"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.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A law professor's revelation: deploring judges is bad for lawyers

A new revelation from a prominent law professor Eugene Volokh of "The Volokh Conspiracy": "good lawyers do not deplore judges", because "deploring a judge alienates the deplored".

"You can’t strike people because they’re prejudiced, or because you think they are. You’re stuck with them, and they’ll be passing judgment on your client — on your ideas and ideals that you are arguing for."

"Good lawyers don’t deplore their judges and jurors. Partly that’s because they don’t want to alienate the people who will be passing judgment on them. Deploring obviously turns off the deplored."

I wonder whether the professor has heard of litigants' right to an impartial court review.

And that that constitutional right must be secured with the right to be able to disqualify the judge for impropriety, bias or even an appearance of impropriety or bias.

And, to disqualify a judge, the judge must necessarily be criticized.

And, that it is the DUTY of the lawyer to secure his or her client's right to impartial judicial review.

And that the judge must recuse if he is not impartial, and the judge is not impartial if he feels he is "alienated" by the lawyer's criticism.

In other words, Professor Volokh recognizes that there is no such thing as presumption of integrity of judges and their presumptive ability to control themselves and not retaliate for personal reasons, specifically, because the lawyer criticized the judge.

And advises lawyers not to do their jobs and not to criticize judges under any circumstances - because that's not what "good lawyers" do.

So, "good lawyers" do not do their duty by their clients when their right to impartial judicial review is at stake.

Such a pronouncement says a lot - to consumers of legal services - about the state of the legal profession, and how law students are taught and prepared for the courtroom.

And such instruction does not inspire confidence in competence or integrity of lawyers, and in necessity of attorney regulation - the whole purpose of which is to protect consumers from incompetent and dishonest attorneys.

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