"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 17, 2016

Yet another New York legislator involved in three fraudulent schemes, in two countries, two before his death, and one after...

Apparently, Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver were not the latest New York legislators who were charged with fraud.

Meet Columbia Law School-educated New York Assemblyman William Nojay, who, as of today, is listed as "registered" by the New York State attorney registration website.

Of course, you will not be able to meet Bill Nojay any more. 

Because he is dead.

Committed suicide on the grave of his parents last week.

Just before he was about to be charged by the feds for the disappearance of $1.8 million from a trust fund "of his longtime client and friend".

I was wondering though - what was it to shoot yourself for?

The New York's 4th Department considers grand theft of client funds from a lawyer's account not to be such a big deal - just express remorse and you will be slapped on the wrist with notmore than a year's suspension.  It is not criticism of a judge, after all - then you would have been suspended for longer or disbarred.

And, even if charged, and even if convicted, like Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos were, all courts up to the highest, will bend over backwards to invent reasons not to put you in prison and to create precedents for you to give you an opportunity to undo the conviction on appeal and to give you a gift of restitution payment plan to allow you to earn interest on the stolen funds faster than you pay the restitution for stealing those funds.

So, Bill Nojay just over-reacted over two trifles - a criminal charge for $1.8 million in the U.S. and a criminal charge for theft of $1 million in a rice-export operation in Cambodia where Nojay, together with his business partners, allegedly obtained an investment from a wealthy Cambodian and then closed down the company.

Probably, was easy to obtain the investment, too, using Nojay's credentials as a Columbia-educated lawyer and a New York State Legislator.

What can I say.

Poor guy.

Weak nerves.  He could have done so much better.

But - guess what?

Fraud related to Nojay did not even stop with his death.

The voters were not properly informed of his death, and actually voted for Nojay in the primary after his death.

And, the voters were not informed of his death when voting deliberately - so that his party could simply have a replacement of Nojay, but keep his seat and numbers in the Assembly.

See how simple fraud is in New York? 

Just get yourself into some high office - and then opportunities open to you will be limitless.

The only requirement for committing fraud in New York and escaping unscathed for a well-connected attorney is - good nerves. 

Bill Nojay did not have that.  Poor guy.

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