"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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

On wet-brained federal judges and timid faith-based "experts in judicial ethics"

Recently I wrote about two federal judges - one in Pennsylvania, the other in Louisiana who federal courts finally took of cases when there was no way of concealing "the problem":

  1. in Pennsylvania, federal judge Edwin Kosyk had such memory lapses that he left home - in a car - and started wandering around, causing his family to request a police search-and-rescue operation;
  2. in Louisiana, federal judge Patricia Minaldi was abruptly taken off cases after:
    1. she was convicted of  DWI;
    2. started to display bizarre behavior in the courtroom;
    3. was taken off all of her cases; and
    4. was sued (in a secret, unconstitutional, docket) by a magistrate judge of the same court.

After the media challenged the secrecy of court proceedings, and a hearing on that challenge scheduled for April 18, 2017, the docket of the lawsuit against Patricia Minaldi remains unconstitutionally secret, but allegedly some records were released.

I was incorrect searching for that docket on Pacer though - because, apparently, the lawsuit was filed by the FEDERAL magistrate in a STATE court - apparently, the federal magistrate does not feel that the federal courts will adequately deal with the problem, after having screwed it royally to this point.

Both the sealing, and the release, are obviously illegal:

  1. because it is unconstitutional to hide court dockets; and
  2. because it is unconstitutional to trade in open public information - if it is open to the press, it must be open to the public, too. 
Nevertheless, what was leaked to the press, is the following:

  1. Judge Minaldi has been ordered to an alcoholic rehab for 90 days by the Chief Judge of the 7th Circuit because, allegedly, her medical records refer to some "legal consequences" of her alcoholism (possibly, the DWI or more);
  2. Judge Minaldi is now residing in an assisted living community;
  3. Judge Minaldi, according to allegations of a person who has had (until the lawsuit) a power of attorney from Judge Minaldi to manage her affairs for her - unable to take care of her most basic needs (of course, that allegation is vehemently denied by Judge Minaldi's attorney); and
  4. Judge Minaldi, because of her alcoholism, developed a "disorder" called in medical jargon a "wet brain", or "a severe Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome".

Now, a severe brain disorder based on alcoholism does not develop overnight - so, the court administrators,

the Chief Judge of Patricia Minaldi's court "Hon." Dee D. Drell

who, apparently, himself is a friend of spirits, and the court personnel must have been well aware that something was wrong with Judge Minaldi, but carefully concealed it from the public, allowing Judge Minaldi instead to continue to preside over cases and ruin lives.

Here is what this "syndrome" is, according to a government source:

And here are the symptoms of the syndrome:


  1. memory loss,
  2. inability to form new memories,
  3. making up stories (confabulation),
  4. hallucinations.

In the olden days it was called "delirium tremens", alcoholic mania, or "the blue devils":

Imagine that that's a judge who was or could potentially be handling death penalty cases, other criminal cases, and civil rights cases.

The treatment of the #Wernicke-KorsakoffSyndrome (which is also called Korsakoff psychosis) includes:

and can have complications:

The medical advice posted on a government website urges people when diagnosed with the syndrome to seek immediate medical help.

The question is - did the U.S. District Court for the District of Louisiana administration, the wine-loving Judge Dee Drell and the Chief Judge of the 5th Circuit Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart,

aggravate medical condition of U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi, trying to conceal from the public "the problem" that could cause motions to vacate Judge Minaldi's rulings to be filed?

Because, if that happened, that is judicial misconduct of the highest order -

  1. it is fraud upon the public;
  2. it is fraud upon litigants and counsel;
  3. it is damage, physical damage, in the very real sense, to Judge Minaldi, and
  4. it is waste of public funds on litigation that Judges Drell and Wood knew would have to be reassigned to another judge and retried in the future.

Yet, it is a matter of gravest public concern whether Judge Minaldi was able to discharge her duties in court cases, and if not, for how long and how many and which cases were compromised.

The press mentioned that

The press did not mention, why is it so.

Now did the "judicial ethics expert" polled on the subject. 

The reaction of that "expert in judicial ethics" is especially interesting - and troubling.

First, the question is, how can a person can be an expert in a subject that does not exist.  This case shows clearly that there is no such thing in existence as judicial ethics, where the court system:

  1. lies to the public and taxpayers who pay their salaries;
  2. lies to attorneys and litigants;
  3. and continues to lie even now, by concealing the court docket of Judge Minaldi.

But, anyway, an "expert in judicial ethics", a #UniversityofPittsburghLawSchoolProfessorArthurHellman

was cited by the Associated Press stating the following:

  • that federal courts "typically attempt to quietly persuade judges to step down if they're suffering from substance abuse problem or medical disabilities that could be affecting their duties", and
  • that "most of the time" that is "a very effective process".

Wow, wow and wow.

So, Professor Hellman:

  1. recognizes that "the process" of ousting demented judges is secret - even though when a judge on a court handling civil rights and death penalty cases has a disability "that could be affecting their duties", the judge MUST be IMMEDIATELY suspended from doing such duties, and parties appearing in front of such judge MUST be IMMEDIATELY notified to be able to go back and undo what the judge did when symptoms already showed, but the judge was not diagnosed or resisted being diagnosed;
  2. yet is claiming that it is "mostly" a very effective process, which, due to the acknowledged secrecy of such "process" MUST be Professor Hellman's ASSUMPTION based on FAITH rather than evidence, which nullifies the expert value of his opinion and portrays the professor as a sycophant of the judiciary and not any kind of "expert"; and
  3. fails to point out the harm such secrecy does to the public, or
  4. the source of such secrecy and the reason why "discipline against federal judges is rare" (virtually non-existent):  The Judicial Misconduct and Disability Act, 28 U.S.C. 352(b)(1)(A)(ii), a statute I wrote about before,  which allows judges to discipline (or not discipline) themselves, and allows the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court (that would be #ChiefJudgeCarlEStewart) REFUSE to discipline any other federal judge for ANY conduct on the bench (malicious, corrupt or demented) if that conduct is in relation to "a decision" or "a procedural ruling":
"Action by Chief Judge Following Review.—After expeditiously reviewing a complaint under subsection (a), the chief judge, by written order stating his or her reasons, may
(1) dismiss the complaint—
(A) if the chief judge finds the complaint to be—
directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling".

First, what ELSE federal judges are supposed to be complained about other than the judge's conduct on the bench?  Some domestic disputes or crimes committed by the judge outside of the courtroom?

Second, judges already gave themselves a gift of absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt behavior on the bench - and the only other three remedies available (kind of) to the public were:

  1. Impeachment - that nearly never happen to federal judges, with the exception of medical conditions, and that Judge Wood and Judge Drell are trying to prevent by concealing "the problem" and hiding the court docket of a lawsuit;
  2. Criminal charges - nearly never happens with judges; and
  3. Discipline - the most commonly available remedy for injured litigants is simply to complain about the judge.
Yet, under the Judicial Misconduct and Disability Act, a statute, no doubt, lobbied by the judiciary,

  1. judges and not any neutral and impartial citizen panels, get to investigate and discipline themselves and their brothers and sisters;
  2. the Chief Judge of the Circuit gets to be both the investigator, the prosecutor and the adjudicator - an unconstitutional conflation of executive and judicial powers; and
  3. the option of discipline was committed to the Chief Judge's ABSOLUTE discretion, and the Chief Judge have an ABSOLUTE right to dismiss any complaint, even asserting fixing a case in return for a bribe, or out of malice, or done by a judge sliding into or well in the grips of an alcohol mania, if the complaint is in connection to that judge's (corrupt, malicious, demented or manic) "decision or procedural ruling.

Professor Hellman, an "expert in judicial ethics" omitted to point that interesting reason for the lack of discipline and for the secrecy of the process of "gently persuading" judges to step off the bench at the time when they have a disability affecting their duties, and thus are SUBJECT TO IMPEACHMENT.

Yet another "expert in judicial ethics",  Professor Charles Geyh, of Indiana University Maurer's School of Law,

Professor Geyh, without clearly identifying the Judicial Misconduct and Disability Act, 28 U.S.C. 352, points t it as "the normal route" of removal of a federal judge, to be initiated "by a citizen complaint or the Fifth Circuit Chief Justice".

Yet, Professor Geyh, same as Professor Hellman, tinkers with the truth when he does not disclose to the public that on that "normal route" a citizen may bump into the Chief Judge's discretionary right not to remove or discipline the judge at all if the complaint is in connection with "a decision or a procedural ruling".

Yet, I believe that Professor Geyh is right on the money pointing out - even though timidly so - to the magistrate Katherine Kay's petition for a state court intervention, obviously having no faith in the integrity of the very court system that the magistrate herself "serves"

Yet, if federal magistrate Kay hopes for a fairer treatment by a state court, that hope is futile - because state and federal judges in Louisiana (same as in New York) are part of "State-Federal Judicial Councils", observe Chief Judge Stewart in a "Red Robe Ceremony" in such a "Council".

I tried to obtained lists of members in a New York State-Federal Judicial Council - the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has so far denied my FOIA request for membership, structure, source of financing, agenda and activities of that "Council" claiming that such records are not subject to FOIA as records of the "judiciary" (even though state judges definitely are not members of federal judiciary) and is stalling my administrative appeal of the denial - but, from what is available from attorney advertisement of former New York State appellate judge Thomas Mercure,

such councils consist of state and federal judges who "regularly meet to facilitate disposition of state and federal court cases", so former Judge Mercure openly admitted to allowing federal judges to fix state court cases and to having federal judges allow state judges (possibly, defendants in civil rights cases in federal court) fix federal cases.

Neither of the "judicial ethics" experts mention this interesting detail - that federal and state court cases may be decided not in court, but in extrajudicial "Judicial Councils" with secret membership.

But, of course, had the "experts in judicial ethics" mentioned that, they will not be "experts" anymore, but, rather, would be unemployed and unemployable for life.

So, let's see how this interesting petition and interesting case of a "wet-brained" judge will unravel in the future.

I have no doubt that this particular case is being subject of "facilitation" by the Louisiana State-Federal Judicial Council - the case-fixing ring that, same as the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, because of the power of its participants, who hold in their hands the licenses and livelihoods of all state AND FEDERAL prosecutors - escapes prosecution.

Yet, even while a lot of information in this case is concealed (and because it is concealed, by BOTH federal AND state judiciary system - acting in concert), it shows a lot about the so-called "integrity" of the "Just-Us" system where the most important thing that matters for the self-presumed-honorable with self-given-immunity-for-corruption "justices" is to conceal evidence of their unfitness for the job. 

At all costs.

But another big question remains - how many MORE federal judges are still out there deciding cases about people's lives, in civil rights, criminal, habeas corpus, and especially death penalty cases - who are demented, but are only "gently persuaded" by the court administrators to voluntarily step down while continuing to preside over cases while they experience:

  1. memory loss;
  2. inability to create new memories - and thus review and analyze evidence in front of them;
  3. make up things (engage in "confabulation"); and
  4. have outright hallucinations and manias while on the bench
while having a contempt power over the liberty and livelihood of people appearing in front of them who they can throw in jail for daring to raise the issue of a possibility that the presiding judge is not all right "upstairs".

The secrecy of the process does not allow to assess how many.

But, such process must be public, and the transparency in dealing with such problems, not secrecy, is the key in preserving the integrity of the justice system.

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