about it - I have documentary evidence regarding such ex parte communications.

Apparently, the rule of ex parte communication does not exist any more.

New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct repeatedly tossed my documented complaints against judges who engaged in ex parte communications.

So, judges now believe that ex parte communications with the prosecution in Delaware County cases is the new law.

Defense counsel and litigants - beware.

By the way, JUST YESTERDAY the U.S. Supreme Court JUST reversed a case, Williams v Pennsylvania, where a former prosecutor who sought a death penalty then re-entered the case AS A JUDGE and decided against the death penalty defendant FOUR habeas corpus petitions, and that is, in a case where the judge's own behavior (or that of his subordinates) in concealing exculpatory evidence and eliciting perjury from a witness on several material issues, not just one, was at stake.

I will provide a more detailed analysis of Williams v Pennsylvania in a separate blog, believe me, the case is bad.

It has been held a violation of due process where a former accuser, a prosecutor reappears in the case as a judge and makes adverse determinations against the defendant.

That is even more of a misconduct where the former prosecutor recused from the case because of an ex parte communication with one judge (Yvonne Pagillo), then made an ex parte motion to recuse before another judge (Robert Mulvey), after he was disqualified, made another ex parte application in writing to yet another judge (Joseph Cawley asking without any authority to transfer the case), then re-entered the case as a judge and engaged in ex parte communications with at least three more judges - 

  1. Douglas Card;
  2. J. Neal Felby and
  3. Michael O'Brien

Northrup, apparently, was very much interested in fixing the case, even after his recusal as a prosecutor.  

Defense attorneys and litigants - be aware of yet another proof of Northrup's dishonesty.

By the way, Northrup's decision assigning Judge O'Brien was never even sent to the defendant.  And, of course, Northrup's communications with other judges were never provided to the defendant (with Judges Card, Felby and O'Brien), nor to me as the defendant's counsel before my suspension (with Judges Mulvey and Cawley).

Remember - Northrup ran for the judicial seat unopposed, so the only vote that he needed to be elected was his own.

Litigants are saddled with Northrup for 10 years, Northrup just started - and so far has outdone even his predecessor and buddy Carl Becker in misconduct.

There is another in-famous local judge who was also elected without any opposition, the mentally unstable antisemitic Judge Kevin Dowd from Chenango County Supreme Court who: 

  • raves about law schools building urinals in his honor during child custody proceedings, 
  • holds ex parte trials to which he instructs court personnel not to allow public access, misleading the public that the trial is not being held;
  • admits evidence by boxes without looking at it - if it comes from a "connected" attorney;
  • blocks access to that evidence when his decisions are appealed;
  • gives away evidence during the pendency of appeal precluding the appeal from being perfected;
  • employes as court reporters Facebook friends of his long-time female law clerk to whom he has, apparently, tender feelings (Dowd reacted very personally to a motion to recuse involving her clear misconduct);
  • allows antisemitic court personnel to engaged in violent revenge against Jewish litigants who dared to complain against them;
  • throws Jewish litigants out of the courthouse for making motions to recuse him - after granting such motions, and claims that any motion to recuse is a disruption of court proceedings which entitle him to use armed court security against the moving parties.
Litigants are saddled with Dowd until 2026, according to NYS Unified Court System's website - unless Dowd retires earlier.

It is very clear that whether a judge should or should not be elected, should not depend on just one vote - the judge's own.

Yet, that's what happened in Northrup's and Dowd's case.

I do not know what the solution should be - but when a judge is running unopposed, I believe that rules requiring a minimum of a certain, and high, percentage of votes from the population of the District should be introduced, otherwise the judge is elected simply by himself, his friends, family, relatives and colleagues, and by those who paid for his election campaign and expect favorable decisions from him as a result.

For a story about yet another dishonest judge elected unopposed, from another state - stay tuned.

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