"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.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Published the first book on defense of parents in child abuse and neglect cases in New York Family Courts

I have finally published today the first of the books I have been working on for a long time - the beginning of the series "Defense of parents in child neglect and abuse proceedings in Family Court in New York".

Update as of March 25, 2018: listed the book as a "#1 new release in Parent/Juvenile Family Law"


Here is the cover of the book, it is available right now in both the Kindle (electronic) format, and in a paper format on

As far as I know, there are no other books available on the issue of trial advocacy on behalf of parents in child neglect and abuse cases at all, and in such cases in New York Family Courts in particular.

This subject is not taught in law schools and is not tested on bar examinations, so there is no guarantee for the parent, if the parent either hires an attorney or has an attorney assigned to him in court, that the attorney actually knows this area of law - because attorneys usually learn this law by either self-teaching or being mentored by other attorneys.

This first book of the planned series is dedicated to the subject that causes the most number of fatal mistakes made by parents at the very beginning of CPS investigation, before any court case is filed and before any attorney gets into the picture - the mistake of believing the CPS that the case is "civil" in nature, that no criminal investigation is done at the same time as the CPS investigation in every single case.

Believing CPS (and police who often comes with CPS to the parent's home), parents talk to CPS, open their homes for their searches, and sign any number of papers driven by fear that otherwise the parent will lose his child.

The book provides an overview of statutes showing that proceedings in Family Court may be constitutionally characterized as criminal in nature; and, even if courts resist that characterization, provides techniques of proving to the Family Court, in the event the parent is called to testify against himself, which CPS often do, that the parent is entitled to the 5th Amendment protection, not to testify and not to be subject to contempt of court for refusing to testify.

The book has an extensive case study, with an analysis of constitutionality of court decisions, as well as with an analysis of mistakes that have caused the drastic consequences for the parent.

While the electronic format of the book does not allow a lot of latitude in providing lists of authorities, the table of authorities is included in the paper version of the book.

Buyers of the paper version of the book are allowed to get the electronic version of the book at a deep discount.

While the electronic version may be convenient to take with you on our phone or tablet without showing what you are reading, a paper book can be conveniently used by parents, law students and attorneys working in this area of law because of the listing of all legal authorities.

Statutes in this area of law are written in a deliberately confusing, convoluted way, and attorneys with large caseloads often do not have time to do the kind of research that was presented in this book.

The book contains a section explaining how to transform texts of New York statutes into a readable format to make them more understandable.  Examples of such transformations, and what such a transformation does to improve understanding of such statutes is provided.

The book contains constitutional analysis on important issues relevant to the topic of the book, criminal aspects of "civil" child neglect and abuse proceedings in New York Family Courts, including but not limited to:

  • analysis of what makes a court proceeding civil or criminal in nature, from a constitutional standpoint;
  • analysis of several contempt and contempt-like statute that may be used against parents by Family Courts in order to put parents in jail for "non-compliance" with various court orders, a detailed analysis, based on mandatory precedents, of constitutionality of such statutes, and of constitutionality of Family Court practices in application of such statutes;
  • verification what makes a contempt proceeding civil or criminal in nature, what is the difference in mandatory constitutional procedure, and how Family Courts often confuse or misuse criminal-in-nature contempt statutes under the guise of civil proceedings;
  • constitutional issues involved in forced "evaluations";
  • constitutional issues involved in forced drug-and-alcohol testing;
  • constitutional issues involved in court orders giving social services a blanket authority to "supervise" parents and to order them to undergo any "evaluations" and tests at all, and procedures required by the Family Court Act and by the U.S. Constitution to be followed by courts to issue such orders;
  • constitutional issues involved in branding parents "sex offenders" where they were never convicted (and often were never even charged) for a sex offense, the New York State policy of such branding that comes with a requirement to separate the so-branded parent from his children;
  • constitutional issues of punishing parents for inability to pay for evaluations, or for asserting their true legal status as a non-sex offender;
  • constitutional issues of punishing parents for any type of "noncompliance" by separating them from their children, or by threats of such separations;
  • constitutional issues involved in forced speech of parents during the "civil" Family Court child abuse or neglect proceedings - in court-ordered evaluations and in forced testimony of parents, when they are called to testify against themselves at trial;
  • constitutional issues involved in presence of criminal prosecutors in Family Court proceedings and of their access to record of such proceedings and of the central state child maltreatment register;
  • constitutional issues and procedures related to three types of searches in Family Court - of the parent's home, body and mind.

I hope that the book will be helpful, as a textbook and a reference in this sensitive and difficult area of law.

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