"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, October 23, 2016

To first enhance the oath of office for lawyers - and then to break it: that's what you can expect from the "honorable" organized bar. The case of Arizona Bar's loyalty amendments and "Public Service Center"

In 2014 Princeton university conducted a study asking people which professions (and representatives of those professions) they trust more and which they trust less.

A chart from that study shows that the public considers lawyers as a variety of competent prostitutes:

Yet, lawyers continue to claim themselves to be "the honorable profession", and judges (who are also lawyers) continue to put the "Honorable" as a required job title, claiming a "presumption of integrity", at the same time as they claim absolute immunity for their malicious and corrupt acts on the bench.
Lawyers were some of the least-trusted professionals, according to the public opinion.

In June of this year I wrote about the joint letter written by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, this letter.

In that letter the FTC and the US DOJ said this:

referencing their former comments to the American Bar Association back in 2002-2003:

And, in the ABA Comments in 2002-2003, FTC & US DOJ said, among other things (you can read the full comments of FTC & US DOJ to ABA here), the following:

So, the American Bar Association, a non-profit that participates in regulation of the legal profession by imposing educational standards of lawyers upon the states through certification of law schools, acknowledges, as FTC and US DOJ does, that "defining the practice of law has been a difficult question for the legal profession for many years".

Now, even if lawyers find it difficult - for many years - to define what the hell it is that they are doing for money -

  1. how can an average citizen, untrained in the law (but presumed to know the laws - remember, lack of knowledge of the law is no defense in a criminal prosecution for unauthorized practice of law), know what the practice of law is, so that not to engage in "prohibited conduct" and so that not to commit a crime of unauthorized practice of law (UPL);
2.  How can the government regulate and issue licenses for the practice of law - if nobody can clearly define what is regulated; and

3. How can the government prosecute anybody for unauthorized practice of law - and UPL is vigorously prosecuted across the United States, and such prosecutions are driven, predictably, by LAWYERS, those same people who have a monopoly to practice law without knowing what the hell the practice of law means.

Which brings us back to the chart where people believe that lawyers are somewhat like competent prostitutes - but, if lawyers cannot even say what it is that they have the monopoly for and what it is that they are practicing and what it is that they are charging people for - the "competency" part goes out the door, too.

In the United States, lawyers are regulated either directly by the government (states with voluntary bar associations, New York is one of them), or by non-profit corporations, mandatory state bar associations to which state government delegate authority to regulate and license the practice of law.

Arizona is a state with a mandatory bar association.

Here is what the trustworthy and competent management of this non-profit corporation did recently - which, no doubt, greatly enhances public trust in the integrity of the legal profession.

1) that it exposed attorneys in Arizona to discipline for challenging constitutionality of laws by requiring them to swear a loyalty oath to laws that may be unconstitutional and subject to THEIR challenge on behalf of clients:

2) it exposed attorneys in Arizona to discipline for maintaining lawsuits or defenses which the lawyer honestly believes to be debatable under the laws of the land - otherwise, it exposed attorneys in Arizona to discipline for CONSITUTIONAL CHALLENGES to laws:

3) allowed lawyers to discriminate against clients on personal grounds, and not to be disciplined for delaying cases for greed of malice:

As part of amended Lawyer's Creed, the Arizona State Bar:

1) mandated attorneys to allow adjournments of cases, even over opposition of their own clients

2) mandated lawyers to voluntarily exchange information, whether that information exchange is required or not by the formal rules of disclosure, and whether their client agrees to such exchange or not:

3) mandated lawyers to stipulate to facts for which "there is no genuine dispute" - again, without consent of client, and while what constitutes "genuine dispute" may be in itself an issue of fact; such a pledge is a violation of the client's state and federal constitutional right to try ALL, not just SOME issues of fact before a jury:

4) The new "Creed" exposed lawyers for discipline for "disrespect" to courts, where disrespect is usually loosely interpreted as any attempt at criticism of appearance of impropriety or misconduct of the judge or court personnel.  In other words, the lawyer must sign his or her own death sentence by signing this "Lawyer's Creed" in exchange for permission to earn a livelihood.

Both the oath and the creed also say a lot of lofty words about supporting "fair administration of justice" and providing services to those who cannot afford legal representation.

After saying all of that, the Arizona State Bar established a Public Service Center - while allowing, reportedly, only 2 minutes of comments from lawyers BEFORE the program was announced, and without any public bidding for the service that the third-party provider, Legal Services Link, LLC, was allegedly providing through that Public Service Center.

The Public Service Center was established - as declared by the Arizona State Bar  - for the noble cause of connecting the lawyers with the clients, and promoting pro bono service.

Yet, the "Public Service Center"

1) replaced a similar service of Arizona State Bar already in place, for which previously lawyers' money was expended (and, surely, all lawyers' costs were passed to clients in fees); and

2) competed with county lawyer referral services.

Moreover, while Arizona State Bar claimed that it will cost $300,000 for the Arizona State Bar to run the Public Service Center through the 3rd party provider, Legal Services Link LLC, Legal Services Link LLC reportedly announced on the website of the Public Service Center that, on the contrary, the "service" is free to Arizona State Bar and that Arizona State Bar will actually be paid revenues from operation of the Public Service Center, here is a comment about it by a reader of the Irreverent Lawyer blog:

So, with all the pandering to its members for candor and enhancing their trustworthiness, reinforced by "oaths" and "creeds", the management of Arizona State Bar demonstrated that it is a group of crooks, out to scam the ordinary members of the association.

The "public trust" chart was correct, it appears. 

With the exception of competence.

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