"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.

Monday, February 18, 2019

#TheCrimeOfBeingNamedMelania. Part 7. Who benefits? The interesting tenants at 189 Main Street and the Lambert-Merzig-Delgado connection.

This is Part 7 of the article series #TheCrimeOfBeingNamedMelania, about the apparent collusion between some local, state court and now federal public officials to ruin the business and undermine the real estate value, for easy takeover, of a prime piece of real estate belonging to a Romanian American couple, Melania and Nicolae Pervu, in the middle of a business district of the City of Oneonta, New York.

Part 3#TheCrimeOfBeingNamedMelania. How to steal a lucrative business from an immigrant with the help of a New York court. A tutorial. Part III. The burden of proof is on the Respondents - when a judge's and a city attorney's wives are involved in the mess. But, of course! - can be read here.

Part 4  - #TheCrimeToBeNamedMelania.  The case of The City of Oneonta v Melania and Nicolae Pervu, Part 4.  How the City of Oneonta tried to stamp out "a Russian crime family" supporting Trump - can be read here. 

Part 5#TheCrimeToBeNamedMelania. Part 5. No immigrant farmer will own prime real estate in the middle of the business district of Oneonta, New York. A special kind of due diligence necessary before buying property in Oneonta, New York and Otsego County - can be read here.

Part 6 #TheCrimeToBeNamedMelania. Part 6. On cross-endorsements of judges. Judge John F. Lambert. When you need only one vote, your own, to be re-elected - can be read here.

In my experience in dealing with corrupt public officials, people drunk with power eventually lose the grip on reality and start to slip up and show loose ends of their backroom deals to the public - inadvertently, of course.

Not that they are stupid.

They are just, once again, drunk with power, think that they are above the law, nobody will touch them, nobody will connect the dots, and, especially, even if anybody does connect the dots, nobody will dare point out what kind of picture these connected dots create.

The picture created when we pose the ancient "who benefits?" question as to raiding the business of Melania and Nicolae Pervu by the corrupt Board of Public Service of the City of Oneonta (Chairmen-wife Margery Merzig represented in court by her husband, City Oneonta Attorney David Merzig) and the Otsego County Supreme Court, first, corrupt judge Michael V. Coccoma, and now, not less corrupt judge John F. Lambert is a very, very interesting one.

First of all, the Oneonta Hotel is a prime piece of real estate.

And, next to it, there is one other piece of prime real estate, which the City of Oneonta puts into reports about the case against Melania and Nicolae Pervu very often - 189 Main Street.

So, what is 189 Main Street and who rents offices there?

Here is what 189 Main Street management writes about the building:

With T1 and Fiber access allowing to "stream on all of your devices at once", no doubt.

In other words, luxury business offices.

At this time, I am verifying the ownership of this building - it takes time since the Otsego County does not put its land records online, like other counties (Chenango County, for example), do.

Yet, it is easier to verify the building's tenants.

For example,  attorney Andrew Puritz, often assigned to cases of poor people, but who advises those same poor people, reportedly, that he does not have time to prepare for their cases, despite the County pay, because he has private clients' cases to prepare for.   Attorney Andrew Puritz likes luxury office spaces - and dislikes to be a neighbor of poor tenants at the Oneonta Hotel.  After all, getting money off the poor and "having" to reside or have a business office next to them are two different things.

And, lo and behold, the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc. likes to rent luxury office spaces using tax-free donations and grants for the poor, but does not like the poor as their neighbors.

And - the same suite as the Legal Aid Society - Attorney Donald Schwartz, who is also assigned left and right by local judge to represent the poor, but likes luxury office spaces and does not like the poor as his neighbors.

Attorney Schwartz' official attorney registration shows another address, by the way,

but attorneys in New York, especially those politically connected, are notoriously slow to change their registration, no matter the requirements.

For example, attorney Claudette Newman, former law clerk for the now-retired Chenango County Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dowd, still lists herself, as of today, as working at the Chenango County Supreme Court:

Even though there is a new judge in place in Chenango County Supreme Court, who has brought his own team, which definitely does not include Claudette Newman:

And, attorney Antonio Delgado still lists himself, as of today, as working for a real estate developer law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, Feld LLP - even though he has been a U.S. House Representative since January 1, 2019, for exactly 49 days now,

and the State of New York requires to change registration information within 30 days of the actual change.

By the way, here are some other interesting dates and coincidences:

On August 30, 2018 Judge Michael V. Coccoma, 
  • the first presiding judge in Melania Pervu's case, 
  • the husband of a witness in the proceeding, attorney for DSS Ellen Coccoma who had to approve DSS-subsidized tenants for the Pervu building, and, before the approval, had to check the building where she puts the poor, subsidized by taxpayer money, for habitability and safety:

assigned the case to Judge John F. Lambert who at that time faced a re-election and whose cross-endorsement and running unopposed for the re-election depended on the good graces of Judge Coccoma, and those who support him politically.

In a week's time, the then-candidate for U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado opened his election campaign office in Oneonta, New York, at 8-12 Dietz Street, Suite 202.

You know whose suite the Suite 202 was?

I told you people drunk with power slip up and do not hide their loose ends well.

Suite 202 was, and is now, the law office of the City of Oneonta Attorney, David Merzig.

So, the Oneonta City Attorney David Merzig was renting his law office and services as an attorney to candidate for U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, during the pendency of the Melania Pervu lawsuit.

And, do you know where the U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado opened his brand new district office in Oneonta, New York?

One cannot make this up, really.

At 189 Main Street, Oneonta, New York, as announced on February 1, 2019.

The announcement being made a week after Mark Oursler, law clerk of Judge John F. Lambert gave legal advice to Rep. Delgado's attorney David Merzig of what to do to evict tenants from the neighboring Pervu hotel.

When U.S. Rep. Delgado, a "working class" kind of guy, 

was assured that the poor people from the neighboring hotel serving them, will be conveniently removed, and he would not have to pay for extra security for having an office next to where the poor people live, nor will he have to see the poor people, other than humble, dressed up and knocking on the door of his office, at appointed hours.

Remember, the office of Rep. Delgado, client of David Merzig, was supposed to open on February 7, 2019?

Judge Lambert obliged that the Pervu hotel be empty by that date.  Here is his order to empty the hotel by 4:30 PM on February 7, 2019.

Consider the actions of Judge John F. Lambert.

  1. On January 24, 2019 Judge Lambert gives legal advice, through his law clerk Mark Oursler, to a party in litigation, the City of Oneonta how to conduct litigation to evict tenants from the building neighboring to the building coveted for an office by U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, a client of City of Oneonta Attorney David Merzig - which triggers a motion of Melania and Nicolae Pervu's attorneys to withdraw, note that one of those attorneys was a town justice and an Albany Law School adjunct professor, a political animal who begged Melania not to mention the word "corruption" anywhere close to those court proceedings;
  2. On January 25, 2019 the city claims that Melania Pervu threatened an inspector of a furnace AND that, supposedly, smoke detectors went off - guess where - at 189 Main Street.  All of that should have been subject to an evidentiary hearing with witnesses, but so far, was not, because Mark Oursler and Judge Lambert not only gave the City of Oneonta legal advice how to act, but pre-planned how they will decide what was still to be filed by the City of Oneonta.
  3. On February 5, 2019, 2 days before Rep. Delgado is to open his office next door to Melania and Nicolae Pervu's hotel, Judge Lambert issues an order with the following mutually exclusive directives:
    1. that attorneys for Melania and Nicolae Pervu are allowed to withdraw, in the middle of a contempt of court proceedings commenced before Judge Lambert according to legal advice of Judge Lambert's law clerk Mark Oursler;
    2. no provision is made by Judge Lambert for assignment of counsel - as Melania and Nicolae Pervu ARE ENTITLED TO, FOR FREE, in case they cannot afford counsel - because it is a freaking contempt of court proceeding that Mark Oursler advised the City of Oneonta to file, and that Judge Lambert continues with and scheduled the case for a freaking PUNISHMENT PHASE, carrying a risk of incarceration for both of the Pervus, which, under New York law, as Judge Lambert is fully aware, requires assignment of free counsel if respondents cannot afford one - and, he has JUST RELEASED their private attorneys because THEY CANNOT PAY THEM.  But, Lambert:
      1. does not ask whether they can afford a new attorney;
      2. does not advise them of their right, in a contempt of court proceedings, to free assigned counsel; AND
      3. HE PROCEEDS, AFTER HE RELEASED COUNSEL of two people, to decide the case on the merits - and DID decide the case on the merits:

Moreover, Judge Lambert serves his spectacularly illegal order UPON THE ATTORNEYS WHO HE HAS JUST RELEASED, not upon Melania and Nicolae Pervu, now Pro Se, no thanks to Judge Lambert. 

And, of course, he serves the order upon Rep. Delgado's - and city of Oneonta's - attorney David Merzig.
No wonder the "Honorable" Ryan T. Donovan representing Melania and Nicolae Pervu until then, could not run from this case fast enough - after ripping her off to the order of $16,000, and $21,000 "owing", for selling her out at every turn of the case and leaving her, once again, mid-contempt of court proceedings, which he knew was illegal.

Imagine - an attorney, after listening how a judge's law clerk TEACHES the opposing party how to do their job in litigation, how and in what way to file a contempt proceeding, instead of making a motion to recuse the judge, makes a motion to withdraw for non-payment - and leaves his client while the judge continues to proceed on the merits, while the clients remain without counsel!

The honor and ethics of such conduct of the Honorable Ryan T. Donovan...

The attorney who did not want to pronounce the word "corruption".

Of course, Donovan was right to a certain degree.

The case does not reek of just corruption.

There are no adequate words to describe misconduct in the case and the stink coming from it.  

Especially in view of the apparent involvement in the case of the U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, an attorney out of an influential real estate developer law firm who was propelled into his Congressman seat by donations from lawyers, businesses and real estate developers.

  • Will Judge Michael V. Coccoma be taken off the bench and disbarred because of this case?
  • Will Judge John F. Lambert be taken off the bench and disbarred because of this case?
  • Will Judge Lambert's law clerk Mark Oursler be disbarred because of this case?
  • Will the City of Oneonta, and U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado's Attorney David Merzig be disbarred because of this case;
  • Will the Hon. Ryan T. Donovan, the now-former attorney for Melania and Nicolae Pervu, be disbarred because of this case?

I am not asking whether these people will be ashamed of themselves.

They knew very well what they were doing, and they definitely have no shame, only greed and a desire to grab more and more power.

But, will Lambert have at least the good grace to vacate his shameful February 5, 2019 order and recuse from this case?  On his own?  Without the necessity to turn him into the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct?  And into the Attorney Grievance Committee?  The corrupt toothless tigers that they are, anyway?

The worst of it, though, is that all these 9 yards that brought so much anguish and expense to so many people and that raped people's trust in the rule of law and justice in the U.S., are based on a jurisdictionally defective petition that any minimally honest and competent judge was obligated to throw out of court the moment he reads it.

About that - in my next blog, a short one.

Stay tuned.


  1. very sad how bad our legal system is

  2. There's no corrupt politicians or kangaroo courts in Otsego County, NY.
    Even my Attorney who was a former Otsego County Attornry was skimming from his clients to support his gambling habits.

  3. Accidentally came across this blog and couldn't stop reading until the very end. I'm a former NYer born and raised in the Orange county area. Recently moved to Texas mostly because of the much lower taxes and weather. I knew NY had problems with corruption, but I had no idea to such degrees. Although, now being a huge Trump supporter, has definitely opened my eyes to the state of corruption, country wide! But what is happening to this couple is absolutely mindblowing! Is there nothing that can be done to help them? No individual or group with some moxy,willing to take their case pro bono? Anyway of publicizing this story to a larger audience than here???

  4. Not that it will necessarily help, but I did post this story on my Facebook, Twitter, and Parler accounts. You never know... Maybe someone somewhere will see it and offer assistance. I had to at the very least give it a try.

    1. Thank you for sharing the story. A new article is coming on the subject. Regarding a decision in this case.