"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.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

When will Louisiana prosecutor Leon Cannizzaro be prosecuted, criminally and as an attorney disciplinary matter, for issuing fake subpoenas?

When a prosecutor conducts a criminal investigation, a prosecutor is not covered by absolute prosecutorial immunity (that invention of courts to absolve 2 out of 3 lawyers participating in the criminal process, from liability - the judge and the prosecutor, but not the defense attorney).

But, apparently, prosecutors forget that.

For example, a Louisiana prosecutor, Leon Cannizarro, this nice, smiling and handsome young man,

wanted some information from certain alleged witnesses so much that he has sent them fake "subpoenas", compelling them to come and talk to the prosecutor.

Of course, there is no such thing as a "prosecutor's subpoena", a subpoena can only be issued by the grand jury, or later, after the indictment, by the prosecutor, so that the witness would testify in court, but not to give information to the prosecutor BEFORE the grand jury and BEFORE that trial.

And, of course, if a witness refuses to testify and invokes his or her right against self-incrimination, he must be given immunity if he is compelled to testify.

And the prosecutor, of course, did not want to give any immunity.  Only to pretend that he may give such immunity while knowing that when a person just comes to talk to investigators, not in front of a grand jury or a court in a criminal trial, such immunity is unavailable.

But, prosecutors can lie, can't they?

Police investigators are allowed to lie by courts.

Apparently, prosecutors acting in investigating capacity believed they can do that, too.

But, the lying gets a little bit too far when fake court documents are used to get people to talk.

What I am wondering about though is - where is the Lousiana Supreme Court and its attorney disciplinary committee in all of this?

Why aren't they prosecuting DA Leon Cannizzaro for fraud upon the court since he already admitted that his office had such a "practice", obviously, sending not just one fake subpoena, but many?

That's not enough for discipline?

Louisiana only has resources and motivation to prosecute attorneys who criticize judges for confirmed misconduct?

And, why isn't DA Cannizzaro prosecuted criminally for issuing fake court documents that he had no authority to issue?

Law professors shy away from getting serious about academic value of their own work. It will cost too much for them to be honest.

I wrote on this blog recently about how law professors turned submission process of law reviews as a race to the top in search of a better employment, at the expense of law students, and how law reviews have no academic value because they are reviewed and accepted for publications not by "peers" of professors, but by law students who do not even have a completed law degree.

Law professors continued discussion of that sticky subject on their own blog.  It is interesting that the most critical comments came from anonymous participants, and that law professors branded those valid comments as "snarky".

Yet, the commentator under the picturesque nick "YesterdayIKilledAMammoth" only said this:

"Anything short of peer-review will not make law reviews more legitimate to outside disciplines."

Which was absolutely true.  Who cares about the value of law reviews if they are sorted out and accepted by students, often from their own law professors or their friends, in exchange for grades and careers?

And, the "Mammoth" also said this:

"While, I applaud at least one proposal to get us going, the proposal begins with funding and participation problems--which are death knells for any meaningful reform.

Law professors need to decide two questions. First, do they want to be part of the larger academic world? And second, do they want to influence the practical world? If the answer to either of these is 'yes', then systemic change is needed.

If the answer is no, then we'll continue to watch the growing obsolescence of legal research."

Legal research is not get "obsolete", it gets computerized, so the law professor may soon go the way of the mammoth - possibly, that's why they don't want to change anything about how they operate, no matter how wrong.

Trying to get the piece of the pie before it disappeared...

Are grand juries indepedent or are they subordinate to courts? A case in Alabama

Supposedly, grand juries are independent bodies of the government, the so-called "fourth power" that operate independently from courts.

Of course, that is not exactly true.

The legal advisor of the grand jury always is the prosecutor, who represents a party in litigation and is interested in the result of the grand jury proceeding - which is a legal nonsense.

And, the grand jury cannot convene on a complaint from a citizen, only on a presentation of a prosecutor - that same "advisor" of the grand jury.

But, in Alabama the push against independence of this "fourth power" was made even further.

A judge of an Alabama Court has threatened to stop the grand jury investigation - into corruption of the government, of course.

So, apparently, the grand jury is reduced to a tail of the government that is being wagged the way the government wants - by prosecutors, and by judges.

Until independence of grand juries is restored, we cannot expect much justice or much cleanup of government corruption.

The "awesome" judicial power to lop of floors off buildings - and threaten and decimate critics

In the course of my research for a book, I came across a 1996 law review article by the then-judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (and now law professor) Joe Bellacosa.

I already wrote about the "process" of submitting law reviews for publications to the captive audience of law students who have no choice by to publish any garbage from high-enough individual.

The law review from Judge Bellacosa was exactly that type of garbage.

In no other profession (I would hope) a supposedly academic article is published simply to air complaints in the form of rantings of a high-ranking public officials about criticism of himself, his organization and his branch of the government.

Yet, that's what Judge Bellacosa allowed himself to do.

Neither the quality of "scholarship", nor the topic of the conference (prosecutor training for death penalty cases) even remotely suggested any connection with Judge Bellacosa complaints.

Moreover, Judge Bellacosa committed a crime of aiding and abetting unauthorized practice of law by having an unlicensed individual, his own "law clerk" who at that time did not have a law license, do "research" for him to put in footnotes into his complaint, mostly without any specifics, to a captive audience.

It is even more disgusting that the complaints were "bestowed" upon prosecutors in a luxury lake resort on a business day.  While complaining that at that time the New York State Court of Appeals had 5,000 cases per year, and that it was doing its job admirably, Judge Bellacosa considered it possible for himself to deviate from his duties and huge case load to not only complain to prosecutors about critics of the judiciary, but also to sic those prosecutors on those critics - by expressing a "hope" (at the beginning of the article) and giving a not-so-thinly veiled directive (at its end) to pursue attorneys-critics of the judiciary for disciplinary violations.

Judge Bellacosa was complaining about the "quality of criticism".  Like any judge would love criticism of himself and "his" court, given the criticism's high quality - in the eyes of the judge.

Judge Bellacosa was also raving about his own decision (made together with his friend Chief Judge Wachtler who by the time of the article was released from federal prison) where Wachtler and Bellacosa ordered competitor of Wachtler's family members in NYC construction business to cut off 12 stories of a completed residential skyscraper, see Parkview Associates v. City of New York ,71 N.Y.2d 274 (1988).

Let's not forget that Sol Wachtler, Bellacosa's buddy, came to power and dragged Bellacosa into the same power, through the money of his wife's uncle, Alvin Wolosoff, a construction magnate from NYC, and thus a competitor of the developer whose building Bellacosa and Wachtler ordered destroyed.  Obviously, Bellacosa not only did not feel any shame about that case, where he had the power to refuse to order demolition of the already constructed residential building because the mistake in the building permit was the City's and not the developers.  No, Bellacosa obviously was proud of that case, "in awe" of his own power, and considering himself some sort of a king whose "independence" from the law must be safeguarded as a "crown jewel", safeguarded from any criticism, and at whose direction anything can happen, law or no law, justice or no justice.

Bellacosa was obviously relishing in his own power when telling the prosecutors at that luxury resort:

1) I do not care what the topic of this conference is, I would rave about what I want;
2) I want to rave about criticism of me, my buddy Wachtler and "my" court;
3) I can do anything, even cut off stories off completed residential buildings to hurt competitors of another judge's family members; and
4) I demonstrate my power in front of you, the cattle, the captive audience, whose licenses I regulate, so that you know that when I demand pursuing my critics - you listen.

When I see posts on social media where people from other countries are "in awe" of how the 1st Amendment is honored and cherished, re-read this piece of "scholarship".

Consider the sickeningly self-praising lofty language of this courtier-judge.

Consider the name-calling of professors who dared to do what the judge didn't - the actual, real academic scholarship about the court.  Professors Judge Bellacosa demeaned were Professor Bonventre of Albany Law School and professor Luke Bierman pointing out that Judge Bellacosa switched his views as to whether and how the judiciary should be criticized - from claiming that the judiciary must be criticized and its actions scrutinized as if it is operating in a "glasshouse", to threats of disciplinary action against attorneys for criticism of judges and chest-thumping about his own power to lop off 12 stories off residential skyscrapers, despite the fact that that same skyscraper was built according to a valid building permit.

Of course, if Bellacosa's sensitivity as to criticism was so fragile, he should have been removed from the bench the moment the law review article was published.

Of course, he wasn't.

This law review article, I understand, was some kind of a judicial Manifesto of an open hunt on critics of the judiciary.

I encourage my readers to read it and consider the doublespeak, the implications, the language and the threats.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The "civil rights loving" New York government scraps the 4th Amendment and privacy for motorists

New York top-ranking government officials - Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman (who fund-raised for Hillary Clinton and obviously was promised a position in her administration) are adamantly anti-Trump-anything.

No matter what the President does, right or wrong, they are against it.

Yet, New York now tries to stealthily impose upon its own residents the very same invasions of privacy that the Trump administration is using to check incoming foreigners: warrantless access to cell phones.

New York Legislature is reviewing a bill that would allow police officers, under the guise of fighting with texting-while-driving, to get access to your cell phone without a search warrant, in obvious violation of the 4th Amendment, and that will impose penalties upon drivers who refuse such access to officers - well, how can you refuse is not clear if the officer can simply overpower you, take your cell phone and scan it.

With the only difference that the U.S. Constitution is inapplicable to aliens outside the borders of the U.S. (including airport immigration areas before entry is allowed), while warrantless searches of New Yorkers well within the borders of the U.S. is  definite violation of the 4th Amendment.

The cause to scrap the 4th Amendment is, of course, lofty - protecting motorists and passengers, and pedestrians from "distracted drivers".

But, the 4th Amendment universally applies to all, even murderers.

Whether you consider it fair or not, a body found in a trunk of a car during an illegal warrantless search is subject to suppression, possibly freeing the murderer.

That's how the U.S. Constitution works.

And it does not work differently for "distracted drivers".

My concern though is not about the fate of distracted drivers, but about all drivers, because police officers habitually lie under oath to fabricate "probable cause" to stop a car and arrest the driver and everybody in the car, as well as to search everybody and everything in sight.

So, it is reasonable to predict that now, when everybody has cell phones, especially when driving, and every phone, smart or "dumb", has texting capabilities, a police officer will be able to stop without a probable cause ANY car at ANY time, claiming that he saw the driver texting or attempting to text.  For an attempt you do not even need proof that a text was entered - the driver was simply attempting to do so, but did not complete his evil goal because the noble officer stopped him.

And, the police now can easily get any information on your cell phones in order to investigate you or charge you with crimes, without any warrants, by just claiming that they saw you look at that phone while driving - which is their word against yours, and guess who will win in court.

The bill is a rampant scrapping of the 4th Amendment for motorists altogether, as well as of their privacy, and as such, is blatantly unconstitutional.

So, do New Yorkers now have to videotape themselves, non-stop, to prove a negative against allegations of police officers, that they DID NOT text while drive?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman establishes yet another double standard in occupational licensing in New York: unlicensed dentists (with diplomas from Russian medical schools) are a danger to consumers, no matter whether their work was good or bad

Recently, New York State Attorney General has "won" a case, establishing "lawfulness" of discrimination against out-of-state attorneys licensed in New York, which restricted diversity of providers and helped keep prices for legal services for in-state attorneys high for the consumers - which, no doubt, hurt consumers, and further "won" that case on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, after his assistant, under the guise of a law professor of the Albany Law School, had an opportunity to privately talk with a U.S. Supreme Court justice while providing an "award" and a freebie all expenses trip for her in the beginning of April this year - see reports that #SonyaSotomayor "privately" met with faculty of Albany Law School, see also that Eric Schneiderman's Assistant Attorney General Kent Sprotbery is part of that faculty.

Sonya Sotomayor did not recuse from deciding whether to grant or deny certiorari to Eric Schneiderman whose assistant may have privately met with her as member of the faculty of the Albany Law School after she was granted by that school an all-expenses-paid trip and an award.

That discrimination was further deepened by a state #judgeShirleyKornrich who further expanded the definition of what the physical office required of out-of-state attorneys should mean, and struck pleadings as filed by an out-of-state attorney without a REAL physical office.

After "winning" that case, obviously through corruption, New York Attorney General has announced that he is now protecting New Yorkers, and federal taxpayers, from a huge threat - from unlicensed dentists working under the supervision of two licensed dentists.

And, New York AG claims that criminal prosecution of those scoundrels is required because they allegedly defrauded Medicaid by billing for work of unlicensed dentists - who allegedly did various dentist procedures, including drilling and filling of cavities.

Here is the NY AG press release.

Of course, based on the press release, anybody who dons a medical scrub and looks into another person's mouth can be accused of a felony, unlicensed practice of dentistry.

And, what the ardent protector of the public the New York State AG (who habitually defends public officials sued for violations of New Yorkers' constitutional rights, but that's ok, that does not contradict the AG's stance as a human rights and public safety protector) does not disclose to the public is:

  • whether those unlicensed dentists, not licensed in the State of New York, but obviously having medical diplomas from Russia and Uzbekistan (where qualifications of dentists are not lower than in this country) actually provided good quality of services, and whether they did any harm to any consumers of their services - and that is the key to the question whether Medicaid was defrauded.
That's the question No. 1.

The question No. 2 is - why the double standard?

New York courts have regularly granted to other professions a right to bill for unlicensed services and upheld validity of contracts with unlicensed professionals.

Here are examples.

In 2014, Judge Kevin Dowd of Chenango County Supreme Court, granted attorney fees for unsupervised drafting by an unlicensed paralegal.  Judge Dowd claimed that the challenge to such a practice as unlawful unauthorized practice of law, invalidating the claim of fees, is "mind-boggling", because, according to the judge who testified at that hearing as an unsworn witness for the plaintiffs asking for attorney fees for services of the unlicensed paralegal, "it was always done this way".  The case is Mokay v Mokay, Delaware County Index No. 695-2007, the decision is dated June 23, 2014.

Even earlier than that, in 2008, the same Judge Kevin Dowd granted a summary judgment enforcing a contract that was void TWICE because:

  1. it was drafted by an unlicensed real estate firm; and because
  2. it was not drafted by a licensed attorney, thus constituting unauthorized practice of law.
The case was Gjonaj v Sines, it was upheld on appeal by the 3rd Department in 2010.

Moreover, when the unlicensed real estate firm sued the consumer - and her attorney - for not paying the real estate fee while there was no proof that the real estate firm, and its broker, were licensed at the time of drafting and enforcing the contract, and while the real estate firm adamantly refused to provide the original of the license in discovery - while the Department of State no longer had such information because of its retention policy - Judge Dowd refused to dismiss the lawsuit and allowed it to proceed into eternity, literally, until the consumer under the void contract, the elderly homeowner whom Judge Dowd stripped of her home, Beverly Sines, died.

The name of the case is Demeree Realty v Sines.  I wrote about this case regarding Judge Dowd's patterns of recusal-reentry-retaliation against me.  Obviously, for pointing out Judge Dowd's complete lack of competency.

Actually, since the real property in question was worth close to a million dollars while Beverly Sines was forced, through a void contract, to sell it for 1/3 of its price to a real estate broker from New York City, and because the Mokay case was utterly illegal, yet, Judge Dowd, a subpoenaed witness in the Mokay trial, 
and because the judgment in question that Dowd "awarded" was over $300,000, including attorney fees for ex parte communications of Plaintiffs' counsel with Dowd and his law clerk, - I have a funny feeling that Dowd is not simply dirty, but very dirty, and that he received kickbacks from the "winning" parties in both cases.

Yet, whether Judge Dowd is not or is not a dirty judge, the fact remains that there are THREE cases in New York that I know of from personal experience where the fee by:

  • an unlicensed paralegal billed by a lawyer who did not supervise the paralegal's drafting of legal pleadings; and
the real estate contract drafted by

  • individuals who had no law license and no real estate license

were upheld by THREE state courts:

  • Chenango County Supreme Court, Gjonaj v Sines and Demeree Realty, #JudgeKevinDowd;
  • NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division 3rd Judicial Department, Gjonaj v Sines;
  • Delaware County Supreme Court, Mokay v Mokay, Judge Kevin Dowd.

So, New York courts allow contracts by unlicensed professionals to be enforced - if that is so, and that is so, there are court decisions as described above, how can New York then criminally charge some unlicensed professionals, but not others, for fraud for billing for their services?

Why licensed dentists billing for services of unlicensed dentists are chargeable with fraud while an attorney (and son of a judge, Richard Harlem) is not chargeable with fraud and aiding and abetting unauthorized practice of law while charging a legal fee for unsupervised drafting/legal services of an unlicensed paralegal?

So, if NY AG wants to be consistent now, does he want to charge Richard Harlem with fraud? 

But, there yet is a THIRD question - stripping unlicensed professionals of their fee for GOOD services (and we do not know whether their services were good or not, the press release does not say anything about that) may be unconscionable unjust enrichment - and some courts did hold that denying a fee to an unlicensed individual who provided a valuable service simply because he is unlicensed, is unjust enrichment, and that regulation of professions do not operate to protect a consumer from his obligation to pay for a good service.

For example, in 1973, a California court granted recovery of fees to an unlicensed contractor by saying:

"It performed in all other respects competently and without injury to any person ... We are not involved in aiding an incompetent or dishonest artisan.  ... The defendant received full value under the terms of the contract. The licensing law should not be used as a shield for the avoidance of a just obligation", see

So, here are the questions, again:

  1. Did the unlicensed dentists - and the two licensed dentists in whose office they allegedly worked - actually provided good services to the public?  At affordable prices?  Thus protecting public health where their clients would otherwise have gone without any dental care?
  2. Does New York have a right to create double standards in occupational licensing, not prosecuting and even endorsing unlicensed paralegals and their employers, licensed attorneys, for engaging in unauthorized practice of law (as demonstrated in the Mokay v Mokay case), and endorsing unauthorized practice of law and unauthorized practice of real estate profession, as demonstrated in Gjonaj v Sines and Demeree Realty v Sines cases - but somehow deciding to prosecute unlicensed dentists working under the umbrella of licensed dentists - the very same thing as the unlicensed paralegal did, practicing law under the umbrella of licensed attorney and son of a judge #RichardHarlem, of Oneonta, NY, who charged LEGAL fees for unsupervised drafting of an unlicensed paralegal?
  3. And, is the unlicensed dentists criminal case actually a good case for jury nullification? 

American taxpayers were ordered by a fundraising-for-Obama federal judge to finance illegal aliens residing throughtout the U.S.

Imagine that you are a parent of an adult child.

You have been giving that adult child money, once in a while, to help the child out.

Then, at some point, you drew a line and said - enough.

The adult child then sued you and claimed to the court that, since you've been giving the adult child money all along, you should be made to continue doing it.

Imagine what an independent court would say, based on the law.

If that is an unbiased judge who would follow the law, the judge will say:  it was your parent's discretion to give or not to give you money.  It does not matter that you got used to handouts, it is still your own obligation to support your own needs.  So, lawsuit dismissed - likely, with costs and attorney fees against the adult child for the parent, for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

But, here comes Donald Trump.

Donald Trump's presidency has highlighted a lot of problems in this country, one of them - runaway courts which consider themselves independent from the law and entitled to move as their political sponsors want or in accordance with personal beliefs or whims of judges.

And that's how federal judge William Orrick ruled, here is his preliminary injunction - after, reportedly, raising $200,000 for President Obama.

The combined lawsuit of the City of San Francisco and Santa Clara County in California to block the federal government from stopping the federal funding of the City of San Francisco and Santa Clara County because these entities refuse to abide by federal immigration law highlights a lot of issues and reveals how, in reality, many businesses are financed - because the numerous amicus curiae filed in court, very obviously, do not give a flying duck about the fate of the poor, as they ardently claim, or about the fate of the U.S. Constitution.

Both the City of SF and Santa Clara County are themselves being sued for constitutional violations, and vigorously defend against such lawsuits.

They are, thus, cannot at the same time claim they are somehow advocates for the same people whose civil rights lawsuit they are vigorously opposing.

Moreover, the City of SF and Santa Clara County assert their rights under the 10th Amendment to be free from federal coercion, while at the same time forgetting that under the very same 10th Amendment states not only have a RIGHT to decide about how to provide for safety and health of their residents, but also the OBLIGATION to do that - and to finance that obligation out of their own means.

Yet, in the same way as an adult child suing the parent, the City of San Francisco and Santa Clara County (as well as public schools, police chiefs, cities and counties from other states, technology companies, non-profit corporations) claim that the federal government somehow must fund their endeavors to protect safety and health of their resident and boost economic development of states - which is totally both the right and obligation, including financial obligation, of the states.

And another thing in those strings of arguments completely falls through the cracks.  Who are they suing.

When President Trump is being sued in his official capacity - that means, every single one of American citizens, voters and taxpayers, are sued. 

Those who live in the State of California and those who don't.

Those who support sanctuary cities in California or anywhere else, and those who don't.

All of us just paid our taxes by April 15.

Judge Orrick ordered those taxes to be used for illegal aliens residing in this country, whether we want that or not, when this country's President has undertaken to put an end to that waste of funds.

Of course, a judge out of one district court has no authority to impose injunction across the country, including jurisdictions where he has no authority to act.

So, let's remember who this lawsuit is against.

It is against all of us.

To San-Francisco, Santa Clara and all other entites and businesses claiming they will suffer "irreparable harm" if federal taxpayers are not shaken up for money in their favor:  grow up.

You are not entitled to federal money.  You must generate money to fund your own programs.

Use your brains.

Attract businesses, and not with forced federal funding, but by attractive policies.


Provide incentives to businesses.

Do something other than aggressively demanding funds that are discretionary and that you are not entitled to.

Judge Orrick should be impeached for:

  1. not recusing from a case despite his political fundraising, in violation of his status as a judge, in favor of Obama; and for
  2. making handouts to parties simply because he shares their political standpoint, even though his decision has nothing to do with the law;
  3. imposing countrywide injunctions in gross excess of his jurisdiction;
  4. causing abominable waste of taxpayer funds, against the will of taxpayers and against the existing law.

I am going through the mass of amicus briefs and arguments and will post a full analysis of arguments raised later on.

Stay tuned.

Monday, April 24, 2017

DGAF as a doctrine of judicial non-recusal - yet another secretly demented judge has surfaced?

Do you know this brand spanking new abbreviation?


This is what it is:

And this is what it means in the "legal world".

This judge, Robert W. Sweet, appointed for life to "serve" on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (on the right) who is just 6 years away from turning 100, is, apparently, a DGAF judge.  He is a senior judge, too, who assumed "senior status" on March 1, 1991, but did not stop judging cases.

He allows himself to make comments that surely would require any self-respecting jurist to recuse.

But, self-respect does not equal mandate to recuse.

Of course, there is a statute mandating recusal, 28 U.S.C. 455, and there are court precedents mandating recusal as a constitutional point, a lot of them, but, see above, who gives a F... , yes, that word?

We have judges with wet-brain eating diseases, hallucinations, demented judges who still do not resign - they just disappear when there is no longer a possibility to hide the fact that they are demented or wet-brained delirious alcoholics.

And, we have judges whose dementia shows up in other ways - by DGAF arrogance.

Apparently, Judge Sweet is such a judge.

And, of course, attorneys are deathly afraid to make motions to recuse judges, and thus sent just a letter seeking to "discuss" potential bias of the judge against the Plaintiff

- which the judge who was challenged with the letter, "deemed" a motion, ordered to be fully briefed, and denied.

Imagine what he will do next to the Plaintiff in this litigation.

With amazing frankness, the legal blog Above the Law states:

A translation for non-lawyers:  "do not criticize a judge, he will retaliate".

Imagine that you are given the power over the critics of your own potential bias or misconduct.  Will you be just exercising such a power?  Do you think it is appropriate to even give such power to you over your own critics?  Or, maybe, somebody else should handle such motions to recuse?  Because, remember, at the age of 94, the judge is a DGAF judge,

and, if he DGAF, he may also DGAF whether he is biased or not.

But, as to the claim that "few things antagonize judges more than an unjustified motion to recuse", isn't retaliation by a judge, or the fact that judges are even antagonized by "unjustified" motions to recuse them actually point at the fact that the motion to recuse WAS justified, that the judge DID have bias, and that the judge MUST recuse, as not being impartial?

Let's see what this Sweet - pun intended - judge will do to the Plaintiff later in litigation, as a consequence of the Plaintiff's "unjustified" motion to recuse.

And it is especially interesting that the lawsuit was by a whistleblower (critic) for firing her after she blew that whistle (criticized).

To have a 94-year-old, possibly demented, "sweet" judge presiding who himself views retaliation by a person in power against a person with less power as "humor" is, in my view, a denial of judicial review altogether.

Of course, we will never know whether the judge was "snarky" because he was demented until he either starts leaving home and wandering around on the highway in a daze, like federal judge Edwin Kosik did, or become delirious like federal judge in Louisiana Patricia Minaldi did, to such a degree that another judge of her court sued her claiming Judge Minaldi cannot even "safely" take care of her own affairs - much less of the court affairs in front of her.

Let's remember that these "humorous", "snarky", nearly-centennial, wet-brained and demented judges may potentially preside (or are actually presiding) over death penalty cases.

Maybe, it's enough?

Let's introduce terms for federal judges.  Short terms, too.  Not more than 2 years.  With a strict age cut-off of 70.  Not enough to "build a business" out of their appointment.  And, not enough to develop a dementia.

And, by the way, after judge Sweet refused to recuse - he was taken off the case anyway.

The docket report features another judge as assigned to the case now:

Such reassignment, and especially after denying of a motion to recuse, does not usually happen unless something is wrong with the previous judge.

The docket also shows that Judge Sweet's refusal to recuse, Dkt. 228 of April 14, 2017, was followed by a motion to reconsider that decision on April 18, 2017, a "sealed document placed into vault" on April 19, 2017, and a "Notice of reassignment" of Judge Cote on April 20, 2017.

So, we have another undisclosed demented judge now?

And, the judicial administration is hiding traces of that dementia?

I will not be surprised if Judge Sweet will be finally forced into retirement after his DGAF behavior and comments - but, unfortunately, the court will seek to do that secretly, without admitting any problem in his mental state or ability to perform, and without vacating any of his decisions, instead, keeping them as precedents and law of the case.

We cannot expect honorable behavior from judges, right? 

Because, with a lifetime tenure of federal judges, they all DGAF.

Win a criminal case that was lost in the court of public opinion - face attorney discipline?

In a bizarre turn of events, the criminal defense attorney who obtained an acquittal of Casey Anthony in her murder trial, is now facing disciplinary complaints.

The press coverage of the complaints is quite frank - that the complaints are seeking to take away from Mr. Jose Baez the gains for his reputation as an attorney that he earned by winning a murder trial for his client.

At least one complaint was in the form of an online petition endorsed by 584 people and signed

Apparently, the biggest reason for the complaint was that the criminal defense attorney vigorously did his job for his client, and that the client was acquitted - by a jury of her peers, after a long trial.

Had Casey Anthony been convicted, there would have been no complaints.

The Florida Bar that, I am sure, tosses such complaints against powerful and connected attorneys left and right, took this complaint for investigation.

Because "a nobody" took a case nobody else wanted, won it and became famous.

Politically connected attorneys in the Florida Bar could not have that.

I wonder if Florida Bar actually inspired, instigated or encouraged these complaints to be filed against attorney Baez.

It all boils down to one big question - why do we have attorney discipline?

To provide the public with competent counsel, including criminal defense counsel - or to destroy such competent counsel because he did his job too well and now more clients want his services?

Was Ledell Lee killed off by the U.S. Supreme Court as a punishment for raising the issue of BAD judicial misconduct in his trial, the judge sleeping with a prosecutor? Yet another death for criticizing judges.

This is Ledell Lee.

The person who maintained his innocence until his dying minute.

The person who has had an intellectual disability that was disregarded when he was put to death.

The person who asked for a DNA test which was denied to him despite his claims of innocence.

The person who was convicted and condemned to death when his presiding trial judge was having an affair with the prosecutor - and all lawyers, but the first one (who was drunk) and the last one, were afraid to raise the issue of the judge's affair with the prosecutor, choosing to rather cause their client to be killed by the State of Arkansas than jeopardize their own careers.

And this is the Governor's spokesman who is patiently waiting - outside of the death chamber - until Ledell Lee is killed of and "justice is served", or, rather, until the State of Arkansas uses the last chance to kill Ledell Lee before the drugs the State deceptively bought to kill him, while claiming they are purchased for another purpose, expire.

I wonder why he wouldn't watch "the process".

I saw in reports mentioning that it was the newly appointed judge Neil Gorsuch who delivered the death blow and whose vote broke the tie and resulted in Ledell Lee's death.

That's the same Neil Gorsuch who, citing to St Augustine and Aristotle, preached in his book about right to life, to the point of denying people who want and choose to die the right to die with dignity, of their own free will.

I also saw mentioned that the presiding judge in Ledell Lee's trial and the prosecutor had an affair and later married.

What I did not see were the names and faces of that judge and that prosecutor.

The press was somehow too shy to mention them.

Yet, those names were mentioned in Ledell Lee's request for relief filed with federal courts, the request that was denied by the federal court - and I wonder whether the denial was based on the merit, or based on the increasing backlash in the American courts against criticism and critics of judicial misconduct, no matter how fair and how much it is based on uncontroverted evidence.

The presiding judge over Ledell Lee's trial who had an affair with the prosecutor at that time, but did not disclose it - and neither did the prosecutor - is #JudgeChrisPiazza.

He is still a judge, is still a licensed attorney, and is still called "Honorable".

And, the press is still afraid to mention his name in connection with Ledell Lee's murder.

Of course, Judge Piazza's only "notable ruling" is pronouncement of the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Nobody mentions sending a man to death without a DNA test while sleeping with the prosecutor, preventing appointment of a non-conflicted counsel and instead appointment of a counsel who was drunk at the trial.

And, these are the only two lawyers who, in addition to the drunk lawyer, raised the issue of the affair between the judge and the prosecutor at a capital murder trial:

Other "competent counsel" during the years and years of appeals and habeas petitions, failed to mention it.  I wonder, why.  I actually don't wonder why, because we all know, why.  They threw their client under the bus - no, literally, into the death chamber - in order to save their own hides and licenses.

Because the judge they were duty-bound to criticize was still on the bench, and very much in power.

The prosecutor participating in an affair with the judge presiding over a capital murder trial was #MelodyLaRue who was portrayed in the press as a "confident prosecutor" who claimed she "believes in what she is doing".

I guess, she believed in having an affair with the presiding judge and not disclosing it to the defendant or his attorney.

It took a subpoena of the judge's ex-wife to testify regarding the affair, but only after the conviction and death sentence of Ledell Lee, and after the state death machine was put into motion.

Now the former prosecutor is the judge's wife and a law partner in a private law firm.

No discipline was imposed upon her for having an affair with a judge who was presiding over a capital murder case her office (if not she herself, personally) was handling.

Here is Ms. LaRue's/Mrs. Piazza's work history, from her own attorney advertisement:

Not only Melody Larue/Piazza was not disciplined (as well as her husband-judge) for non-disclosure of their affair during a capital murder trial where Judge Chris Piazza presided and Melody LaRue's employer handled the prosecution and sought the death penalty, but Melody Piazza boasts "pre-eminent" statuses and credentials such as memberships in a vast number of lawyer associations:

I guess, they are all happy to have her, a powerful judge's wife, no matter what kind of misconduct her husband-judge and Melody LaRue committed.

Let's compare the dates in Melody Piazza's autobiography in her attorney advertisement and in Ledell Lee's final petition for relief - which was denied.

Ledell Lee:

So, Ledell Lee was not convicted, sentenced or executed after his first trial.

In his first trial, he presented an alibi defense enough to have a hung jury even on the issue of conviction, without even reaching the issue of sentencing.

Melody LaRue/Piazza:

So, in 1993 and 1994, at the time of Ledell Lee's first trial, Melody LaRue was already employed as a prosecutor in the District Attorney's Office of the Pulaski County.

And, of course, the Circuit Court of that same county denied Mr. Ledell's application for DNA testing.

See argument in opposition of DNA testing by John F. Johnson, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 6th Judicial District, an argument arguing to kill off a person who once won a hung jury on an alibi defense and who was only asking to check, before he is killed, if the state has got the right guy.

This is the perverse prosecutorial logic:

So, the alibi defense that has caused a hung jury did not matter.

The assertion of innocence does not matter.

Presence of some other blood on the shoe of Mr. Ledell does not matter - while it should matter, because if the crime scene was full of blood, if Mr. Ledell had blood on his shoe, but that blood was not the victim's, that clearly means that his alibi defense is solid and there is a reasonable doubt whether he was at the crime scene at all.

Mr. Johnson did not mention in his opposition that his office made an ultimate "argument", unbeknownst to Mr. Lee or his counsel, to win his 2nd trial after the 1st one resulted in a hung jury - had a prosecutor from their office sleep with the presiding judge.

Actually, in "Relevant Procedural History" Mr. Johnson did not even mention the hung jury on the issue of alibi defense.

He only mentioned a conviction - on October 12, 1995.

Guess what happened to Melody LaRue after that conviction in 1995 (obtained because she was sleeping with the presiding judge Chris Piazza)?

She got promoted!  To the position of Chief Deputy Prosecutor "from 1996 until her departure in 2001".

Good girl!  Won such a victory for the office! Deserves a promotion, of course!

Look what else Mr. Johnson is arguing:

"Yes, we destroyed the evidence which could have been exculpatory for Mr. Lee - but we did it not in bad faith", and somehow that makes it right to kill Mr. Lee, an indigent criminal defendant, without doing any additional investigation or DNA testing.

Moreover, repeating one of the reasons why an innocent may be executed that a federal judge recently asserted in his blog, untimeliness, Mr. Johnson pushes that untimeliness as No. 1 reason why a potentially innocent person should be executed, immediately.

So, it was Ledell Lee's fault that his attorneys deprived him of effective representation and did not ask for additional DNA testing after new DNA-testing technologies became available.

And, it was Ledell Lee's fault that attorneys who the same state that killed him, assigned to him, knew nothing about DNA testing:

But, that was exactly what his attorney was arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court - ineffective assistance of counsel - which the same Mr. Johnson was opposing, too.

And, by the way, the Arkansas Supreme Court refused to review the issue of Judge Piazza sleeping with prosecutor Melody LaRue during the capital murder case which Melody LaRue's office was prosecuting and where Judge Piazza was presiding - without disclosure of the relationship to the defense or the jury - because allegedly it was not raised in the petition by the defense counsel who did not think it prudent (for his own personal reasons) to raise issues of judicial misconduct of a still-sitting judge.

So, Ledell Lee was killed off.

Because, the state of Arkansas absolutely had to exercise the death warrant before it expired, and use the killing drugs before they expired, too, and all judges, with little exception - only judge Breyer dissented, and judges Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Kagan and Breyer dissented in a related case - raised their voices against the horrible injustice of killing of an intellectually disabled man asserting his innocence, who:

  • once had a hung jury on an alibi issue;
  • who never received effective assistance of counsel at trial or in post-trial proceedings;
  • who never had an impartial prosecutor, as he was entitled by law;
  • who never had an impartial judge, as he was entitled by law - where the judge actually slept with the prosecutor instead, without disclosing it to Mr. Ledell.
What happened to the judge?

He is still on the bench.

What happened to the prosecutor?

She was promoted, married the judge, left the prosecutor's office to pursue private practice, and is still a rich and successful private attorney.

What happened to their victim, Mr. Ledell?

He was killed by the state, and the state insisted on killing him.

So, why was Mr. Ledell killed?  Because the killing drugs were closes to expiration, or because his attorneys dared to point out, truthfully, based on testimony of the judge's ex-wife, that the judge was sleeping with a prosecutor from the office prosecuting Mr. Ledell during Mr. Ledell's SECOND capital murder trial, after the first one was lost to a hung jury?

Punishing people for criticizing judges has become a favorite target practice for courts in America.

Yet, killing people for criticizing judges is brand spanking new.

Let's remember this face.

Ledell Lee, a person killed for criticizing a judge for sleeping with a prosecutor during a capital murder trial.

And, let's remember these faces.

Judge Chris Piazza - still on the bench.

Attorney Melody Piazza

- still has her license, is now married to judge Chris Piazza, and uses in her attorney advertisement the career promotion she received after sleeping with the presiding judge during a capital murder trial and thus helping her office "win" the trial.

The tie-breaking vote on the U.S. Supreme Court - Neil Gorsuch

whose only credentials to get him on the SCOTUS bench were that:

And this is, again, their victim - Gorsuch's, and Scalia's (who denied certiorari review to Lee Ledell in 1999), and Judge Piazza's, and attorney Melody LaRue/Piazza's:

Ledell Lee was just a stepping stone in these people's careers.

I wonder, whether DNA testing that Ledell Lee asked for, and was denied, will be conducted after his death, or will the State of Arkansas continue to be as cowardly after killing him as it was while seeking to kill him off before finding out the truth.

Since there is a big question whether Ledell Lee is the person who murdered the victim, there is a big question whether the perpetrator continues to be out there, jeopardizing lives of the residents of the state of Arkansas.

Not that the Governor of the State of Arkansas, and other public officials who sought to kill of Ledell Lee, care about such trifles, obviously.

They DESTROYED EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE - remember?  And claimed that it is ok to still kill Ledell Lee because the destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence was not in bad faith, allegedly.

Nothing wrong that the government does is usually deemed, by the government (the courts) to be in bad faith, no matter how wrong it is.

But - you know what is one of the most important aspects of this gruesome story?


Judicial discretion.

Discretion of the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear appeal of Mr. Ledell.

Not from the criminal conviction.

Not from denial of his habeas corpus petitions.

Not from denial of his requests for DNA testing.

Not from denial of stay of execution.

Since then, nearly 100 years passed, the population and number of cases, including civil rights cases, have grown exponentially, yet, the "discretion" remains.

So, I am asking a question - WHY DO WE HAVE the U.S. Supreme Court?

For what reason do we have these 9 people who receive enormous salaries, sit in a marble palace, and have no obligation to do anything?  At all?

They can refuse, at their "discretion", to hear ANY cases coming their way - and still receive their salary.

And, nobody can hold them accountable, they are there for life.


Why do we have jobs in the government that are discretionary for the government officials to do or not to do?

Why do we have jobs where enforcement of the U.S. Constitution, including, literally, life or death decisions, lies within the whim of 9 people.

Why do we have jobs where these "discretionary" public servants may decide to punish a person with DEATH, this person,

simply for breaking the ultimate taboo - criticizing a judge for an obvious misconduct?

I wrote recently about yet another death of a critic of a judge - attorney Patrick Massud in California.  That death was claimed to be a suicide.  In state custody, awaiting trial where he was likely going to testify about judicial misconduct.  To kill him off was the most "efficient" way to shut him up.

And about other whistleblowers who were given the ultimate gag.

Now Ledell Lee joins their ranks.