"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.

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.


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