"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 2, 2017

What is the practice of law? A survey of state laws

I am currently conducting research of laws across this country defining what is "the practice of law".

So far, I have found the following:

1) In all states of the U.S. knowledge of all laws by all people,
  • whether knowing English or not,
  • whether literate or not,
  • whether having any level of education or not,
  • whether trained in the law or not,
  • whether licensed attorneys or not,
is presumed as a matter of law.

2) All states in the U.S. regulate the "practice of law" through attorney licensing.

3) All states in the U.S. prosecute unauthorized practice of law as a crime.

4) In all states in the U.S. criminal law is codified - in other words, nothing is a crime unless committed into a statute.

5) In all states of the U.S. decisions of what constitute crimes are legislative decisions given only to elected public representatives, in the Legislatures;

6) The "practice of law" is an element in all criminal statutes regarding unauthorized practice of law - which is a misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail + fines and surcharges in some states, and a felony, with the resulting loss of civil rights including the right to vote, in other states, with over 1 year incarceration in prison and over $1,000 in fines).

With that said, I found that what constitutes the practice of law, which is the direct subject of licensing, and an element of the crime of unauthorized practice of law, is not clearly defined by statute in any of the U.S. jurisdictions.

Here is how the practice of law is defined in different states:

·        By a court rule, definition is open-ended, not clear and subject to change at the whim of judges - in 6 states:

o   Arizona;

o   Colorado;

o   D.C.;

o   Louisiana;

o   Washington;

o   Wyoming

·        By open-ended and vague statutes - in 17 states:

1.      Alabama;

2.      Alaska;

3.      Georgia;

4.      Kentucky;

5.      Louisiana

6.      Maryland;

7.   Michigan

8.      Mississippi;

9.      Missouri;

10.      New Mexico;

11.   North Carolina;

12.   Rhode Island;

13.   Tennessee;

14.   Texas;

15.   Utah;

16.   Virginia;

17.   West Virginia

As an example of a vague definition of the practice of law here is the statute from the State of Alabama (there are same and/oro similar problems with vagueness, overbreadth and reaching constitutionally protected conduct in all statutes listed above):


Alabama.  Title 34. Professions and Businesses.  Chapter 3. Attorney-at-law.  Paragraph 34-3-6.  Who may practice as attorneys.

“(b) For the purposes of this chapter, the practice of law is defined as follows: Whoever, 

(1) In a representative capacity appears as an advocate or draws papers, pleadings or documents, or performs any act in connection with proceedings pending or prospective before a court or a body, board, committee, commission or officer constituted by law or having authority to take evidence in or settle or determine controversies in the exercise of the judicial power of the state or any subdivision thereof; or 

This section criminalizes:

1) parents representing their children wherever and drafting any documents on their behalf sent to schools (a "body" which is a "political subdivision" of the state with "powers" to "take evidence" and "resolve controversies"; yet, parenting is a constitutionally protected conduct;

2) legal guardians other than parents, of minors as well as incompetent adults; and

3) any agents of any kind, acting on powers of attorney or through contracts of agency.

Moreover, this section criminalizes an exceptionally broad scope of everyday conduct if it is "in connection" with - see the definition above.

What constitutes "in connection", what constitutes "proceedings", what constitutes a "body", an "officer" - is vague and subject to interpretation of courts on an after the fact, case by case basis.

This statute's plain text criminalizes, among other things, for example, a server who has served court papers on behalf of a party (even though requirements to servers in many states are simply to be 18 years of age).

The next subsections of the statute are no better, they define as "practice of law", acts of a person who"

"(2) For a consideration, reward or pecuniary benefit, present or anticipated, direct or indirect, advises or counsels another as to secular law, or draws or procures or assists in the drawing of a paper, document or instrument affecting or relating to secular rights; or 

(3) For a consideration, reward or pecuniary benefit, present or anticipated, direct or indirect, does any act in a representative capacity in behalf of another tending to obtain or secure for such other the prevention or the redress of a wrong or the enforcement or establishment of a right; or 

(4) As a vocation, enforces, secures, settles, adjusts or compromises defaulted, controverted or disputed accounts, claims or demands between persons with neither of whom he is in privity or in the relation of employer and employee in the ordinary sense;  is practicing law."

 Section (2) criminalizing the same conduct done for money, but does not criminalize the conduct done for free - which makes no sense: if conduct is wrong to the point of being criminalized by the government, it must be wrong whether it is provided for money or not.

Section (3) criminalizes actions of, once again, parents, law guardians, agents of any kind, victims advocates and lay human rights defenders who do "any act" (including emotional or financial support or providing merely INFORMATION, not advice - like bringing or pointing at a law book, pointing at a body of laws published on the Internet, or an article published on the Internet, in the hopes that that information might help a person to resolve his or her problems.

Section (4) messes up definitions in all previous sections by providing an exemption regulation of "practice of law" of anybody who "enforces, secures, settles, adjusts or compromises defaulted, controverted or disputed accounts, claims or demands between persons" if they have "privity" or "relation of employer and employee" "in the ordinary sense".

First, nearly every word of this section is subject to exceptionally broad interpretations.

Second, what is "in privity"

means "contact, connection or mutual interest between parties" of ANY kind - and may mean "privity of contract" (an agent), privity of familial relationship (spouses, parents, relatives to represent one another), privity of association (members of the same group), or just members of the same class action with a "mutual interest between parties".

So, Section (4) allows what the previous sections criminalized, which messes up any possible "notices" that this statute could possibly send to the public as to what is regulated and what is prohibited by the government, on the threat of criminal prosecution.

The prohibitions - and notices - are messed up even further in the following exception clause:

"(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person, firm or corporation from attending to and caring for his or its own business, claims or demands, nor from preparing abstracts of title, certifying, guaranteeing or insuring titles to property, real or personal, or an interest therein, or a lien or encumbrance thereon, but any such person, firm or corporation engaged in preparing abstracts of title, certifying, guaranteeing or insuring titles to real or personal property are prohibited from preparing or drawing or procuring or assisting in the drawing or preparation of deeds, conveyances, mortgages and any paper, document or instrument affecting or relating to secular rights, which acts are hereby defined to be an act of practicing law, unless such person, firm or corporation shall have a proprietary interest in such property; however, any such person, firm or corporation so engaged in preparing abstracts of title, certifying, guaranteeing or insuring titles shall be permitted to prepare or draw or procure or assist in the drawing or preparation of simple affidavits or statements of fact to be used by such person, firm or corporation in support of its title policies, to be retained in its files and not to be recorded.”

In plain English, this section says:

an individual or a business, including a corporation, MAY draft documents for itself, if:

they have a proprietary interest in the property, and
if they do not record such document, but just keep it in their files -

which makes no sense, because it is a prohibition, at least for individuals, for pro se representation and to secure their own rights - on their own.

It makes no sense that the government WILL accept a pro se pleading, but WILL NOT accept a pro se deed that somebody drafted giving his own property to somebody else.

Moreover, this section is in conflict with Section (2) that allows to do everything in a representative capacity on just one condition - do it for free, without charging money or "rewards" or "pecuniary benefits" for it.

So, the statute gives no real notice of what is allowed and what is prohibited, is a conceptual mess, prohibits a broad scope of lawful conduct, including constitutionally protected conduct, and, prohibits in one section what it allows in the other.

Statutes from other states are no better.

And, the judiciary of the State of Alabama that is regulating the practice of law in the State, is more concerned with infringement on  their own power - right now it is supporting the Chief Judge of the State of Alabama suspended for defiance to a U.S. Supreme Court precedent - than to make any effort in changing the situation where access to court for all residents in the state of Alabama, guaranteed by the Petitions Clause of the 1st Amendment and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution all of the judges were sworn to uphold, that access to court is curbed and "regulated", as to who can help litigants and anybody having any problem with any state "body", based on non-existing definitions, messed up kind-of definitions that give no notice to any reasonable person whatsoever and are begging for arbitrary after-the-fact application - which is a definition of unconstitutional acts.

But, let's go further with how the practice of law is defined in other states.

What constitutes the practice of law is defined on an ex post facto (after the fact) case by case basis by courts - in 24 states:

1.      Arkansas

2.      California

3.      Colorado

4.      Connecticut

5.      Delaware

6.      Hawaii

7.      Idaho

8.      Illinois

9.      Indiana

10.   Iowa

11.   Kansas

12.   Mississippi

13.   Montana

14.   Nebraska

15.   Nevada

16.   Ohio

17.   Oklahoma

18.   Oregon

19.   Pennsylvania

20.   South Carolina

21.   Texas

22.   Utah

23.   Vermont

24.   West Virginia

That means that "notice" of prohibited conduct is given to the public:

  1. not through a statute - in violation of the "notice" requirement given in criminal law only through criminal statutes (see, for example, Judge Aaron Persky's case - who was absolved of any wrongdoing because, at the time of sentencing of Brock Turner, having sex with an unconscious woman was not considered a rape by statute in the State of California);
  2. and not in advance - but after the person did the act, and charged for doing something wrong, the government tells him that it was wrong and why it was - which is a direct violation of the due process "notice" requirement, as well as of the "ex post facto" and "bill of attainder" clauses off the U.S. Constitution.

And, finally, there is no definition at all of what the practice of law is - there are 4 states like that in the U.S., including the state of New York:

1.      Hawaii – where the Legislature expressly refused to define the practice of law

2.      New Hampshire

3.      New York

4.      South Dakota

All of that boils down to one thing: regulation of attorneys in all states of the U.S., as well as criminal prosecutions for unauthorized practice of law in all states of the United States, while there is no clear statutory definition of the practice of law, lacks the constitutionally requires "notice" to the public of what exactly is being regulated and prosecuted - and is unconstitutional and thus void.

So - the "honorable" judiciary restricts help to those who seek access to court to redress grievances against the government, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, with full support of the "honorable" legal profession that benefits from such an arrangement financially, to the detriment of the public that has, as a result, the "justice gap" where an average American does not afford a licensed attorney to represent him in court, but is not allowed to get an unlicensed representative to help him in any way -
based on non-existing definitions of what it is that they are regulating and prohibiting.

Isn't that great?

Alabama judges file an amicus brief in support of suspended Chief Judge Roy Moore's appeal

I wrote on this blog about the suspension of Alabama Chief Judge Roy Moore based on his defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage as not being the "law of the land" and part of the U.S. Constitution.

Actually, the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause does not include the U.S. Supreme Court precedents.

Right now, Judge Moore is appealing his suspension for the rest of his term.

He is reportedly supported on his appeal by an amicus brief filed by Alabama judges who claim that the judicial disciplinary authorities of the State of Alabama had no authority to discipline and suspend the judge based on his issuance of an administrative order.

This is the summary of the judges' argument:

The entire brief is published in the interlinked article.

The case of Judge Moore continues to be a very interesting case, raising vital issues of litigants throughout the country, specifically:

1) what is the legal status of U.S. Supreme Court decisions - since they are not part of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution?

2) are such decisions mandatory to follow for state courts in other cases?

3) can a judge be sanctioned for issuing a trial or administrative order and for its contents?

I will continue to cover this story.

Stay tuned.

Policies of this blog, in short

As part of my previous blog, I posted policies of my blog.

I will repeat them, separately, here, with some updates:

1) I do not and will not answer legal questions.  I am an investigative citizen journalist on legal issues, not a practicing attorney.

2) I always verify people's stories, through questions to them, and through requests for supporting records. 

If you are not willing to answer my verification questions or provide verification records, I will not publish your story. 

3) I value all comments on my blog, even nasty comments. 

Nice comments are very much appreciated, and I am grateful for your readership.

Nasty comments, especially from government employees or officials, posting anonymously, reveal the extent my blogs hit home, see my policies about harassment and identity of harassers.

4) As to critical comments, I appreciate respectful, well-reasoned and well-founded criticism, and will react to well-founded, well-reasoned and respectful criticism in kind. 

5) I always answer all non-duplicative comments.

6) I will always delete advertisements posted as comments.

7) I reserve my right to delete comments containing foul language, but usually I do not do that, keeping such comments, prominently, as evidence.

8) as to criticism from anonymous commentators, I always ask the critic to

  • reveal their identity,
  • specify what, how and why I said wrong, and
  • provide evidence that what I said was wrong,
for me to take the criticism seriously, and with respect.

9) Requests for video or audio debates in real time on issues this blog discusses are accepted and encouraged.

I do not believe that I am always right - in life, or in what I am writing here, I am open to debate, and am ready, willing and able to engage in any kind of public debates, including livestreamed real-time video or audio debates.

If a critic wants such a debate, I will not turn the critic down, my pre-requisite for such a debate though is the disclosure of the critic's identity beforehand, so that I can establish, through alternative sources, that the persons debating against me are who they say they are.

I can offer my exchange on that subject with "Coyote Waits" in September of 2015, my views on that subject I expressed at that time still hold now:
- somehow misses the mark, that American Inns of Court - what, should not be criticized?

Whenever I see such a sting, especially from an anonymous source, that means that I am onto something - and it is a signal to me to dig deeper.

10) I honor anonymity of my sources.

I do not and will not honor anonymity of people who are harassing me in relation to this blog, and I reserve my right to pursue all legal remedies against such people.

12) I respect all of my readers by default.

My respect ends when readers become disrespectful to me, and that especially concerns

  • disrespectful anonymous commentators;
  • anonymous commentators whose criticism is blanket and not specific;
  • who provide no proof or grounds as to why their point of view is right other than derogatory language towards me;
  • who make personal attacks based on my ethnicity, being a Russian American, having an accent, not being a native speaker of English, my family status, religious status
14) Since I put a lot of time and effort into research and bringing content, at my own expense, with detailed analysis of complex legal issues, to a large audience, and on subjects that are not usually covered by the "mainstream media", I will not tolerate comments treating me with disrespect. 

15) I will not pledge to anyone, for any reason, as to

  • whether,
  • when, and/or
  • in what way
I will report on public records and issues and/or events described in those records.

16) If anybody reports their public records-case to me, and discloses private information that is not part of that public record or of any other public record, I will not disclose that particular private information, for as long as it remains private and not disclosed in any public records or in any other ways, publicly, without the disclosing person's consent, if the disclosing person asked me not to disclose the private information.  

That said, I will continue to do what I have come to enjoy doing - investigative legal journalism.

17) I accept suggestions to change these policies, but will reserve my own decisions as to whether I will accept them and implement changes.

I believe, these policies are fair.

Thank you for your readership.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Delaware County establishment is concerned about my blogs? I wonder how concerned it will be about my books about social services, the first one to come soon. On anonymous critics, my gift to parents harassed by social services, and some policy points about this blog

I was accused today of defaming unnamed individuals who make foster care decisions in Delaware County - as well as of not knowing enough about such decision-making and spreading "dangerous misinformation". 

The reason for the accusation is this blog, which somehow surged to No. 1 read over 3 years of existence of this blog, out of 1,550 articles so far - and, probably, is giving public officials in Delaware County trouble because so many people have read it, and because the topic - illegal experimentation on children in foster care, at taxpayers' expense, is so "sensitive", at least, no mainstream media source dared to cover it, even though statements of #PorterKirkwood to the voters that triggered my investigations were made publicly in 2015.

I plan another article, or more, on the issue of Porter Kirkwood, #DrRichardHamillPhD and Co., discussing in even more detail how exactly "decision-making in foster care" has gone wrong in this case.

I received a lot of tips in response to the article, a lot of letters, some I already answered, others I still did not yet, I promise I will answer all letters and I apologize for the delay in answering.

This blog article is not, though, about Kirkwood, "Dr" Hamill or Delaware County's foster care decisions.  It is about something else. 

It is about this blog, my policies regarding comments on this blog, threats that I have experienced over the years this blog existed, one of the reasons for this particular threat - the precedent that I created in federal court that exposes social services in 31 counties in New York state to liability for money damages - and my future plans for blogs, and books.

I want to assure my readers that I, most definitely, will not shut up, as those threatening me are trying to, while I am alive and have the ability to think and write.

Let me start with the most serious threat against me - the 4th department Attorney Grievance Committee, attorney #MaryGasparini who knows NOTHING about criminal law, brought criminal proceedings against me for blogging, for, allegedly, publishing information about my own disciplinary case - and about misconduct about that case, her own crime, a disbarring offense of multiple counts of fraud upon the court (that nobody, of course, will prosecute despite irrebuttable documentary evidence against her), and about her participation in cooking the transcripts in that proceedings and using the cooked transcripts, knowing that they are cooked.

Since Gasparini, as I said above, has no clue about criminal law, she could not bring a legally sustainable criminal proceeding, the underlying charges were ridiculously stupid, not to mention unconstitutional, and were dismissed, after I filed, without filing a notice of appearance (because I was not properly served) a "special-appearance jurisdictional memorandum of law".

Gasparini, I am sure, felt ridicuolously stupid when she received that decision, which would be a slap in the face for incompetence, of any prosecutor.

But, having survived, and having successfully beaten a criminal charge for blogging, stinging comments on my blog do not really sting in comparison.  Instead, they invigorate me to do more research in the area targeted by the critics.

The accuser was anonymous, and did not explain what exactly was misinformation in my blog.

The account from which the threat was posted was created today, obviously for the only purpose of posting the threat - there are only 2 views reported on the account, the account was created in February 2017, and today is February 1, 2017.

I answered the threat

- and will continue my publications on the subject of Porter Kirkwood and Dr. Hamill.

There is nothing defamatory in what I am publishing, my statements are based on what I know, including my personal knowledge acquired through court cases, about Porter Kirkwood, Delaware County Department of Social Services and how it operates, and about Dr. Hamill, his "programs", and his fraudulent statements in court.

And, receiving threats is not new for me as a blogger.

First time I received thinly veiled threats to stop my "misguided" blogging was in September of 2015.

When I did not stop, my law license was removed on contrived grounds.

The threat was also from an anonymous source, who called himself, quite threateningly, "Coyote Waits", was when I posted a harshly critical article about book-writing activities of U.S. Supreme Court justices, and about a particular justice, Stephen Breyer.

First, "Coyote Waits", an anonymous account created specifically for anonymous "advice" to me to stop my "misguided blogging", tried to discredit my legal conclusions, as well as my factual descriptions and inferences as "silly" and "misguided", while remaining anonymous and criticizing "from the bushes".

When I asked him to come out of the bushes and to participate in a live-streamed video conference with me, "exposing" my "misguided views" for the public to see - he (he later confirmed that it was a male lawyer) refused.

By the way, at the time of "Coyote Waits" attacks, my blog had 276,000 views (I took the scan from the blog in September 2015).

By the way, as of a week ago, when Google+ stopped showing profile views, it was over 1,200,000 views, with 162 followers that show - there are many people who read this blog, as I know, who would not like to show that they are following me, fearing repercussions from authorities in this beautiful free country.

So, after I was stripped of my law license, my readership actually increased, and I did not shut up and continue to file FOIL requests and publish responses to them which reveal interesting information exposing local public officials as stupid, cruel and corrupt - and that's what cannot sit well with the local establishment, I am sure.

Back to "Coyote Waits" in September of 2015, the anonymous source who was very aggrieved, personally aggrieved, by my criticism of the book by the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, refused to reveal himself, refused participate in an online video chat with me in real time, to challenge my "misguided" criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who, while having no time to review the flood of petitions, has enough time to write books and promote them in the media.

Yet, "Coyote Waits" continued his unspecific criticism anonymously, from the bushes, showing, by his tenacity alone, his personal involvement in the matter - so I really wonder how close to Justice Breyer (if it was not Justice Breyer) himself that little sting operation was.

When I pointed out that I have no respect for cowardly critics from the bushes who cannot even formulate what is wrong that they are criticizing, "Coyote Waits" erupted:

Again, the characterization of my criticism of Justice Breyer's book as "completely wrong", without specifics, is what discredits even a named critic, and even more so an anonymous one.

And, same as judges usually do, "Coyote Waits" takes personally a simple rebuttal of his criticism, when I (1) responded to his legal argument with legal arguments of my own; and (2) asked to specify the criticism as to what exactly I said wrong, without condescension and patronizing.

For "not caring" about my "pissing contests", "Coyote Wait" appeared very much interested to say something nasty and patronizing against me, without revealing his name, stating clearly what it is that I say which is wrong.  And, as to the court decisions - that's why I always, always ask people when doing blogs about their court decisions for the "between the lines" information, for records leading to court decisions - because courts are notorious to NOT address pertinent, "sensitive" and sticky issues in court.

For example, my sanctions case, and then my disciplinary case went through many courts, and NONE of them reviewed the issues of due process and 1st Amendment violations in punishing an attorney for the contents of a motion to recuse attempting to secure for her client the client's constitutional right to impartial judicial review - that issue was simply ignored, or, rather, swept under the rug, because to review it and resolve it on the merits would have created too dangerous a precedent for the court system.

And, while having started with my criticism of Justice Breyer - follow his hands - the "Coyote Waits" said on September 24, 2015, a month and a half BEFORE my suspension - that he has allegedly read decisions about sanctions against me (the ones that skipped portions of the records, did not mention the entire transcripts and motions, and ignored claims of due process and 1st Amendment violations, made by judges with a personal grudge against me and my husband whose corruption keeps coming out, and I keep documenting and publishing about it to this day) claiming that "I just lost" and would not accept that I "already lost".  At that point, my disciplinary case was not yet decided.  But he already knew that "I just lost" and tried to persuade me not to fight any more.

And, in June of 2016, another attorney who I did not and do not personally know, never met and never spoke to, filed a pleading in a federal court claiming that I was suspended not for what the court decision of suspension said I was, but for something entirely different - for my husband's and my own criticism of judges in lawsuits (that "revelation" came after his ex parte communication with one of the judges I sued, by the way), which was an acknowledgement that my disciplinary case was fixed - and fixed by powerful sources who were upset by my criticism.

So many "Coyotes" were waiting for a piece of me at that time.  So many are now, obviously.

And no, I do not need nails passed to me "up on that cross", as the "Coyote Waits" suggested in frustration, losing his tempter to the point of using 4-letter-language in response - a male lawyer to a woman - to my perfectly polite comments (I guess, anonymity was needed to be able to use that dirty language while talking to a female colleague without the risk of being exposed for the misogynistic pig that he was, patronizing, and when patronizing did not work, abusive and vulgar).

No nails "on that cross" needed, thank you.  I am doing fine.  And continuing to document court corruption that took my husband's and my own law license for doing my job - contrary to constitutional precedents that courts establish, but selectively choose to enforce, or not enforce.  And, I see by reaction of new stingers that appear from time to time on my blog, my articles hit home.

By the way, after the "Coyote"'s impassioned claim that I've "lost", yet another precedent came out of the U.S. Supreme Court, Williams v Pennsylvania (saying that a judge cannot be an accuser and adjudicator in one and the same case, as Becker was by initiating and adjudicating sanctions against me for "harassing" him personally with a motion to recuse - poor baby), that further invalidated sanctions imposed upon me by Judge Becker - not that the judicial establishment cares about the "rule of law" and will budge or, God forbid, recognize its mistakes and apologizes to me, my husband and my family, of course, but it appears that I can do a lot of good sharing my knowledge through blogging and, soon, books and enjoying life in the sun, so, no, no nails "on that cross" for me.

As I said previously, after that criticism and thinly veiled threats by "Coyote Waits", and my refusal to stop my "misguided" blogging, my license was suspended, and the U.S. Supreme Court, with the same judge Breyer participating, and with Judge Sotomayor whose public statements were brought up as evidence in my certiorari petition (with a suggestion that the "justice gap" that Justice Sotomayor is so worried about should at the very least not be widened by unconstitutional discipline against attorneys for doing their jobs), also participating, recently denied review to me, refusing to set a precedent that many people in my position, and many litigants seeking to recuse judges, but afraid to do that, were waiting for - and leaving the whole country  without independent court representatives, a whole country of lawyers exposed to the risk of having their licenses and livelihoods stripped, like I was, for making a motion to recuse for my indigent client and for trying to do my job and secure for my client her right to impartial judicial review.

I did not expect much from the U.S. Supreme Court, just tested the ground, whether there was the least shred of integrity left in that institution that would prevent personal grudges to prevail and the interests of the country and the law to be considered first and foremost.

Nope.  Not a chance.  I was forewarned about this result long time ago.  By "Coyote Waits", the ardent and interestingly personal supporter of Justice Breyer.  I wonder, if I subpoena the IP information of "Coyote Waits", whether it will lead to one of the U.S. Supreme Court computers.  Do not engage in "misguided" criticism of a U.S. Supreme Court justice - accept that you "already lost".  That was 1.5 years ago, long before review of my disciplinary case by the U.S. Supreme Court's "cert pool" of law clerks - instead of justices, as required by law. 

By the way, just before my case was to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, after it was already filed, Justice Thomas openly followed me on Twitter, I have a scan, it was deleted quickly, but I saved it.

Anyway, when I did not stop my "misguided blogging", the next time I was threatened was when I published a series of articles about the arson and attempt at murder of my friend and critic of the local corruption Barbara O'Sullivan - which was never investigated to this day by the corrupt Delaware County District Attorney's office, by the corrupt Richard Northrup (now a judge), and by the corrupt DA John Hubbard, now the DA and then the Chief Assistant DA.

A person from Delaware County government hinted that, if MY house would be on fire, no efforts will be made to extinguish the fire.

At that time, commentators also tried to say this:

Similar to what the anonymous person said today:

Similar to what "Coyote Waits" said before I was stripped of my law license.

Similar to what the now running (oops, "retired") Judge Carl F. Becker, co-conspirator of Porter Kirkwood and social services in all their misdeeds, said to me when he sanctioned me for raising constitutional arguments in court on a motion to recuse him for misconduct.  Becker has always been a misogynist and a patronizing jerk, as many judges become after years on the bench, and after the concept that they are immune for all "malicious and corrupt acts" that they commit in office (and, out of office, too, as courts have most recently ruled), sink in and become their alter ego.

Didn't I know that it is a big bad taboo to criticize the mighty and powerful, even in the neck of woods of Delhi, NY?

Didn't I know that to criticize the government is "nuts"?

Of course, I knew.

I was born and raised in the Soviet Union, after all, so such Soviet-like tricks are not at all unfamiliar to me.

Which is why I am doing this blog in the first place - people DO have a right to know.

And there aren't any taboos in criticizing the government, as harshly as the government deserves.

And, of course, those in power, those who are criticized, will not recognize the truth of the accusations even if it is screaming in their faces.

Even when they hide information, as Delaware County regularly and routinely does, their hiding efforts are "imperfect", so to say:

  • there are witnesses,
  • there are some documents which, put together, can create a revealing picture,
  • the truth can be discerned from
    • the sequence of events;
    • from refusal of public officials to do their jobs in certain situations,
    • while obviously protecting their own,

and when that truth comes out in a blog of a person who already lost her law license - so what are you going to do to me now, disbar me? - the only way to counter such exposing publications is to claim that I am "unenlightened", "misguided", "uninformed", "misinforming", "nuts".

That is why I make sure I support everything that I say with witness statements that I verify, and original source documents that I either obtain myself first-hand, or accept from reliable and verified sources - and I publish those documents, so that people would be able to judge for themselves.

And that is what bothers the Delaware County establishment so much.

By the way, I am sure social services in Delaware County (and in Chenango County) rejoiced at my suspension - because I sued both Departments in federal court, and, as to Chenango County Social Services, brought the case to trial, defeating two motions to dismiss and one motion for a summary judgment.

But, the joy of social services at my suspension is bittersweet.  I cost them and will continue to cost them.  A lot.

I left behind a legacy, my gift, if I may, to people harassed by social services -

two court decisions in the federal case Argro v Osborne in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, case No. 2:12-cv-910, which I will publish in this article, interlinked below -

allowing people to
  • sue social services for warrantless searches of their homes, vehicles and personal effect, and defeating their "qualified immunity" claims, so that people can proceed to trial and get MONEY from social services, including PUNITIVE DAMAGES - or large settlements.

Nobody can take that accomplishment away from me, whether they did or did not suspend my law license - that in the state where attorneys, including the much-celebrated ACLU, are deathly afraid to touch lawsuits against social services (ACLU refused to take over the case ready for trial against social services after I was suspended when the trial was scheduled, Argro v Osborne, Case No. 2:12-cv-910 in NDNY).

Social Services can call me every vile name in the book and in the street, but I still am the attorney who, at the cost of my own law license and livelihood for myself and my family, have established a precedent for people living in 31 counties within the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York:

  1. Albany;
  2. Broome;
  3. Cayuga;
  4. Chenango;
  5. Columbia;
  6. Cortland;
  7. Delaware;
  8. Essex;
  9. Franklin;
  10. Fulton;
  11. Greene;
  12. Hamilton;
  13. Herkimer;
  14. Jefferson;
  15. Lewis;
  16. Madison;
  17. Montgomery;
  18. Oneida;
  19. Onondaga;
  20. Oswego;
  21. Otsego;
  22. Rensellaer;
  23. St. Lawrence;
  24. Saratoga;
  25. Schenectady;
  26. Schoharie;
  27. Tioga;
  28. Tompkins;
  29. Ulster;
  30. Warren;
  31. Washington.

their right to sue social services for violation of due process and 4th Amendment for warrantless searches of their homes, which social services in New York did before that lawsuit with arrogance and claiming that "they are the law", and that "everybody says they will sue, but nobody will, and even if they do, nothing will come out of it".

What came out of it is a precedent, two court orders, one denying social services a motion to dismiss the lawsuit for violation of due process and 4th Amendment for warrantless searches of homes and vehicles by social services, and the other denying social services their motion for a summary judgment.

Here is what the court said in its decision denying Chenango County Department of Social Services their motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim - and setting the precedent for 31 counties, including the Delaware County Department of Social Services:

and here is the decision on those causes of action allowing all constitutional claims in the lawsuit, including the claim for violation of the 4th Amendment (warrantless searches of home, vehicle and personal effects by social services), to survive:

And here is the decision on a motion for a summary judgment that social services have lost, where I, again, set up a precedent for people residing in 31 counties of the State of New York:

  1. Albany;
  2. Broome;
  3. Cayuga;
  4. Chenango;
  5. Columbia;
  6. Cortland;
  7. Delaware;
  8. Essex;
  9. Franklin;
  10. Fulton;
  11. Greene;
  12. Hamilton;
  13. Herkimer;
  14. Jefferson;
  15. Lewis;
  16. Madison;
  17. Montgomery;
  18. Oneida;
  19. Onondaga;
  20. Oswego;
  21. Otsego;
  22. Rensellaer;
  23. St. Lawrence;
  24. Saratoga;
  25. Schenectady;
  26. Schoharie;
  27. Tioga;
  28. Tompkins;
  29. Ulster;
  30. Warren;
  31. Washington
that social services workers and administrators do not have the so-called "qualified immunity" when they conduct warrantless searches of people's homes - in other words, that social workers are not protected from people's lawsuits for money damages in these 31 counties when they search people's homes, vehicles and personal effects without a search warrant or court order.

See, for example, what a problem warrantless searches are in Arkansas, as a comparison, where Social Services continue to adamantly claim that they have a right to search people's home without a court warrant because it is a "civil proceeding":

Well, the similar claims I derailed for parents in 31 counties in New York in Argro v Osborne - so, if social services in these 31 counties in New York enter a parent's home without a warrant during a "child maltreatment" investigation, the parent can sue, for actual and PUNITIVE damages:

It is a great victory that the court allowed such a case to proceed to trial and did not grant "qualified immunity" to social workers through a motion - that precedent allows other people, under circumstances of warrantless searches of their homes, vehicles and personal effects, to sue social services and rely upon these decisions as precedents to go to trial and win money damages, including punitive damages, against social services.

THAT is why I lost my law license.

THAT is why I am so hated by social services.

THAT is why I am now threatened with defamation when I continue to expose their misconduct and criminal behavior.

THAT is why they attempt to accuse me, by anonymous stings, of spreading "dangerous misinformation" without telling me what exactly did I say that constitutes misinformation.

Again, this was the not-so-veiled threat that I received today, obviously from a an anonymous person close to Social Services of Delaware County:

Of course, I agree with "Ink" that I know nothing about how decision-making is done in foster care, and in Delaware County (NY) foster care specifically.

I only researched this subject while I worked as a legal assistant for a trial and appellate attorney handling cases against social services, and then as a trial, appellate, criminal defense and civil rights attorney defending people against social services and dealing with foster care cases, for some 16 years.

How would I know...

As to the attempts to shut me up, I promise, the effect of my blogs will be nothing compared with the effect of my books about social services, including Delaware County social services, their "decision-making" in foster care, and the paper trail that they still leave behind - which can be used to catch them and expose them.

The first book of the series is very close to publication. 

It is comprehensive, complex, one-of-a-kind, on a topic previously not covered in any literature about social services, as far as I know, on a topic that many readers will find helpful, and is in its last stages of verification before publishing.

I hope it will be a great reference source for attorneys and parents alike in their fight against harassment by social services.

As my litigation results against social services show above, I can and do deliver.

And I will deliver with my books, too.

At the end of this blog, I would like to make several policy statements as to how this blog operates:

1) I have had many people who try to ask me legal questions, or request me to call them or talk to them online responding to their legal questions about their specific legal situation.

I do not answer legal questions, I do not do that, and I won't do that.  They stripped me of my law license for a reason, the next step will be trying to trip me into a criminal prosecution for unauthorized practice of law.

I am here as a blogger, as a journalist, yes, a journalist with knowledge of the law superior to that of a usual journalist, so that I can dissect legal cases better than a usual journalist, but that's about it.  I am a journalist, not a lawyer here.

If you want to send me your stories, and documents, I will gladly publish them, if they verify and if I consider the topic to be of interest to me as a journalist, but do not expect me to give you legal advice and to answer your questions about your legal situation.  I cannot do that.

2) If you have valuable tips for my blog, I will always pursue them. But, since writing about corruption involves possible threats of defamation, like it happened now - from anonymous source - I always verify people's stories, and for that, I ask to send me court documents, if claims are made of misconduct of government officials (including judges) in a court case.

Many people disappear after I ask them to verify their claims by providing me court records.  That's fine with me, but I must verify my stories and run them only when I have a solid, named, verifiable witness, or a reliable, original documentary base.

3) I value all comments on my blog, even nasty comments.  Nasty comments, especially from government employees or officials, posting anonymously, reveal the extent my blogs hit home.

Nice comments are very much appreciated, and I am grateful for your readership.

I always answer all comments.

4) as to criticism from anonymous commentators, I always ask to the critic to reveal their identity and to specify what, how and why I said wrong, and provide evidence that what I said was wrong, for me to take the criticism seriously, and with respect.

I can offer my exchange on that subject with "Coyote Waits" in September of 2015, my views on that subject I expressed at that time still hold now:

When a person tries to act in a condescending manner and accuse me, in general, without specifics, like "Coyote Waits" did, of being "confused" or "playing fast-and-loose with the law" - or of any other flaws like "dangerous misinformation" or "defamation", like "Ink" did today:

I do not respect criticism of blogs on specific issues, with specific supporting documentation and argumentation that I publish for public review, from people who are hiding their identities, and refuse to reveal even what exactly did I say that was wrong, in their view, how was it wrong, and what is the proof that it was wrong.

For example, "Coyote Waits" told me that my criticism of "American Inns of Court" for their secret membership and their practices of wining and dining judges, paying for their own and their law clerk's trips and concealing schedules of their meetings or their memberships - which creates a potential of court cases secretly decided behind closed doors of that organization - somehow misses the mark, that American Inns of Court - what, should not be criticized?

Whenever I see such a sting, especially from an anonymous source, that means that I am onto something - and it is a signal to me to dig deeper.

Those of you, my dear readers, who have ever been victims of abuse in the courtroom, can share my laugh over the claim that "a truthful argument stands on its own merit" and that "an argument is correct or incorrect of who posts it or where it comes from" - and especially in the context of a person who hides his name specifically so that his "truthful criticism" is not matched with his identity.

People in this country are becoming increasingly aware of double standards instilled by the government when identity of the speaker matters in whether the untruth of the statement will be presented as truth, or whether speaker of a truthful statement against the "wrong person" will be punished by the government to the end of the world and back.

That said, I DO understand the risks and exposure of making comments criticizing the government.

That's why, my next policy consideration:

5) I DO honor anonymity of my sources

6) I do not and will not honor anonymity of my harassers. 

7) I respect all of my readers by default.

8) My respect ends when readers become disrespectful, and, especially, disrespectful anonymous commentators.

9) Since I put a lot of time and effort into research and bringing content, at my own expense, with detailed analysis of complex legal issues, to a large audience, and on subjects that are not usually covered by the "mainstream media", I will not tolerate comments treating me with disrespect. 

10) I will not pledge to anyone, for any reason, as to when, whether or how I will report on public records and issues and/or events described in those records.

11) If anybody reports their public records-case to me, and discloses private information that is not part of that public record or of any other public record, I will not disclose that particular private information without the disclosing person's consent.
That said, I will continue to do what I have come to enjoy doing - investigative legal journalism.

I will appreciate your tips, I will honor identity of sources, I will put time and effort into research and verification of stories, and I will try to deliver material worthy of your readership.

Thank you.