"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.

Friday, September 24, 2021

The decision to suspend Giuliani’s law license: jurisdictional basis fabricated by the licensing court


The decision to suspend Giuliani’s law license:

jurisdictional basis fabricated by the licensing court


Tatiana Neroni, Juris Doctor

Initial publication in Russian on – September 7, 2021 ©



In its decision to preliminarily suspend the law license of Rudy Giuliani, lawyer to 45th US President Donald J. Trump, the New York licensing court has reviewed and rejected Giuliani’s protest against court’s regulation of his political speech in and out of court and suspended Giuliani’s law license, before the formal charges were filed and without any hearing, because of his political statements about results of presidential elections 2020 in 4 states:

1.     Arizona,

2.     Georgia

3.     Michigan

4.     Pennsylvania[1].

In asserting its right to regulate political speech of attorneys in and out of court the New York licensing court relied upon two U.S. Supreme Court cases:

1.     Gentile v State Bar of Nevada, 501 US 1030, 1051 (1991), and

2.     Ohralik v Ohio State Bar Assn., 436 US 447, 465 (1978).

The reality is that neither one of these precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court contains permission to any governmental bodies, courts included, to regulate political speech of lawyers – with very narrow exceptions that did not apply in Giuliani’s case.

On the very opposite, in the former of the two precedents cited by the New York licensing court in Giuliani’s case, Ohralik v Ohio State Bar Assn., 436 US 447, 465 (1978), the essence of the case was about regulating of purely commercial speech of a lawyer – the so-called “ambulance-chasing”, imposing of the lawyer’s paid business to patients of hospitals without their consent.

Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court has been very cautious not to regulate political speech of lawyers in Ohralik, and not to even appear as if it is attempting to do that – it stated specifically in Ohralik that the speech regulated in that case was not political in character. 

In the latter of the two precedents cited by the New York licensing court in Giuliani’s case,  Gentile v State Bar of Nevada, 501 US 1030, 1051 (1991), the essence of the case was disciplinary punishment of a criminal defense attorney who has won a jury trial for his client.  The punishment was for the lawyer’s press-conference before the formal charges were brought against his client, where the lawyer has publicly accused the local police of criminal activities, fabrication of a criminal case against his client and mishandling of the drugs seized by the police elsewhere.

The U.S. Supreme Court has actually vacated the attorney’s punishment, stating that

1.     An attorney may need to make out-of-court public statements on behalf of his client in the course of a court case if the attorney decides that the client’s interests so demand;

2.      An attorney may publicly criticize the government out-of-court despite a pending court case, which is political speech that the government may not regulate, with two exceptions – if the attorney has used in his/her political speech

1)     Information obtained through a mandatory court discovery process, and

2)     Information subject to a pre-trial court gag order.

The court in Giuliani’s case never mentioned that Giuliani used in his statements information falling into either of the above two exceptions, therefore, the New York court had no authority to regulate Giuliani’s political speech – in or out of court.

Therefore, Giuliani was correct in his protest that the court lacked authority to regulate his political speech through a license regulating procedure.

Moreover, the court in Giuliani’s case acknowledged that at all times when making his statements Giualiani acted in a representative capacity, as the voice of his client, 45th US President Donald J. Trump.

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated more than half a century ago that the government may not do in an indirect way what it may not do in a direct way[2].

Donald J. Trump is not an attorney licensed by the State of New York to practice law, nor does he purport to practice law in the state of New York, and thus is not subject to regulation by New York State court regulating attorneys[3].

New York attorney licensing court had no authority to regulate political speech of 45th US President Donald J. Trump – not directly and not indirectly, through regulating his representative, lawyer Giuliani.

Nor did the court have authority to regulate Giualini’s speech had that speech been on Giuliani’s own behalf, in view of the true holding and reasoning of the two US Supreme Court cases Giuliani’s court has (deliberately) misquoted.

Therefore, the Giuliani court had no jurisdiction over proceedings, its decisions are null and void and the continuing proceedings must be barred as unconstitutional.


[1] Matter of Giuliani, 2021 NY Slip Op 04086 (1st Dept, June 24, 2021).

[2] Speiser v.Randall, 357 U.S. 513 (1958).

[3] See New York State Judiciary Law § 90(2) (“The supreme court shall have power and control over attorneys and counsellors-at-law and all persons practicing or assuming to practice law”).

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