"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, October 31, 2016

New York provides whistleblower protection to fired nonprofit employees, but does not investigate nonprofits for misuse of funds - unless the nonprofit under investigation is linked to a presidential candidate of the "wrong" party

An employee of a private non-profit school reported the school's principal for using the school's fund for a personal vacation with some alumnis to Cuba - where, as the lawsuit alleged,

"[t]wo seniors from scandal-scarred Poly Prep shared a hooker, booze and cigars on a school-financed “rite of passage” Cuban getaway hosted by a top school official, a stunning new lawsuit charges", and where, reportedly

the son of the school principal and a son of a "famous musician" participated in the trip.

After blowing the whistle on that misuse of funds, the employee was allegedly harassed by the director of the school, fired - and sued for non-compliance with the new Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that hush money were paid out of the non-profit funds to silence an alumni who was on the trip and witnessed the alleged debauchery of the two students.

The Kings County Supreme Court has recently found for the employee, allowing her whistleblower portion of the lawsuit to continue.

Non-profits handle not only direct donations from individuals, but also act as recipients and "pass-through" agencies for state and federal grants, and it is extremely important for taxpayers to know whether their money is pilfered by high-ranking officers of such non-profits.

This decision, by New York judge Loren Bailey-Schiffman,

is a true step, although a small and incomplete step (the judge dismissed the breach of contract and defamation claims of the fired employee) forward to fight waste of taxpayer money in the State of New York.

Yet, the judge demonstrated courage when, in our day and age, she at least ruled for the employee on the whistleblower issue and allowed this lawsuit to continue - even though it may have involved a child of a celebrity.

Let's see whether this decision will be overruled on appeal.

And, my question is - with the news of reported misuse of nonprofit funds, where is our fearless New York State Attorney General and why do we not hear about criminal charges filed against the school's principal and those who authorized the payout of the trip money and the "silence money"?

Or, is New York nonprofit law good enough for the New York State Attorney General to use only to attack the Republican presidential candidate in the crucial months before the election, for the NYS AG's own personal political gain - but NYS AG is too timid to touch a case that may involve (as it reportedly does) a son of a rock star?

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