"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, February 19, 2020

Facebook ups its political censorship in the election year with new tricks

And, of course, Mark Zuckerberg has made the public (and false) declaration that Facebook is not censuring political speech based on its content (and sides in the political debates) just as a point of LIABILITY.

Because by censuring content, Facebook becomes from a social media platform - into a PUBLISHER, with liabilities of a publisher.

And, Zuckerberg has eked out his false declaration of non-censorship only after his platform was put on the spot - including by the White House's temporary hotline for citizens to report instances of political censure on Facebook.

Yet, while declaring that he does not have political censorship on Facebook (at least, not any longer, as of October 2019, the time of his FALSE declaration), Zuckerberg's Facebook has introduced new ways to do just that same political censorship.

As a citizen with a law degree and an expert in Constitutional Law (suspension of my license by the State of New York as political censorship of my criticism of a corrupt judge who has since ran from the bench chased by an FBI/State Comptroller/State Judicial Conduct Commission investigation does not cancel my law degree, experience, expertise, skills or right to speak out as a citizen, WITH in-depth knowledge of the law) - I am very vocal on legal issues of the day.

And, since election of President Donald Trump, I see that the so-called "left" and the so-called "Democrats", including left-leaning prosecutors, judges and a variety of federal employees and non-profit organizations prefer to put the law on its proverbial head rather than acknowledge that Trump may be right on any issues at all.

That is not a support of the "rule of law" to me.

And, as a naturalized citizen, I have given my pledge to support the U.S. Constitution - whether the "deep state" allows me to do that as an attorney or not.

So, I comment on posts of leftist media sources and I express my informed expert opinions on the law, and I create my own groups, and I make friends who share my views, and I invite friends to my groups, and friends invite me to their own "conservative thinking" groups - and I participate in those groups, too.

But, I see that my conservative thinking friends, one after another, get banned from Facebook for days, weeks and months for expressing their political views in a non-violent and non-harassing manner.

And, finally, the axe of Facebook censorship has reached me, so I can speak from my own experience.

On or around February 7, 2020, my account was COMPLETELY disabled.

I was told about that by my daughter who saw me "disappear" on messenger and on Facebook.

My Facebook friends received suggestions to delete me as their Facebook friend.

Facebook required me to confirm my "identity" to enable my Facebook account back on - necessarily through a cell phone, which I could not do at the time since we are located in a dead area in terms of cell service.

I have been doing a lot of things on Facebook for a number of years - I 
  • socialize there with people from across the world, 
  • read news in my customized feed, 
  • do research there as to development of the legal services industry in the U.S. and in my native Russia, 
  • share results of my research with opinion leaders in the field of the research etc.
There is a lot of information in my account that I would not die if I lose, but still, I would prefer to keep.

Facebook somehow REQUIRES to tie your Facebook account to a cell phone.

That is highly discriminatory to people who 

1.  Do not have a cell phone, and who, like me
2. Lives in areas where cell service does not reach.

Which means, Facebook discriminates against the supposed "red necks", the supposed "deplorables", creating for itself "rules" that make it easier for itself to disable - for a long time, without ability to restore - accounts of conservative thinkers and speakers.

I was lucky I live fairly close to an area where cell service is available, I can at least travel there by car, which I did the next morning - and restored my Facebook account by receiving and entring the code sent by cell phone on my Facebook page.  Of course, by that time the length of time it took me to restore my account and my attempts to do it by means other than cell phones were, possibly, considered by Facebook as additional "suspicious activity on the account", and, though my account was enabled again, I had restrictions for a week, then prolonged for 4 more days (no explanation given, for what reason) to 

  • post links on my own page;
  • post and comment in groups, including my own;
  • create groups.
Many people who have a Dish or cable Internet, but no cell service - from the rural areas - who "coincidentally" support Donald Trump - may be not so lucky as to having an ability, like I did, to travel the very next morning to an area with cell service.

I am retired and have an ability to travel.

Other people might need to go to work in the morning and for the remainder of the weed and may not have an opportunity to reach a cell phone-accessible area for a week or more.

And, there is a big possibility that conservative voters from rural areas with no cell service will just give up on this nonsense, be too busy working and earning a living to consider traveling a considerable number of miles to the nearest area where cell service is available, especially in winter conditions, especially with bad roads and snow on the roads - and not try to get that code by cell phone text message back.

Or, be "too long" (like I was) from the point of view of Facebook to restore their accounts - and have additional restrictions slapped on them when they come back, "because of unusual activities on the account" - which there were none.

Now, I, as many other residents of no-cell-service areas in the United States - do have a high-speed cable Internet.  Some of my neighbors have Dish Internet.

We do have Internet.

And most of us living in our neighborhood have landline phones - since cell service is not available.

If anybody wants to confirm my identity, it can be done by calling my landline, talking to me and asking me certain questions that only a true-identity person can answer.

But - here is the gimmick.

The megarich Facebook giant that has enough personnel to police speech of conservatives on its platform - does not have live individuals to talk to, in writing or orally, by e-mail or by (landline) phone, to discuss the matter.

To simply ask for explanations as to what kind of "suspicious activity" or "violation of Community standards" occurred on the account that warranted disabling the account altogether or restricting activities on the account, such as (what has been done to me 3 TIMES since February 7, 2020):

  • ability to form groups;
  • ability to post in groups;
  • ability to comment on posts in groups;
  • ability to post links - in groups and on your own page.
It is not so funny that I, as a founder and sole moderator of my own groups regarding human rights (including freedom of speech and access to justice), in English and in Russian, am allowed to approve posts from other people - but not my own.

I am not allowed to even welcome new members to my own groups.

It is obviously done by Facebook to weed out interest to the group which has activities of its main contributor/author suspended again and again, for days and weeks on end.

At the same time, I see people with left-leaning views say horribly vulgar, crass, harassing and bullying things to conservative-leaning people, on that same Facebook.

I had DEATH THREATS against me and my family members sent to me through a Facebook messenger for my posts - reported it to Facebook - and Facebook did nothing, and I was not alone, other conservative-leaning people report the same attitude from Facebook toward them.

Moreover, I see a lot of people with accounts very obviously not under their own names - and they are allowed to exist on Facebook just fine, no super-verification of their identities needed.

                                                           *              *              *

The timeline of my FB bans during the Democratic primaries and many, many discussions about those primaries, gun rights, various actions by the President etc. in groups - is like that:
  • I was put into a Facebook jail on February 7, 2020 until Valentine's day, February 14th, no explanation, why;
  • The jail time was extended to February 18, no explanation, why;
  • On February 18 I was allowed to post again;
  • On February 19, 2020 the ban was reimposed until February 26, 2020 - no explanation, why.

Now, what I also noticed - especially having an experience in the past as an appellate attorney and a civil rights attorney - is that there is no thing on Facebook as a "notice and opportunity to be heard" when restrictions of any kind are imposed.

  • You are not told what you did wrong - which makes a restriction a pure, and arbitrary, punishment without any possibility that a person so punished "will learn a lesson" and be "deterred" in the future from committing the same supposed "violation" - since the person in question does not know what it is that he/she has supposedly violated in the first place;

  • You are also not allowed to have your "day in Facebook court", the famous "notice and opportunity to be heard" as a matter of due process - no, you are offered a window to report if "that was a mistake", but - guess what - your reporting is now BLOCKED by Facebook.

After I clicked "Send", this window has popped up: 

So, Facebook pretends it gives people an opportunity to report if their activities on Facebook were restricted by mistake, in order to show authorities that they have reporting procedures in place - but it is a lie, since that function is at the same time BLOCKED by the same Facebook.

And this is a not so funny way of Facebook to troll those who it harasses and tries to weed out on political grounds.

After FB blocked me from posting in one of my own groups - from greeting new members, no less - it offered me this interesting message.

Oh, leaving so soon?

Without finishing your post even - that we do not allow you to post? What a pity!  See you later etc....

I must also add that Facebook not only upped its political censorship - I was not doing in February, 2020 on FB anything I was not doing on FB, for years, before February, 2020, but was not subject to 10-day-meet-7-day-after-1-day-freedom bans.

It also devised ways to block people from having ANY kind of "appeal"/reprieve/method of resolution of wrongful imposition of restrictions on Facebook.

Once again:
  • there is no explanation given by Facebook to the holder of the account for Facebook-imposed restrictions of his/her activities on Facebook;
  • there are no effective means to cancel that decision:
    • no live person to talk to in writing or orally;
    • the means of reporting a problem/appealing offered by Facebook itself blocked by the same Facebook.

My own groups that I am not allowed to post in are very dangerous, I understand, for Facebook to allow me to voice my opinion in:

1.  "For Freedom of Speech" (Russian and English);
2. "Independence of Human Rights Defenders" (English);
3. "Access to Justice" (in Russian);
4.  "Against Fraud in Regulation of Legal Services Market in Russia" (in Russian).

Groups of other people that I am not allowed to post or comment, where I was invited by friends and accepted are, among others, regarding:

  1. Gun rights;
  2. Movement to have NY Governor Cuomo impeached;
  3. Movement to have NY State split into several states;
  4. A group in support of President Trump.
  5. Groups fighting wrongful convictions in the US and in Russia;
  6. Groups fighting CPS fabrications against parents in the US.

Now, you need to realize that I not only have a Russian first name - which many left-leaning commentators jump upon immediately with gleeful comments that they have just found a "Russian bot" - while at the same time "fighting against bigotry" (toward illegal aliens only).

I am also a naturalized CITIZEN of the U.S.

I am also a registered Republican and a voter.

I am also a legal experts with MANY publications on the issues of constitutional law, access to justice and double standards in the government.

And, I am also a person who was born and raised under the so-called "socialism" in the USSR - and know from experience how horrible the socialist teasers to people from the "Democratic" presidential candidates are.

In other words, for purposes of political censorship, I am target # 1 for Facebook - in order to prevent me from explaining to people and informing people where they are misled in the political discourse of the left, which I regularly do on Facebook.

This IS - deliberate, heavy-handed, cutthroat, take-no-prisoners, have-no-rules political censorship by Facebook for the "left", all forced public assurances by Zuckerberg notwithstanding.

And it MUST stop.

This is an election year, and Facebook is being used to manipulate public opinion which amounts - seriously - to a coup against the U.S. Constitution and against democracy in the U.S.

By weeding out the most vocal, active and knowledgeable voices against the left-leaning candidates.

I repeat - IT MUST STOP.


Monday, February 10, 2020

A partial transcript of a documentary showing why allowing lawyers to regulate lawyers is bad

In 2014, 6 years ago, a movie documentary was published on YouTube about history and reality of regulation of attorneys in California - which pretty much reflects the picture of similar regulation across the United States.

As part of my research over the last several years, I am exploring the history and mechanism of work of attorney monopoly in the United States and efforts of the ABA to transplant/graft it upon post-Soviet and 3rd World countries, and the impact and workings of attorney monopoly in those countries.

The most interesting case study amongst those transplants is Russia where a limited attorney monopoly after an American model was transplanted in 2002, and an absolute attorney monopoly is planned to be introduced in 2021.

For a scholar of the history of attorney monopoly in the U.S. the history of American-brought attorney monopoly in Russia is a Godsend.

I was too late to be born to witness the time when attorney monopoly in the U.S. was taking its death grip upon the public access to justice (which currently resulted in a dire crisis, the "justice gap" when the majority of Americans, as judges and scholars alike acknowledge, cannot afford access to professional help regarding their legal problems).

Moreover, over the century when American attorney monopoly was weaving itself into the fabric of public life and workings by the government, it has developed myths about itself serving to brainwash population at all levels as to its true nature, purposes and whether it does or does not fulfil its declared purpose - helping the public in protecting it from, supposedly, incompetent or dishonest attorneys.

Also, American attorneys have a multitude of disciplinary gag rules, viciously enforced, prohibiting them to speak out about conceptual and constitutional problems in regulation of their own profession, and especially when it concerns problems with integrity of the profession's regulator, the judicial branch of the government.

Taboos of this type are only starting to take a grip upon the legal community in Russia (transplanted from the US), and at this time there is still a possibility to see a lot of information showing corruption and conflicts of interest within the regulatory system of attorneys in Russia - which statistics is simply not kept, or is held strictly under wraps in the U.S.

There is no point looking at what "legal scholars" say about attorney monopoly in the U.S. - mostly, because there is no such thing as academic freedom of thought and of research in legal academia in the United States, as shown, on the issue of attorney monopoly, in my discussion of the issue with American law professor Carl T. Bogus on Twitter where he repeated the 3 tired myths that are being embedded into Russian lawyers, too, judging by the heated discussions in Russian-language legal forums and media:

1/ attorney licensing is not a monopoly (denying the nature of attorneys' grip on public access to justice and judges' grip on attorneys in the same);

2/ comparing doctors and lawyers - which, a professor if law must know, is comparing apples and oranges, and

3/ referring (falsely) to the supposed traditions, to the Founding Father Alexander Hamilton supposedly having passed the NY State bar sometime back in 1700s, 200+ years before attorney monopoly was imported into the US - from Russia, as a matter of sad irony.

Don't try looking for this information in American official "legal scholarship", this is a taboo subject.

Lack of independence of thought in American legal scholars is not surprising since the only way a legal scholar can make a good living is in a university (called "law school") in the U.S. which depends for its financial vitality upon the certification from a non-profit corporation from the State of Illinois, with foreign membership and financial support, the American Bar Association (the ABA).

It is obvious that a scholar may not produce independent research if the scholar's ability to earn a living depends heavily and exclusively upon the object of his/her research - and it does so depend, since, as job posts on (as an example) show, U.S. law schools refuses to hire as legal scholars those of legal scholars - no matter how good their scholarship is - who have stepped on the toes of the attorney monopoly and were cast out of it ("suspended" or "disbarred").

Yet, there appear, here and there, some bits and pieces of information that show - to me, as a comparative legal scholar of attorney monopoly in the U.S. .and in Russia - that corruption schemes in Russian and American attorney regulatory systems are birds of a feather.

One of such pieces is the 2-part documentary posted on YouTube in 2014, The Scandal in the State Bar.

As much of information the documentary provides, it was still extremely skittish as to not to step on the toes of some people and did not highlight a lot of points that could be highlighted based on the facts it was introducing.  I will try and remedy those omissions in my comments, and in my research I call a spade a spade.

I will publish my comparative commentary - in the shape of articles on my English-language and Russian-language blogs, as well as law review articles on, but, first I would like to create and publish the transcript of the documentary.

Here, I am publishing a partial transcript from Part I of the 2-Part documentary.

When you are told that attorney monopoly (licensing of attorneys by attorneys and prosecuting by attorneys of non-attorneys who have dared to help people who cannot afford attorneys with people's legal problems) is somehow good for the people, recall this, and recall that every dollar that the State Bar exacts from individual attorneys for their lavish "junkening" is laid as a burden upon the end consumer in the way of attorney fees - with a markup.


" Meanwhile, in October of 1995 Governor Pete Wilson has signed into law Senate Bill 60.  The bill required the State Bar to conduct a new plebiscite of its members to find out that they would still want to keep the unified bar.

State Senator Quentin Kopp was the author of the bill.  He explains why he introduced it.

Hon. Quentin L. Kopp, former State Senator & Judge, Ret.:

“It wasn’t so much any failure of performance of the State Bar respecting the admission procedures, and that procedure is, essentially, the state bar examination.

There was some disgruntlement respecting discipline.

There was disgruntlement based upon the length of time of any proceeding to finish, and, secondly, the laxity or weakness of discipline imposed for conduct.

That wasn’t so much a glaring cause of… at least, my discontent, because it’s similar to people who claim that a judge hasn’t properly adjudicated the sentence for a convicted felon, or even a misdemeanor sometimes, or a district attorney isn’t pursuing a particular case with affinity, energy and enthusiasm.

It was, more genuinely, the expansion of the State Bar into non-core activity.”

Joining Senator Kopp in his battle to abolish the Bar was Peter Keane, who is today a Professor at the Golden Gate University School of Law.

Professor Keane explains why he came to oppose the unified bar.

“In the early 1980s I’ve started to get involved in the local bar association, the Bar association of San Francisco.

I became a member of the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and then I became… I got elected President of the Bar Association of San Francisco in 1988.

A… and during that time… I had an interchange with lots of people regarding the State Bar of California, and I was involved with a number of activities having to do with the State Bar of California.

And it became very apparent to me that the State Bar of California was, at best, a very dysfunctional organization.

It was an organization that really didn’t fit the role that it was designed to play.

Essentially, the State Bar of California was designed to play 2 roles.

It was to be the professional association of lawyers, essentially, the lawyers’ union, which means looking out for lawyers’ economic activity, welfare activity, doing all great things for lawyers.

At the same time, it was supposed to police the conduct of lawyers in order to make sure that lawyers acted ethically and didn’t do anything to harm the public.

So, there is a built-in tension in that role in terms of the fox guarding the chickenhouse.

So, in the early 90s I ran for the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California.

And I ran for the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California on a very simple platform, and that was to abolish it.

And, I made that very openly my platform, and I got elected as… as a Governor, member for the State Bar of California from San Francisco, one of 2 Governors.

And, when I was on the Board of Governors, during the 3 years I was on the Board of Governors, in my 3rd year I was Vice-President of the State Bar of California, I saw an organization, really, which was, indeed, dysfunctional, and was an enormous bureaucracy, very expensive, which had the staff in its own kind of crystal palace, very high salaries, doing what they wanted to do.

At the same time you had this group called “the Board of Governors” that, supposedly, had oversight over the State Bar of California – which was a fiction.

All of us were in for 3 years, and most of the Governors spent their first 2 years politicking with the other Governors, so that they get elected President in the 3rd year.

So, it was all sort of this … “don’t rock the boat” thing, “let’s everybody be nice” and see me as the nicest guy in the world, so that you elect me President in my 3rd year, and I’m become… have an extra year as President.

I didn’t do any of those things, I knew I wouldn’t get along to be President, so I didn’t have to be involved in that.

·        Board of Governors/Trustees State Bar Presidential Election 2011: “Ok, so, if everybody would, please, take your pile of paper and… write the name of your vote, the last name, the first name of your… selection”….

The people who owned and ran the State Bar really were the executives on the staff who were giving the marching orders to the people who were the worker bees in the State Bar.

There were some very good people working in regular staff positions on the State Bar, to, pretty much, keep the Governors happy, but keep the Governors away from seeing anything … or doing… or getting involved in it, that might have any meaning.

So in our meetings we get this agenda:

(An incomplete document is shown - T.N.):

Board of Governors Meeting


The State Bar of California

180 Howard Street Board Room, 4th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94105

Friday, January 07, 2011

1:00 p.m.

Open Session

1 Guest Section

Patti White – CIC Implementation (special set 1:00 pm)

10 minutes

September 26, 2010 Minutes (regular meeting)

November 19, 2010 Minutes (regular meeting)

December 16, 2010 Minutes (special meeting)

30 President’s Report

40 Staff Reports

               41 Executive Director

               42 Secretary

50 Consent Agenda

               50-1 Financial Resolution

100 Reports of Board Committee

               110 Board Committee of Operations

111        Conflict of interest Code for Designated Employees 2011 re year 2010, Return for Public comment

               120 Regulation, Admissions and Discipline Oversight Committee

                              121        Rules of Professional Conduct Proposed New and Amended, Reconsideration of

                                             Proposed Rule 7.5(c) re Restriction on the Name of a Public Officer in a Law Firm


                              122        Adjustment to Cost Assessment Formula – Business and Professions Code

                                             Section 6086.10

               130 Member Oversight Committee



The agenda would be made up by the staff, and it would have all of this crap on it that was just made core that the Governors would be put upon a Committee, and he was supposed to be doing this, and doing this…

But, it was meaningless stuff.  It was just like running around in circles, to meet and debate various things, and the stuff we were meeting about, the stuff we were debating about was trivial.

And, it had nothing to do with the real needs of lawyers, responsibilities of lawyers to the public, the things that should be done in order to improve the legal profession, and also the things that should be done to help lawyers.

So, I saw tremendous outlays of money on parts… on behalf of various things like retreats for the Board of Governors, sinecures at very expensive places like NAPA… country clubs.

(A sign is shown: "Welcome to this world famous wine growing region NAPA VALLEY")

One of the things that amaze me, a little of story that kind of amaze me and kind of sets the tone for the kind of waste of money that was… that I saw at the State Bar of California during my time from the beginning was that the staff… one of its big functions was … sorta… keep the Board of Governors happy, give them whatever they wanted, so they wouldn’t look what the staff was doing.

Whatever they wanted.

You want a party? – You have a party.

You want booze? – We have booze.

You know, you wanna do this, you wanna travel, eh, we will have it all.

And, when I was on the State Bar, after … when the first meetings was gonna come up… they would meet alternately, monthly, one month in Los Angeles and one month in San Francisco.

And the first meeting that was coming up was a San Francisco meeting, and I live in San Francisco, half a mile from where the State Bar had its headquarters then.

And, I got a call saying… from this clerk of the State Bar saying: “Ah… we go… we need to know – would you like us to make your hotel reservations at the Clift Hotel?”  A fancy hotel in San Francisco, for Thursday night, and Friday night, and Saturday night.

And I said – “why would I want that?”

“Well, because you are on the Board of Governors”.

I say – “I live in San Francisco, you know, I… I… I travel by bus, so I am gonna get on the # 5 Fulton bus, put in a quarter, and I am at the State Bar building within 15 minutes from my house.

Why, the Clift Hotel is even farther away on the other side, why would I want to stay there? 

“Well, the reason you want to stay there is because everybody is junkening there, for 3 days, 3 nights - nights of partying, wonderful time, great rooms, great food, whatever you want.  And, you bring your wife – and it is a terrific company”.

I said “No, I don’t need that, I live here, I’ll get there on my own, I don’t need that”.

And that sort of set the tone for me of this waste of members’ money that was done by the staff – not just in regard to, sort of, keeping the Governors happy, but also in regard to huge salaries that many of the staff members (31:00) had, particularly the executive staff members.

Very big salaries.

We had one guy who was in charge of the discipline section of the State Bar, he was supposed to … he was the one who was in charge of all of the investigation and discipline.

And, his office … wh… when the State Bar moved to Los Angeles, his office was in Los Angeles, everything that he was doing was in Los Angeles, but he didn’t want to move to Los Angeles.

So, what the State Bar did is – he stayed here in San Francisco, and every morning they paid for his flight, and then in the evening – back.

And this guy earned more frequent flier miles than, probably, anybody in the country.

So, that was, those were a couple of… sort of… emblematic incidents about the State Bar that showed me that it… it was extremely dysfunctional."

Thursday, February 6, 2020

New York follows California to create its own Brock Turner syndrome for a prominent and rich lawyer and sends women a clear message: you and your safety are dispensable when a rich lawyer is your assailant

New York judiciary is famous for gutting its anti-sexual harassment policy to defeat the lawsuit of a female attorney who was fired because she complained in writing against sexual harassment of a Supreme Court Justice of the State of New York who tried to force her to live with him as "man and wife" and talk to him in a "feminine singsong voice".

While fighting her detailed lawsuit, New York invented a completely crazy argument - that attorneys, law clerks to State Supreme Court justice in New York are hired not by the State of New York (that pays their salaries and benefits), but are personal employees of said justices - and, as such, certain legal protections of state employees do not apply to them.

And yet, if you think that New York could not sink any lower in continuing to stonewall and batter a victim of sexual harassment by a judge - it should that there is potential for sinking even lower.

As shown by the case of suspension of attorney, a law partner in a New York City "complex commercial and securities litigation" law firm Bragar, Eagle and Squires, P.C. - John Brandon Walker.

Of course, New York State court administration website shows his attorney status as of February 6, 2020 as still active, with "no record of public discipline".

While he was suspended 2 days prior.

Of course, on the website he is not listed as a partner of Bragar, Eagle and Squires, P.C. (yet another disciplinary violation) - but he actually listed as such on the law firm's website.

And - he has been suspended, for a whopping 4 months, after conviction for DRUNKEN ASSAULT ON A WOMAN he was dating.

And, guess what - here is the timeline of his "accomplishments":

  1.  March 5, 2016, nearly 4 years ago - the drunken assault;
  2.  April 27, 2017 - he pled guilty to a "reckless assault", in exchange of a sentence of NO JAIL, a "conditional discharge" and an alcohol abuse counseling.
  3.  Suspended only on February 4, 2020, 3 YEARS AFTER THE CONVICTION!!!  And for 4 months only.

His conduct was "disturbing", see?

But, he 

  • accepted responsibility;
  • has no other disciplinary history, and
  • has had a good career - 
which, all in all, amounts to a 4 months' suspension for a convicted VIOLENT CRIMINAL who did THIS to a woman:

  • grabbed her by the neck
  • chocked her,
  • threw her on the floor,
  • kicked her ribcage with his foot, 
  • leaving her with
    • wrist fracture and
    • bruises on her
      • throat
      • head, and
      • wrist

Alcohol abuse counseling, and a 4 months' suspension - 3 years after the conviction.  Indeed!  That will remedy a lot.

And, his so-called "remorse" means much, I am sure, too.

Now, here is his information from the website of his law firm that may shed some light as to why the wheels of justice in his case were dragging so slowly and amounted in such a pathetic and disgraceful show of disdain to the law and to women's safety among the members of the "legal" profession regulated by the New York judiciary.

First, the "big picture" of the "hero", front and center.   Women should know him by face - and stay away.

The picture is also from his law firm's website.

As is this information about his "good career":

So, even though he was admitted to practice law in New York only in 2010, he is listed as having worked for a law firm Motley Rice as an "associate" for 2 years without a license - from 2008 to 2012.  This is a crime, too, as well as a disciplinary violation for both sides - employer and employee - but, neither he nor the law firm were prosecuted, and the information is remaining proudly online.

The next endeavor in this violent criminal's "good career" was a gig in yet another large law firm where people are not hired "from the street", just like in the previous one, Motley Rice - now he worked 4 years as an associate in Kirby McInerney LLP, and then, for 1 year - as a partner there.

And then, moved on to an even greener pasture, Bragar, Eagel and Squire, P.C., as a partner.

If salaries in big New York City law firms 5 years ago for a 1st year associate were $160,000 a year, you may imagine how much a law partner in such a firm is making.

Which actually explains why he has been given NO JAIL TIME in criminal court and just a 4 months' suspension in disciplinary court.

Such a New York City Brock Turner - oh, no, he did not rape the victim, supposedly, thank God for small wonders.

But, he was treated by judges of two courts just the same way as Brock Turner was treated by a California judge - as a rich privileged brat who is above the law.  Because he has a "good career" - thanks to his good "bloodline", no doubt.

It bears to provide the disciplinary decision here in its full glory:


Matter of Walker 2020 NY Slip Op 00835 Decided on February 4, 2020 Appellate Division, First Department Per Curiam Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Decided on February 4, 2020 SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION First Judicial Department 
Hon. David Friedman,Justice Presiding,
Judith J. Gische (adjunct professor, New York Law School)
Angela M. Mazzarelli
Ellen Gesmer
Cynthia S. Kern,Justices.

[*1]In the Matter of John B. Walker, (admitted as John Brandon Walker), an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, John B. Walker, Respondent.

Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, John Brandon Walker, was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Third Judicial Department on May 27, 2010.

Jorge Dopico, Chief Attorney,
Attorney Grievance Committee, New York
(Raymond Vallejo, of counsel), for petitioner.
Michael S. Ross, Esq., for respondent.


Respondent John B. Walker was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Third Judicial Department on May 27, 2010, under the name John Brandon Walker. At all times relevant to this proceeding, he has maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department.

The Attorney Grievance Committee (Committee) commenced this disciplinary proceeding by a petition of charges (Judiciary Law § 90[2], and Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matters [22 NYCRR] § 1240.8), alleging that respondent was guilty of certain misconduct in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) based upon his conviction for reckless assault in the third degree (Penal Law § 120.00[2]) in that he engaged in illegal conduct that adversely reflects on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer, in violation of rule 8.4(b) and that he engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer, in violation of rule 8.4(h).

Responded admitted liability to the charges (Rules of Professional Conduct [22 NYCRR 1200.0] rules 8.4[b] and [h]), and the parties filed a joint statement of undisputed facts. Following a hearing before a Referee as to sanction only, the Committee sought imposition of a one-year suspension, while respondent urged a public censure. By a report, the Referee recommended a public censure be imposed.

The Committee now moves for an order, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.8(b)(1), affirming the findings of the Referee and imposing a sanction this Court deems appropriate. The Committee also moves for an order sealing Staff Exhibits 1-10 and Respondent's Exhibits B and C. Respondent seeks an order affirming the findings of the Referee and imposing a censure, as recommended by the Referee.
For the reasons set forth below, we now grant the Committee's motion to the extent of suspending respondent for a period of four months and grant its request to seal Staff Exhibits 1-10 and Respondent's Exhibits B and C.

Respondent's criminal conviction arose from his assault on a woman he met through a dating website. A year after the assault, on April 27, 2017, respondent pleaded guilty to reckless assault in the third degree (Penal Law § 120.00[2]), a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to receive alcohol abuse counseling for one year, with periodic reporting every three to four months. Respondent fully complied with the sentence.

At the sanction hearing, the Committee presented the complainant as its sole witness. Respondent testified on his own behalf and presented three character witnesses. The Referee's report related the following information. On March 5, 2016, respondent and the complainant met for drinks at a restaurant. After several hours of drinking, they left the restaurant and went to respondent's apartment. While at respondent's apartment, the two began to kiss while sitting on respondent's couch. Respondent, who was highly intoxicated, asserted that he blacked out for an unspecified period of time. The complainant asserted that respondent grabbed her by the neck, choked her, threw her on the floor and kicked her ribcage with his foot. The Referee expressly found that complainant's assertions that she feared for her life during the attack were credible. As a result of respondent's actions, complainant suffered bruises on her neck, throat, and ribcage, contusions on her head, a scaphoid fracture, and bruises on both wrists, and continues to suffer psychologically and emotionally.

The Referee concluded that respondent's attack was aberrational and not in his character, noted that he has no disciplinary history, and respondent presented overwhelming evidence of his good professional and personal relationships. Respondent's three character witnesses and 20 character letters convincingly testified to his deep remorse and acceptance of responsibility, which the Referee noted were also palpable at the hearing. In further mitigation, the Referee found that the character witnesses described someone deeply devoted to his girlfriend, family, friends, colleagues and clients. The Referee found, however, there was no indication of any pro bono activity.

In ordering the appropriate sanction, we consider the seriousness of respondent's assault. 

Respondent's misconduct of drinking to the point of blacking out and assaulting a woman in his [*2]home is disturbing and was appropriately the subject of criminal proceedings. However, we also consider that respondent has accepted responsibility for his misconduct, has expressed sincere remorse, cooperated with the Committee and has an unblemished disciplinary history. Moreover, the character witnesses' universal opinion regarding the aberrational nature of respondent's behavior and his otherwise good character and fitness to practice are compelling.

On the issue of sanction, this Court generally accords significant weight to the recommendation of the referee (see Matter of Shearer, 94 AD3d 128, 132 [1st Dept 2012]).

However, in certain circumstances we will depart from the referee's recommended sanction (see Matter of Clarke, 71 AD3d 33, 38-39 [1st Dept 2009]; Matter of Mahoney, 56 AD3d 169, 176-77 [1st Dept 2008]). In our view, this is such an instance. A review of the cases cited by respondent and the Committee convinces us that respondent's misconduct in this case is more comparable to those cases imposing a suspension (see Matter of Tabacco, 171 AD3d 163 [1st Dept 2019]; Matter of Zulandt, 93 AD3d
77 [1st Dept 2012]; Matter of Jacoby, 86 AD3d 330 [1st Dept 2011]; see also Matter of Salami, 157 AD3d 37, 40 [2d Dept 2017]). The evidence before the Referee clearly established the seriousness of respondent's assault on an intimate partner. Even when taking into consideration the mitigating circumstances, a period of suspension for such an assault is warranted in order to maintain the honor and integrity of the profession and deter others from committing similar misconduct (22 NYCRR 1240.8[b][2]).

The Committee also seeks an order sealing Staff Exhibits 1-10, and Respondent Exhibits B and C, which contain photographs and text and email exchanges between respondent and complainant. After reviewing the record, and considering the sensitive nature of the exhibits contained therein, this Court grants the request (see Matter of Scudieri, 174 AD3d 168, 173-74 [1st Dept 2019]).
Accordingly, the Committee's motion is granted to the extent of suspending respondent for a period of four months and until further order of the Court, and sealing Staff Exhibits 1-10 and Respondent's Exhibits B and C.

All concur.

Order filed. [February 4, 2020]


USUALLY, if there is a court order, and especially a criminal court order as a basis of discipline, there is NO HEARING given to an attorney subject to discipline.   None at all, not for the facts, not for the discipline.

It is called "collateral estoppel".

Here there was a criminal conviction for assault, a plea of guilty in criminal court - but, there is no mentioning of the Committee submitting to the court, or Referee reviewing - the transcript of the plea allocution (where the defendant acknowledged in criminal court what he did and how).

Instead, there was a hearing given ANEW, where the victim had to testify - which is incredible, as compared to how New York usually resolves disciplinary cases where there are underlying court orders.

Let's go further.

The Referee hears the testimony of the victim (after conviction - she is a true victim as a matter of law), establishes her testimony as CREDIBLE, that she has CREDIBLY testified about the following actions and injuries that the attorney has inflicted upon her:

  • grabbed her by the neck
  • chocked her,
  • threw her on the floor,
  • kicked her ribcage with his foot, 
  • leaving her with

Moreover - the Referee has found credible the victim's testimony that she feared for her life and that she continues to suffer psychologically and emotionally.

And YET, the Referee, having found THIS kind of CREDIBLE testimony, the Referee recommends - "public censure" only, no suspension at all - because John Brandon Walker is such a good man, loves his girlfriend, family, friends, colleagues and clients.

What does his love to other people has to do when he has brutally beaten a woman and put her in real fear that he will kill her?

But no - he is a good boy and that drunk rage where he KICKED A WOMAN IN HER RIBCAGE was totally "aberrational and not in his character".

Now, a drunken state often releases not "aberrational behavior", but, on the opposite, the person's true inner self.

It is hard to imagine a "good boy", no matter how drunk he is, to start kicking a woman, a romantic partner, especially, in her ribcage and to try to choke her.  That comes with entitlement - which this particular "good boy" had in droves.

And both the criminal case with a conditional discharge and counseling, no jail time, for an assault of this seriousness, and the disciplinary slap on the wrist "for remorse and good character witnesses" will only give him more of a sense of entitlement, that he is truly above the law.

A good judge material.

Note in the disciplinary decision, too, that in attorney disciplinary proceedings there are no legislatively set rules as to when a suspension of a license is or is not mandated.

The court, instead, "explores" its own prior decisions, trying to make what it clearly intends to do - let a violent criminal go scot free - a little bit more palpable.

Instead of public censure (no suspension) the court gave John Brandon Walker a 4-months' long vacation from work, to enjoy with his girlfriend, family and friends.

4 women justices and 1 man declared that a woman's health, bodily integrity, safety and life are dispensable - if the assailant is a "good" rich boy.

I wonder how much was donated to these judges behind the scenes to get the required result.

Yet, the fact remains.

New York judiciary suspends lawyers like me for 2 years for - substantiated - criticism of themselves WITHOUT A HEARING, as a matter of "collateral estoppel", based on a decision of a judge who acted, in violation of all plausible and implausible constitutional rules, as a complainint witness, alleged victim, prosecutor and adjudicator in the sanctions proceeding that he then turned into the disciplinary court to rubber stamp my suspension.

When another woman attorney, a court employee is sexually harassed by a judge, she is fired and the judge has kept both his position and his law license, to this day, and is supervising judge of all courts imaginable:

But, when a rich young lawyer assaults a woman in a drunken rage, breaks her bones, bruises her, chokes her and makes her fear for her life - he gets NO JAIL TIME and a suspension of just 4 months - "to maintain integrity of the legal profession", no less.

While the Referee (I wonder what was his/her name and how much of a bribe he received, too) recommended just PUBLIC CENSURE for a violent assault.

So, criticism of a judge - the female attorney is suspended for 2 years, without a hearing and without opening proceedings to the public, as she requested and had a right, as a matter of law, to do, and in the decision the court cowardly refuses to disclose the true reason for the suspension - criticism of judicial corruption and misconduct.

Because she did not express remorse for doing her professional duty to her clients - ensuring their federal constituitonal right to an impartial judge hearing their case, not the corrupt king of the hill that has run from the bench chased by the FBI several months before my suspension - but I was suspended anyway, for no lawyer should be allowed to criticize regulators of his license, judges, who have positioned themselves well and truly above the law in this country and in the State of New York.

Reporting a judge for SEXUAL harassment - the female attorney is fired, the judge remains in full glory, keeps his black robe and his law license.

Violent assault by a rich young lawyer on a woman, kicking her in the ribcage, breaking her bones, bruising her, choking her and putting her in the fear of her life - why, that's a whole different story.

No jail time in criminal court.

A hearing - instead of a collateral estoppel disciplinary suspension - and just 4 months suspension, for being such a good boy with such a good career.

Integrity of the legal profession.