"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.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What is in common between lawyers not reporting judicial misconduct and social workers improperly taking away children?

I have written a lot on this blog about the one-sided enforcement of contradictory disciplinary rules against lawyers, where, at the same time, lawyers are:

So, when lawyers are required, at the same time, to do diametrically opposite things, and when lawyers know that they will not be disciplined for NOT reporting judicial misconduct, but that they will lose their licenses and livelihood (for a lifetime) for reporting it, as happened in numerous cases, and continues to happen across the country, lawyers, naturally, keep silent about judicial misconduct - and that silence misinforms the public, the voters, members of the popular sovereign

about the actual state of affairs in the judicial system.

That silence in the face of apparent judicial misconduct is also, more than anything else, undermines public trust in the integrity of both the judiciary that persecutes its own critics, and in the integrity of lawyers who would rather sell out their clients and fail to fulfil their contractual and constitutional duty to secure their clients' true access to court and their right to impartial judicial review than risk losing their own livelihoods.

In Pennsylvania, for example, lack of such reporting of judicial corruption in the court system of Luzerne County resulted in the "Kids for Cash" scandal where children suffered, the feds had to ultimately step in and have two judges criminally charged, convicted and incarcerated - but lawyers still kept silent, because Pennsylvania judiciary still continued to punish lawyers for criticism of judges.

After the Kids for Cash scandal, Pennsylvania did not revamp their attitude about holding judges accountable for their misconduct, and intimidation of witnesses of judicial misconduct, attorneys, continued - several lawyers were sanctioned for criticism or investigation of judicial corruption:

  • Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane (suspended, criminally charged, convicted through a fabricated trial violating all possible rules, and disbarred);
  • attorney Andrew Ostrowski - for criticizing judges, running a radio show "Justice Served with Andy Ostrowski" where attorneys disciplined for criticism of judges came and explained to the public what is happening, and for running for Congress on the platform of judicial reform;
  • most recently, end of last month - attorney Joseph R. Reisinger was disbarred for criticizing in pleadings and lawsuits, and filing criminal complaints with state and federal prosecutors against judicial corruption in the same Luzerne County from where two judges were already taken by the feds in shackles, for judicial corruption.

A comparable double standard was revealed recently in another area of grave public concern: unnecessary taking children away by social services.

While it is obvious that taking a child away brings trauma both to the child, and to the family, and constitutes a waste of public resources, the reasons why social services try to err on the side of taking the child are usually not revealed, and social services are claiming that all takings of the children are appropriate.

Of course, social services are not revealing monetary interests (eligibility for federal funding for foster care and adoption out of foster care) that drives removal of children.

In June of 2016, in the same blessed state of Pennsylvania, in the City of Philadelphia, where public hearings were held as to why children were taken away from parents at inordinately high rates, at least some of the truth started to seep out when Vanessa Fields, vice president of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees said the following:

So, lawyers, in order not to be disciplined, do not report judicial misconduct and corruption, letting judges do whatever they want until, in some (but far from all) cases the feds step in and criminally charge judges in most egregious (or most publicized) cases of corruption.

Of course, unspeakable damage is done to individual people and the public by that time.

Similarly, social services, fearing discipline for NOT taking the child away "if anything goes wrong", but not fearing discipline for taking the child away unlawfully, disrupting the family and traumatizing the child and the parents (and violating constitutional rights of both), do the "default thing", and the "default thing" is - according to the confession of the vice-president of labor union of social workers, to take the child away, so the social worker's back is covered.

And, similarly, unspeakable damage is done to individual people and the public because of this fear of discipline for one thing, but not another.

So, attorneys and social workers, fearing professional discipline through regulation that is supposed to protect the public, are jeopardizing the public.

Unfortunately, both tendencies will continue for a long time until:

  1. regulation of lawyers by the government (and especially by the judiciary that invents rules to protect itself from criticism of lawyers, most knowledgeable and credible witnesses of their misconduct) is either discontinued altogether, or relegated to a public body that has no connections whatsoever to the legal system; and until
  2. all financial incentives to take children away are removed from social services, and courts are prohibited to grant social services "immunity" for taking away children when it was done unlawfully - which is what protects them from discipline for such takings at this time.

No comments:

Post a Comment