"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, January 30, 2018

On "lawyers looking like assholes" - New York attorney Joseph Anthony Patrice and his pranks on Above the Law

There is a lawyer licensed to practice in the State of New York.

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:

But, Joe Patrice outdid himself in his recent blawg under the rubric of "Legal Ethics".

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".
Read more here:

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.

Attorney Patrice
  1. 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;
  2. calls him 'this guy' and claims that attorney Harris is "sliding down his own slippery slope",
  3. 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.

First of all, attorney Patrice fails to provide a link to the piece of attorney Harris that he so aggressively mocks - which is an elementary way to ensure a journalist's courtesy to his readers and his own credibility.   

Apparently, it is easier to fight a shadow, without giving the reader access to the full piece being criticized, in order to be able to judge for themselves, which is not an ethical method in the first place.

Then comes this magnificent piece:

"Suck it up buttercup" (without a comma) is, apparently, the new ethical mode of address invented for lawyers admitted to practice in the State of New York.

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 
  1. the practice of law is a privilege;
  2. lawyers are beneficiaries of that privilege;
  3. 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,
then introduction of the same regulation as if it was for the benefit of the consumer was fraud, right?

And should be repealed because it was introduced under false pretenses, right?

Especially because what constitutes the object of regulation, the "practice of law", is not clearly defined anywhere in the Untied States, ABA's attempt to define it ended up in 2002 with a threat from the Federal Trade Commission and the ABA withdrew that definition.

By the way, according to the ABA's own survey conducted in 2015, none of jurisdictions in the U.S. have a clear STATUTORY definition of what the hell the subject of attorney monopoly and regulation, practice of law, is.

There is no such clear STATUTORY definition in attorney Joe Patrice's licensing jurisdiction - New York.

And, there is no such clear STATUTORY definition in attorney James Harris' licensing jurisdiction - Idaho. 

In Idaho, what constitutes the practice of law, according to the State of Idaho's own report to the ABA in a survey, is defined by "case law" (by courts on a case by case basis), and by a "rule" of Idaho Supreme Court (without any input by consumers/voters to the legislature).

That is exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited as unconstitutional back in 1972, fearing arbitrary enforcement by courts in the absence of clear STATUTORY definition AND infringement on people's constitutional rights.

In the licensing jurisdiction of Joe Patrice, the State of New York, it is no better.

In the same survey, the State of New York, reported regarding the definition of the object of attorney regulation, the practice of law:

So, according to the most credible evidence, admissions, self-reporting by both Idaho (the source jurisdiction that New York attorney Joe Patrice is protecting and Idaho attorney James Harris is criticizing) and New York (attorney Joe Patrice's own licensing jurisdiction), attorney regulation schemes in both of these jurisdictions are unconstitutional, according to existing U.S. Supreme Court case law.

So much for "sucking it up, buttercup".

It is obvious that New York and Idaho (and all other jurisdictions in the U.S.) are adamantly violating constitutional law set by the top court of the country - while both the regulator of that unconstitutional scheme and the profession regulated by that unconstitutional scheme are sworn to protect the U.S. Constitution.  Hypocrisy in the extreme.

Such a bait-and-switch arrangement is, of course, impossible for a consumer , voter and taxpayer to "suck up" - especially because this unconstitutional scheme has already caused in the United States such an access-to-justice crisis that the majority of Americans cannot afford a lawyer, and have as a result to represent themselves pro se or forgo legal remedies at all.

But, that is not what attorney Joe Patrice stresses, or even mentions about attorney regulation - that it is not just constitutional protections of free speech that are violated by attorney regulation, but that the entire regulatory scheme is unconstitutional because of lack of clear definition and obvious self-interest of the members/regulators of the profession - because if he does publicly state the truth about attorney regulation, he will no longer be either the staff writer in Above the Law or a licensed attorney anywhere in the United States.

What attorney Joe Patrice stresses is, once again, this:

That the attorneys, and not consumers, are the beneficiaries of regulation.

And that attorneys have an interest, through regulation, to maintain their image by:

  • 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).

A person who celebrates forfeiture of his own constitutional rights in return for a privilege to earn a living and who, moreover, viciously attacks those who insist on those constitutional rights is a slave, and a slave of the worst kind - an enthusiastic slave.  

And the unconstitutional, medieval, guild-like claim of "privilege" (a monopoly to quash competitors) in exchange for forfeiture of rights is, I remind my readers, made by a two-headed "honorable" profession, where the regulator of the profession (judges, also members of the profession) are also entrusted by the public to finally resolve all public disputes. 

So who is going to resolve disputes AGAINST THEMSELVES as regulators of THEIR OWN profession?

And who is going to violate in such cases where their own power as regulators of the legal profession is challenged the main rule of an impartial adjudication - DO NOT SIT AS A JUDGE IN YOUR OWN CASE?

You guess - and that is the reason why this unconstitutional scheme has been saddling the American consumers, voters and taxpayers for over a century.

Yet, the enthusiastic slave of his own privilege Joe Patrice, while sitting on his high and privileged horse and mouthing out vulgarities towards his colleague for making a constitutional argument, in his zeal to uphold his slavery arrangement somehow overlooked to follow the main rule of any occupational licensing, and of attorney licensing in his own jurisdiction - maintain your competence.

That is the declared reason why regulation of attorneys even exists - to ensure for consumers that licensed attorneys are presumed-competent and knowledgeable.

There is a problem with Joe Patrice in that respect - because 4 years before his "suck it up, buttercup" outburst that a prohibition of speech as harassment is perfectly good and dandy and colleagues challenging the rule on constitutional grounds are crazy assholes, the top court of his own licensing jurisdiction, the New York State Court of Appeals struck a criminal statute punishing for harassment-by-speech - because it violated the 1st Amendment.

Now, who is the asshole?

Friday, January 26, 2018

For how long will attorneys be regulated by an interested regulator? The case of Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzmann

In doing some research, I am reviewing cases of the nearly absent discipline of prosecutors for misconduct by the regulators of the legal profession, judges. 

Of course, prosecutors are a touchy bunch, they can prosecute judges for crimes, right?  For that reason, it is better to appease them - with prosecutorial immunity, for example, or with support as a breeding pool for judiciary. 

But a law license of a prosecutor in the hands of a judge as "regulator" of the legal profession can be a handy tool at times.

Think Pennsylvania's former Attorney General Kathleen Kane, elected by 4 million of voters, who was:

  1. first suspended and then disbarred by judges who she criticized and investigated;
  2. turned into a grand jury by an "obedient" prosecutor whose license was in the hands of the judges she criticized and investigated;
  3. convicted "by jury" when an obedient judge (also a law license holder whose license was controlled by the judges who Kathleen Kane criticized) blocked jury's access to information that criminal proceedings against Kathleen Kane were politically fabricated by the powerful subjects of her investigation.
Convicted, disbarred, removed from office, bad-mouthed.

That's what awaits a prosecutor, an attorney, a woman who dares to criticize the judiciary and investigate it for corruption.

And prosecutors, also licensed attorneys, take notice.  They do not criticize judges.  They do not investigate or prosecute judges.  And judges are grateful.

The only discipline for misconduct that I am finding though is discipline by the regulator of the legal profession (the judiciary) for criticism of that same regulator of the legal profession.

Think Kathleen Kane, PA.
Think prosecutor George Westfall in Missouri
Think prosecutors Elizabeth Holtzman and Paul David Soares in New York.

One of the most prominent cases of discipline against a prosecutor for criticizing a judge is discipline in 1991 of New York City prosecutor Elizabeth Holtzmann - for protection of a victim of rape who was humiliated by the judge in chambers, outside of the view of the public and, of course, while that show of humiliation was not 

Yet, there was no mention of that truly heroic deed of Elizabeth Holtzmann in the Wikipedia article about her, so I decided to correct that omission - especially when contributions and edits to Wikipedia articles are encouraged by Wikipedia.

The only condition for a contribution was that the contribution should have quotes and not contain defamatory statements - false statements of fact.

I registered as an editing contributor, and offered a section "attorney discipline" to Elizabeth Holtzmann's Wikipedia article.

Since I doubt that Wikipedia will dare to publish it - even though every statement that I have made there is supported by court cases, one White House report, a law review article authored by a judge, an admission by a former judge in his "prison memoir" and an article in New York Times - I am republishing my contribution to Wikipedia here.  Since the font of the scans may be too small, I am also publish the submission in PDF format, so that readers can enlarge the font for easier reading, here.

Nothing in the review is defamatory, as all my statements are based on public records and long-published sources, including self-reporting by judges through court cases, memoirs and law review articles.

Let us consider what Elizabeth Holtzmann was disciplined for once in connection with the #MeToo movement and the recent "Women's March" - where her name was not even mentioned, despite the price she paid for her personal courage in protecting the victim of rape from humiliation by a male judge which surely discouraged many more victims of rape from coming forward.

She was disciplined for "defaming a judge".

Judges are regulators of the legal profession in the United States and in New York - which means in plain English that judges control every lawyer's ability to work and earn money for his family.

Coincidentally, all other witnesses present in the chambers and who refused to support Holtzman's story were people whose livelihood was controlled by the judge:

The witnesses preferred self-preservation.

No independent record (a videotape or an audiotape) existed to verify Elizabeth Hotlzmann's words.

Now, what usually happens if anybody thinks he is defamed?

The "aggrieved" person who thinks he was defamed can sue the person who he thinks defamed him.

And, such a lawsuit in New York involves a "special pleading" standard - if that "elevated" pleading standard is not met, the complaint is dismissed before discovery or trial.

And, such a lawsuit in New York would require to be proven - to a jury no less (trial by jury in New York is provided as a matter of right by New York Constitution for all issues of fact) - by preponderance of the evidence.

And, where the plaintiff is a public official, the public official faces a nearly impossible task of claiming that not only the statements against him were false, but they were made with a malicious intent.

And, in such a trial, the victim of rape would surely be able to testify under oath, in public, and describe what is being done to her in the judicial chambers.

And, Elizabeth Holtzmann, a defendant in such an action where Judge Irving Levine would have been a plaintiff - who would have had to:

  1. draft a complaint - meeting the elevated pleading standard;
  2. file it publicly in court, subjecting himself to discovery, written interrogatories under oath, out-of-court depositions under oath
would be able to depose Judge Levine and cross-examine the living hell out of him in a public trial.

So - the necessity to expose the judge to the
  1. expense;
  2. public exposure; and
  3. pleading standards;
  4. standards of proof before an impartial jury of people whose livelihood does not depend on whether the judiciary gives or does not give them permission to work (like they do with attorneys and court employees)
in a defamation lawsuit by a judge against an attorney is tremendous.

And, of course, Judge Irving Levine who was taken off the bench 2 years after the episode reported by Elizabeth Holtzmann because - instead of a puny prosecutor whose license was in the hands of Judge Levine - his misconduct, corruption, was now outed by FBI agents who overheard his lovely conversation about fixing a court case for his very wealthy and very influential friend Meade Esposito (to whom Judge Levine owed his judicial career), the "former Brooklyn political leader", when Judge Levine was casually discussing the fixing of the court case with Meade Esposito, ex parte, in a restaurant.

What kind of influence Meade Esposito had on New York State judges, up to the Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (the top state court) is demonstrated in these two articles of New York Times - from 1972

and from 1973:

Still, by the time FBI agents overhead the court-fixing conversations between friends, the judge-maker Meade Esposito and Judge Irwing Levine, Esposito was already convicted for public corruption - but not sent to prison, mind, where ordinary folks get locked up for stealing five bucks.

Thus there was no brow-beating the FBI agents at that time, and the New York State Commission took Levine off the bench, including for lying to the FBI agents in denying misconduct - but Judge Levine was never criminally prosecuted for case-fixing and corruption and was never disciplined as an attorney.

He died with "no record of public discipline".

Yet, when a prosecutor, Elizabeth Holtzmann, who reported a different kind of judicial misconduct of Judge Irving W. Levine, her fate was quite different from the fate of the FBI agents whose testimony the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct could not shrug off as easily as Holtzmann's press-release.

Her report of Levine's judicial misconduct was first reviewed by Robert Keating, Administrative Judge of the New York City Criminal Court, who is now an adjunct professor of Pace Law School and even Vice-President of that school:

It is Judge Keating who conducted a "review" - instead of requiring Judge Levine to go to court and file a defamation case if he wants to claim that he was defamed by Elizabeth Holtzmann.

And it was Judge Keating who, instead of a jury in a never-filed defamation lawsuit who "found" that report of judicial misconduct of Judge Levine (friend of influential and wealthy judge-maker Meade Esposito) by Elizabeth Holtzmann "is not supported by the evidence".

Judge Keating had an interesting connection with the same Meade Esposito, judgemaker and "boss" of New York State judges and friend and career-maker of Judge Levine.

In his biography published on his Pace Law School webpage, Vice-President of Pace Law School mentions that he was "the Coordinator of Criminal Justice for Mayor Edward Koch from 1980 to 1982" and that he was only "later being appointed to the Criminal Court bench in New York City" and further up the judicial ladder.

Since Keating was himself "appointed" after working for Koch, and Esposito was the one who "made" judgeships at that time, it is fair to suppose that Esposito played a role in Keating's judicial career, too.

So, Levine's friend and colleague, connected with Levine not only as a colleague, but also through connections with Levine's wealthy and politically influential friend, supporter of Levine's judicial career for whom Levine fixed court cases, absolved Levine from the necessity of filing a defamation court case against Elizabeth Holtzmann.

Mind that as an "administrative judge" of criminal court, Robert Keating had no authority to conduct any reviews - he was not a member of the Judicial Conduct Commission.

Yet, not only he did it, but several state authorities relied on his review in disciplining not the judge, but the judge's critic, prosecutor Elizabeth Hotlzmann.

It is interesting to see how discipline of Elizabeth Holtzmann fits into the record of her own - quite outstanding - career as a public servant.

Her report of judicial misconduct of Judge Levine in 1987 was not the first time when she upset a powerful political figure related to the judiciary.

15 years before that, at the age of 31, she has upset the many-times-incumbent Chief it he U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee by ousting him and being the first woman to be elected into the U.S. Congress.

And, in her report in 2016, Elizabeth Holtzmann provided the following additional details as to her discipline for criticism of a judge when she was a District Attorney in New York City.

First of all, she pointed out that at that time public officials were not ashamed in publicly denigrating  and demeaning women,

including female attorneys:

Second, Elizabeth Holtzmann was the woman who upset the "Old Boys Club" of the judiciary by her previous election to the U.S. Congress that ousted the male Chairman of the Senate's Judiciary Committee of many years, the woman who won the District Attorney elections against a male opponent who was putting her down as a little girl, and was fighting to abolish the requirement that rape could be proven only if the women proves resistance and could never be proven against the woman's husband, making marital rape legal, enabled and encouraged.

It is that with that background in mind that discipline of Elizabeth Holtzmann was handled.

No defamation lawsuit was required of Judge Levine to win against Elizabeth Holtzmann.

Instead, the judiciary's role as the regulator of the legal profession - regulation introduced to help consumers find competent and honest attorneys - was used to create a private and institutional benefit for regulators themselves, to quash critics of their own misconduct.

It must be stated with regret that even the single female judge on the Court of Appeals, Judge Judith Kaye, supported discipline against Elizabeth Holtzmann claiming that she is protecting not a judge from criticism of misconduct, but the public from "unfair" defamation of a judge, knowing that defamation must be first proven in a defamation lawsuit - a lawsuit that Judge Levine never filed.

Judge Kaye's
  • "being a good girl",
  • bowing to the Old Boys' Club in browbeating a female prosecutor simply because she protected a victim of rape from vile misconduct of a male judge and
  • blocking the path of so many victims of rape to a legal remedy - who would want to subject themselves to humiliation the kind of which the victim of Judge Levine's misconduct suffered -

paid off big time for her: Judge Kaye was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo as the Chief Judge of the court in just two years after that, when Cuomo's friend Chief Judge Sol Wachtler was charged with federal crimes.

Moreover, Wachtler reported in his prison memoirs that Kaye sent him friendly notes to prison:

"Joe Bellacosa, my friend of forty years, who had sat with me as a judge on New York State’s highest court for eight years, came to visit me today. He flew down from Albany this morning to, as he put it, give me “a hug.” He did more than that. He gave me reassurance of the affection and concern of my former colleagues and delivered a warm note from Judith Kaye, the Chief Judge.
Wachtler, Sol. After the Madness: A Judge's Own Prison Memoir (p. 140). Open Road Media. Kindle Edition. "

Once again - Wachtler was convicted for extorting money from a woman in exchange for a promise that he will not kidnap her minor daughter.

It is interesting to mention that, when Holtzman's discipline was upheld in 1991 by the Court of Appeals, and when judges created a court precedent portraying her as a dishonest person making false statements against judges, Holtzman was already elected as New York City Comptroller - at the time when "it has long been an open secret that New York City courts are patronage mills where party loyalty buys judgeships and judges reward party hacks with lucrative assignments".

In fact, Kaye herself conducted a token "investigation" into such practice, which continues throughout New York State to this day, long after Kaye has gone from the Court of Appeals and died.

The discipline did not stop Holtzman.

The witness was not heard.

Thomas was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another witness against a federal judicial nominee, also a young woman from New York City, Elena Sassower, protesting against nomination of Judge Richard Wesley, who insisted on her testimony before the U.S. Congress, was simply jailed by the old boys' club, and the judge was still appointed.

Coincidentally, Elena Sassower's mother, attorney Doris Sassower, was suspended indefinitely from the practice of law just one month before discipline against Holtzman was affirmed by the New York State Court of Appeals, for filing constitutional challenges of the cross-endorsements party schemes, the kind of which Meade Esposito was the mastermind.

New York State now celebrates trailblazer women who fought against the establishment for civil rights.

Yet, I do not see Elizabeth Holtzmann, while giving speeches about progress in women's rights, pointing out to the plight of other women attorneys who have less connections than Holtzmann's and whose license, thus, could not be saved from judicial retaliation after they exposed judicial misconduct.

Doris Sassower, suspended in 1991 for criticism of judicial corruption and for her work as a civil rights attorney filing constitutional challenges to that corruption, remains suspended.

This author, suspended in 2015 for the same, see the article where a local newspaper in Delaware County, New York, with connections to a judge who is behind my suspension, acknowledges that I was suspended for criticizing "gross judicial misconduct"

remains suspended. Mind this bibliographical rarity, The Walton Reporter is the only public source (other than my blog) that has made this "slip of the tongue", a confession that my law license and livelihood was, indeed, taken by judges taking advantage of their roles as regulators of the legal profession in retaliation for criticism of those same regulators, judges. 

Other sources, including the order of suspension itself, does not state that I was suspended FOR criticizing judicial misconduct - even though I was really suspended
  • without ANY fact-finding hearing
  • based solely and exclusively on sanctions imposed upon me by the corrupt Delaware County judge Carl Becker (whose pictures with bears he killed Walton Reporter regularly posted in the past) FOR making a motion to recuse Becker because of his misconduct and corruption (he recused from my cases in 2009, then got himself reassigned to my cases in order to be able to get me, got me in 2011 and immediately put his sanctions into the "disciplinary pipeline", same as Judge Levine did with Elizabeth Holtzmann).

By the way, my discipline was sustained by the court in a similar fashion with Holtzmann's discipline - by the time I was suspended in November of 2015 Judge Carl F. Becker already ran from the bench during an FBI and Commission for Judicial Conduct investigation.  

Yet, it is a crime for an attorney to criticize a judge even if his misconduct has already caught up with him.

Since Holtzmann's discipline many, many attorneys, regulated by the judiciary, were disciplined by judges, and removed from the reach of the public they could benefit by their services, for criticism of their own regulator - which is, as Holtzmann knows and argued to the court, not only unconstitutional, but requires the change of the interested regulator of the legal profession.

Holtzmann, knowing full well that attorney regulation, introduced for the benefit of the public, is used to the detriment of the public, sat by in Congress for several decades, not trying to lobby the federal Legislature to remove the regulation of the legal profession, and with that, of public access to court, from the hands of the regulator who is using it to grab private privileges for the regulator itself and to quash criticism of its own misconduct.

So, when we are celebrating "Power to Women", we must ask ourselves - for what purpose do some powerful women, like former Congresswoman Holtzmann, used that power?

For self-promotion only?

That is not what voters expected of her.  And that is why I do not support pink-hatted "women's marches".  They are useless.  Their organizers are nowhere to be found where real women's real civil rights are violated.

I did not hear anybody "of consequence" trying to speak at that Women's March about the plight of many, many, many attorneys, female and male, who are disciplined and lose their licenses for criticizing their regulator - which is their duty to their client and to the public to do and their citizen's rights to do, too.

The change of the judiciary as the interested regulator of the legal profession is long overdue.

The way the judiciary uses attorney regulation to gain privileges and quash critics, skipping the necessary defamation proceedings against critics to find defamation through closed-doors "Star Chamber" proceedings without prior discovery or a jury trial, is a shame of the American judicial system.

An interesting historical note before I bow out.

The American judiciary grabbed regulation of attorneys claiming that such a power of the judiciary to regulate the legal profession is "historical", that it was like that in the "Old Country" - the country separation from which because of its unfair laws was won through a bloody war, and paid for with so many lives.

Yet, even in the Old Country cases where people were prosecuted for criticism of the government were taken away from judges of the Star Chamber in 1792, and put into the hands of juries, by the Libel (Fox) Act, specifically because judges proved they could not be impartial in handling criticism of themselves.

Let's remember the date when this rule was revoked in the Old Country - and based on a petition drafted by a Star Chamber Judge Sir Edward Coke who knew from his own experience how biased he was in cases of seditious libel (criticism of the government).


In 1792 in England, by an act of Parliament, cases of prosecutions for criticism of the government were taken from judges and given to juries.

Of course, juries often do not help if they are fed self-serving law by judges.

For example, in 1964 the U.S. Supreme Court (itself a regulator of its own "bar"), decided Garrison v Lousiana where it reversed a criminal conviction of a prosecutor for criticism of judges, saying:

"A state court convicted him of violating the Louisiana Criminal Defamation Statute, which, in the context of criticism of official conduct, includes punishment for true statements made with "actual malice" in the sense of ill-will, as well as false statements if made with ill-will or without reasonable belief that they were true. The state supreme court affirmed the conviction, holding that the statute did not unconstitutionally abridge appellant's rights of free expression.

1. The Constitution limits state power to impose sanctions for criticism of the official conduct of public officials, in criminal cases as in civil cases, to false statements concerning official conduct made with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, followed. Pp. 379 U. S. 67-75.

2. Appellant's accusations concerned the judges' official conduct and, did not become private defamation because they might also have reflected on the judges' private character. Pp. 379 U. S. 76-77."

After Garrison, disciplinary boards (entities populated and controlled by judges and considered as "arms of the court") continued to provide a service for those who gave them their licenses and ability to earn a living, judges, while blocking access or control over the regulation by people who they are supposed to benefit - consumers (just look up compositions of disciplinary boards, consumers are always present in token numbers, if at all - in such numbers as never to outvote judge-regulated attorney members).

Disciplinary boards allowed judges, as described above, to skip the necessity to file defamation lawsuits against attorneys who they think make false statements against them, and to take their licenses without any impediments like open court proceedings, discovery or jury trials.

Instead, judges are offered a "service" - just complain to us, and we will stage a Star Chamber for attorneys and decide who gets to continue to practice, and who gets to starve because they dared to criticize "the hand that feeds them" - even though the supposed "hand that feeds" attorneys is only a REGULATOR of law licenses FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC, not the King to do with the license what they want because of their personal grudges.

In other words, disciplinary boards continue to offer judges Star Chamber services that were prohibited in the Old Country in 1792.

And, American attorneys - and the public they represent - continue to live in a pre-1792 era.

And, nothing is done about it because attorneys whose licenses are controlled by judges have so far overpowered all branches of the government, so the concept of "checks and balances" became a mockery.

What importance this all is to the public at large minding its own business far away from "attorney squabbles"?

Next time when you cannot find an attorney who would not be afraid to take on a civil rights case of judicial misconduct, or file a motion to recuse a judge - remember to ask former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who cozily hid behind her connections and public officer's salary for 50 years.

Ask her just one question.

You knew that the regulator of the legal profession has a major conflict of interest and uses that conflict to grab personal advantages to the detriment of the public - instead of doing its job and regulating the profession for the benefit of the public.  You knew that to pursue that goal the judiciary makes attorneys live in a pre-1792 Star Chamber England.

Just saying.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Otsego, Delaware and Chenango Counties, New York, are united in giving its law enforcement license to commit violent crimes against minorities, women and children

I wrote on this blog in 2014-2017 about the case of Delaware County "alleged" police officer Derek Bowie, nephew of Delaware County District Attorney's office long-time investigator Jeff Bowie who:

  1. never took or passed the required civics test;
  2. did not reside, as required, in Delaware County while working as a deputy sheriff;
  3. never passed Taser certification;
  4. nearly killed two look-alike women, while trying to put both in jail;
  5. lied in court multiple times under protection of his uncle's employer DA Northrup (now Delaware County Judge Northrup).
For details of the story, just enter the name Derek Bowie in the search window on the right of this blog.

Naturally, Derek Bowie was never charged with vehicular assault and attempted murder of Barbara O'Sullivan because Barbara criticized and sued judge Becker, former law partner of Assistant District attorney (and now District Attorney) John Hubbard, and Derek Bowie was the nephew of the employee of the District Attorney's office.  The rule of law ceded to tribal ties that are exceptionally strong in Delaware County.

Moreover, when, after fabricated criminal charges against Barbara O'Sullivan and her daughter by Derek Bowie were dismissed (Barbara) and acquitted in a jury trial (her daughter),
  • first, one of their dogs was found dead under the circumstances suggesting that Derek Bowie's dog could have done that (especially that Derek Bowie was already accused - that was part of posted deposition transcripts - of killing a neighbor's dog out of anger), and then
  • somebody's trained hand threw a Molotov cocktail into Barbara's house, right where her then-pregnant daughter was supposed to be sleeping (it was sheer luck she was staying with friends), and the house burnt down, the local firefighters arrived without water and made sure not that the fire is extinguished, but that the house burns down and another dog dies, and the local authorities would not investigate, would not file necessary reports, and certainly would not charge Derek Bowie as one of the most likely suspects in the case.

Yet, after dismissal of charges against Barbara by the DA's Office fabricated by Derek Bowie as a supposed witness after he nearly mowed down Barbara in his police vehicle for videotaping his misconduct, the same judge who dismissed the charges, then also dismissed Barbara's lawsuit against Derek Bowie claiming that she failed to comply with Bowie's discovery demand - while papers he demanded to "disclose" burned in the house fire which the same Bowie likely caused.

Neither Lambert nor Bowie nor Northrup nor Hubbard were ever disciplined, on the opposite, Northrup and Hubbard advanced their careers after that:   Northrup became a Delaware County judge and Hubbard became the Delaware County District Attorney.

There was a burglary and attempted arson in our house, but Northrup refused to investigate or prosecute.

Judge Becker forged a certificate of election from 2002 and filed the forged documents, but Hubbard (without disclosure that he is the judge's former law partner) refused to prosecute.

At the same time, a man was charged by the same Northrup with a D felony and convicted for threatening Judge Becker.

The conclusion:  in Delaware County it is permissible to law enforcement and anybody else to attempt violent crimes against critics corrupt judges, prosecutors and police officers.

In Chenango County, one judge (Kevin Dowd), after hearing that a court attendant/ Nazi sympathizer acted in a way that can be perceived as an anti-Semitic threat, enabled that Nazi sympathizer further by allowing that same Nazi sympathizer, armed to the teeth, to stand behind the Jewish litigator's back, search his effects and then bodily throw him out of the courthouse.

In the same county, the former law clerk of Judge Dowd, Judge Revoir, just acquitted a white corrections officer of a hate-crime, attempted murder of an African American, despite ample evidence that the officer shot the African American deliberately and with a racist motive.

No jury could ever acquit under such circumstances, but the corrections officer saw the opportunity to use a biased judge who already dismissed the charges despite ample evidence of the crime and was eager to defy the appellate court that reversed his decision, waived jury trial - and got what he wanted: an acquittal.

I myself was a witness in 2015 how an African American who claimed he was beaten up by the police was put into Chenango County jail where nobody attempted to document his visible injuries, and I as his then-attorney was not allowed to bring in photographic equipment to document the injuries either.

So, in Chenango County racist violence by law enforcement is encouraged and enabled by the local government, including the court that practically blessed racially motivated killings of African Americans by law enforcement.

Otsego County would not fall behind in such glorious behavior.

In 2011, Otsego County Judge Brian Burns denied a "youthful offender" status and sent a mentally disabled teenager, Anthony Pacherille, to 11 years in prison, convicting him for a crime of attempted murder because Judge Burns was pissed that the boy's father asked the judge for mercy personally, pointing out that Judge Burns is also a father.  Judge Burns triggered criminal prosecution of the father, but never recused from the case and retaliated against the boy for the father's actions - which were not illegal.

And, when the Oneonta City police beat up and tasered an African American man, Timothy Baron when he was stopped on a pretense because his turn signal was on, and when the police tried to fabricate charges of possession of marijuana against him -  no charges for assault against the police were filed against the police officers and nobody was disciplined.

Instead DA Muehl was trying to prosecute the beat-up African American man with a felony, threatened him that if he does not plead guilty, he will be indicted for more - and only when Mr. Baron turned down the plea bargain and we came close to a trial, did DA Muehl confess that he cannot "locate" his main witness and thus that he was trying to obtain a plea of guilty through mere bluffing.

Yet, at the same time when the Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin's son Ros Devlin promises to shoot up two local schools, the schools are not notified, the same Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl - who convicted a child, Tony Pacherille, and who tried to lock up the victim of police misconduct, African American Timothy Baron - makes no attempt to charge the son of the County Sheriff Ros Devlin with a terrorist crime when he promised to shoot up two schools, does not even care to notify the potential victims, and does not attempt to arrest the Sheriff's son.

Here are the exact words of the Sheriff's son reported in the local press - also note that the Devlins is not the only clan working in the Sheriff's Department (Otsego County does not have an anti-nepotism policy on file, which allows employments of whole clans).

The entitled son the local nobility violated two rules, and when it was pointed out to him that he actually needs to comply with rules, like everybody else does - he promised to shoot up two schools "as a diversion" and then to shoot himself in front of the supervisor.

So, the violent compulsive terrorist remains free, waiting for a new chance to threaten (or shoot up) local schools - and is not only not charged and not fired, but is suspended "with pay", so, Otsego County taxpayers are forced to pay him for doing nothing, and he is rewarded with $55,000 a year for threatening to shoot up two schools and then sitting at home.

Moreover, Sheriff Richard Devlin had the audacity to participate in his own son's investigation and hamper it, and Ros Devlin had the audacity to apply for a gun permit after it was initially - naturally - revoked.  That means that Ros Devlin thinks that what he does is right and proper, and should be allowed to him as the local nobility, and that he will never be held accountable in any way.

Well, Ros Devlin has a point in that - given the record of what is allowed to law enforcement in Delaware, Otsego and Chenango Counties - minorities, women and children can be shot or tasered or mowed over with police vehicles, or burnt with their houses in these three counties - if the perpetrators are members of the local glorious law enforcement.

And this crap WILL continue and WILL get worse - if people continue to tolerate it and do not insist that criminals be held accountable as provided by law.

By the way, I sincerely hope that the victim of racist shooting by corrections officer Wayne Spratley sues the hell out of that officer, and out of Chenango County - since when spouting racial slurs and shooting, Spratley also flashed his badge and thus claimed he was acting in an official capacity.

And - acquittal in a criminal case is not a bar to that lawsuit, since the burden of proof in criminal proceedings is much higher than in a civil rights lawsuit.

If Revoir thought that Wayne Spratley may not be found to be guilty "beyond the reasonable doubt", certainly a federal jury may find Wayne Spratley - and Chenango County - be found liable by preponderance of the evidence.

I also hope that parents of children of the two schools that were not notified sue the hell out of Otsego County, Ros Devlin individually, and Richard Devlin individually - for making such a threat (Ros Devlin), for not notifying them of the threat (the County), for hampering the investigation (Sheriff Devlin) and for letting the son-of-the-local-king-of-the-hill terrorist roam free for a year.

They only understand when they are hit in their own pockets.

It is a disgrace.