"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, January 25, 2017

What does the American Bar Association emissary in Moscow Gleb Glinka has to do with elephant hunting in Ghana - and other stories

Recently, I published a blog concerning news about a Russian American family, Elizabeth and Gleb Glinka, where the wife Elizabeth Glinka flew on Putin's military planes, and the husband Gleb Glinka, director of the ABA "Rule of Law Initiative" in Moscow, Russia, who had extensive connections in both American and Russian government.

Gleb Glinka launched his career as an American attorney by working first for the Vermont Secretary of State (who then became Vermont Governor), and then for a federal bankruptcy judge in Vermont.

After that, Gleb Glinka appeared in 5,318 federal bankruptcy cases in the U.S. - an obvious product of his law clerkship with a bankruptcy judge of that same court,

participated in multiple US AID projects in military zones from Kosovo to Georgia (not a U.S. state) to the Urkaine.

During his fervent activity as the director of the ABA ROLI initiative, Glinka arranged for a meeting of the then-president of the American Bar Association Steve Zack with the Russia Chief Judge Vyacheslav Lebedev (according to some documents in open access on the Internet).

While working on Gleb Glinka's contacts, I ran Vyasheslav Lebedev's name on the Russian Internet.  And obtained very interesting information.  While in 2008 there was some law passed in Russia that prohibited Russian judges to travel abroad on foreign dime, in September of 2013, Judge Lebedev paid an interesting visit to Ghana (an African country).

The world has learnt that Judge Lebedev was in Ghana because The France Presse, and then Russian media sources, picked up and spread the story that Judge Lebedev allegedly became a victim of a car accident in Ghana - when a truck allegedly ran into a car where Judge Lebedev was traveling, and Judge Lebedev sustained grievous injuries.

Journalists instantly became alert that:

  1. there was no announcement about the allegedly official visit of Judge Lebedev to Ghana;
  2. the "official" announcement was made only after the French press ran its article about the truck-to-judge accident;
  3. after the "accident", no reports were made that any truck driver was held responsible for the judge's injuries and no name of the alleged truck driver was ever mentioned anywhere;
  4. Judge Lebedev's injuries were consistent with "an attack of a large animal"; and
  5. media sources started to speculate whether Judge Lebedev, along with an interpreter and two other judges - the Chief Judge of the Moscow Regional Court and of the Saratov Regional Court - were in Ghana not for any kind of "conference" to "exchange opinions" and judicial wisdom and expertise, but went there for a safari - to hunt elephants.
If that was so, and if one elephant mauled Judge Lebedev, I am very satisfied and hope that will teach Russia's Chief Judge Lebedev to raise his judicial hand only for a gavel, but never for a rifle to hunt elephants ever again.

Also, nobody appeared to ask a question whether Judge Lebedev violated the Russian 2008 law by traveling to Ghana (likely on foreign dime) to an unannounced "conference" that lasted from Thursday to Sunday, which became Judge Lebedev's "official" visit only when a foreign press source reported Judge Lebedev's grave injuries in a "truck" accident that closely resembled being mauled "by a large animal".

But, the most interesting part of that exciting story was not even that.

Legal experts assessing the Ghana "truck accident" and "judicial conference" story claimed that for Judge Lebedev to go to a judicial conference to exchange experience with a country where court proceedings are governed by the British common law resembles - as a Russian press source inelegantly stated - "a useful dialogue of a blind and a deaf person".

Now, coming back to Gleb Glinka and his ABA Rule of Law Initiative that he was advancing in Moscow from 2008 to 2012 (while having passed a qualification test as a Russian lawyer in 2010 and having started to work as a lawyer in 2010, applying at the same time for a Russian citizenship - according to an August 4, 2013 interview of Elisabeth Glinka) - guess what - U.S. law is also based on British common law, so for ABA to teach Russia "the rule of law" was as effective as Judge Lebedev's judicial conference in Ghana.

What is also extremely interesting though, and it takes time for me to go through hundreds of names, checking out their stories through a variety of open-access documents, are the personages of judges, "employees" of various Russian and American courts whom Glinka ferried on tours of the U.S. and Russia, and I will publish stories about those personages, their trips and their connections to Glinka in due course - possibly, in a separate book rather than a blog.  It is simply too much to publish in blogs, it is a book in the making.

I will publish just some of them - with an explanation.  Gleb Glinka's ABA Rule of Law Initiative in Moscow - at least, that is what the reports of that venerable project say - had a partner, a non-profit where the only partner listed was a judge from Vermont, John Dooley.

Non-profits in the U.S. are heavily regulated.

I looked up that non-profit that listed $1 (one U.S. dollar) in assets and another $1 in liabilities.

That "partner" of the ABA ROLI was registered at

190 Fern Court
Colchester, VT

which is a residential address:

and at that address two organizations were registered - one set up in the 90s and the other set up at the same time as Dr. Liza's "Vale Hospice International, Inc.".

The Vermont Karelia Rule of Law non-profit, a non-profit set with Gleb Glinka's friend Judge Dooley as President, started its activities in Russia in 1991 - when Dr. Lisa's second son was born.

That non-profit still has over $287,000 in assets, and its last reporting year, 2014, showed the initial balance of over $4,000,000 - somebody was funneling (oh, sorry - donating) money through this organization.

But, the Vermont Karelia Rule of Law non-profit was not the main one in the ABA Rule of Law project in Moscow.  The other one was.

The one where several very busy judges, at the time when court budgets are extremely tight, caseloads are extremely high and crushing (that's what American judges say when they want a salary raise), nevertheless found their valuable time to not only gather to work and "serve" on the board of Gleb Glinka's "partner" to the ABA ROLI project - but even to travel to Russia, mostly to tourist destinations, having "training" and "seminars" and "meetings" and what not in:

  • St. Petersburg and surroundings area;
  • Novgorod;
  • Pskov;
  • Rostov; and, of course
  • Karelia - all tourist destinations.
Here are these public servants who sacrificed their valuable time to come to Gleb Glinka in Russia to teach Russian ignoramuses in the legal profession and the judiciary what the rule of law truly is.

The partner of Gleb Glinka in his ABA ROLI initiative is an non-profit called "Russian American Rule of Law Consortium", with an address, as I mentioned above, at 190 Fern Court in Colchester, Vermont:

latest reported assets of $1, reported income of $1 (for 2013), and an empty website.

The corporation hired an accountant to file the 2013 tax return in 2014, signed by a secret officer of the corporation.  The accountant was shared with the "Karelia" non-profit "located" in the same residential address, so that non-profit, likely, paid for that accountant, because this non-profit is an empty shell and cannot pay even one hour of a minimum-wage worker.

The Russian American Rule of Law Consortium Inc has a long list of "Honorables" as officers of the non-profit corporation:

  1. Hon. John A. Dooley, President, Vermont;
  2. Hon. Paul Chernoff, Vice-President, Massachusetts;
  3. Hon. Jonathan Silbert, Treasurer, Connecticut;
  4. Pamela Q. Harris, Secretary;
  5. Hon. Caroline Grassman, Director;
  6. Hon. Jacalyn A Colburn, Director, New Hamshire;
  7. Mary Beth Feindt, Director, New York;
  8. Hon. Alexander O. Bryner, Director, Alaska, retired from the bench in 2007;
  9. Hon. Martha Walters, Director, Oregon;
  10. Hon. John C. Coughenour, Director, Washington (federal court);
  11. Hon. Stephen P. Friot, Director, a federal court in Oklahoma.
9 judges, a court administrator (Pamela Q. Harris) and an attorney (Mary Beth Feindt), all located at 190 Fern Court, Colchester, VT 05446, a single-family residence.

As you can see, all judges are from different states (I did not find where Judge Grassman is from yet):

  1. Alaska;
  2. Connecticut;
  3. Massachusetts;
  4. New Hampshire;
  5. Oklahoma;
  6. Oregon;
  7. Vermont;
  8. Washington

Here is some information about participants in this "consortium".

1.  Judge John A. Dooley, the President of the venture, DOB April 10, 1944.

Judge Dooley was appointed to the Vermont Supreme Court in 1987, and is still on that bench, according to the court's official website,

even though he reportedly announced in September of 2016 that he was retiring.

According to my information, Judge Dooley participated in trips of Russian judges to the U.S. since the early 2000s.

Judge Dooley even taught "moot court" (playacting an American jury trial) at the Petrozavodsk University Legal Department sometime in 2003 or so.

In 2005, the following was stated about integrity and judicial qualifications of Judge Dooley, the judge chosen by the director of the ABA Rule of Law project in Russia to educate Russian judges and attorneys about what the rule of law should be.

Yet, Judge Dooley is also "famous" for how exactly he applied the rule of law to himself.

Specifically, reportedly, Judge Dooley took into his chambers and concealed there for 2 months, blocking access to the documents, the court file pertaining to his own property, during his own litigation against developers, trying to block developers from building houses next to the judge's house in South Burlington higher than 1 story.

Judicial disciplinary authorities, of course, cleared Judge Dooley of any wrongdoing, so Judge Dooley was free to teach Russian judges and attorneys about attorney and judicial ethics and the rule of law.

I guess, one of the first qualifications for such a teacher is being able to beat charges of misconduct through connections.

2.  Judge Paul Chernoff , Vice-President of the "consortium" ( an American judge with a Russian last name, Chernoff in Russian is "Black", Mr. Black),

a Massachussets Superior Court judge of 28 years, now retired and practicing law at Broody Hardoon Perkins & Kesten, LLP, a Boston law firm.

Before Judge Chernoff retired, he was given the following awards:

So, Judge Chernoff is a "distinguished faculty" teaching attorney ethics.

Judge Chernoff is famous for suing his own court in 2004 for $10,000 in damages and for $25,000 for pain and suffering after breaking his kneecap when climbing allegedly inadequate stairs in the same courthouse where he, as the court administrator, was supposed to make sure those same stairs should be in good repair.

At his retirement, Judge Chernoff was reported to be, without further specification, a "mentor" and a "legal ambassador", among other things:

It is characteristic of this "honorable" judge that, while accepting a position in a law firm, he only pledged "not to do any court work", not to personally appear in front of judges of his court, but did not recognize that by joining the law firm that does litigation in "his court", a disqualification or at the very least an appearance of impropriety and an unfair advantage is created for the firm employing the judge.

3.  Hon. Jonathan Silbert, Treasurer of the consortium.

This judge, according to his biography advertised on the website of his law firm (he is now retired), has his Bachelor's degree (a "minor") in "Russian civilization" and some vast experience touring and lecturing in Russia - as well as in other countries.  It is astounding how much time a busy judge working on public dime with a crushing caseload can squeeze for a free international all-paid ride:

Note that while lauding himself for being so diligent in being educated about the "Russian Civilization", and lecturing in Russia "on mediation", and even being a part of "Connecticut-Pskov Rule of Law Partnership", Judge Silbert did not drop one word that he is actually the Treasurer of The Russian-American Rule of Law Consortium, partner of Gleb Glinka's ABA ROLI project and the bearer of Gleb Glinka's many secrets about money streams that supported his project, and what made that project work.

4.  Hon. Caroline Grassman, Director - somehow, there is no information in open sources about this personage, but I am working on obtaining it through legal inquiries available to me.

5.  Hon. Jacalyn A Colburn, Director, is a judge of New Hampshire Superior Court.

Despite being an expert on professionalism, and despite her "service" on the Governor's Task Force on Public Sector and Public Interest Law, and despite being a "practical skills instructor and a panelist" at CLE seminars for lawyers, Judge Colburn has been the subject of the New Hampshire's Legislature's impeachment investigation.

Here is the impeachment investigation bill regarding Judge Colburn, for violating the New Hampshire Constitution and jeopardizing state elections.

In 2015, requests were made to impeach Judge Colburn for refusal to issue specific jury nullification instructions.  The House saved Judge Colburn from impeachment by eventually ruling that impeachment is "inexpedient" because Judge Colburn's misconduct is not too extreme.

6.  Hon. Alexander O. Bryner, Director, retired from the Alaska Court of Appeals in 2007 and is now practicing law and teaching in Lewis & Clark Law School.

Notably, Judge Bryner was a member of a "Khabarovsk-Alaska Rule of Law Committee".  The city of Khabarovsk is located at the far North-East of Russia, just showing that Gleb Glinka's ABA ROLI left no stone unturned and involved in its "initiative" judges from one end of Eurasian continent to another.

7.  Hon. Martha Walters, Director, Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court since October, 2006, one of two female judges on a 7-judge court (see the picture of the 7 judges, who made BOTH female judges stand for the picture, which tells a lot both about male, and about female judges of the court).

Here is Judge Walters' official biography.

Judge Coughenour is known for his impassioned stand against "special rules" to try people charged with crimes of terrorism, insisting that if the law enforcement and prosecution could not collect the evidence properly and present the case properly, and there is no conviction because of it - so be it, that's the price that society has to pay for being a "leader on human rights and our commitment to our Constitution" - a decent thing to say for a judge while the majority of state and federal judiciary comes from former prosecutors and has a decidedly prosecutorial slant.

Yet, this stand on the "rule of law" and equality under the law for all accused of crimes without regard of what the crime is (criminal defendants are all covered by presumption of innocence - a lost cause for many jurors, as well as prosecutors and judges) disappears when Judge Coughenour, same as other federal judges, dismisses civil rights lawsuits on contrived judicially created theories of "abstentions", "deferences", "comities", Rooker-Feldman, Younger doctrines - artificial restrictions to jurisdiction of federal courts and de facto amendments to the Civil Rights Act that federal judges in the U.S. are not allowed, by Articles I and III of the U.S. Constitution, to make.

By the way, Judge Coughenour has been a Chair of the first "task force" of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit for gender bias.

It is interesting to have in one group of "directors" for a Russian American Rule of Law Consortium, a partner of an American Bar Association Rule of Law initiative in Russia,
  •  a female Judge Martha Walters, who happily allows four men, her colleagues on the court, to behave in an uncivilized manner, sitting comfortably while making the only two women judges on the court stand,

  • and a judge who chaired a task force of a large jurisdiction on gender bias, 28 years ago...

9.  Hon. Stephen P. Friot, Director.

Judge Friot, whom Gleb Glinka used as an expert in "comparative constitutional studies":

became in-famous for allowing the State of Oklahoma to kill its condemned prisoners with drugs that have previously led to botched and tortured executions, to be used again.

Those are just light character sketches of the American judges chosen by Gleb Glinka as his partners and lecturers, to teach Russian judges and attorneys about ethics, constitutionalism and the rule of law.

Since it is a sneak preview of what is turning out to be a book material, I will not go deep in this blog as the actual participation of these judges in Gleb Glinka's ABA Rule of Law project.

At this time I will simply say that these people were teaching Russian attorneys and judges about how to regulate the legal profession, and how to adhere to the rule of law:

  1. while many of them had ethical problems themselves as to how they discharged their own duties;
  2. while it was hugely unethical to violate the Russian 2008 law prohibiting judges to travel on foreign dime and to still invite Russian judges to the U.S. on trips financed by the ABA, US AID and "Open World" - and at the same time teach judges and attorneys, Russian and American, about ethics and rule of law;
  3. while it was hugely unethical for them to travel on the dime of the American Bar Association, whose members appeared in their courts.

But, that, too, is not the worst of what these judges were doing in Gleb Glinka's project.

I will continue my publications about Gleb Glinka and his "Rule of Law" project.

As to elephant hunting, the ABA's President Steve Zack,

himself a law partner in the law firm that heavily caters for judges and employs every law clerk of every judge in the U.S. in the book, to protect itself and drum up business (see my blog about Steven Zack's law firm here and here), was successful in his meeting with Judge Lebedev.

It is interesting what kind of boon Zack offered Lebedev to make the meeting such a success.

We only learn about such boons though if anything happens on such trips.

And, a New York attorney who recently died on a sailing trip to Puerto Rico with a New York judge - and only then the world has learnt of the relationship where an attorney who very likely appeared in the judge's court was yachting with the judge...

And, as I described above, the world has learnt of the Russian Chief Judge Vyacheslav Lebedev being in Ghana only when the judge was mauled by a truck (or an elephant, who knows) on his otherwise unannounced trip to that African country, in the company of Chief Judges of the Moscow Regional Court and of the Saratov Regional Court.

I wonder what needs to happen so that we learn what boons were offered to Russian judges by the ABA's Steven Zack and by the ABA ROLI's Gleb Glinka.

Yet, any claims that nothing was offered other than seminars in order to share stories about judicial excellence and ethics will be to insult our collective intelligence.

What I do know though is that the U.S. AID has interestingly stalled my Freedom of Information request as to contracts Gleb Glinka had with US AID, including conditions of co-financing of the ABA ROLI project.

Whenever a Freedom of Information request is stalled, it is an indicator that the government has something to hide.

And, from my personal experience working for US AID projects in Moscow many years ago, I know that US AID only finances projects which promotes U.S. businesses, products and services.

So, all these fairy tales about the Good Samaritan intentions of the ABA and the US AID to help Russia establish the "rule of law" is meant for those who know nothing about how the ABA and the US AID operate.

I will continue my publications about this interesting project where an organization that corrupted American judiciary and blocked access to courts to millions of Americans in order to establish and maintain its anti-competitive monopoly for court representation and get rich on soaking the poor, in violation of federal antitrust laws, was trying - partially successfully, by the way - to corrupt the Russian judiciary, establish a similar monopoly for court representation in Russia and teach Russian attorneys and judges, of course, about attorney and judicial ethics and the rule of law.

Whenever anybody, with a kind face, like this,

tries to teach you how to do things better in your own back yard (country), while having a complete mess in his own - you know something stinks.

And especially when the teaching about ethics and the rule of law comes from an organization that distances itself from attorneys, both within the U.S. and from foreign countries, who were persecuted by their governments for fighting against human rights violations - in order not to loose business benefits with such oppressors of human rights.

When the ABA sold out Chinese attorney Dr. Teng Biao to remain in good graces of the Chinese government in order for clients of ABA's members to continue to do profitable business in China, the ABA, of course, was only "trying to do the right thing".

According to a human rights expert, director of Amnesty International,

"The episode underscores the difficult decision facing the ABA between continuing to work to advance the rule of law in China and criticizing the repression of civil rights under Mr. Xi, said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director for Amnesty International.

'For a long time, ABA could argue that their presence in China was worth the cost of muting their criticism of issues in China’s legal system,” Mr. Bequelin said. “I wonder, and I think many legal analysts wonder, whether that point has passed.'"

So, the ABA's presence, through the kind-faced Gleb Glinka, in Russia, is worth "muting their criticism of issues in China's legal system".

The ABA, and Glinka, do not care whether there is the rule of law in Russia or not.

They care whether they can do their own personal business, and enrich themselves, and for that, they will mute criticism and arrange for elephant hunts or whatever other kinds of entertainment - as long as they can get Russian officials in the judicial and attorney establishment to "do business" with them.

I will continue with publications on ABA's Rule of Law projects in Russia - and in other countries.

Stay tuned.

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