"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.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

My May 21, 2024 Amicus Brief in the 2nd Circuit on the lack of constitutionality of regulation of the practice of law in the State of New York by prohibiting free unlicensed legal advice to the poor and illiterate New Yorkers

 In a very interesting development, on May 20, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has allowed me, despite the suspension of my law license, of which the court is aware, to file an Amicus ("Friend of the Court) Brief with the court in support of Appellees in an appeal Upsolve, Inc. v. James, as an expert in several areas of law: consumer debt, constitutional, constitutional regulation of the practice of law, and criminal law

The Appellant in the case is the New York State Attorney General, and what she considered worth it to appeal and pour thousands upon thousands of dollars into, is the volunteer program meant to help the poor and the illiterate, predominantly black, New Yorkers, to fight a catastrophe created by attorneys licensed by the State of New York - attorneys for debt collectors.

Letitia James, instead of pouring the money she is wasting on this appeal into arranging legal assistance for those same poor and illiterate individuals, is threatening volunteers who are helping so much as to fill out the form available on the New York State website, this one, with criminal prosecution.

The amount of help that volunteers, guided by law professors in that particular area of law, are rendering that Letitia James is attacking is so much as to help people read the court-created form and to check boxes on that form, affirmative defenses, in order to help poor and illiterate New Yorkers avoid default when sued by predatory debt collectors.

I have filed the Amicus because I did not see in other Amicuses filed a straightforward analysis of unconstitutionality of the entire regulation system of the practice of law, since all other Amicuses were filed by licensed attorneys who were simply afraid to touch this issue, as well as the "mainstream" academia in the United States.

I am very surprised that the 2nd Circuit has allowed me to openly speak on this tabooed issue in an Amicus Brief.

I have very low hope that the 2nd Circuit will take my research reflected in the Amicus Brief into consideration since the 2nd Circuit is itself involved in the same type of regulation criticized in the brief, but the point of filing the brief was to make these ideas available to the academia, the public and to American lawyers.  Maybe, these ideas and this research will at least put some seeds of thought into people to move their thinking towards abolition of the unconstitutional scheme depriving people of access to justice.