"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

On "extraordinary" writs of prohibition in criminal cases

Recently I got news that one of my former clients did an extraorinary thing - won a very rare "extraordinary" "writ of prohibition" against a New York State Family Court judge.

A VERY rare thing - and a very procedurally complex thing - done ENTIRELY pro se.  VERY PROUD of that person.

Proves that a person unrepresented by an attorney can effectively defend his/her own rights in court - even in very complex cases, and especially in complex cases which attorneys are afraid to touch.

That said, there is a special place in hell for ATTORNEYS who, knowing that a judge is proceeding - especially in a criminal case - without jurisdiction - and when an attorney has been handsomely paid for effective representation of their client, to not even TRY to bring this "extraordinary" writ of prohibition in the Appellate Court to try to STOP the criminal trial since it proceeds without jurisdiction.

For example, recently a reader has sent me some materials (motion papers) in a certain New York criminal case where the defense attorney quite coherently pleads in motion papers that the court had no jurisdiction in that criminal case because of a jurisdictionally deficient indictment.

And yet, when a certain cowardly judge denied that motion, instead of trying to proceed to the Appellate Division with a writ of prohibition before the pending trial, that attorney is trying to pressure the client to accept a plea bargain (with a lot of years in prison) on that same jurisdictionally defective indictment.  Figure.

I guess, the attorney wants to keep the handsome amount paid without the tedious necessity to prepare and try the case - and to hell with what happens to the client.

And, I also guess, sometimes it is better to represent yourself than to have such attorneys.

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