THE EVOLUTION OF JUDICIAL TYRANNY IN THE UNITED STATES:
"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.
Monday, March 14, 2016
No, we cannot have a U.S. Supreme Court judge with a background of a courageous federal public defender. It will break with tradition.
I also wrote on this blog that, with the rising issue of wrongful convictions caused by prosecutorial misconduct, most likely many such convictions will not be overturned because too many of prosecutors responsible for those wrongful convictions have since made it to the bench, and it will be too embarrassing to reveal such a dirty page or chapter of judges' careers.
Prosecutors like to talk about themselves as being "on the right side", the side of justice, while pointing a finger at criminal defense attorneys as "sleazy", "scum", ready to do "anything" for money etc.
First of all, such claims are done with a wink and a nod - "yeah, we know about presumption of innocence, don't tell us, we know that a criminal defense attorney is representing a person ACCUSED of a crime, and presumed innocence - but STILL".
Still - what?
A person ensuring constitutional right to counsel to a criminal defendant, and doing it properly is somehow bad?
Consider also the cost of prosecutorial mistakes, not to mention misconduct, as opposed to "wrongful acquittals", if there are such, as a result of a criminal defense attorney's work.
If a person who committed a crime was acquitted, or charges against him or her got dismissed, that means that the prosecution did not obtain enough admissible evidence and did not work hard enough to do their job. In a criminal proceeding, the role of the defense is just that - the defense. The burden of proof (burden of production of evidence and the burden of persuasion of the fact-finder) is entirely upon the prosecution. If the prosecution has failed their job, don't blame the defense attorney for doing his.
Once again, if a person who committed a crime is acquitted or the charges have to be dismissed, that is the prosecutorial mistake and not to be blamed on the defense attorney.
If, on the other hand, the prosecution convicted an innocent, especially in a case where there is an ascertainable victim of a heinous crime (a murder, a rape), conviction of an innocent, a grave error and injustice in and of itself, is aggravated by two more grave problems: the true perpetrator of the crime remains at large, and the surviving victims of the crime, as well as the public, are falsely assured of their safety and put their guard down.
That's what happened in a heinous crime of child rape in Arizona where a wrongfully convicted person spent time in prison, while the true perpetrator remained at large and committed more crimes.
Such mistakes can be the result of sloppy work of the police and the prosecution, or such mistakes can be the results of deliberate misconduct of police and/or prosecution to drum up their conviction rate and get elected to the judicial office on the claims of "fighting crime".
So, when prosecutors claim they are "on the right side", I beg to differ. When 95% of criminal cases are resolved through guilty pleas, most of them forced by threats of maximum punishment against the overcharged, mostly poor, criminal defendant, there is no assurance whatsoever that what happened in Arizona is not repeated many times, and that the true perpetrators of crimes do not roam our streets in droves while the innocent scapegoats are doing their time in prisons while those who put them there ascend to the judicial office based on their statistics of convictions, wrongful or not.
You can call me partial to criminal defense attorneys, but, having been one, and knowing how prosecution of crimes work in American courts from the inside, I will be always suspicious of integrity of any prosecutor and of any judge who came to the bench from prosecutorial office.
Yet, the majority of suspended and disbarred attorneys are civil rights and criminal defense attorneys - suspended and disbarred by disciplinary committees and judges who predominantly do NOT have a criminal defense background and a lot of whom have, instead, a prosecutorial background.
In other words, it is very likely that attorney disciplinary process is used by the legal establishment (prosecutors aspiring to be judges, judges who were prosecutors) to disbar defense attorneys to eliminate opposition and to enhance their statistics of convictions as career builder.
My position is that when civil rights and criminal defense attorneys are targeted for suspension and disbarment of their law licenses, not only the attorneys, but the public loses out, especially at the time when there are less and less skillful and zealous civil rights and criminal defense attorneys prepared to work at reduced rates or pro bono.
But, when being a criminal defense attorney, and a good one, is considered somehow as a disqualification for a high public office, this is the outside of enough.
Yet, that is exactly what is happening in the U.S. now.
In 2014, the Republican Senate blocked a President Obama's nominee Debo P. Adegbile to be chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Mr. Adegbile's point of disqualification?
Mr. Adegbile, when he worked for the Legal Aid division of NAACP, he "contributed to the filing of a 2009 court brief that argued that [a person convicted of killing a police officer] faced a discriminatory jury — an appeal found to have merit by a judge".
So, Mr. Adegbile's disqualification was not only that he a civil rights attorney and criminal defense attorney, but also that he was a good one - his post-conviction brief raising issues of racial discrimination on the jury was actually found to have merit, and that was the point of ire and filibustering Mr. Adegbile for nomination to a position to which he was apparently pre-eminently eligible.
A good civil rights attorney prevented from nomination to a civil rights attorney position because he is a good civil rights attorney?
That particular filibustering required a lot of logic, didn't it?
But portraying participation in criminal defense as a disqualification from public office continues now, and now against a U.S. Supreme Court nominee who is a federal appellate judge and who was confirmed for her current position as a federal appellate judge by the U.S. Senate, the same senators who are smearing her now, without any objections.
The name of the judge is Judge Jane Kelly.
Now, a conservative "Judicial Crisis Network" is trying to filibuster nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court of Jane Kelly, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
Her point of disqualification?
Attorney Jane Kelly, as a criminal defense attorney, represented "a child molester".
The interesting part is that the same Judge Kelly was unanimously confirmed by the same Republicans for the seat of a federal appellate judge in 2013, bypassing the usual lower district court judicial position.
Judge Kelly's prior work FOR NINETEEN YEARS, from 1994 to 2013, as a federal public defender, which included the work as a defense attorney in the case now targeted by the "slugfest" ads, was not a problem.
Only now, as part of the deliberate "slugfest" campaign, Judge Kelly is being smears - simply because President Obama nominated her to the highest court in the country.
One can understand why there is such an opposition to nomination of Judge Kelly. She is apparently a person of uncommon courage and principles.
While working in the federal public defender's office and being reportedly a supervising attorney in its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, office, in 2004, Judge Kelly was viciously attacked while jogging. Her attacker was never found.
Judging by the fact that assistant public defender Jane Kelly was not killed, but was severely beaten and left "going in and out of consciousness and unable to call for help", the purpose of the attack was likely intimidation. It is very likely, under the circumstances, that an attack on a federal public defender was caused by her work as a federal public defender. And, the attacker, once again, was not found.
Violence upon criminal defense attorneys is a real thing.
Just several days ago a criminal defense attorney who was successful in not only defeating the Orange County (California) District Attorney's office, but causing a major media scandal by exposing the improper use by the DA's office of jail snitches - suffered a vicious attack by one of District Attorney's investigators, of all people.
I remember a time when my husband, a trial criminal defense attorney at the time, was requested by the police to wait until the irate supporters of the alleged victims go away, after his successful presentation in a criminal defense preliminary hearing that caused a dismissal of the case. I remember walking to the car in the parking lot that day, together with my husband, under the protection of the armed police.
I remember threats mouthed at him in and around the courthouse, and on the phone.
Judge Kelly, after being viciously attacked in 2004 by an attacker who was not found, continued to work as a federal public defender for 9 years. One thing you cannot deny this woman is her courage in doing her duty.
She is a judge with "unusual" background for a judge - a federal public defender. She knows, from her NINETEEN years of experience, in detail, what problems an indigent criminal defendant faces in the American "criminal justice system".
Here is what Judge Kelly reportedly said in her confirmation hearing for the seat of a federal appellate judge:
"As a criminal defense attorney, I am often representing someone who, shall I say, is not the most popular person in the room. ... So I, as much as anyone, know how important it is to be fair and impartial and make decisions based on things other than bias, favor, or prejudice."
Oh, no, we cannot have a U.S. Supreme Court justice like this, Judge Kelly could be fair and not prejudiced in taking and reviewing the cases of criminal defendants, and possibly, be a swing vote to end the disgraceful death penalty. No, we cannot have that.
The director of the "Infinity Project", an organization that promotes women for positions as federal judges on the 8th Circuit, stated in an interview at the time of her appointment as a federal appellate judge, that it has been difficult to get in women with Jane Kelly's background.
The ad campaign smear, by the way, completely distorts what Jane Kelly did as an attorney in representing her client.
The ad said that Jane Kelly was arguing that her client was not a threat to society - and immediately paired that up with sexual molestation and murder of a 5-year-old child by the same client.
What the ad missed is that at the time Jane Kelly represented her client on charges of possession of child pornography, he was not convicted of molestation and murder yet, those were crimes for which he was charged and convicted in another court, state court, later on.
Moreover, Casey Frederiksen as convicted of sexual molestation and murder of a child in 2015, two years after Jane Kelly was no longer a federal public defender, but was already a federal appellate judge.
Therefore, it was physically impossible for federal public defender Jane Kelly to foresee the future conviction of her client when she may have claimed to the sentencing court, sentencing her client for possession of child pornography only (a heinous crime, but not a violent crime with an ascertainable victim).
At the federal sentencing of Casey Frederiksen in 2006, attorney Jane Kelly was justified as a zealous advocate on behalf of her client in claiming at sentencing that her client, without knowing more, was not a threat to society just because he possessed child pornography.
It appears that the smear ads put upon public defender Jane Kelly a duty to be a clairvoyant, and to predict a 2015 conviction of her client in her 2006 sentencing arguments.
By the way, the lies in the smear campaign stretched as far as claiming that Jane Kelly, when trying to negotiate in 2006 a plea deal for possession of child pornography for her client Casey Frederiksen, knew that he was PREVIOUSLY convicted for sexual molestation of another girl.
Yet, the link about Attorney Kelly's knowledge as of 2006 about the "other girl" conviction leads to a story not to a conviction, but of a disappearance of a girl, for which Frederiksen was convicted only in 2015.
The techniques of the smear campaign are obvious - toss in enough lies, so that people become easily inflamed and will not check out the dates, and equate a criminal defense attorney with her client. If she is defending him and arguing for leniency for him, she is as bad as him.
And, of course, a criminal defense attorney should "know" what kind of other crimes her client may have committed, even if not charged.
How should she know about that, is anybody's guess.
What the smear campaign also does is, as legal commentators note, it shoos young attorneys away from criminal defense, portraying it as a career destroyer.
Which, at a time when skilled criminal defense attorneys are very much needed, and especially in the field of indigent criminal defense, where Judge Kelly worked for 19 years, is a disservice to the public.
All to preclude a President Obama nominee?
Imagine the shock - a fair judge who knows from experience as a criminal defense attorney the problems of indigent criminal defense, to take the place of, quite likely, the most corrupt judge in the history of the U.S. #AntoninScalia, that's the judge with hundreds of hunting trips - and God only knows what other sweet deals - with litigants and interest groups who turned up dead during Valentine's Day weekend in a luxury suite of a hunting lodge some place in Texas where he came without his spouse and mother of his 9 children, in a suite paid for by a litigant who got benefits from Scalia's court.
No, we cannot have a fair, impartial and incorruptible judge on the highest court of this country.
We must tolerate intimidation of any candidate who would dare to be nominated by President Obama in his last year.
We must tolerate the "slugfest" campaign against this courageous woman, a white woman who, after being viciously beaten, continued for 9 years her service as a public defender in a system where minorities are predominantly targeted for criminal prosecution.
We cannot have a judge on the bench who knows through her work for indigent, mostly minority, defendants, what racial discrimination in the American "justice" system is like.
A judge that cannot be bought? Or even intimidated physically?
Can we withstand such a wonder in this country?
Monday, April 4, 2016
Minnesota and Nevada federal judges are on the same bandwagon using occupational licensing of attorneys to deny counsel of choice to criminal defendants in high profile cases
In that particular case, occupational licensing (discipline from another state imposed upon the criminal defense attorney) was used by Minnesota federal district court judge Michael Davis to preclude criminal defense attorney Mitchell Robinson from representing criminal defendant Hamza Ahmed.
Occupational licensing is used for the declaratory purpose of protecting consumers from bad service providers.
Attorney licensing is (supposedly) no different.
When an attorney is licensed - or his or her license is taken - that happens, supposedly because to allow the attorney to practice will hurt the consumers.
There are certain ways how an admitted attorney in one jurisdiction may be precluded from practicing in another jurisdiction - lack of automatic reciprocity of attorney licensing across jurisdictions.
If an attorney is licensed, for example, to practice law in the State of New York, his license may not permit him to practice law in a state which does not have mutual agreement with New York recognizing each other's state licenses without an additional bar examination and a separate licensing process.
Federal courts are usually less restrictive.
If an attorney is admitted in at least one federal court, they usually admit that attorney in their court, permanently or for a particular case (it is called a "pro hac vice" admission) without any problem.
Apparently, not so if the incoming attorney attempts to represent a criminal defendant in a high profile case.
In the case I described earlier on this blog, criminal defendant, Hamza Ahmed, who is charged with various counts related to ISIS, was denied representation by an attorney who is admitted in the State of Minnesota, so there was supposed to be no problem allowing him to step into a federal case in the same state of Minnesota.
In the Cliven Bundy case currently prosecuted in Nevada, after the famous ranchers' stand-off in Oregon where Cliven Bundy's son Ammon Bundy was involved, a criminal defense attorney who tried to enter the case and represent the defendant (and was denied that right by the judge on pretextual grounds) was not registered in that particular federal court, and filed a petition to the court for admission for that case only - a "pro hac vice" petition.
There is no question that Larry Klayman, the attorney who attempted to get into the criminal case on the criminal defense side, and was denied entry, is a seasoned, skilled and knowledgeable attorney.
Attorney Larry Klayman is skilled, seasoned, aggressive and courageous to get his point across, even if it does not coincide with the point of view of judges - and that may exactly be the reason why Larry Klayman was blocked from representing a criminal defendant charged with a list of serious felony counts.
Here is what Cliven Bundy was charged with:
And, Cliven Bundy was represented by just one criminal defense attorney - who wanted Larry Klayman to join the team and be the SECOND criminal defense attorney on the team.
The Prosecution has FOUR prosecutors on their team across the defendant's current ONE.
In Hamza Ahmed's case in Minnesota the prosecution had FIVE prosecutors against Hamza Ahmed's ONE public defender.
There was no question that Larry Klayman was the attorney of Cliven Bundy's choice.
As I indicated above, Larry Klayman was, undoubtedly (1) skilled and (2) wanted by his client.
And, these two conditions was undoubtedly enough to have representation by Larry Klayman mandated by the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that, under the Supremacy Clause, trumps any inconsistent state law.
Yet, Chief Judge Gloria Navarro, of the Nevada District Court, thought, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, that there is a compelling interest that may allow her to preclude representation of a criminal defendant in an extremely high-profile case from being represented by a skilled criminal defense attorney of his choice helping the defense team.
The Nevada Chief federal judge Gloria Navarro would not allow representation of Cliven Bundy in his criminal proceedings by the well known conservative public interest lawyer Larry Klayman.
This is the decision:
The Sixth Amendment right to counsel in criminal cases does not have exceptions in its text.
So, any exceptions invented by courts - like the one Chief Judge Gloria Navarro cited - is amendment of the U.S. Constitution by the court, and is completely illegal, and unconstitutional, as is Chief Judge's Navarro's order denying an extra skillful counsel to a criminal defendant faced by steep charges and a prosecution team of 4 prosecutors against his one current criminal defense attorney.
Of course, the particular attorney who is being blocked from entering the case, sued the federal government based on Edward Snowden's disclosure of NSA surveillance over American citizens through cell phone data.
Of course, Larry Klayman won a groundbreaking decision against the government on the basis of government surveillance.
Of course, discipline imposed upon him in Florida - that's why Judge Navarro blocked him from representing the criminal defendant who hired and chose him - had nothing to do with his ability to provide a quality criminal defense, and for Cliven Bundy, I am sure, that particular quality in a lawyer controls at this time.
Chief Judge Gloria Navarro, along with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, found an exception to the 6th Amendment right to counsel - which, in her view, trumps the U.S. Constitution that she is sworn to uphold.
The court-invented exception to 6th Amendment is like this:
The 6th Amendment right to counsel in a criminal case is now, apparently, according to Chief Judge Gloria Navarro, a "qualified" (restricted) right.
And it is "qualified" (restricted) if satisfying that (constitutional) right will be too much of a burden for the court where counsel is "incompetent or unwilling to abide by court rules and ethical guidelines".
But - wait a second - if for any reason, Cliven Bundy chooses to represent himself, he cannot be blocked from doing so even:
- if he is incompetent;
- if he is completely unethical with the court; and
- if he is completely unable or unwilling to follow court rules
His right to representation by another cannot be denied either - there is NO such restrictions in the text of the 6th Amendment, and a federal court does not have an authority to amend the U.S. Constitution, the clear and unambiguous text of the 6th Amendment, through interpretation.
Chief Judge Navarro indicated that a criminal defendant's 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice may be restricted only for "compelling reasons", meaning that the so-called "strict scrutiny" test is supposed to be applied.
But, first, the strict scrutiny test (invented by the U.S. Supreme Court to analyze whether the government STILL has authority to violate fundamental constitutional rights of individuals, even if the U.S. Constitution clearly says it doesn't give the government such an authority) requires also to go through an extra step - to verify whether the restrictions of the 6th Amendment right is "narrowly tailored" to that allegedly "compelling interests".
You saw in the order of Chief Judge Gloria Navarro (cited ) above the cited "compelling reason" to deny criminal defendant Cliven Bundy a counsel of his choice - "fair, efficient and orderly administration of justice".
To deny a federal constitutional right to counsel of his choice to a criminal defendant who, once again, has only one criminal defense attorney on his side, while the prosecution has 4 prosecutors on their team - satisfies the "compelling" interest of "fair, efficient and orderly administration of justice"?
And, what "orderly" and "efficient" has to do with "justice"?
There is no compelling interest by the government for "efficient" administration of justice, because the only "efficient" resolution for the government is a conviction.
There is no compelling interest of the government in "orderly" administration of justice either, because the only "orderly" way out is to kill all criminal defense and civil rights attorneys or permanently seal their lips (they are trying to do that through attorney discipline that disproportionately, if not solely, targets feisty criminal defense and civil rights attorneys).
There is no statutory or constitutional definition of "orderly" or "efficient" administration of justice, and what is a "fair" administration, is already set in the U.S. Constitution, its Amendments and federal penal and procedural statutes.
So, the strict scrutiny test, as illegal and unconstitutional as it is in itself, was not even followed by Chief Judge Gloria Navarro to the end, she did not prove:
(1) that "fair" administration of justice is a "compelling interest" OF THE PROSECUTION and the court that may be used to restrict a criminal defendant's 6th Amendment right to counsel;
(2) what "orderly" or "efficient" administration of justice is, why it is a "compelling interest" of the government, and what is the legal basis to allow that "compelling interest" to trump a fundamental constitutional right under the 6th Amendment (other than a decision by another court made without authority to make such a decision).
With such a drastic decision, made on such a contrived ground - a decision that very obviously stinks - I started to look what kind of background Chief Judge Gloria Navarro has to lead her to make such a decision.
Chief Judge Navarro, according to her official biography, worked previously both as a public defender, and as a prosecutor.
Apparently, becoming part of judicial establishment must go to people's heads.
Obviously, Judge Navarro's ruling may help her career should a Republican president be elected (even though she was appointed initially to the bench by President Obama). And Chief Judge Navarro, who is just 48 at this time (very young for a federal judge) has some ways to go up the ladder - she can still become:
- a federal appellate court judge;
- a federal appellate court's Chief judge, and
- a U.S. Supreme Court justice
One thing is also clear - that Chief Judge Navarro's order is unconstitutional, that it was a reversible error to deny counsel of his choice to a criminal defendant based on judge's contrived reasoning.
But, since Judge Navarro already relied on the 9th Circuit "precedent", it will be for the U.S. Supreme Court - if it would take the case for review should there be a conviction and appeal - to rule on this issue.
In this country the U.S. Constitution exists and becomes visible only if the Council of 9 (now 8) elders says so.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Being "strongly deferential" to (biased in favor of) governmental litigants is a qualification for high office in the U.S., being an honest criminal defense or civil rights attorney is a disqualification for high office. It worked with #JudgeJaneKelly, will it work with #HillaryClinton?
The tactic actually worked in derailing President Obama's choice to nominate a worthy candidate #JudgeJaneKelly and instead to nominate a white male with no history of criminal defense Judge Merrick Garland, against whom a disciplinary complaint/letter was recently filed, and the complainant seeks to testify at Judge Garland's confirmation hearing, if that hearing ever happens.
The letter, addressed to Judge Garland, contains a phrase: "As chief judge, you have fostered a culture of corruption in the E. Barrett
We truly needed to reject nomination of an honest criminal defender to instead put on the U.S. Supreme Court another corrupt judge, who is "strongly deferential" to "big government" power.
Being "strongly deferential" (in other words, biased) in favor of the government, the government that appears in front of Judge Garland in civil rights cases in the federal D.C. Circuit of Columbia Court, as a defendant - is, obviously, a good qualification for advancement to the top positions in the U.S. Government.
Being an honest criminal defense attorney opposing efforts of the government to accuse, often falsely, often on false evidence, individuals and put them through the hell of the American criminal "justice" system is, instead, a disqualification from a high governmental office in the U.S.
Since the tactic worked with #JudgeJaneKelly and, previously, against President Obama's nominee Debo P. Agebile who was not confirmed for the position of the Director of the Division of Civil Rights in the U.S. Justice Department because of his successful motions on behalf of an unpopular criminal defendant. In other words, Mr. Agebile was, allegedly, a bad candidate for public office because he was a good criminal defense attorney and civil rights attorney who took his job seriously - the tactic is now used against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
While being no fan of Hillary Clinton for the position of President of the United States, as a dispassionate observer of the circus that the presidential campaign has become, I can state that the use against Mrs. Clinton of the fact that she represented - as an assigned counsel - in 1975, a person accused of child rape, indicates that her opponents are getting desperate.
The attack also shows that people have no understanding of the concept of presumption of innocence, claiming that she represented "a child rapist".
No, she represented a person who was presumed innocent, and was accused of child rape.
Even when attorneys represent people convicted of most heinous crimes, even conviction in this country - with rampant judicial and prosecutorial corrutpion and now-frequent exoneration, some of them from death row, many of them because of prosecutorial misconduct - even a conviction is not conclusive proof that that particular person committed a crime.
An innocent person facing death penalty will most likely falsely confess to save his/her life.
95% or more of criminal cases are "resolved" in this country through plea bargains, where often innocent people accept the lesser of two evils.
To blame an attorney to try to defend people in such situations - especially when such an attorney, like in Mrs. Clinton's case in 1975 - was court-appointed, is to put constitutional law of this country on its head.
And - once again, before casting such allegations, opponent of Mrs. Clinton should think whether they look as they looked when they used this little smear tactic against her - desperate.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
When a criminal defense attorney runs for public office, how do we assess the record of her success?
I also covered in that blog the filibustering of President Obama's nomination in 2014 of a civil rights attorney who was blocked from taking a position of chief of Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Department of Justice because he was too good of a civil rights and criminal defense attorney.
One thing needs to be pointed out that is overlooked when a criminal defense attorney is running for or being nominated for a public office - an equally rare occasion. Unlike a prosecutor who can boast convictions (even wrongful convictions, even convictions on coerced pleas and while using false and fabricated evidence) as the prosecutor's "record" of "fighting crime" when running for or being nominated for the bench.
As my professors and mentors always taught me, a criminal defense attorneys does not "win" the case - the prosecution loses, because the burden to put the case together, and the burden of proof are entirely upon the prosecution.
Criminal cases rarely come to trial.
Most of them are resolved through either plea bargains, dismissals, or resolutions reducing a crime to a non-crime.
I would like to talk about the latter.
When a criminal charge is dismissed before trial, that is a big win for the defense, but in that case, the criminal case disappears, the record is sealed, and the criminal defense attorney does not have a right to brag about the case.
I clearly remember how surprised (at first) I was when I saw that clients for whom my husband, a criminal defense attorney at the time, won dismissals of cases, sometimes would not recognize my husband in the street, walk right by him.
And then some of them called him, apologized and explained that they did not want other people to know that they know my husband, a leading criminal defense attorney in the area.
So, criminal defense attorneys have no bragging rights about dismissed cases, even though such dismissals before trial saved the client money and especially the stress and heartache of the trial, the stress of possible conviction at trial and the uncertainty and expense of the appeal.
When a criminal charge is reduced to a non-criminal charge, the case is similarly sealed, and thus, again, an attorney loses bragging rights for the attorney's "win", as opposed to a prosecutor.
In New York, such a situation will arise if, for example, a charge for a misdemeanor or a felony (a crime) is reduced to a violation (not a crime), or if an eligible young defendant is given a youthful offender (YO) status.
Often criminal defense attorneys also represent people in child abuse/neglect cases and in domestic violence/"family offense" cases in Family Court.
Wins in such cases are also sealed, as all Family Court records, and there are, similarly, no bragging rights when such an attorney would consider running or being nominated for a high public office.
I just want the public to be aware that when a criminal defense/family court defense attorney is running for office, most of his or her wins and accomplishments may not be revealed to the public simply because they are sealed.
Thus, the balance is between sealed accomplishments of criminal defense attorneys and known record of convictions of prosecutors, likely created by drumming up coerced pleas.
The public needs to be aware of this imbalance, especially where the majority of judges in this country came from prosecutors, and where judicial misconduct may be the natural continuation of a prosecutor's mentality - just charge and intimidate, and you will be immune for anything false and criminal you are doing during the trial.
Unlike a prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney is not given as many resources, must fight against tremendous odds for his or her client, including the unfair publicity that the police and prosecution often create before the case is heard by the court, and must be a quick and effective thinker.
For a prosecutor, given that most judges are former prosecutors, too, a victory is often presumed, and a loss is usually the result of either the prosecutor's or the police's extremely sloppy work, or the result of an outstanding work of the criminal defense attorneys where even a judge cannot help but rule against the prosecutor despite the judge's usual bias against the defense.
I think, we need more of criminal defense attorneys in public office, not less, and I think, we need to be extremely alert to smear campaigns against criminal defense attorneys who run for public office - like the one going on now against the U.S. Supreme Court nominee #JudgeJaneKelly.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The judicial bullying of criminal defense attorney #MarcusMumford after acquittal of his client continues - Chief Judge Michael Mosman took request for supporting evidence of his own motion "under advisement" and continues with his illegal prosecution
Such persecution is usually handled by judges who are former prosecutors themselves, and who are bent to help the prosecution in some media-worthy pending cases.
That's what happened with attorney Marcus Mumford, I wrote about his case here, here and here.
His "sin" was that he demanded the U.S. Marshalls to show him the order of detention of his client when they detained him in a federal courtroom after his acquittal by the jury.
Instead, the U.S. Marshalls manhandled the attorney and tasered him.
On top of that, the U.S. Attorney's office (under the civil rights-loving President Obama) charged Marcus Mumford with a crime, which they later dropped.
But, the "problem" with Marcus Mumford remained that he continued to represent his client in the new federal criminal case where he was initially illegally detained.
And the presiding judge couldn't have it.
So, the judge tried to eliminate attorney Mumford - and help the prosecution - by issuing an "order to show cause" asking attorney Mumford why he shouldn't be sanctioned by having his pro hac vice permission (license for one case in that federal court) revoked.
And, just "coincidentally", the order to show cause was issued while attorney Mumford was on a vacation, and "coincidentally", while the order to show cause cited to the trial transcripts in a criminal case, those transcripts were not provided to attorney Mumford in order to defend himself, while the judge limited his time to answer.
So, attorney Mumford filed - instead of response that he could not possibly filed without having the transcripts - a memorandum asking for extension of time.
The "failures to follow the court orders" that attorney Mumford is charged with in the show cause order from the federal court in the State of Oregon, "coincidentally", comes from a criminal case which attorney Mumford WON, "causing" by his work a jury acquittal for his client.
That is not so different from a disciplinary complaint recently filed - and accepted for investigation and prosecution by the Florida Bar - of attorney Jose Baez who had the "audacity" to "cause" the jury acquittal of Casey Anthony in a highly publicized murder trial of a child.
And, several "sticky" questions arise.
First, according to the case Williams v Pennsylvania decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, a judge may not be at the same time an accuser and an adjudicator, and court decisions made under such circumstances are VOID (as in "null and void", as in being a "nullity", a "zero", like it never existed). By the way, Williams v Pennsylvania is a civil case (a habeas corpus petition), same as proceedings for sanctions.
An sua sponte "order to show cause" is a MOTION made by the court itself (sua sponte). When such a sua sponte motion by the court seeks to punish an attorney, it:
1) puts the judge who has brought the order to show cause in the position of an accuser, thus disqualifying the judge from presiding not only over the motion, but over further proceedings, as the judge demonstrated a bias against one of the attorneys;
2) if the judge does not disqualify himself, his decisions will be void under Williams v Pennsylvania.
Not that the presiding judge cares.
Not that attorney Mumford dared to raise that argument in his memorandum.
There are interesting details about Chief Judge Mosman's sua sponte order to show cause against attorney Mumford.
3) There is no indication that Chief Judge Mosman was ever assigned to this case, as the docket, from its first day to this date, showed Judge Anna Brown as the assigned judge, and Chief Judge Mosman does not have a liberty to butt into cases over the head of assigned judges without orders of re-assignment:
The order to show cause, Docket # 2069, was issued by judge Mosman on April 12, 2017, more than 6 months after his client's acquittal - while attorney Mumford was on a vacation with his family, and had an expectation that he will never be bothered with anything concerning this case because of the acquittal and consequent loss of jurisdiction by that court.
The order to show cause is contained in just three (3) pages, with a requirement for Attorney Mumford to answer by May 4, 2017 - so attorney Mumford was given by Chief Judge Mosman just 22 days to
- read 549 pages and answer those accusations - while full transcripts of what was happening in those court proceedings were not provided to him, and thus there existed a clear possibility that the charges were plucked out of context;
- Attorney Mumford was still an attorney of record in an ongoing criminal case in federal court in Nevada for the same client who was acquitted by the jury in front of Judge Anna Brown in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon where sentencing of his client was still pending - so judge Mosman's order to show cause interfered with Attorney Mumford's work for his client, as attorney Mumford would be subject to "reciprocal" discipline in federal court in Nevada if Judge Brown imposes sanctions upon him in federal court in Oregon;
- since attorney Mumford's client was acquitted and thus "terminated" from the criminal case on November 4, 2016, the Oregon federal court lost jurisdiction over both Mr. Bundy and his attorney Marcus Mumford after that date, and an order to show cause dated more than half a year after the acquittal, April 12, 2017, is abjectly illegal.
4) Since attorney Mumford's client was acquitted, there was nothing to revoke - attorney Mumford's pro hac vice admission in that court was OVER as of the date of acquittal on November 4, 2016.
See attorney Mumford's order of admission pro hac vice for representation of his client only. That representation was over on the date of acquittal, November 4, 2016, more than 6 months before the order to show cause was filed by Judge Mosman:
5) Since attorney Mumford's client was acquitted and Judge Brown's court in Oregon lost jurisdiction on acquittal, Judge Brown was without power to make any rulings in favor of his further detention, and judge Mosman, who was never assigned to the case in the first place, could not assign himself AFTER THE ACQUITTAL and make sua sponte motions based on events after the acquittal and loss of jurisdiction by the court.
6) After the acquittal of attorney Mumford's client and loss of jurisdiction by the court over attorney Mumford and his client, any "motions" regarding future preclusion of attorney Mumford from future cases has no authority, as such a case must be brought not by the court, but by its disciplinary committee. In this case, the court equates itself with a prosecutor, disciplinary committee in seeking a future preclusion from future cases 6 months after attorney Mumford's pro hac vice admission expired with acquittal of his client.
Yet, here is the order, in its full "glory":
Here is the memorandum of law of attorney Mumford, once again, where attorney Mumford, unfortunately, does not raise the issue of the court's total lack of jurisdiction to issue its sua sponte order - maybe, he will raise it later on when he files his response.
The post-acquittal sua sponte motion by Judge Mosman against attorney Mumford after the court lost jurisdiction over him produced these peculiar filings:
Note that the filing by attorney Mumford personally in a motion for sanctions aimed at him personally, 7 months after his client's acquittal and thus 7 months after loss of jurisdiction by the court over Ammon Bundy, Ammon Bundy continues to be named as the "filer" and continues to be named as a criminal Defendant.
Note that there are TWO judges operating in this case, a complete violation of federal court procedures:
- Judge Anna Brown who continues to handle sentencing of the remaining defendant, and
- Chief Judge Mosman who is not even on the docket and who is acting in lieu of a disciplinary committee in trying to revoke a pro hac vice admission that ended 7 months ago and to preclude future pro hac vice admissions, which is a completely speculative action for which Chief Judge Mosman has no jurisdiction or standing
On May 8, 2017, the self-assigned post-acquittal sua sponte movant judge Mosman granted attorney Mumford an extension of time, but took "under advisement" the necessity of giving him proof (full trial transcripts) that Judge Mosman used to accuse attorney Mumford of misconduct.
There are no appeals from acquittals, and normally, these transcripts will not have to be produced.
But, because Chief Judge Mosman simply could not put to rest the court's grudge against attorney Mumford for "causing" an acquittal for his client in that court, a completely illegal bullying of the attorney continues, at the expense of federal taxpayers.
Think of the cost of full trial transcripts in a multi-defendant federal criminal case - that's what the court, as a matter of due process, will have to produce for Attorney Mumford so that he could prepare his defense in this completely illegal persecution against him.
And, of course, Judge Mosman, the lookalike of SCOTUS judge Gorsuch, is a former career prosecutor - now helping out the U.S. Attorney's office in eliminating a federal criminal defense attorney who showed he is capable to win a criminal trial despite huge negative publicity against his client. That is obviously the main purpose of Judge Mosman's motion, to help his former "brothers", the prosecutors, in total violation of his oath of office.
While I totally sympathize with attorney Mumford's plight and understand what is at stake for him and why he may be overly cautious in not bringing up certain glaring issues of judicial misconduct in this case, I think it is a wrong strategy to address the merits of the case without addressing the "elephant in the room" - the total illegality of such proceedings on many levels.
Chief Judge Mosman should be impeached for his abuse of power and his illegal actions.
Friday, March 18, 2016
#CriminalDefenseAttorneyLivesMatter - where are the security videos of how DA Investigator Dillon Alley beat the criminal defense attorney James Crawford IN THE COURTHOUSE?
The use of jailhouse snitches by the Orange County police and DA's office has hit the press long prior to that, and became a media scandal.
On March 9, 2016 attorney James Crawford who won the retrial of Henry Rodriguez, was reportedly beaten up, severely, IN THE COURTHOUSE by the Orange County District Attorney investigator Dillon Alley, right under the security cameras.
That happened just before the jury selection in another criminal case where Mr. Crawford came to advise a witness.
Even though the brawl was clearly in front of court security officers, no arrests for the brawl was made - and the initial report on the brawl clearly raises an issue of selective non-enforcement of laws against the DA's investigator, because had the defense attorney been the initiator of the brawl, he would have been arrested for sure.
On March 17, 2016 it was reported that the prosecution is claiming that their investigator was acting in "self-defense" and that the defense attorney - just before he was about to start picking the jury - punched the investigator in the face first.
If that happened though, the defense attorney would surely have been arrested. The court security officers though did not want to arrest their "brother", the DA investigator.
Not to mention that the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the same Department that is in charge of the jail where informants were illegally used, are also in charge of courthouse security. Talking about conflicts of interest.
And, prosecutor's and defense counsel's stories "significantly differ".
Now, all of this was happening IN THE COURTHOUSE.
Are we living in the 19th century?
Do they not have security cameras in the courthouse to verify what exactly happened. Why do they have to rely on verbal accounts that "significantly differ"?
Or, did security officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Department make sure that the tapes are overwritten, not available, equipment broken, is not working - etc., that's the usual excuses of New York Court Administration not to provide security video tapes from courthouses when such videotapes can reveal misconduct of public officials in New York.
I recently wrote an article about being criminal defense attorney as a disqualification from public office and as a danger to the attorney's life.
Being a criminal defense attorney, especially a good one, is somehow considered a disreputable profession in the United States - even President Obama caved in and did not nominate a female federal judge, former federal public defender, when #JudgeJaneKelly was viciously - and falsely - attacked verbally in a smear campaign for doing her job.
#JudgeJaneKelly was also viciously attacked physically in the middle of her 19-year career as a public defender, and left bleeding and unconscious in the park.
Only that was in the park, with nobody around to see the attacker (and, obviously, the government did not try to knock themselves out to find the attacker, the attacker is still not found).
Here, whether Investigator Alley attacked Attorney Crawford or whether, as the prosecution now claims, the Investigator acted in self-defense, should be clearly visible on security tapes.
Using witnesses to verify what happened under court security cameras (operated by individuals with a distinct conflict of interest in the matter), as it is reportedly planned now in the forthcoming hearing, as I understand, verifying whether the DA's office should be disqualified from the case, is completely inadequate.
Once again - where are the court security videos?
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Yet another attorney-blogger who criticized judicial misconduct, specifically, criminal sexual misconduct of two federal judges, ex parte communications of federal judges, and misconduct of personal lawyers of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and of judicial nominee of President Obama is targeted for disbarment. A tribute to the courage of attorney Ty Clevenger
Specifically, some high-ranking public officials who got into the cross-hairs of Ty Clevenger's criticism are listed below, and the main target of Ty Clevenger's criticism was Judge Walter Scott Smith Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Walter Smith was outed by attorney Clevenger for sexual misconduct revealed in attorney Clevenger's own disciplinary proceedings in the State of Texas - dismissed proceedings - where the victim of Judge Smith testified under oath that Judge Walter Smith:
- spotted her years before he started sexually harassing her, because the judge actually had in his private chambers monitors where he saw court employees coming and going from the courthouse, and the victim was initially the newly-hired probation officer;
- after the victim was promoted to become a court clerk four year later judge Smith used his power as the judicial officer to order the victim to appear in his private chambers at the time was drunk on the job, groped her when she appeared, and propositioned to her;
- when the victim got away from Judge Smith and notified her superior not to leave her alone with Judge Smith because of her advances, Judge Smith started to pursue her by sending her flower bouquets, pressing her to go to rendezvous with the judge outside of the courthouse, ordering the victim's superior to step away and keep away while judge stayed alone with the victim, and, when the victim was forced to leave her job and filed an employment discrimination complaint,
- the victim was restored in her job, but then the judge created an impossible hostile atmosphere at work where the victim was actually blamed for making a complaint against the judge by co-workers who had to tolerate the judge's misconduct; and,
- the judge caused his law clerk to exert pressure upon the victim to withdraw the complaint,
- and exerted pressure on another employee in the courthouse who tried to reason with the judge and protect the victim, to also resign from the job.
By the way, it was recently reported by a Sun Foundation, a watchdog of government compliance with access-to-records requests, that the U.S. Department was not exactly truthful with the U.S. President as to the rate of disclosure on those FOIA requests - and that it was simply an "inaccurate report", given what Hillary Clinton's legal team did, is an understatement of the century, it looks more like deliberate shielding of high-standing public official from requests that could expose them to criminal charges, see also what is done all over the country to people who seek access to public records, see what happened specifically in the State of Georgia last month.
I was actually personally sanctioned and ordered to pay tens of thousands in sanctions and opponent's legal fees for "harassing" opponents (a former judge) through disclosure of his misconduct in a court proceeding based on information I obtained through an access-to-public-record request. Moreover, my license was suspended by a judge in response to a motion based on information received through such an access-to-records request revealing that the "judge"'s claim that he is a judge is not based on competent evidence required by law and is, thus, false.
See also how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, a court that habitually puts civil rights appeals on a "fast-and-sloppy" track of summary non-precedential orders (see also my blog here) made by extremely old judges, is trying to stall my FOIA request about potential widespread corruption between federal and state judges and politically connected attorneys that 2nd Circuit covers up for, and likely has been covering up for - for decades.
All of these people, as explained, with proof, above, are subject to harsh retribution in this country by the politically powerful targets of the criticism and their helpers.
Ty Clevenger's case is no exception.
After all, he not only publicly criticized judicial corruption in his blog, but published the actual transcript of testimony implicating a federal judge Walter Smith in sexual misconduct against at least one and possibly more court employees.
That was, of course, unforgivable, and the former law clerk of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, a former counsel of the U.S. President Bill Clinton, the present counsel of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the chair of disciplinary committee (what "coincidences"!) of the D.C. Circuit court
David Kendall, had to file disbarment charges against Ty Clevenger based on trumped up charges, while himself engaging in criminal conduct that is not subject to discipline because David Kendall is a "golden boy" and is above the law, and
That the D.C. District Court for the District of Columbia actually uses attorney disciplinary boards staffed by supermajority of attorneys, competitors to those attorneys the boards investigate and prosecute, in violation of the recent precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that disciplinary board consisting of super-majorities of market players (licensed attorneys disciplining licensed attorneys) is a violation of federal (civil and criminal) antitrust laws (see also a letter from a former federal antitrust prosecutor on liability of such attorney grievance committees for doing what they are doing to Ty Clevenger), and in violation of the recent ruling of the D.C. District Court's supervising court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit that regulation of an industry by a participant and a competitor in the industry is a violation of due process of law of the competitors.
Obviously, while the D.C. Circuit Court rules that it is a violation of the "regulated" businesses and individual's due process rights when they are regulated, or rather, railroaded (pun intended since the D.C. Circuit case refers to regulation of the railroad industry by Amtrak) by their own competitors, the D.C. District Court continues to appoint competitors to railroad attorneys like Ty Clevenger who dare to expose judicial misconduct - bad judicial misconduct, sexual criminal judicial misconduct, as well as bad criminal misconduct of attorneys with political connections to the highest echelons of power in this country.
By the way, the dismissed Texas State disciplinary proceeding against attorney Ty Clevenger where the victim of sexual misconduct of federal judge Walter Smith testified was conveniently brought on complaint of an attorney who represented, without disclosure, Judge Smith's in the judicial investigation of his misconduct. The attorney was rewarded for representing Judge Smith in the investigation by protection from well deserved discipline.
By the way, and, of course, coincidentally, Hillary Clinton is the preferred candidate of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg who recently was subject of criticism for her public statement that Hillary Clinton's opponent, presidential candidate Donald Trump, is a "faker" and has "no consistency".
Justice Ginsburg also claimed that if Donald Trump gets elected, Justice Ginsburg will have to flee to New Zealand.
Statements of a judge in anticipation of "Gore v Bush" # 2 with a harsh personal opinion about one of potential parties in front of her in such a case, constituted judicial misconduct, but Justice Ginsburg was not impeached.
Justice Ginsburg did not express regret - initially - for her personal remarks against Donald Trump and, when Donald Trump publicly stated that Justice Ginsburg should resign, stated "gloomily" that she does not know how Donald Trump can become president and that he gets "too much of free publicity."
Yet, when criticism against Justice Ginsburg heated up, Justice Ginsburg did express making remarks about Donald Trump, but did not resign, and very recently, 9 days ago, reportedly held private out-of-court meetings with attorneys "and their guests" at a private resort in New Mexico, discussing who knows what in ex parte meetings with those attorneys "and their guests".
Just in February of this year, another U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia's misconduct was revealed only after he turned up dead also at a private resort, but in Texas, at the border with Mexico, when his death was clouded with secrecy, local laws were violated in how his death was pronounced without an autopsy, and his body was secretly whisked out of the crime scene and criminal jurisdiction, evidence destroyed by embalming his body, and then his body was removed to Washington and he was hastily and pompously buried.
I wrote a lot about that occurrence, my blogs can be found by a word-search "Antonin Scalia" in the search window on the right of this blog, but one of the most prominent statements made about Antonin Scalia's passing was that we as a nation should not allow ourselves to lament the passing of a racist judge caught dead, literally, during a trip suggesting corruption, simply because of his high status.
Recently, yet another U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sonya Sotomayor, expressed at yet another private gathering, in Alaska, that criticism against her "get to her stomach", sending out a clear chilling message to attorneys and parties who appear in front of her, or have a possibility of their cases heading towards her court, to shut up and not criticize her no matter what misconduct she is involved in.
I already broke that rule, by criticizing Justice Sotomayor in September of 2015, "coincidentally" 2 months before suspension of my law license, for potential corruption; in May of 2016, see also here, and June of 2016, for advocacy of slavery ; and in August of 2016 for making a thinly veiled threat against those who criticize her.
"Coincidentally", after I criticized ALL the U.S. Supreme Court justices for misconduct in book-writing while tossing meritorious cases without review and for "sponsoring" (in words) the law clerks for all expenses paid trips to England at the expense of secret bodies funded by their secret attorney members and their foreign colleagues, an anonymous criticizer who admitted only to being a male lawyer, but who was likely a judge or a person close to the U.S. Supreme Court justices, published comments on my blog, castigating me for my allegedly "misguided" criticism of judicial misconduct.
When my criticism continued, I was quickly suspended from the practice of law.
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court was outed for more corruption when a foreign reputable media source, the Reuters agency, published an article about "The Echo Chamber", 66 attorneys with ties to the court, former law clerks of Justices of the court, former colleagues or social contacts (57 men, 9 women, no blacks), who continuously "win" discretionary review in front of the U.S. Supreme Court - at the time when the court cut its intake in half from 1980s by 2009 while the population increased at least 1/3 by the same 2009, and while the Internet, smart phones and social media cause an extraordinary surge of civil rights litigation lately based on documented evidence of governmental misconduct.
With that background, it is not at all surprising that, when attorney Ty Clevenger asked the Chief U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to speed up investigation of sexual misconduct of federal judge Walter Smith, attorney Ty Clevenger found himself facing a hasty disbarment proceeding.
Attorney Clevenger expects to be railroaded soon - not sorry, disbarred - because the disciplining court made it obvious, by providing Attorney Clevenger with less than 30 days' notice to prepare, less than 30 minutes to present his defense, and denied him the opportunity for discovery - what the court's judgement is going to be.
You do not criticize judges in this country without an expectation of harsh retribution. Especially if you are an attorney.
Attorney Clevenger understands it well:
As law professor Carl Bogus stated in 2004 in a law review article (that was also the target of harsh criticism by the judiciary), attorneys must "scrape and bow" to judges - or be destroyed.
Of course, lack of criticism of judges is not "cruelly unhelpful" to judges - it is actually what keeps them on their benches for decades no matter what misconduct, including criminal conduct, they engage in.
Not only lawyers treat judges as "omniscient", they are paying for seminars where judges tell lawyers about their whims - so that lawyers could serve them better. Please, note that since I ran the blog, the CLE provider conspicously removed the description of the "pet peeves" program - which happens often with links to content exposing judicial misconduct.
I am not proud.
I saved that content, predicting that it will be deleted once the blog exposes it, and just reposted it in the update to the original blog, and here - please, note that the "precious face time with local judges" is sold, for $359 a lawyer, to be exact.
Professor Carl Bogus in his law review article "The Culture of Quiescence" clearly points out at a taboo on criticism of the judiciary - in Rhode Island, but it exists throughout the country, as cases I keep describing on this blog since its beginning in March of 2014 show.
Like the D.C. District is trying to do to attorney Ty Clevenger - who obviously does not scrape or bow.
Good for him!
Yet, professor Bogus calls upon attorneys - and rightfully so - to display leadership and courage, in large numbers, to criticize judicial misconduct:
Yet, it is easy to call people to go to barricades under bullets, but, when it becomes increasingly predictable what happens to those people who actually do go there and display their courage and "leadership" - like it is about to happen to attorney Ty Clevenger - calling for attorneys to fall on the sword is not enough.
What is needed is a grass roots movement to eliminate the source of power and retaliation against attorneys destroying and eliminating from the reach of legal consumers those attorneys who display that "leadership", with courage, honesty, and competence.
And such a grass roots movement is already rising - in the media, on the Internet, step by step, We the People, we citizen journalists do our work, day by day, and the tide is turning.
Just look at the number of judges removed or disciplined after a public outrage in social media, and even criminally prosecuted.
We are not powerless.
And we need to keep going.
Like Ty Clevenger does with his blog.