"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.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Experiences of #JudgeGonzaloCuriel, Part II - is #JudgeGonzaloCuriel fixing the case of the Trump University behind the doors of the American Inns of Court, over dinner with wine with Trump's opposing counsel?

I am continuing to report on my research regarding the "experiences" of federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was nearly sainted by the mass media after Donald Trump dared to raise the issue of his bias because of his background.

I was especially interested in reporting on "experiences" of the Latino judge Gonzalo Curiel since recently the "wise Latina woman" Justice Sonya Sotomayor publicly announced that judicial out-of-court "experiences" somehow matter to judicial decisions.

So, I continue describing "experiences" of Judge Gonzalo Curiel which may affect his judicial decision-making - at least, those "experiences" description of which I can obtain from open sources, and reasonable inferences I can make from those "experiences".

Any person in the U.S. is guaranteed a 1st Amendment right to criticize our government - and any member of it, in the executive, legislative or judicial branch, at the federal, state and local levels.

It is an open secret nowadays that judges retaliate severely against critics against them, and especially against those who dare to investigate their personal backgrounds to verify the bases of potential bias and raise those issues publicly.

So, when the media talking heads and, especially, privileged members of the government, jumped on the bandwagon trying to protect federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel from criticism - fair or unfair - by the presidential candidate Donald Trump, my instincts told me to do my own background check, to begin with, as much as is available from public sources on the Internet - and much is available.

Whenever the official mainstream media (heavily financed by corporate businesses and depending on advertisements), claims that a certain public figure is untouchable by criticism - it should only enhance people's desire to look at the background of that public official.

So, I did start to put two and two together as to information available about Judge Gonzalo Curiel - and what I so far uncovered, shows that Donald Trump had more than enough basis to claim bias, appearance of bias and even appearance that Judge Curiel may be fixing his court case through ex parte communications.

This blog is about Judge Curiel's participation in a secret-membership organization American Inns of Court financed by attorneys and free for judges where Judge Curiel can meet with unknown attorneys appearing in his court behind closed doors and, over dinner with wine, agree how to fix court cases - I am not saying he is DOING it, I am saying that ex parte communications are prohibited because of its potential for case-fixing.

What I am revealing in this blog did not require me to use any resources other than time - which raises questions as to why the "talking heads" and media sources that collectively thumped on Trump and idolized Judge Curiel as the all-American hero, an impartial judge beyond reproach and a victim of a racist attack by a demented bully, did not do a proper investigation that showed that not only Curiel is not an angel with a halo, but, very likely, Judge Curiel has been engaged, for a long time, in corruption and fixing of court cases - and doing it now, too.

Judge Curiel is a member of a secret-membership club,  American Inns of Court, William B. Enright Chapter (called after Judge Curiel still-serving colleague on the bench judge William B. Enright) that can very well include Trump's opponent's lawyers - and it is unverifiable without an extra lawsuit.

Here is the link to that particular chapter of the American Inns of Court.

I encourage my readers to go the website of Judge Curiel's chapter of the American Inns of Court and then to go to the "members" page and to the "meetings" page.

You will be denied access to both the membership database or meetings schedule.

So, you will not be able to discern from the Inn's webpage whether Trump's opposing counsel is a member of the Inn, along with Judge Curiel, nor will you be able to discern whether or when Judge Curiel was meeting with attorneys-members of the Inn, with which attorneys in particular, and whether attorneys Judge Curiel met with were or are appearing in front of him in court.

You will also be denied access to the composition of the "teams" of the Inn.  Information about "teams" contains, necessarily, information about the judge as a "mentor" of the team and of attorneys who are part of the judge's "team".

The Inns' "teams" (the judge and attorneys) meet, according to available descriptions of the Inns' practices, at least once a month and end up or start with receptions with alcohol that attorneys pay for through their steep membership fees, and judges are attending for free.

By the way, Judge Curiel's court has a "gift policy" prohibiting soliciting or accepting gifts of any kind from people who may seek benefits from the judge's court:

But, when gifts are provided through a secret-membership, secret-meeting organization, that's, apparently, ok.

"Committees" of Judge Curiel's Inn are also secret.

Information about officers of the Inn is public.


Hon. Barbara L. Major
US District Court Southern District of California
p: (619) 557-7372
Send Mail


Angela Mullins, Esq.
Office of the SD City Attorney
p: (619) 533-5883
Send Mail


Gregory A. Post, Esq.

p: (619) 557-4401
Send Mail

Program Chair

John J. Freni, Esq.
John J Freni A Professional Law Corporation
p: (619) 557-9128
Send Mail

Membership Chair

Susan Moriarty Hack, Esq.
Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP
p: (619) 236-1551
Send Mail

Program Chair

Hon. Judith L. Haller
California Courts of Appeal 4th District Division 1
p: (619) 645-2751
Send Mail

Immediate Past President

Nancy L. Stagg, Esq.
Foley & Lardner
p: (858) 847-6700
Send Mail

Board Member

Hon. Kevin A. Enright
San Diego Superior Court
p: (619) 450-5000
Send Mail

Brian P. Funk, Esq.
Law Offices of Brian P Funk
p: (619) 233-4076
Send Mail

Charles R. Grebing, Esq.
Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP
p: (619) 232-8151
Send Mail

John D. Kirby, Esq.
John D Kirby Law
p: (619) 557-0100
Send Mail

John D. Kirby, Esq.
John D Kirby Law
p: (619) 557-0100
Send Mail

Craig R. McClellan, Esq.
The McClellan Law Firm
p: (619) 231-0505
Send Mail

Michelle Pettit, Esq.
US Attorneys Office
p: (619) 546-7972
Send Mail

Hon. Joan P. Weber
San Diego Superior Court
p: (619) 450-5051
Send Mail

Executive Director

Laura Vest

p: (858) 414-1113
Send Mail

Web Administrator

Laura Vest

Let's go through the 15 known officers of Judge Curiel's Inn of Court one by one.
  1. Nancy L. Stagg, Esqa partner at Foley & Lardner
Nancy Stagg is a white female, and a specialist in class actions, an attorney appearing in Judge Curiel's court and, moreover, an attorney hand-picked by Judge Curiel's court to select judges for that court.

  • co-chair for the Lawyer Representative Committee for the Southern District of California
  • lawyer representative for the Southern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • master, director, and president of the William B. Enright Chapter, American Inns of Court; 
  • director for the San Diego County Bar Foundation (member, Governance Sub-Committee); 
  • member of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California Merit Selection Panel (of judges);
  • panel member for Appointment and Reappointment of Magistrate Judges
  • member of the San Diego County Bar Association Leadership Outreach Council; 
  • board of governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego Chapter; and as a 
  • member of the board of trustees for the California Western School of Law (1992 – 1993). She is a 
  • fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and 
  • a founding charter member of the IP Institute.

As you understand, the potential of use of the behind-the-doors meetings with judges of Judge Curiel's court, including Judge Curiel himself, are staggering for attorney Nancy Stagg, a practicing attorney who nevertheless gets to pick and promote judges.

And, the whole idea that a practicing attorney appearing in front of a judge finances a judge's participation in her organization, including wining and dining at secret meetings behind closed doors - is a breeding pool for corruption.

Judge Curiel is presumably participating in those wining and dining activities, as a member of that secret club.

2.  Attorney John Kirby is a white male, and a criminal defense attorney specializing in "state and federal criminal law".

John D. Kirby describes himself on the website of his own law firm as a former federal prosecutor with 10+ years of prosecuting experience.

According to John D. Kirby's LinkedIn profile, John D. Kirby worked in the U.S. Attorney's office from June 1995 to June 2005, and "prosecuted individuals involved in major drug and money laundering conspiracies, including members of the Arellano-Felix drug trafficking cartel."

Arellano-Felix drug trafficking cartel is what Judge Curiel prosecuted when he was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office and who put a hit on the then-prosecutor Gonzalo Curiel requiring him to live on a naval base under government protection for a year.

John D. Kirby is, according to his LinkedIn profile, a former law clerk for Judge Curiel's colleague Judge William B. Enright, in whose honor the Inn of court is named.

John D. Kirby is admitted in Judge Curiel's court since 2008 and is thus appearing in front of the court with which attorney Kirby has multiple connections:

  1. as a former brother-in-arms of Judge Curiel in his fight against the Arrellano-Felix cartel that nearly took Judge Curiel's life;
  2. as a former law clerk of the much-honored Judge Curiel's still-sitting colleague judge William B. Enright (in 1990-1991);
  3. as an officer of the secret-membership Inn of court that likely is providing regular wining and dining (if only) benefits to judges of Judge Curiel's court, likely including Judge Curiel himself.

In 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile, John D. Kirby left the U.S. Attorney's office and started his private practice, which includes criminal defense.

In 2-years' time, in 2007, Judge Curiel was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Superior Court in San Diego.  

In 2008 John D. Kirby is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the court where he previously worked as a law clerk to a still-sitting Judge William Enright.

In 3 years' time, in 2011, John D. Kirby's brother-in-arms Gonzalo Curiel makes his way to the same court as a judge.

At the same time, the "brothers-in-arms" are members of the same secret-membership organization that meets behind closed doors.

Only a blind person would not see a suspicious pattern here.

There is at least an APPEARANCE, from the information available in open access, that the "brothers-in-arms" have a business going on here - that Judge Curiel has been appointed first in state, and then in federal court to help out his brother-in-arms John Kirby, and is now doing it behind the closed doors of the American Inns of Court.

3.  Attorney Gregory A. Post is a white male also an attorney admitted in Judge Curiel's court.

Attorney Gregory Post has a background of a Stanford athlete - not a good recommendation nowadays.

Now attorney Post's practice concentrates on arbitration (alternative dispute resolution).

ALL civil rights cases in federal court are required to be turned into paid ADR (paid by the parties) unless the court allows them not to do that, which rarely happens.

So, I wonder whether ADR Gregory A. Post gets assignments from Judge Curiel's courts for the mandatory ADR in civil rights cases based on their discussions behind closed doors at the Inn of Courts.

Gregory Post is the Treasurer of the Inn, having an immense power of rewarding judges who rule his way and bring him business.

4.   Attorney John J. Freni, a "Program Chair" is admitted in Judge Curiel's court. and is a white male.

John J. Freni's passion is hunting and fishing - a valuable "hobby" when you are dealing with American judges in view of the history of hunting trips of U.S. Supreme Court justices, such as Antonin Scalia, with the litigants appearing in front of them.

5.  Judge Judith L. Haller of California's 4th District Court of Appeal.  Judge Haller is a white female.

Judge Haller was a defendant in Judge Curiel's court (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California) numerous times, including in five lawsuits since Judge Curiel was appointed to that court.

I wonder whether defendant judge Judith Haller influenced the court's decision in lawsuits filed against her through ex parte communications with Judge Curiel at the Inn behind closed doors.

6.  Magistrate judge Barbara Major of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Judge Curiel's colleague, is the current President of Judge Curiel's Inn of Court.

Magistrate Barbara Major is a white female.

Magistrate Major is also a former colleague of Judge Curiel in the U.S. Attorney's office, and a former law clerk to a judge in the same court.  Magistrate Barbara Major was appointed in 2004, just before her colleague John D. Kirby left the same U.S. Attorney's office and started a private law practice.

It is interesting that Magistrate Major is a member in the same secret-membership organization as Nancy Stagg, an attorney who is a member of "Merit Selection Panel" of that court selecting magistrates.   Names of any other members other than officers of the "Inn" are secret, so other magistrates or candidates for magistrates can also be secret members of the Inn - and the selection could be taking place right over a dinner with wine between the magistrate and Nancy Stagg as member of the panel.

7.  The Inn's past president, attorney Susan Moriarty Hack, of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack LLP is yet another "officer" of Judge Curiel's Inn of Court.

Attorney Susan M. Hack is a white female.

Attorney Susan M. Hack, according to her law firm's website, is also a current president of another Inn of Court - the San Diego Inn of Court.

According to the description of her activities in the Inns of Court on her law firm's website:

"One purpose of the American Inns of Court is to create an atmosphere of camaraderie among lawyers and judges, and to provide attorneys with the opportunity to learn from other attorneys and judges at the monthly meetings."

So, on her law firm's website attorney Hack admits that the Inn of Court members meet on a monthly basis and that the purpose of the organization is to "create an atmosphere of camaraderie among lawyers (members of the Inn - T.N.) and judges".

Naturally, the "camaraderie" is being developed not with pro se parties appearing before judges and not with attorneys who are not members of the Inn (where membership is by invitation only), but only with those attorneys who pay for judges' monthly wining and dining.

Attorney Hack is also a member of the "Lawyers' Club" of San Diego where judges, lawyers and law students participate.  The website of that organization also does not provide public access to its members' list.

When you hit "Membership Directory" on that website, a page opens with information about what the club allegedly does and with links of how to join it, but does not provide access to member lists.

8.  The eighth known officer of Judge Curiel's Inn is Judge David J. Danielsen of California Superior Court

Judge Danielsen is a white male.

Judge Daneilsen is a Supervising judge of California Superior Court. shows 16 lawsuits filed against Judge Danielsen as a defendant in Judge Curiel's court from 1990 to 2012, including 4 lawsuits after Judge Curiel was appointed as a member of the court, and several lawsuits filed at the time when Judge Curiel was a colleague of Judge Danielsen, a California state court judge.

9.  Hon. Kevin A. Enright, of San Diego Superior Court, is a white male judge for the State of California, and the son of the still-sitting colleague of Judge Curiel, Judge William B. Enright, the Inn of Court is named after him.

The whole idea that a state judge is a relative of a federal judge whose court may be reviewing cases against state judges, Kevin Enright included, as defendants, smacks of potential for corruption.

When the son is an "officer" of a secret-membership attorney-funded organization named after his still-sitting judge father, and his father's colleagues, judges, are also "officers" of the same organization, the appearance of corruption is only enhanced.

10. The next "officer" of Judge Curiel's Inn of Court is Brian P. Funk, Esq., of the Law Offices of Brian P Funk.

Brian P. Funk is a white malea criminal lawyer from San Diego, California.

Since Brian P. Funk defends federal criminal cases, he is an attorney who may or does appear in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Judge Curiel's court, which is a direct appearance of impropriety and a potential for ex parte communication and case-fixing behind closed doors.

11. Charles R. Grebing, Esq., of Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP, is a white male.

Grebing is admitted in Judge Curiel's court, which is yet another conflict of interest.

Moreover, Grebing is the Inn of Court "lecturer on jury selection", so, while practicing in state and federal courts, he also has the potential of influencing judges sitting on his cases as to how pick juries so that to win cases - and judges-members of the Inn to whom he may have been lecturing is Judge Curiel.

As a member of the Inn of Court, he is also paying for wining and dining of judges he is lecturing, and since the "membership benefits" are secret, and the meetings are secret - it is a perfect breeding atmosphere for corruption. 

12. Michelle Pettit, Esq., is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the San Diego, California, and a member of Judge Curiel's former office.  Michelle Pettit is trying cases in Judge Curiel's court.  The potential for corruption, ex parte communications and case fixing is clear.  

There are 649 records on as of today of cases tried by Michelle Pettit - attorney admitted only in 2007.

So, Michelle Pettit is in federal court, and in Judge Curiel's court, constantly, while having a potential to meet, talk with the judge behind closed doors in the Inn of Court, as well as wine-and-dine the judge.

13. Hon. Joan P. Weber is a judge of San Diego Superior Court, and a recent respondent in Judge Curiel's court.

The potential for corruption and case-fixing is clear.

14. Laura Vest

15. Angela Mullins, Esq., of the Office of the San Diego City Attorney, regularly litigates cases in Judge Curiel's court:

I understand that the whole idea of the onslaught upon Donald Trump for even raising the issue of potential bias of Judge Curiel is to prevent further digging into Judge Curiel's connections and background.

Once Judge Curiel was all but sainted by the mass media, to criticize him in any way became anathema.

Information that I provided above is available from open public sources.

Obviously, Trump's well-paid attorneys had access to that information.

That they did not raise those issues, speaks a lot about the fear instilled into attorneys, even and especially well-paid attorneys, not to rattle their golden cage in any way, not to upset the judiciary that controls their law licenses and livelihoods in any way - even if that inaction hurts their clients.

The logic is simple - you sell out one client, but you save your law license to be paid by other clients.

You protect one client, stepping on the toes of those who control your law license - and you are out on the street, and you will not be able to get any "licensed" or "certified" employment, which is nowadays nearly any more or less well-paid job in the United States.

So, in that respect, of access to honest legal representation, Donald Trump is on par with an average American - attorney regulation makes sure he is being sold out in the same way as poor clients are.

And, ay lawsuit seeking disclosure of membership in the American Inns of Court is an illustration that the issue of the American Inns of Court and of other secret-membership organization is a taboo in the legal industry.

In May of 2014, I filed a lawsuit in federal court to verify the membership of ALL American judges and ALL American attorneys in the American Inns of Court and any other secret-membership organizations.

The lawsuit was dismissed by a judge who I now have a reasonable basis to suspect, since March of 2016, that the dismissing judge was and, possibly, is, a member of at least one of such a secret-membership organization himself, was a hostile witness in the proceeding he dismissed, and dismissed the proceedings to protect himself and members of his secret-membership club from exposure.

At this time, the court that dismissed that case and the supervising appellate court, stall my Freedom of Information Act request regarding membership in yet another secret-membership behind-the-scenes organization - the State-Federal Judicial Council, and, since membership in that organization that seeks to "relieve tension" (fix cases) with state public officials.

My lawsuit is directly related to Judge Gonzalo Curiel - because it is confirmed that Judge Curiel is a member of one of these secret-membership organizations, and Donald Trump can thus question whether the opposing counsel in his lawsuit pays for Judge Gonzalo Curiel's travels, whether those opposing counsel wine and dine Judge Curiel behind closed doors, or provide monetary and non-monetary benefits to the judge's personnel, friends and family members.

Because, otherwise - why keep the membership of attorneys and judges (with few exceptions) in such organizations secret?

And, once again, here is Judge Curiel's court's "gift policy" - which provides lip service to what judges of that court are doing through American Inns of Court and similar secret-membership attorney-funded organizations:

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