"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, September 5, 2016

On whistleblowers, pollution in Amazon, criminal conviction of federal judge Richard Wesley at the time of confirmation, and the workings of the American, Taiwan, Ecudorian and Canadian courts

In 2004, a person, 48-year-old Elena Sassower was arrested, convicted and put in jail for 6 months in Washington, D.C.


Because she wanted to testify in the U.S. Congress at the confirmation of a federal judge, against such confirmation, which was her right as a taxpayer, was not allowed to do that, tried to do that anyway and - see above.

She was offered probation, no jail time, with strings attached. 

She was supposed to:

  • stay away from certain senators (Senator Hillary Clinton included - Elena Sassower had the audacity of asking her Senator for help);
  • write a letter of apology - to "senators Hillary Clinton, Charles E. Schumer, Orrin G. Hatch and Saxby Chambliss and for Judge Richard C. Wesley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit", and, of course
  • accept conditions of probation.
The courageous woman said that the letters of apology will not be sent because they will not be written and refused to accept SUCH conditions of probation.

She was sent to jail for 6 months, the maximum sentence, even though the prosecution (there was prosecution) did not ask for jail time.

Elena Sassower did what her father and mother, George and Dorris Sassowers, did - blew a whistle about judicial misconduct.

George and Doris Sassowers is a spousal couple who both lost their licenses for exposing judicial misconduct and corruption.

Elena Sassower's condition of getting jail or not getting jail was writing a letter of apology to the very same judge whose confirmation she was trying to prevent by statements about his unfitness for the appellate federal bench.

By the way, she has made a motion to recuse the judge presiding over her criminal case, the one who refused to do that, and retaliated against Elena Sassower for making the motion to recuse by sending her to jail for speaking to the government on issue of public concern.

In my previous blog post, here, I wrote about attorneys who were disciplined for criticism of the judiciary, listing Elena Sassower's both parents.

Elena Sassower is not an attorney, she belongs to a larger group of whistle-blowers punished by the American government for speaking their minds and exposing governmental, and specifically judicial, corruption.

Let's list the heroes of that 12-years-ago case.  I will follow their careers, save for Judge Wesley, in a separate blog.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer,

Senator Orrin G. Hatch,

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss,

Judge Richard C. Wesley, and

Senator Hillary Clinton - the one who

  • did not help her constituent get in front of the U.S. Congress to testify against confirmation about what the constituent believed, based on evidence she wanted to bring, a "bad apple" judge; and
  • did not help that same constituent when she was slapped with a clearly illegal criminal prosecution for trying to speak out to her elected representatives on issues of public concern that was the topic of the session where she wanted to speak.
Now Senator Clinton ducked, through personal connections, criminal charges for exposing national security of this country, and is running for president.

But, this post is not about Clinton or above-listed Senators.  It is about Judge Wesley.  The now "high-ranking" senior federal appellate court judge Wesley.

Judge Richard C. Wesley, of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the one whose confirmation Elena Sassower was trying to prevent.

What was that explosive matter that Elena Sassower was so vigorously blocked from producing in the U.S. Congress at the confirmation hearing of Judge Wesley?

Some information about Judge Wesley's misconduct as judge of New York State Court of Appeals, and the deliberate tossing of facially meritorious citizens' complaints about him, without an explanation or reasoning by the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct (the Commission keeps doing it now, too).

And Judge Wesley's own questionnaire for judicial nomination.

Containing this information:

The question is straightforward - judge, have you ever been convicted of a crime?

The answer is - no.

But then, in answer as to whether the judge was subject to administrative or civil lawsuits, the judge suddenly discloses this:

Here it is - convicted of a crime in Taiwan.

For his involvement in a "bar admission matter".

Judge Wesley lied even about what kind of "matter" precipitated his criminal conviction in another country.

Certainly it was not a "bar admission matter".  It was a disbarment matter, of an immigrant attorney, an Ivy League graduate Liang-Houh Shieh (and, while in law school, one of the editors of the school's Law Journal, the highest honor for a law student) in 1997:

That was an immigrant non-white attorney who sued BigLaw for racism (BigLaw firms? racial discrimination amongst their own lawyers? you don't say!) and was slapped with over $500,000 in sanctions for that.

And branded "vexatious litigant" (as it usually happens with people raising issues of human rights against the big and powerful in this country).  

And - oh, yes, here it is again - attorney Shieh moved to recuse a judge as a "purely vindictive" move.  Of course, he had to be disbarred.

But, attorney Shieh obtained criminal conviction against judges who brought about his disbarment - in Taiwan.

Reportedly, the conviction was "rescinded" in 2003 - reportedly, on May 23, 2003.

But, the confirmation hearing of Judge Wesley happened on May 22, 2003, when the conviction as not yet overturned.

And, when Elena Sassower sought to expose Judge Wesley's unfitness, she knew nothing about what may happen in the future. The reason why the conviction was rescinded was, likely, jurisdictional.

Yet, the reason why it was first granted, was, likely, based on evidentiary facts supplied by attorney Shieh - he evidentiary facts that needed to be reviewed by the U.S. Congress as a matter of public concern about fitness of a judicial candidate regardless of whether somebody was at that time "working" on overturning or "rescinding" the judicial candidate's criminal conviction in another country.

According to Judge Wesley's statement in the judicial questionnaire, New York Attorney General was fighting it, but, at the time Judge Wesley answered the questionnaire, "the process is not as of yet successful".

And, Judge Wesley was STILL nominated - despite a criminal conviction in another country.

And STILL  confirmed by the U.S. Congress - while the only protestor against such a confirmation, a middle-aged woman, was dragged out by the police for wanting to testify against the confirmation.

Of course, this was explosive information - that a judge nominated by the President and scheduled to be confirmed by the U.S. Congress, for life, for a federal appellate court, had a criminal conviction in Taiwan at the time of his confirmation hearing.

Enough to gag a woman wanting to speak on an issue of public concern before that same session of the U.S. Congress.

Enough to put her in jail for refusing to apologize to the judge whose "unresolved" criminal conviction - and lying on the questionnaire that he has no criminal convictions (at least, none of importance to the judge) - she was trying to expose.

But - wait a minute.

If the U.S. does not have respect to a Taiwan's order of criminal conviction, Taiwan will not have respect to judgments of American courts.


Who is Judge Wesley and what are his real connections and his real backing that the U.S. Congress risked an international scandal and a refusal of an entire, fast-developing, country and business partner to honor judgments of U.S. Courts?

One thing is clear:  after the stormy confirmation, and exposure of his criminal conviction by the bad, bad, bad Elena Sassower, daughter of two bad, bad, bad attorney-whistleblowers of judicial corruption George Sassowers (disbarred for that in 1988) and Doris Sassower (suspended for that in 1991), Judge Wesley had a definite grudge against those bad, bad, bad international courts that would convict him of a crime for a pesky "bar admission matter" of their citizens. 

And definitely against international courts in general defending their citizens against powerful Americans.  Like Judge Wesley.  Like Chevron Corporation.


It was Judge Richard C. Wesley who was "chosen", I would say, hand-picked to decide the fate of the enforcement of the multi-billion judgment from Ecuador against Chevron Corporation.

Reportedly, Judge Wesley tried - at least outwardly - to be fair to the Ecuadoran court (possibly, understanding that his actions can be viewed by the international community through the prism of his criminal conviction in Taiwan and his resulting grudge against international courts).

Yet, Judge Wesley signed off on the order barring enforcement of the multibillion dollar judgment, and that, of course, helped raise the stock of Chevron.

Makes a difference if a company you invest your nest egg into does or does not have a nearly 9 billion dollar judgment against it, right?

By the way, a high-ranking official in Chevron has reportedly dumped some Chevron stock on August 26, 2016, after Judge Wesley's convenient court order in its favor brought he stock prices up, and in anticipation of an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court.  Make money while you can, right? 

And, the fight over the 9 billion judgment is not over yet - or is it?

Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Williams v Pennsylvania, 579 U.S. ___ (2016) this year that if one disqualified judge sits on a judicial appellate panel, all judges are tainted (and then remanded the case back to the same panel of judges, sans the disqualified one).

But - how can I put it mildly?

A judge who had a criminal conviction from an overseas court at the outset of his career, and who had a woman put in jail for exposing it, now rules that a nearly 9 billion dollar judgment, coincidentally also from an overseas court, is somehow unenforceable because of judicial corruption - of that overseas court?

Judge Wesley has a poetic streak in him, in addition to the criminal one.

And our poet, now a "high-ranking" judge, was considered back in 2011 for the position of the new dean of my alma mater - the Albany Law School.  Great!  Judge Richard Carl Wesley can teach the young generation of lawyers a lot.

How to have whistleblowers of judicial corruption - like Elena Sassower - packed away in prison.

How to have whistleblowers of international environmental pollution by corporation - like Steven Donziger - sanctioned and vilified because Steven Donziger, one man, single-handedly, corrupted the entire court system of Ecuador, the country where Chevron handled cases in those same court before and after that judgment, without any complaint about judicial corruption.


Judicial corruption.

In Ecuador.

Fought by a judge convicted of a crime, likely also of judicial corruption.

In Taiwan.


Here he is, once again.

The poet (of judicial corruption).

But, as to Chevron - the injured Ecuadorans asked for enforcement of the Ecuadoran judgment against the assets of Chevron Corporation not only in the U.S., but also in Canada, by the Canadian highest court that affirmed the 2015 decision of the Canadian lower courts, also deeming the multi-billion dollar Ecuadoran judgment against Chevron's assets as good for enforcement in Canada.

And the Canada Supreme Court does not believe - as Judge Wesley does - that the Ecuadoran highest court's judgment against Chevron is unenforceable as brought about through corruption.  Instead, it believes that it is fully enforceable - and Chevron is reportedly defying that Canadian court order.

Isn't it just a LITTLE bit coincidental that defying the Canadian court order, ordering enforcement of the Ecuadoran court judgment of 8.6 billion dollars against Chevron as successor to Texaco, was reported on July 27, 2016, less than two weeks before a U.S. Court gave Chevron's assets in the U.S. a reprieve and blocked enforcement of the same judgment against Chevron's assets in the U.S.?

Actually, Chevron's Executive Vice-President was actually not very confident as to the outcome in the 2nd Circuit and dumped over 2 million dollars worth of stock of his own corporation 6 days before the judgment of the 2nd Circuit came - he should have worried so.  Judge Wesley took care of it.

Now attorney Steven Donziger who brought about that judgment is glorified in Ecuador, glorified by the world community, glorified in Canada, but villified in his own country - for doing his job and for doing it right, trying to get justice for his injured clients from a powerful corporation.

Why is it not surprising?

And, why is it not surprising that, while it was reported that the American district judge's decision 497-page decision will not survive an appeal to the 2nd Circuit, it did - and even triumphed, over international law, comity, fairness, propriety and common sense.

Toxic waste dumped in Amazon region, poisoning the living environment for thousands of people does not matter for American judges.

Chevron was awarded "the Public Eye" worst-in-the-world environmental record corporation in 2006, based on the same Ecuadoran judgment, and that is the assessment of the whole mess by the international community. 

Now it appears that, while the Ecuadoran judgment was confirmed as valid in Canada, it urgently needed to be disaffirmed in the U.S, and Judge Wesley and the other two judges on he "panel" obliged.

As to Judge Richard Carl Wesley, putting a judge who had a personal grudge against other countries' courts ruling for their citizens, over an appeal claiming that a giant corporation was hurt by corruption in a court of a small nation orchestrated by ONE attorney was utterly shameless.

But, while Ecuadoran victims may not be unable to obtain justice in U.S. courts, let's look what will happen next in Canada though, where Judge Wesley is not a judge yet - thank God, and where the Canadian Supreme Court has spoken on July 27, 2016, and ordered enforcement of the judgement against Chevron's assets within Canada.

Maybe, it is not by chance that the Chevron Executive Vice President was dumping all that stock of his own company on August 2, 2016And another Vice-President and Comptroller dumped just under a million dollars worth of stock on August 26, 2016?  Something is a-coming to Chevron, possibly, from the snowy Canada, so that the insiders started to dump their own stock?

I will follow this circus with interest - and continue to report on it.

Of course, those who follow this case may be monitored by the government and by Chevron helped by the government nowadays

but anyway.

We'll see what happens.  Stay tuned.

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