"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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New York Court of Appeals now requires a law license to work as a paralegal - but only from suspended and disbarred attorneys

In an extraordinary move, yesterday the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed denial of reinstatement to a disbarred attorney for engaging in PARALEGAL services.

New York does not regulate paralegals, and anyone with or without law degree and with or without a law license can work as a paralegal in New York.

Now - with one exception, for suspended and disbarred attorneys.

My husband has raised that exact issue in federal court in Neroni v Zayas, challenging constitutionality of New York criminal statutes for unauthorized practice of law on equal protection grounds, as applied to people who have never had a law license, as opposed to people don't have a law license because they lost it.

Criminal law must be clear, send a STATUTORY notice by their text (not through a judicial interpretation) and treat all people equally.

Unauthorized practice of law statutes in New York do not mention a distinction in treatment of "lay" (never licensed) individuals, as opposed to suspended or disbarred attorneys.

Thus, the 2nd Department that denied reinstatement to attorney Joel Brandes legislated from the bench expanding the reach of a UPL statute to cover paralegal activities, and the New York State Court of Appeals endorsed and supported that illegal activity.

I also recently wrote about a Chenango County Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dowd who ruled that an attorney in New York (Richard Harlem, son of a judge) may lawfully charge for services of his unlicensed paralegal in drafting legal pleadings - the exact same thing as what Joel Brandes was branded for as UPL - as for "legal services", without any problem, and called my claim that it is UPL ridiculous.

Now, at the highest state court level, New York State Court of Appeals amended the UPL statutes by interpretation and claimed that it was not even an "abuse of discretion" for the 2nd Department to deem a completely legal activity as a crime, and to deny reinstatement to an attorney because of that imagined "crime".

I wonder whether attorney Brandes will go to the U.S. Supreme Court appealing this clearly unlawful and unconstitutional decision.

I am sure an equal protection challenge can be now filed by any suspended or disbarred attorney contesting this ruling, and I will eagerly follow and cover such filings.

It is extraordinarily "disingenuous" (that is the "learned" word used in the court documents for "stupid") and obnoxious for the court to require a law license from a disbarred attorney to do the work that other people do without any law licenses.

But, what can one expect from a court headed by a corrupt prosecutor...

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