"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.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Some statistics about attorneys punished for criticizing judges

Another researcher and I looked at statistics of attorney discipline-for-criticism provided in the 2008 law review article of Professor Margaret Tarkington "The Truth Be Damned: the 1st Amendment, Attorney Speech and Judicial Reputation.

Here is some statistics we derived from cases referenced in that article (footnotes 39, 239-270).  Prof. Tarkington lists 48 cases from 28 states (if we did not miss anything):

Kansas 1877 In re Pryor, 18 Kan. 72
California 1911 In re Shay, 160 Cal. 399
New Jersey 1930 In re Glauberman, 107 N. J. Eq. 384, 152, Atl. 650
California 1934 In re Friday, 138 Cal. App. 660, 32 P.2d 1117
Wyoming 1945 State Board of Law Exam'rs v. Spriggs, 155 P.2d 285
Iowa 1964 In re Glenn, 256 Iowa 1233
New Mexico 1966 In re Meeker, 76 N.M. 354, 414 P.2d 862
Nevada 1971 In re Raggio, 87 Nev. 369
Florida 1973 In re Shimeck, 284 So. 2d 686, 690
Iowa 1976 In re Frerichs, 238 N.W.2d 764, 769-70
South Dakota 1979 In re Lacey, 283 N.W.2d 250
California 1980 Ramirez v. State Bar of Cal., 28 Cal.3d 402
Iowa 1980 Comm. On Prof'l Ethics and Conduct of the Iowa State Bar Ass'n v. Horak, 292 N.W.2d 129
Kentucky 1980 Ky. Bar Ass'n v. Heleringer, 602 S.W.2d 165, 168
Kentucky (another) 1980 Kentucky Bar Ass'n v. Nall, 599 S.W.2d 899
Louisiana  1983 La. State Bar Ass'n v. Karst, 428 So.2d 406
Tennessee 1983 Farmer v. Board of Prof'l Responsibility of the Sup. Ct. of Tenn., 660 S.W.2d 490
Maryland? 1986 In re Evans, 801 F.2d 703 (4th Cir. 1986) (disbarred from USDC for district of Maryland), footnote 15
Tennessee 1989 Ramsey v. Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, 771 S.W.2d 116
Minnesota 1990 In re Graham, 453 N.W.2d 313
Missouri 1991 In re Westfall, 808 S.W.2d 829, 833-34
New York 1991 In re Holtzman, 78 N.Y.2d 184
West Virginia  1991 Committee on Legal Ethics of the W. Va. State Bar v. Farber, 408 S.E.2d 274
California 1993 Peters v. State Bar of Cal., 219 Cal. 218
Indiana 1993 In re Becker, 620 N.E.2d 691
Washington? 1993 S. Dist. Ct. for E.D. of Wash. V. Sandlin, 12 F.3d 861 (9th Cir. 1993)
Indiana  1994 In re Antanga, 636 N.E.2d 1253 
Indiana (another) 1994 In re Garringer, 626 N.E.2d 809
California? 1995 Standing Committee on Discipline for the U.S.Dist. Ct. for the Cent. Dist. Cal. V. Yagman, 55 F.3d 1430, 1437 (9th Cir. 1995)
Idaho 1996 Idaho State Bar v. Topp, 129 Idaho 414
Iowa  1996 Iowa Sup. Ct. Board of Prof'l Ethics and Conduct v. Ronwin, 557 N.W.2d 515
Kentucky 1996 Ky. Bar Ass'n v. Waller, 929 S.W.2d 181 
Indiana 1999 In re Reed, 716 N.E.2d 426 
Delaware 2000 In re Guy, 756 A.2d 875
Florida 2001 Fla. Bar v. Ray, 797 So.2d 556
Indiana 2001 In re McCellan, 754 N.E.2d 500 ("McClellan" in fn 39)
Indiana 2002 In re Wilkins, 777 N.E.2d 714
Kansas 2002 In re Arnold, 274 Kan. 761
Ohio 2003 Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Gardner, 99 Ohio St.3d 416, 793 N.E.2d 425
Louisiana 2005 In re Simon, 913 So.2d 816
Massachussetts 2005 In re Cobb, 445 Mass. 452
Michigan  2006 Grievance Administrator v. Fieger, 719 N.W.2d 123
Minnesota 2006 In re Charges of Unprofessional Conduct involving File No. 17139, 720 N.W.2d 807
Arkansas 2007 Stilley v. Sup. Ct. Comm. On Prof'l Conduct, 370 Ark. 294
Delaware 2007 In re Abbott, 925 A.2d 482
Kansas 2007 In re Pyle, 283 Kan. 807, 156 P.3d 1231
Utah  2007 Peters v. Pine Meadows Ranch Home, 151 P.3d 962
Utah (another) 2007 Utah v. Santana-Ruiz, 167 p.3d 1038, 1044

Additionally, through my own research I found 33 cases from 14 states:

John E. Wofgram
Attorney challenging the concept of judicial immunity as unconstitutional and who sided with the "Jail for Judges" movement seeking state constitutional amendments to abolish judicial immunity - by legal process
Dr. Richard Fine
Disbarred, incarcerated and held in solitary confinement for exposure of judicial corruption
George Sassower
New York
Disbarred for exposing judicial corruption, held in contempt, bankrupted
Doris Sassower
New York
Suspended after she filed an appeal of a dismissal of lawsuit on behalf of clients challenging impropriety of cross-endorsing judges by multiple parties in judicial elections
Doug Schafer
Suspended for reporting judicial corruption
Barbara Johnson
Disbarred after she ran for the seat of the State Governor on a platform of judicial reform and cleaning up judicial corruption
Eugene Wrona
disbarred for calling a judge a "domestic terrorist"
Zena Crenshaw-Logal
Suspended for “making false allegations against judges”
John A. Aretakis
New York
The attorney who exposed child molestation by Catholic priests, was suspended for making motions to recuse and defaming the Catholic priests
David Roosa
Sean Conway
New York

Criticized a judge for misconduct in assigning cases only to attorneys who will not do discovery, motions and trials for their clients

Suspended for calling a criminal court judge who gave only a week to prepare for a criminal trial after indictment, an "evil, unfair witch"
Andy Ostrowski
Criticized and continues to criticize judicial misconduct in publications and a radio show, ran for the U.S. Congress on the platform of judicial reform, is being repeatedly denied reinstatement on those grounds
Lanre Amu, a Nigerian lawyer
Made a complaint against a Circuit Judge
Frederick J Neroni
New York
Disbarred after his law partner and wife criticized a judge for apparent bribery, the judge's former law parnter, a local criminal prosecutor, threatened Mr. Neroni to withdraw a criminal appeal raising the same issues, not to "burn the bridges", Mr. Neroni was disbarred after he refused to do that
Jeffrey Norkin
suspended in 2013 "for making threatening and disparaging statements to a judge", and then disbarred
Leon Koziol
New York
repeatedly denied reinstatement for testimony against judicial corruption before the Moreland Commission, publications and rallies criticizing judicial misconduct in Family Courts
Don Bailey
Criticized federal judges in pleadings
Kenneth Ditkowski
Suspended for criticizing judicial corruption in probate courts
Paul Ogden
suspended for an e-mail criticizing a judge, ordered to pay giant disciplinary cost of proceedings
Suspended for impugning integrity of judges and disciplinary prosecutors
Michele MacDonald Shimota
Was arrested in the courthouse by order of a judge she sought to recuse and sued, sexually abused in the holding cell, forced into a wheelchair, stripped of glasses, shoes, files, wheeled into the courtroom and forced to represent a client this way
Robert Grundstein
Disbarred for criticism of judicial corruption in Ohio courts
West Virginia
Suspended for 3 months for criticizing judges
Erwin Rosenberg
Suspension time increased from what was recommended after attorney moved to disqualify the judge-referee
JoAnne Marie Denison
Suspended for 3 years for exposure of corruption in probate courts through blogs
Nanine McCool
Disbarred after running for a judicial seat, then criticizing a judge in motions to recuse
Tatiana Neroni
New York
Suspended for criticizing a judge for apparent misconduct and corruption in motions to recuse
Kathleen Kane
revealed judicial and prosecutorial misconduct in e-mails, was suspended by the judge she outed, the judge resigned after suspending her
Kevin A. McKenna
Rhode Island
Suspended for 1 year for criticism of judges
An attorney who exposed misconduct of Judge Sharon Keller who refused the last-minute death appeal by a statement "we close at 5" - was held in contempt and blocked from appearing in death penalty cases
Russel Stookey
Charged with a felony for seeking public records of a court operating account to expose judicial misconduct
Christine Mire
Suspended for well-founded criticism of a judge, based on documentary evidence and testimony of witnesses that indicated that the judge altered or caused to alter court audio files of a judicial proceedings protecting herself from allegations that she did not disclose the judge's irreconcilable conflict of interest
Ty Clevenger
attorney who exposed sexual misconduct of federal judge Walter Smith and insisted on reopening of his case and speeding investigation once the case was reopened

Research of this kind is difficult because such cases may no be published, or, if published, may not reflect that the attorney was punished for criticism of judges.

For example, my own order of suspension does mention that I was suspended - without a hearing - based on sanctions imposed upon me by an unnamed judge for unspecified "frivolous conduct".  Yet, the "frivolous conduct" in question was making motions to recuse that same judge.

Similarly, attorneys Wolfgram (California), Doris Sassower (New York) and David Roosa (New York), cases highlighted in yellow, were suspended for "mental incapacity", while very capably representing clients and very capably criticizing judicial misconduct.  Attorney Wolfgram was actually a dedicated philosopher of the law, and a brilliant and very effective attorney whose "fault" was that he wanted to stick to his constitutional oath of office and insisted on application of the U.S. Constitution the way it was written, not as it was interpreted by judges - and that was the point of his alleged "mental incapacity".

I combined the two lists - Prof. Tarkington (48 cases) and mine (33 cases), and here is the combined aggregate list of states, number of disciplinary cases against attorneys for criticism of judges, and years when that discipline occurred

Here is an interesting aggregate list of Prof. Tarkington's and my own statistics:

Year No of Cases Years from the previous year of discipline for criticism of judges States where discipline occurred States where discipline for criticism occurred more than once in one year
2016 3 1 3
2015 7 1 6 New York
2014 7 1 7
2013 3 2 3
2011 2 1 2
2010 1 1 1
2009 2 1 2
2008 2 1 1 New York
2007 6 1 5 Utah
2006 3 1 3
2005 2 4 2
2001 2 2 2
1999 1 3 1
1996 3 2 3
1995 1 1 1
1994 2 1    2 Indiana  
1993 3 2 3
1991 4 1 3 New York
1990 1 1 1
1989 2 1 2
1988 1 2 1
1986 1 3 1
1983 2 3 2
1980 4 1 3 Kentucky
1979 1 3 1
1976 1 3 1
1973 1 2 1
1971 1 5 1
1966 1 2 1
1964 1 19
1945 1 11
1934 1 4
1930 1 19
1911 1 34
1877 1

The above table was constructed this way:

The last column on the right lists all years in which discipline was reported as applied to attorneys in the U.S. for criticism of judges.

The next column lists the number of cases in each reported year.

The next column lists the time that passed from the last year when discipline-for-criticism was reported.

The next column lists the number of states where discipline occurred in every given year.  If the number of states administering discipline for criticism of judges in a given year is less than the number of disciplinary cases, for example, if there are 4 cases of discipline reported from 3 states, that means that one state imposed discipline twice - and that state is listed in the next column.

Below is the aggregate list combining Prof. Tarkington's and my own statistics of attorney discipline for criticism.

Kansas 1877
California 1911
New Jersey 1930
California 1934
Wyoming 1945
Iowa 1964
New Mexico 1966
Nevada 1971
Florida 1973
Iowa 1976
South Dakota 1979
California 1980
Iowa 1980
Kentucky 1980
Kentucky (another) 1980
Louisiana  1983
Tennessee 1983
Maryland 1986
New York 1988
Tennessee 1989
California 1989
Minnesota 1990
Missouri 1991
New York 1991
West Virginia  1991
New York 1991
California 1993
Indiana 1993
Washington 1993
Indiana  1994
Indiana 1994
California 1995
Idaho 1996
Iowa  1996
Kentucky 1996
Indiana 1999
Delaware 2000
Florida 2001
Indiana 2001
Indiana 2002
Kansas 2002
Ohio 2003
Washington 2003
Louisiana 2005
Massachusetts 2005
Michigan  2006
Minnesota 2006
Massachusetts  2006
Pennsylvania 2006
Arkansas 2007
Delaware 2007
Kansas 2007
Utah  2007
Utah 2007
Indiana 2007
New York 2008
New York 2008
California 2009
Florida 2009
Pennsylvania 2010
Illinois 2011
New York 2011
Florida 2013
New York 2013
Pennsylvania 2013
Connecticut 2014
Illinois 2014
Indiana 2014
Maryland  2014
Minnesota 2014
Washington 2014
West Virginia 2014
Florida 2015
Illinois 2015
Louisiana 2015
New York 2015
Pennsylvania 2015
Rhode Island 2015
Texas 2015
Georgia 2016
Louisiana 2016
Texas 2016

The list shows increasing number and frequency of discipline imposed upon attorneys for criticism of judges at present, such cases are now reported every year, and more than one in a year.

The statistics is quite disheartening, to say the least.

While judges create all kinds of decisions about prohibition on "content-based", "viewpoint-based" and "subject matter-based" regulation of speech based on its contents without "strict scrutiny", when it comes to criticism of those who preside over court cases, that same law suddenly stop applying to them, and they punish attorneys left and right - by loss of livelihood no less - for criticizing judges.

Are judges now gods who can do no wrong?

In the quote from 136 ago on top of this blog, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sharwood said:

“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).

So, it was "too monstrous" to even consider the idea of punishing an attorney for doing his work, reporting judicial misconduct out of court, or challenging it in court pleadings, to secure federal constitutional right for impartial judicial review for clients.

As the aggregate table shows, the time between years when such discipline is imposed upon attorneys shrinks.  While in the last century there was only one reported case, and in this century, until about mid-sixties, when civil rights litigation started to pick up, such disciplinary cases were few and far between.

Yet, after mid-sixties, such cases surged, and now in 2014 and 2015 we have 7 reported cases in each year.

Here is the aggregate list of states, sorted alphabetically, where discipline for attorneys for criticism of judges was imposed, listing number of cases and years where discipline was imposed:

Arkansas 1 2007
California 7 1911, 1934, 1980, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2009
Connecticut 1 2014
Delaware 2 2000, 2007
Florida 5 1973, 2001, 2009, 2013, 2015
Georgia  1 2016
Idaho 1 1996
Illinois 3 2011, 2014, 2015
Indiana 8 1993, 1994, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2014
Iowa 4 1964, 1976,  1980, 1996
Kansas 3 1877, 2002, 2007
Kentucky 3 1980, 1980, 1996
Louisiana 4 1983, 2005, 2015, 2016
Maryland 2 1986, 2014
Massachusetts 2 2005, 2006
Michigan 1 2006
Minnesota 3 1990, 2006, 2014
Missouri 1 1991
Nevada 1 1971
New Jersey 1 1930
New Mexico 1 1966
New York 9 1988, 1991, 1991, 2008, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2015
Ohio 1 2003
Pennsylvania 4 2006, 2010, 2013, 2015
Rhode Island 1 2015
South Dakota 1 1979
Tennessee 2 1983, 1989
Texas 2 2015, 2016
Utah 2 2007, 2007
Washington 3 1993, 2003, 2014
West Virginia 2 1991, 2014
Wyoming 1 1945

Here is the same list sorted by number of cases of known disciplined imposed on attorneys for criticism of judges at all times (again, I think that such cases are grossly underreported, including by obscuring discipline for criticism with some vague general statements like "frivolous conduct", or "conduct prejudicial to administration of justice" or such like):

New York 9 1988, 1991, 1991, 2008, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2015
Indiana 8 1993, 1994, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2014
California 7 1911, 1934, 1980, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2009
Florida 5 1973, 2001, 2009, 2013, 2015
Iowa 4 1964, 1976,  1980, 1996
Louisiana 4 1983, 2005, 2015, 2016
Pennsylvania 4 2006, 2010, 2013, 2015
Illinois 3 2011, 2014, 2015
Kansas 3 1877, 2002, 2007
Kentucky 3 1980, 1980, 1996
Minnesota 3 1990, 2006, 2014
Washington 3 1993, 2003, 2014
Delaware 2 2000, 2007
Maryland 2 1986, 2014
Massachusets 2 2005, 2006
Tennessee 2 1983, 1989
Texas 2 2015, 2016
Utah 2 2007, 2007
West Virginia 2 1991, 2014
Arkansas 1 2007
Connecticut 1 2014
Georgia  1 2016
Idaho 1 1996
Michigan 1 2006
Missouri 1 1991
Nevada 1 1971
New Jersey 1 1930
New Mexico 1 1966
Ohio 1 2003
Rhode Island 1 2015
South Dakota 1 1979
Wyoming 1 1945

9 cases - New York

The absolute leader in using attorney discipline as a tool of retaliation for criticism of judges - when judges are the regulatory authorities controlling those licenses - is New York, with 9 such known cases decided between 1988 and 2015.

New York also distinguished itself in imposing such retaliatory discipline on attorneys twice in one year three times - in 1991, 2008 and 2015, and for taking licenses of two spousal couples of attorneys for criticism of judicial misconduct and corruption -
  • George and Doris Sassower (husband disbarred in 1988, wife suspended in 1991) and
  • Frederick and Tatiana Neroni (husband disbarred in 2011, wife suspended in 2015),
where, following an apparent pattern, husbands were disbarred first, and then wives were suspended within 3 (the Sassowers) and 4 (the Neronis) years when they did not fade away on their own (as they were obviously expected) after the disbarment of their husband.

New York is the only state I know who retaliated against spousal couples of attorneys, seeking to destroy the entire family's ability to earn a living, not of just one spouse of two.
8 cases - Indiana

The runner-up in this shameful statistic is Indiana.  8 cases of discipline against attorneys for criticism of judges.


  • 9 cases - New York;
  • 8 cases - Indiana;
  • 7 cases - California;
  • 5 cases - Florida;
  • 4 cases - 3 states: Iowa, Louisiana, Pennsylvania
  • 3 cases - 5 states: Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Washington;
  • 2 cases - 7 states: Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia;
  • 1 case - 13 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wyoming

I realize, of course, that cases with most discipline happened also in states with most population, but a punished attorney ratio per head of population is not a good justification for such punishment at all.

I ask my readers to consider one thing:  while it is becoming increasingly difficult in America to even find an attorney who would dare to criticize a judge in a motion to recuse or out of court - such people are not extinct yet.  They existed in the 19th century (the first reported case in Professor Tarkington's study) and they continue to exist until now, when in 2016 several attorneys were disciplined for criticism of the judiciary:

  • Christine Mire in Louisiana - suspended for making a motion to recuse
  • Russet Stookey in Georgia - who was arrested, charged with a felony and thrown in jail in July of 2016 (charges then dropped "at this time" after an outrage in the mainstream and social media) for his access-to-public records request, because the public records he sought were too sensitive and could expose judicial misconduct, theft from a court operating account 
Consider also the fate of two female public defenders who, even though were not punished for criticizing judges - therefore I did not include them into these statistics - were both handcuffed for defending their indigent clients, criminal defendants:

  • Zohra Bakhtary in Nevada in 2016 - who was handcuffed for trying to make a record and make constitutional argument on behalf of her indigent client opposing his incarceration, and
  • Jami Tillotson in California in 2015 - Ms. Tillotson was handcuffed for doing her job, telling the police that she objects against the police talking to her represented clients.

It is amazing that people like Zohra Bakhtary and Jami Tillotson, who are ready to go to jail, if necessary, for their clients who are not their friends or family members - just their clients, indigent defenders for whom these young women were the last possible resort to protect their rights.

Consider also the culture of general public disdain to attorneys that causes perception that if attorneys are punished, they are punished because they are "all scum" - and "good riddance".

Consider that Hillary Clinton was badmouthed for what she did as an assigned criminal defense attorney.  I am not a fan of hers, and believe that NOW she should be criminally charged and go to jail for her e-mail shenanigans.

If a criminal defense, family court or civil rights attorney disciplined in any way, and especially suspended or disbarred, in the public opinion such an attorney is usually banded with the worst in the legal profession, and there are a lot of "good riddance" comments usually when such news come out.

Yet, the "good riddance" of attorneys like Christine Mire, Doris Sassower, Robert Grundstein, Don Bailey and other attorneys I mentioned above, and those other attorneys whose names I mentioned only in numbers of cases - has led to the state we have now: when attorneys in general are so intimidated by the chance that their entire lifetime of investment, efforts of pulling themselves through the extremely hard and expensive law school studies and bar exams may evaporate in a second if attorneys just say a couple of words in criticism of a judge on behalf of a client - even if the judge richly deserves that, and more.

Until the public starts to protect their civil rights, family court and criminal defense attorneys from retaliation through loss of livelihood,

until the public, the ultimate consumer of legal services starts to raise its voice clearly and strongly, to their legislative representative, through grass roots movements, in their blogs and on social media -

that they want independent representation in court, and

that they oppose the use of attorney licensing to TAKE AWAY the BEST and SKILLED and COURAGEOUS attorneys from their reach -

the "justice gap" we have now, when people either cannot afford and attorney, or cannot find an attorney who would not be afraid to take this or that "sensitive" case or to raise a "sensitive" issue within a case,

will continue forever, and get only worse.

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