His name is #JosephAnthonyPatrice.
Joseph Anthony Patrice, or #JoePatrice, as he signs his writings on the blog Above the Law where he is a staff writer since 2012, is a former litigation attorney, and is still a licensed attorney in New York.
Joe Patrice was litigating in very large and powerful law firms, so, consumers would expect a lot of expertise and competence from such a lawyer - especially that he advertises his employment with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, and with Lankler Siffert & Wohl, as his accomplishments as a law blogger.
And, the main declared reason for attorney regulation in the United States at all and in New York State in particular is to ensure - for consumers - competence of licensed attorneys.
So, by giving Joe Patrice a law license and stating to the public that he has "no record of public discipline", the State of New York assures the public that attorney Joe Patrice possesses a minimum level of competence safe for the public.
Now let's look at what attorney Joe Patrice says in his blawg article that he writes as a staff writer, for pay.
I actually wrote about Joe Patrice's pranks on this blawgs before, and both times I noted lack of attention to detail and lack of competence on key issues of law he was discussing.
In May of 2017 I wrote about two of such pranks:
- about Joe Patrice's praise and encouragement of an 86-year-old long-time bully-judge for his "contempt of court" sanctions against a public defender for an indigent defendant for trying to provide an effective representation of his client. and
- about Joe Patrice's incompetent analysis - without reviewing the details of the lawsuit he was analyzing - of a challenge by a bunch of non-profit attorneys claiming (on behalf and allegedly for the benefit of indigent immigrants no less, who the non-profit lawyers did not include as plaintiffs in the lawsuit) that they have a right NOT to represent them fully in immigration proceedings.
Let's see who is the asshole in the situation described.
On January 21, 2018 an attorney from the State of Idaho James Harris published an opinion in "Idaho Statesman" under the name: "First, they came for the lawyers: Beware the Idaho Bar’s proposed limits on free speech".
Here is what attorney James Harris said in the first three paragraphs of the article:
The essence of the statement is that attorney Harris asserts that the new "ethical" rule of the Idaho State Bar punishing attorneys for "harassment-by-speech" violates the 1st Amendment.
And attorney Harris is correct on that. Punishing for speech-as-harassment does violate the 1st Amendment.
Now, here is the "argument" offered by James Harris' colleague from New York, attorney Joseph Anthony Patrice - who opposes James Harris' opinion and promotes, let's not forget, rules of civility supposedly supported by the Idaho State Bar rules.
First, the headline.
- mocks attorney Harris' constitutional arguments portraying them as insane and putting words in the mouth of attorney Harris, portraying attorney Harris' constitutional 1st Amendment argument as an accusation against the Idaho State Bar of fascism;
- calls him 'this guy' and claims that attorney Harris is "sliding down his own slippery slope",
- in a sentence devoid of any grammar constraints, claims that "lawyers shouldn't make lawyers look like assholes is not a step removed from quartering troops" - which is true as to lawyers not making lawyers look like assholes, but there Joe Patrice missed his own point.
What is even more interesting is the purpose of attorney regulation in New York that is so adamantly asserted by licensed attorney Joe Patrice.
While attorney regulation was introduced across the country, including in New York for the declared purpose of PROTECTING CONSUMERS from INCOMPETENT and DISHONEST attorneys, and not to protect the market of attorneys from their competitors,
attorney Joseph Anthony Patrice, New York attorney registration No. 4091955, with no record of public discipline, a staff writer on legal ethics for a prominent blawg Above the Law proudly and publicly promotes as ethical what a smart individual would have hidden with shame:
that the legal profession claims to be ITSELF a "beneficiary of the privilege" of the regulation (its own monopoly).
That's called "bait-and-shift", luring people into something by claiming it is beneficial for them, but then switching the arrangement to the one beneficial to the fraudster, by holding some kind of leverage over the people. Bait-and-switch is a well-known fraud trick.
But wait - if
- the practice of law is a privilege;
- lawyers are beneficiaries of that privilege;
- and the privilege is so big that a lawyer is supposed to pay for it with forfeiture/implied waiver of a fundamental constitutional right of free speech,
- dictating the rules by which the STATE GOVERNMENT issues OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES as if those are the rules FOR THEM to set and not for consumers or for the legislatures/the government - so the regulated profession dictates the rules of its own regulation TO the government, not the other way around, go figure;
- and that those rules should protect attorney's "privilege" as a "beneficiary" of the regulation, and, in order to protect that "privilege", it is permissible to violate constitutional rights of attorneys (including Joe Patrice's own constitutional rights) by introducing the rule prohibiting "harassment-by-speech" (which in itself violates BOTH the 1st Amendment AND the requirement for STATUTORY clarity of any law).