"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, May 10, 2017

The judicial bullying of criminal defense attorney #MarcusMumford after acquittal of his client continues - Chief Judge Michael Mosman took request for supporting evidence of his own motion "under advisement" and continues with his illegal prosecution

I regularly write on this blog about tricks courts devise to go after solo independent criminal and civil rights attorneys (and public defenders) for their utmost "sin" - representing their clients properly when the judge already made up his or her mind and considers such representation inappropriate.

Such persecution is usually handled by judges who are former prosecutors themselves, and who are bent to help the prosecution in some media-worthy pending cases.

That's what happened with attorney Marcus Mumford, I wrote about his case here, here and here.

His "sin" was that he demanded the U.S. Marshalls to show him the order of detention of his client when they detained him in a federal courtroom after his acquittal by the jury.

Instead, the U.S. Marshalls manhandled the attorney and tasered him.

On top of that, the U.S. Attorney's office (under the civil rights-loving President Obama) charged Marcus Mumford with a crime, which they later dropped.

But, the "problem" with Marcus Mumford remained that he continued to represent his client in the new federal criminal case where he was initially illegally detained.

And the presiding judge couldn't have it.

So, the judge tried to eliminate attorney Mumford - and help the prosecution - by issuing an "order to show cause" asking attorney Mumford why he shouldn't be sanctioned by having his pro hac vice permission (license for one case in that federal court) revoked.

And, just "coincidentally", the order to show cause was issued while attorney Mumford was on a vacation, and "coincidentally", while the order to show cause cited to the trial transcripts in a criminal case, those transcripts were not provided to attorney Mumford in order to defend himself, while the judge limited his time to answer.

So, attorney Mumford filed - instead of response that he could not possibly filed without having the transcripts - a memorandum asking for extension of time.

The "failures to follow the court orders" that attorney Mumford is charged with in the show cause order from the federal court in the State of Oregon, "coincidentally", comes from a criminal case which attorney Mumford WON, "causing" by his work a jury acquittal for his client.

That is not so different from a disciplinary complaint recently filed - and accepted for investigation and prosecution by the Florida Bar - of attorney Jose Baez who had the "audacity" to "cause" the jury acquittal of Casey Anthony in a highly publicized murder trial of a child.

And, several "sticky" questions arise.

First, according to the case Williams v Pennsylvania decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, a judge may not be at the same time an accuser and an adjudicator, and court decisions made under such circumstances are VOID (as in "null and void", as in being a "nullity", a "zero", like it never existed).  By the way, Williams v Pennsylvania is a civil case (a habeas corpus petition), same as proceedings for sanctions.

An sua sponte "order to show cause" is a MOTION made by the court itself (sua sponte).  When such a sua sponte motion by the court seeks to punish an attorney, it:

1) puts the judge who has brought the order to show cause in the position of an accuser, thus disqualifying the judge from presiding not only over the motion, but over further proceedings, as the judge demonstrated a bias against one of the attorneys;

2) if the judge does not disqualify himself, his decisions will be void under Williams v Pennsylvania.

Not that the presiding judge cares.

Not that attorney Mumford dared to raise that argument in his memorandum

There are interesting details about Chief Judge Mosman's sua sponte order to show cause against attorney Mumford.

3) There is no indication that Chief Judge Mosman was ever assigned to this case, as the docket, from its first day to this date, showed Judge Anna Brown as the assigned judge, and Chief Judge Mosman does not have a liberty to butt into cases over the head of assigned judges without orders of re-assignment:

The order to show cause, Docket # 2069, was issued by judge Mosman on April 12, 2017, more than 6 months after his client's acquittal - while attorney Mumford was on a vacation with his family, and had an expectation that he will never be bothered with anything concerning this case because of the acquittal and consequent loss of jurisdiction by that court.

The order to show cause is contained in just three (3) pages, with a requirement for Attorney Mumford to answer by May 4, 2017 - so attorney Mumford was given by Chief Judge Mosman just 22 days to

  • read 549 pages and answer those accusations - while full transcripts of what was happening in those court proceedings were not provided to him, and thus there existed a clear possibility that the charges were plucked out of context;

  • Attorney Mumford was still an attorney of record in an ongoing criminal case in federal court in Nevada for the same client who was acquitted by the jury in front of Judge Anna Brown in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon where sentencing of his client was still pending - so judge Mosman's order to show cause interfered with Attorney Mumford's work for his client, as attorney Mumford would be subject to "reciprocal" discipline in federal court in Nevada if Judge Brown imposes sanctions upon him in federal court in Oregon;

  • since attorney Mumford's client was acquitted and thus "terminated" from the criminal case on November 4, 2016, the Oregon federal court lost jurisdiction over both Mr. Bundy and his attorney Marcus Mumford after that date, and an order to show cause dated more than half a year after the acquittal, April 12, 2017, is abjectly illegal. 

4) Since attorney Mumford's client was acquitted, there was nothing to revoke - attorney Mumford's pro hac vice admission in that court was OVER as of the date of acquittal on November 4, 2016.

See attorney Mumford's order of admission pro hac vice for representation of his client only.  That representation was over on the date of acquittal, November 4, 2016, more than 6 months before the order to show cause was filed by Judge Mosman:

5) Since attorney Mumford's client was acquitted and Judge Brown's court in Oregon lost jurisdiction on acquittal, Judge Brown was without power to make any rulings in favor of his further detention, and judge Mosman, who was never assigned to the case in the first place, could not assign himself AFTER THE ACQUITTAL and make sua sponte motions based on events after the acquittal and loss of jurisdiction by the court.

6) After the acquittal of attorney Mumford's client and loss of jurisdiction by the court over attorney Mumford and his client, any "motions" regarding future preclusion of attorney Mumford from future cases has no authority, as such a case must be brought not by the court, but by its disciplinary committee.  In this case, the court equates itself with a prosecutor, disciplinary committee in seeking a future preclusion from future cases 6 months after attorney Mumford's pro hac vice admission expired with acquittal of his client.

Yet, here is the order, in its full "glory":

Here is the memorandum of law of attorney Mumford, once again, where attorney Mumford, unfortunately, does not raise the issue of the court's total lack of jurisdiction to issue its sua sponte order - maybe, he will raise it later on when he files his response.

The post-acquittal sua sponte motion by Judge Mosman against attorney Mumford after the court lost jurisdiction over him produced these peculiar filings:

Note that the filing by attorney Mumford personally in a motion for sanctions aimed at him personally, 7 months after his client's acquittal and thus 7 months after loss of jurisdiction by the court over Ammon Bundy, Ammon Bundy continues to be named as the "filer" and continues to be named as a criminal Defendant.

Note that there are TWO judges operating in this case, a complete violation of federal court procedures: 
  • Judge Anna Brown who continues to handle sentencing of the remaining defendant, and
  • Chief Judge Mosman who is not even on the docket and who is acting in lieu of a disciplinary committee in trying to revoke a pro hac vice admission that ended 7 months ago and to preclude future pro hac vice admissions, which is a completely speculative action for which Chief Judge Mosman has no jurisdiction or standing

On May 8, 2017, the self-assigned post-acquittal sua sponte movant judge Mosman granted attorney Mumford an extension of time, but took "under advisement" the necessity of giving him proof (full trial transcripts) that Judge Mosman used to accuse attorney Mumford of misconduct.

There are no appeals from acquittals, and normally, these transcripts will not have to be produced.

But, because Chief Judge Mosman simply could not put to rest the court's grudge against attorney Mumford for "causing" an acquittal for his client in that court, a completely illegal bullying of the attorney continues, at the expense of federal taxpayers. 

Think of the cost of full trial transcripts in a multi-defendant federal criminal case - that's what the court, as a matter of due process, will have to produce for Attorney Mumford so that he could prepare his defense in this completely illegal persecution against him.

And, of course, Judge Mosman, the lookalike of SCOTUS judge Gorsuch, is a former career prosecutor - now helping out the U.S. Attorney's office in eliminating a federal criminal defense attorney who showed he is capable to win a criminal trial despite huge negative publicity against his client.  That is obviously the main purpose of Judge Mosman's motion, to help his former "brothers", the prosecutors, in total violation of his oath of office.

While I totally sympathize with attorney Mumford's plight and understand what is at stake for him and why he may be overly cautious in not bringing up certain glaring issues of judicial misconduct in this case, I think it is a wrong strategy to address the merits of the case without addressing the "elephant in the room" - the total illegality of such proceedings on many levels.

Chief Judge Mosman should be impeached for his abuse of power and his illegal actions.

Stay tuned.

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