"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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Montana supports alcoholic vengeful rogue #JudgeJeffreyLangdon to intimidate, punish for whistleblowing, prevent voter education and prevent election of an honest judicial candidate Robert Myers

According to Montana media sources, a Montana state #JudgeJeffreyLangton, through his law clerk, has turned his political opponent in election campaign, attorney Robert Myers, into disciplinary authorities for the contents of his election campaign ads - disclosing that Judge Langton is dishonest, engaged in ex parte communications and, instead of recusing from the case when caught in engaging in ex parte communications, silenced witnesses and retaliated against the attorney who brought up the issue of ex parte communication - Robert Myers, the judges opponent in the election campaign.

Judge Langton has a history of behavior making him grossly unfit for the bench - in addition to what attorney Myers raised.

Here is Judge Langton, on the right, in a 2005 picture.

In 2005, Judge Jeffrey Langdon was censured and suspended for 31 days (the horror!) for (1) after he pled guilty to driving under the influence, (2) sentenced to probation and (3) violated his term of probation. (The headline refers to another judge, I will run a separate blog dedicated to that particular male chauvinist pig in black robe compared to whom #JudgeAaronPersky is a paragon of propriety).

As to Judge Langdon, consider that usually when people violate probation, they are sent to jail.

Not so for Judge Langdon.  The system protected him.  Just a censure and a 31-day suspension from the bench.

Here is another article about Judge Langdon describing that he continued drinking in defiance of a court order.

Judge Langdon not only drank after the court prohibited him to do so, placing him on probation, but drunk to the point that he was found by police as "passed out" near his hotel room.

There was a recall effort at the time of Judge Langdon's censure, which apparently, was unsuccessful, so Judge Langdon continued on the bench.

When imposing the censure, the presiding judge reportedly stated to Judge Langdon: "Judge Langton, your past habitual intemperance is a constitutional basis for censure".

This is what Judge Langdon reportedly said at imposition of the discipline of censure:

"My actions, which I daily regret, fell far short of my ethical obligations," he said.

The judge said he isn't blaming his conduct "on alcoholism, job stress or personal misfortunes.

"I chose to drink and I sometimes chose to drink irresponsibly. ... I accept full responsibility and accountability for that misconduct and I alone am responsible for the consequences of my actions.

He said the court-ordered alcohol treatment program he completed gave him "the basic training I needed to start up the steep trail to a better, sober and spiritually centered life."

And, of course, in his statement he referred to God in his statement to the court, as judges do when they want to get some political capital or avoid accountability for misconduct, and claimed that the "experience" will make him a better person and a better judge.


By the way, the recall effort was supported by a pastor:

The pastor correctly stated that a judge who is drinking, driving and defying court orders by more drinking is an "unfortunate example to our your people and people who have a drinking problem".

That is an understatement of the century, especially for "people who have a drinking problem" and are sent to years in jail for the same offense that Judge Langdon was just censured and not jailed at all.
Apparently, all of the above statements were just bluff to appease the court and retain the job.

In 2012, whether drunk or not, Judge Langdon got involved in a reportedly documented ex parte communication.

An attorney of the party not included into the communication, asked him to recuse.

Judge Langdon refused.

The attorney - Robert Myers - appealed.

The appeal was denied.

The attorney filed a complaint with judiciary disciplinary Commission, the very body who was already very much acquainted with Judge Langdon.

The complaint was dismissed.

Apparently inspired by all of that support, Judge Langdon sanctioned attorney Robert Myers $10,000, and put into the amount of sanctions a consideration regarding Robert Myers' wife's income. 

So, Robert Myers' wife, apparently, was made financially responsible for sanctions of her husband.

The history is silent as to whether Judge Langdon was drunk - as he has a habit to be - when making that retaliative decision.

So, let's check how many avenues were exhausted with no real discipline against Judge Langdon:

  1. Criminal proceedings - no real accountability (Judge Langdon's breath test when he was arrested for drunk driving was reportedly twice the legal limit in Montana, not a petty violation, a serious crime exposing motorists and passengers' lives to danger);
  2. Probation violation proceeding - no accountability at all, usually violators of probation go straight to jail, Judge Langdon didn't;
  3. Judicial disciplinary proceeding - resulting in a "censure", like a tongue-lashing, "go forth and do not sin again";
  4. A recall effort - not successful;
  5. A motion to recuse - when caught in documented ex parte communication; Judge Langdon chose to preside over that motion himself and deny it;
  6. Appeal of Judge Langdon's decision refusing to recuse - denied;
  7. A disciplinary complaint against Judge Langdon regarding the ex parte communication - dismissed, apparently, Montana, same as New York, considers ex parte communications as proper conduct for its judges - at least, for some of them.

Instead, Judge Langdon is allowed to:

1) decide a motion to recuse against himself;
2) quash a subpoena against himself;
3) punish an attorney for making a motion to recuse (for catching the judge red-handed in an ex parte communication, with documentary evidence of such ex parte communication) $10,000 based on attorney's behavior AFTER the proceedings in front of judge Langdon concluded.

All of the above indicate that Judge Langdon is not simply bias - he is enraged at attorney Myers and should never be near his cases.

There was one more way to get Judge Langdon off the bench - to defeat him in the re-election campaign.

That's what attorney Robert Myers undertook to do.

But, to defeat Judge Langdon, attorney Myers had to inform the voters why Judge Langdon is bad news.

So, that's what he did - he ran some campaign ads explaining just that, what Judge Langdon did.

Judge Langdon, whether drunk or sober, decided to play dirty with his political opponent - and immediately had his law clerk send the transcript of attorney Myers' campaign ads to the attorney disciplinary committee.

And, of course, attorney disciplinary authorities of the State of Montana did not look that the judge who referred the attorney was an alcoholic, or that the attorney was right all around that the judge engaged in misconduct (whether he was punished for it or not) and personal retaliation instead of doing his job.

Instead, the disciplinary authorities of the State of Montana targeted the judicial candidate Robert Myers and started a disciplinary investigation against him which, as we know from multiple recent cases of retaliation against attorneys who raise issues of judicial misconduct (#AndyOstrowski and #DonBailey in Pennsylvania, #PaulOgden in Indiana, #ChristineMire in Louisiana, myself in New York), can very well lead to suspension or total loss of law license and livelihood.

So - attorney Myers filed a federal lawsuit for injunctive relief.

The lawsuit raises important issues of 1st Amendment and judicial retaliation.  I will report on the case and on the pending motions in the case(for preliminary injunctive relief by attorney Myers and to dismiss by disciplinary authorities) in separate blogs.

Yet, the issue remains that NO MATTER WHAT a judge does - in any state, I have been reviewing information about judicial misconduct across the country for several years - the system, the government which is OUT public servants, in OUR employ, financed by OUR money and who must act for OUT benefit, instead vigorously protects a seating alcoholic judge (who insists to commit misconduct, stifle witnesses and engages in retaliation against whistleblowers despite all of his pledges at the censure hearing to be a "better judge") and viciously attacks whistleblowers.

And, I do not see millions campaigning for recall and impeachment of Judge Langdon - or any other judges who engage in retaliation against whistleblowers of their misconduct.

Instead, we see young future elite lawyers of America argue for continuing support of "judicial discretion" -
  • that's the discretion Judge Langdon used to refuse to recuse when caught in the ex parte communication,
  • that's the discretion the appellate court used in denying the appeal from that refusal and allowing Judge Langdon to proceed on the case,
  • that's the discretion judicial disciplinary authorities used in not prosecuting judge Langdon and dismissing attorney Myers' complaint against him, and
  • that's the discretion the attorney disciplinary authorities (who claim quasi-judicial power and absolute judicial immunity in federal court) use to prosecute attorney Myers and not attorney Langdon.
Yet, we do not see open letters from law students condemning THAT use - or, rather, gross abuse, of judicial discretion.

It is up to us, the people, to root out the bad apples like Judge Langdon.

And that should start from opposing discipline against Robert Myers in the media.

No comments:

Post a Comment