"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, December 24, 2016

A New York lawyer who lacks connections to the judicary denied reinstatement

A New York State lawyer who was disbarred for being convicted for a felony DWI was recently denied reinstatement by the New York State Appellate Division 3rd Department.

Of course, we are still to see judges convicted of felony DWIs and disbarred - usually, when judges are drunk, their cases are immediately reduced to misdemeanors or even violations, and nothing happens to them in the matter of discipline.

And, apparently, attorney Anya Mironova Tendler lacked connections to the judiciary that, for example, felon Solomon Wachtler, attempted kidnapper of children, sender of obscene material to a child and extortionist had - his law license was reinstated without even an explanation to the public what made the court system so forgiving about him, see my blogs about him here and here.

I am not saying that it is good to drink and drive.

What I am saying though is that there is a selective enforcement of discipline to attorneys who do have connections with (or are, or have been part of) the judiciary, and those who don't have those connections.  Judges who drink and drive - and who shamelessly use their position to get out of criminal prosecution, are not disciplined as attorneys at all in New York State, and criminal charges that are filed against them are never allowed to result in felony convictions, that would cause automatic disbarment, as it did for attorney A. Mironova Tendler. 

And, in view of the fact that attorney licenses are "regulated" (taken and given back) also by the judiciary, such a leniency towards their own smacks of corruption and undermines the whole purpose of regulation to protect consumers.

As I said in the lawsuit Neroni v Zayas in 2013 (which was conveniently dismissed without any in-depth analysis of selective enforcement issues by U.S. District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn, and then was no less conveniently considered frivolous and used as a basis for an anti-filing injunction by the then NDNY Chief Judge Gary Sharpe) if attorneys working for the government, connected to the judiciary and part of the judiciary, the most powerful attorneys who can wield the most power and cause the most harm to the public, are not within the reach of attorney discipline, the promise of consumer protection through attorney discipline is a fake.

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