"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.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Policies of this blog, in short

As part of my previous blog, I posted policies of my blog.

I will repeat them, separately, here, with some updates:

1) I do not and will not answer legal questions.  I am an investigative citizen journalist on legal issues, not a practicing attorney.

2) I always verify people's stories, through questions to them, and through requests for supporting records. 

If you are not willing to answer my verification questions or provide verification records, I will not publish your story. 

3) I value all comments on my blog, even nasty comments. 

Nice comments are very much appreciated, and I am grateful for your readership.

Nasty comments, especially from government employees or officials, posting anonymously, reveal the extent my blogs hit home, see my policies about harassment and identity of harassers.

4) As to critical comments, I appreciate respectful, well-reasoned and well-founded criticism, and will react to well-founded, well-reasoned and respectful criticism in kind. 

5) I always answer all non-duplicative comments.

6) I will always delete advertisements posted as comments.

7) I reserve my right to delete comments containing foul language, but usually I do not do that, keeping such comments, prominently, as evidence.

8) as to criticism from anonymous commentators, I always ask the critic to

  • reveal their identity,
  • specify what, how and why I said wrong, and
  • provide evidence that what I said was wrong,
for me to take the criticism seriously, and with respect.

9) Requests for video or audio debates in real time on issues this blog discusses are accepted and encouraged.

I do not believe that I am always right - in life, or in what I am writing here, I am open to debate, and am ready, willing and able to engage in any kind of public debates, including livestreamed real-time video or audio debates.

If a critic wants such a debate, I will not turn the critic down, my pre-requisite for such a debate though is the disclosure of the critic's identity beforehand, so that I can establish, through alternative sources, that the persons debating against me are who they say they are.

I can offer my exchange on that subject with "Coyote Waits" in September of 2015, my views on that subject I expressed at that time still hold now:
- somehow misses the mark, that American Inns of Court - what, should not be criticized?

Whenever I see such a sting, especially from an anonymous source, that means that I am onto something - and it is a signal to me to dig deeper.

10) I honor anonymity of my sources.

I do not and will not honor anonymity of people who are harassing me in relation to this blog, and I reserve my right to pursue all legal remedies against such people.

12) I respect all of my readers by default.

My respect ends when readers become disrespectful to me, and that especially concerns

  • disrespectful anonymous commentators;
  • anonymous commentators whose criticism is blanket and not specific;
  • who provide no proof or grounds as to why their point of view is right other than derogatory language towards me;
  • who make personal attacks based on my ethnicity, being a Russian American, having an accent, not being a native speaker of English, my family status, religious status
14) Since I put a lot of time and effort into research and bringing content, at my own expense, with detailed analysis of complex legal issues, to a large audience, and on subjects that are not usually covered by the "mainstream media", I will not tolerate comments treating me with disrespect. 

15) I will not pledge to anyone, for any reason, as to

  • whether,
  • when, and/or
  • in what way
I will report on public records and issues and/or events described in those records.

16) If anybody reports their public records-case to me, and discloses private information that is not part of that public record or of any other public record, I will not disclose that particular private information, for as long as it remains private and not disclosed in any public records or in any other ways, publicly, without the disclosing person's consent, if the disclosing person asked me not to disclose the private information.  

That said, I will continue to do what I have come to enjoy doing - investigative legal journalism.

17) I accept suggestions to change these policies, but will reserve my own decisions as to whether I will accept them and implement changes.

I believe, these policies are fair.

Thank you for your readership.

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