MLK said: "Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere"

End Corruption in the Courts!

Court employee, judge or citizen - Report Corruption in any Court Today !! As of January 12, 2014, we've received over 137,725 tips...KEEP THEM COMING !! Email: CorruptCourts@gmail.com

Saturday, May 31, 2008

More Bias from The Commission on Judicial Conduct

NY Judge Steps Down Amid Allegations He Allowed Old Colleagues to Argue Before Him
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko - May 30, 2008

A part-time Binghamton City Court judge has agreed to leave the bench when his term expires on June 14 under a stipulation with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. A commission probe found that Robert C. Murphy had improperly "permitted" partners and others in his law firm between 2002, when he took office, and 2006 to argue cases before the two full-time judges in City Court. In his stipulation, Mr. Murphy acknowledged yesterday that if he ever returns to judicial office, the commission could reinstate the charges against him and seek his removal from office. In his response to the charges, Mr. Murphy argued he was not in a position to "permit" his law partners to appear in City Court before other judges. He also contended that he did not know that having other lawyers in his firm argue cases before other City Court judges was prohibited. In 2006, Alan J. Pope resigned as chairman and a member of the Commission on Judicial Conduct when the complaint was filed before the commission against Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy and Mr. Pope were partners at Pope, Schrader & Murphy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

One Year Since Appointment of New Administrative Judge

In noting the one year anniversary of the appointment of Ann T. Pfau as New York State's Chief Administrative Judge, we run our posting from one year ago:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Hope Against Court Corruption Has Arrived. Her Name is Ann T. Pfau.

It was announced on Friday, May 25, 2007, that Ann T. Pfau would take over as New York State’s Chief Administrative Judge, effective immediately. Albany insiders report that the appointment, though largely welcomed, is somewhat surprising since Judge Pfau is not the traditional “inside player.” One state employee said, “Judge Pfau is probably one of only a few people who can correct the widespread problems and abuses in our courts. Someone like Ann Pfau is long-overdue.”

Chief Administrative Judge Pfau’s appointment comes at the end of a week when The Westchester Guardian reported on a request for a criminal investigation involving the alleged improper actions of Westchester County Surrogate Anthony A. Scarpino and New York City Administrative Judge Jacqueline W. Silbermann.

Another Albany insider says, “Even Chief Judge Kaye is ready for a shake-up, and Judge Pfau is the person who can get the job done. Judith Kaye doesn’t want to be remembered as being the top person over the type of wide-spread abuse and corruption that would make Boss Tweed blush. It’s about the Kaye legacy at this point.”

One top state official said, “the appointment of Judge Pfau has [Governor] Spitzer’s and [Attorney General] Cuomo’s fingerprints all over it. [Judge] Pfau is how the Governor and the A.G. clean up the mess in the courts.”

As nice as the name Ann T. Pfau sounds, it’s been around for a few years.

As Sam Roberts reported on March 2, 2006 (New York Times: “State Bars a Bronx Lawyer From Receiving Court Appointments”), it was First Deputy Administrative Judge Ann T. Pfau who permanently barred Bronx political heavy-weight Stanley K. Schlein from ever accepting Guardianship and other high-paying judicial appointments.

And the name Ann T. Pfau comes up in a February 23, 2002 New York Times article (“Another Brooklyn Judge Said to Be Reassigned”) as taking action in a Brooklyn State Supreme Court bribe scandal, and where the ethical actions of 5 other judges were being investigated. While censuring one judge, the Commission on Judicial Conduct commented that one judge showed “remarkable insensitivity to his ethical responsibilities.”

And, most heart-warmingly, is the sound of the name Ann T. Pfau as presented in a November 11, 2003 New York Times Metro Briefing (“New York: Brooklyn: Administrative Judge Promoted”) announcing her appointment as First Deputy Chief Administrative Judge, noting that Judge Pfau was then brought in to oversee the corruption probes in the Brooklyn courts, which included her overseeing investigators’ placement of hidden cameras to catch corrupt judges.

Note to Judge Pfau: Honest judges cheer your appointment; honest lawyers cheer your appointment; and honest state employees cheer your appointment. Your employees, the public and the rule of law have been waiting for you.


97 comments:

hopeful said...
Who names a new Inspector General? Get rid of, or promote, the current useless, do-nothing IG... out of town, anywhere, and only then will real change occur! I say promote the current IG to a job in Iowa. Good luck to pfau. I hope she can do something.  -  May 29, 2007 10:16 PM

an insider said...
Don't underestimate the corrupt people involved !! They will attack any good, and needed, changes Judge Pfau might have planned.  -  May 30, 2007 6:54 AM

fed up said...
It's about time the people who corrupt our system of law are brought to justice. EVEN IF THEY ARE JUDGES.  -  May 30, 2007 7:32 AM

Anonymous said...
I heard IG Spatz will be gone soon. Why doesn't the Brennan Center do anything? (www.brennancenter.org)  -  May 30, 2007 7:39 AM

tweed descendent said...
I am a descendent of William M. Tweed, who you so negatively refer to as “Boss” Tweed. I resent the suggestion that he would “blush” at the current state of corruption in our New York court system. Our family is quite proud of the fact that he headed Tammany Hall in the late 1800’s, and which stole between $75 million and $200 million from the public. (Do you have any idea how much that would be worth in today’s dollars?!)

If not for William Tweed, we would not have had such a movement of reform in New York, indeed- in U.S., politics. (I note that then-special prosecutor Sam Tilden forgot to mention that fact years ago, instead choosing to focus on the bookkeeping error where William overcharged the city $11 million on a $400,000. building project.)

Our family fondly credits William Tweed as the first true New York political boss who, through extortion and threats, masterfully manipulated and controlled judges, public employees and the system. From where else, but William Tweed, do you think today’s court administrators now get their lead?

Please, let’s give credit where credit is due. Indeed, William Tweed would be proud of the rampant corruption that currently exists in our New York court system.

Justice Kaye should be honored to be compared to the likes of William Tweed, may he rest in peace.  Bessie Tweed  -  May 30, 2007 9:06 AM

Anonymous said...
I am hopeful that Judge Pfau will not ignore the law like Judge Lippman routinely did. The previous boss, PJ Lippman, scoffed at the law and the NYS legislature, by handing out waivers (of the laws) like it was candy. I will email some eye-opening facts about Lippman’s abuse of Article 2 of Judiciary Law Section 14, pertaining to his waiving of certain judicial ethical requirements, etc., for his pals. You’ll want to do a story on this!  -  May 30, 2007 9:37 AM

Anonymous said...
Anyone know where to find out more about The Westchester Guardian reporting last week about a criminal investigation of NYC Admin Judge Jacqueline Silbermann and Westchester Surrogate Judge Scarpino ?? i can't find anything online.  -  May 30, 2007 10:15 AM  

Anonymous said...
Bessie Tweed for President !  -  May 30, 2007 2:40 PM  

dead person said...
I knew boss Tweed. Boss Tweed was a friend of mine. Ms. Kaye is NO Boss Tweed.....

Speaking of corruption and dead people (who, for some reason, can't speak for themselves), is Westchester County Surrogate state-paid lawyer Jody Keltz still living in that dead lady's Scarsdale house (from the estate where that cozy inside deal was done) ? (see that story, somewhere on this blog...it's a hoot -- disgraceful, but a hoot.)  -  May 30, 2007 3:06 PM  

enough said said...
Don't forget, people, that a federal judge declared the way NY "elects" its judges was UNCONSTITUTIONAL. This says it all....we live with a very corrupt judicial system.....  -  May 30, 2007 4:57 PM

Anonymous said...
Maybe Judge Pfau can do something about that little $300,000.00 loan thing the Westchester Surrogate has going, but oddly doesn't see any APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY in. Hello, Judge Pfau....Good bye, corrupt judges....  -  May 30, 2007 5:48 PM

medical solution said...
The corrupt Judical system in New York State needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom. The medical solution involves the administering of high colonics - clean them all out - lets start with Judge Judith Kaye and see what comes out and then work our way down to the new Chief Administration Judge - she claims to want reform - so lets give it to her and all of them.  -  May 30, 2007 8:47 PM  

medical solution said...
The corrupt Judical system in New York State needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom. The medical solution involves the administering of high colonics - clean them all out - lets start with Judge Judith Kaye and see what comes out and then work our way down to the new Chief Administration Judge - she claims to want reform - so lets give it to her and all of them.  - May 30, 2007 8:47 PM

Anonymous said...
I just hope Judge Pfau realizes that the court corruption exists in other places that just Brooklyn.... how 'bout taking a little look at Westchester, Judge Pfau.  -  May 31, 2007 7:48 AM  

Anonymous said...
I AGREE....LEAVE BROOKLYN ALONE NOW.... GO AFTER THE CORRUPTION IN WESTCHESTER, and other places.  -  May 31, 2007 8:02 AM  

disillusioned said...
I say give her a chance to look at Westchester et al., maybe six months, remember she is a lawyer and she didn't get to where she is going after other Judges.  -  May 31, 2007 10:00 AM  

Anonymous said...
I wish Judge Pfau good luck with the task of trying to cleanup corrupt. First, she should drain the cesspool and then acid wash the complete system.  -  May 31, 2007 10:22 AM  

Anonymous said...
I like the Medical Solution that's a good one, a mobile van going to each craphouse giving 'high colonics' to all the Judges and craphouse personnel, this way they can get some respect.  -  May 31, 2007 11:47 AM

The Proof is in the end results said...
Let's see Judge Pfau deal with reinstating Judiciary 14 since her predecessor Jonathan (The Lip) Lippman emasculated it (along with other things) on his road to advancement.  -  May 31, 2007 1:33 PM  

Anonymous said...
judge judy has fired her latest slavo in her battle get the judges pay raised, including judge judy of course. she is now claiming that "as of March 2007, there are 117 judges - about 10 percent of the entire [state] Judiciary - who have outstanding pension loans," - learn to live like the people that you routinely abuse.  -  May 31, 2007 3:43 PM

raises for judge, but said...
Give the judges a raise when the judges give the public, and their sworn oath, an unbiased court system, that is free of corruption and influence, and one that follows the rule of law.  -  May 31, 2007 6:28 PM  

A reader said...
Make sure you pick up THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN every week. This week has a great letter to the editor from a guy named Charles Zigmund of Pleasantville.

He applauds The Westchester Guardian as "exposing the widespread rot in public affairs in Westchester ....watching the Constitution slowly being destroyed while the public is busy lapping up American Idol...."

Very true, sadly true.  -  May 31, 2007 6:39 PM

A Skeptic said...
Since Judge Pfau has been part of the NYS Injustice System she knows where the bodies are buried, so it will be an easy matter for her to reform things and put them right. How long do you think it will take her?  -  May 31, 2007 8:24 PM

Anonymous said...
I believe Judge Pfau will act quickly. Bad politics was holding back action on known fraud and corruption in the Lippman era.  -  June 1, 2007 7:27 AM

Anonymous said...
All we hear about is the salary of the judges in NY. What is the total "compensation package" ??? I want to know. (It's OK to leave out the illegal "bonuses" etc., they get by doing back room deals)  -  June 1, 2007 10:03 AM

supporter said...
I've heard some great things about Ann Pfau. If anyone can clean up the court corruption, she can. We need to support her.  -  June 1, 2007 1:47 PM

not much good to say now said...
yeah...yeah....I'm not saying, or thinking, anything good about the new top Admin Judge until I see some fixin' of the problem with corruption.  -  June 1, 2007 2:25 PM

a fly on the wall said...
start with Nicolai who is out of control, then Scarpino, that is a big order but if honest people in the system saw that they would begin to believe.  -  June 1, 2007 4:08 PM

the insider said...
Tony Scarpino has a roving eye and came close to getting a divorce several years ago until he discovered what it would cost him.  -  June 1, 2007 10:43 PM

Courthouse worker said...
Yep, his wife made about $70,000 and with child support for his girls it was a problem for the weasel.  - June 2, 2007 8:19 AM

Anonymous said...
I've been monitoring the Weissman case, which is also in front of Scarpino. And who are Scarpino's bosses: Francis Nicolai and Jacqueline Silbermann... they're all connected, and they all talk. Debra Weissman is screwed; this bunch are out to hang her.  -  June 2, 2007 12:50 PM

Anonymous said...
I guess the rumor is true that the FBI pushed Scarpino out the door. How'd we wind up with him? Dumb, corrupt, luck.  -  June 2, 2007 1:51 PM

Anonymous said...
All Tony talks about is money and how he can't get by with his pay as a judge and that is why he teaches or so he says.  -  June 2, 2007 7:09 PM

a former special agent said...
The fact is the Bureau was not happy with Anthony Scarpino and someone had Bankers Trust Company hire him away - they then made his life difficult and he left the bank and returned to his Mt. Vernon nest. The funny thing about all this is he's so dumb he probably never figured any of this out.  -  June 2, 2007 10:57 PM  

Anonymous said...
the truth is beginning to be revealed about Tony  -  June 3, 2007 1:58 PM

Anonymous said...
come on... stop the name calling... just the facts... and opinions, whatever they may be, can be presented in a decent way.  -  June 3, 2007 5:56 PM

Anonymous said...
someone should tell Tony that smoking is bad for his health  -  June 3, 2007 7:05 PM

Anonymous said...
perhaps one of his girl friends will  -  June 4, 2007 8:40 AM

An informed source said...
Judge Pfau can cut her teeth on the Weissman (see West. Guardian 5/24) story. Let her look at Scarpino and Silberman and their friends on this one. Word has it that Scarpino (in consultation with Silberman) told her lawyers to quit her (Debra) last week, then at the last minute Scarpino wants a hearing today so he can be the hero and paper over his nefarious deeds. The exposure is too much heat, he has to do something even the Ranger tickets are not worth this trouble.  -  June 4, 2007 11:12 AM

Anonymous said...
hey I'll take the Ranger tickets that's money  -  June 4, 2007 12:23 PM

Anonymous said...
Judge Pfau should look at The Westchester Guardian with the Carvel story as well. How did Judge Scarpino get away with all that? After reading the story and papers on the blog about McKeown, I thought I was in the Soviet Union not the U.S. How does Nicolai, Scarpino et al. pull these criminal acts off?  -  June 4, 2007 12:55 PM

A Courthouse Worker said...
This Weissman thing is some mess and some of us called giving Debra information on how she was getting screwed. Our jobs are threaten. Heavy duty pressure is coming from Manhattan. Lippman covered all this up.  -  June 4, 2007 1:32 PM
 
Anonymous said...
if Rob was still with Tony this all could be handled  -  June 4, 2007 2:22 PM

Anonymous said...
Judge Pfau do the right thing don't forget about Jody Keltz who works for Anthony Scarpino. She is more than ethically challenged.  -  June 4, 2007 3:31 PM

The Shadow said...
Trust me this Debra Weissman thing is even more rotten than anyone knows. Keep at it the truth is not far away!  -  June 4, 2007 8:42 PM

A Fly On The Wall said...
Silberman is going crazy - she is all over the players in White Plains.  -  June 4, 2007 9:30 PM

Anonymous said...
I heard Judge Pfau has been hitting the ground RUNNING-- she's going after the court corruption, and she's serious.

Also, a buddy of mine says NYC FBI has added more agents to focus on JUDICIAL CORRUPTION and that the unit has already started calling people in for a little chat. Stay tuned.....  -  June 4, 2007 10:43 PM

Anonymous said...
Let Spatz get in this thing, let her do her job.  -  June 4, 2007 10:50 PM
 
Keep The Faith Baby said...
These stories are being closely followed by major print media.  -  June 5, 2007 5:04 AM

Anonymous said...
Tell me what Spatz has done? Spatz will do nothing except coverup for the corrupt system, anyone laboring in the system knows that, she's a bad joke.  -  June 5, 2007 2:45 PM

Jail4Judges said...
Today a former Brooklyn Judge was sentenced to years in Jail for his corruption. How many corrupt Judges in Westchester Co. can Judge Pfau put in jail.  -  www.jail4judges.org  -  June 5, 2007 8:41 PM

Anonymous said...
Spatz doesn't do anything except take up space and take public money  -  June 6, 2007 12:49 AM

A Garson Victim said...
Former Judge Garson according to the NYT wept in court yesterday. So What! When he was getting paid off did he think of the lives he was destroying? NO he didn't give a damn! As a womam who was destroyed, my children were taken away and he and his corrupt friends were all part of it let him drop dead. All the victims should sue him and his family and take all of their money and see how they like it!  -  June 6, 2007 1:24 PM

Anonymous said...
will a westchester judge be next?  -  June 6, 2007 3:56 PM  

Anonymous said...
he asked his fellow members of the bench to help him, no one stepped forward. Will he tell tales from school?  -  June 6, 2007 10:10 PM

Anonymous said...
Garson should rot in hell along with all his friends  -  June 7, 2007 12:12 AM
 
Anonymous said...
Believe that only 2 judges in Brooklyn got grabbed, were they the sacrificial ones??? If they got 2, that means that there must be many more.  -  June 7, 2007 1:39 AM

Anonymous said...
if anyone thinks that Brooklyn is the only venue where corrupt Judge exist you're crazy - if you really want to find more all you have to do is ask attorneys but first you have to give them immunity and them a great many will talk.  -  June 7, 2007 8:23 AM

Anonymous said...
Tell me what attorney is going to come foward? We have to make a living and deal with this crap otherwise we never get the right time of day. Example things get lost and this does happen as a message. Just do what the Judge wants.  -  June 7, 2007 8:58 AM
 
Anonymous said...
As a Brit I may have different point of view, the legal system or what passes for one here in the states is like the wild west. Some of these comments are smack on. This really should be cleaned up.
For one thing I can't fathom how a court attorney would be permitted to purchase a house from an estate in the court she works in and from a bank who is a trustee of that same estate.  -  June 7, 2007 7:16 PM  

Anonymous said...
"In Fairness to the Courts" Tell me why we as citizens and voters should be "FAIR" to the so-called courts? THEY ARE NOT 'FAIR" TO US ALL THEY DO IS SUCK OUR BLOOD  -  June 7, 2007 8:36 PM

Anonymous said...
The Weissman story is nauseating! This bum beat his wife and she was in a coma. So why is he not in jail? Did a Judge let him out? He needs a real good beating, one that he will never forget.  -  June 7, 2007 8:51 PM

Wondering? said...
Don't understand how Judge Scarpino has allowed the corrupt Jody Keltz to continued work in the Surrogate's Court? The facts regarding the corrupt practices are detailed elsewhere on this Blog. The only thing could be he's part of the deal!  -  June 7, 2007 11:04 PM

No Trust said...
How can you "TRUST" the fiduciary to cleanup it's own mess? All they will do is cover-up!  -  June 8, 2007 4:22 PM  

Anonymous said...
The Judiciary can't be TRUSTED because they're all lawyers under the robes.  -  June 8, 2007 6:13 PM

An insider said...
Honey, if thought that Brooklyn was bad, when you get going in Westchester you'll wish you were back in Kings Co. You've got your hands more than full in Westchester Co.  -  June 8, 2007 10:14 PM

Anonymous said...
STOP THE ILLEGAL INJUSTICE SYSTEM THAT YOU REPRESENT  -  June 9, 2007 9:36 AM

Anonymous said...
Pfau isn't going to anything except damage control!  -  June 9, 2007 3:26 PM

The Insider said...
Man cut her some slack, heard she reached out for Debra Weissman.  -  June 9, 2007 8:51 PM

No law said...
We have become a country of men not laws and this is not going to end well for all of us.  -  June 10, 2007 9:08 AM  

Anonymous said...
Don't you know that the law is whatever the Judges want.  -  June 10, 2007 2:04 PM  

Anonymous said...
Don't forget include the lawyers too  -  June 10, 2007 7:04 PM

Anonymous said...
We've been under "Boss Tweedie Kaye" for ten plus years now. Pfau better act quickly. No, and I mean NO, judicial raises until there's a clean up.  -  June 10, 2007 11:38 PM  

The Shadow said...
Judge Kaye and her thievish band of cohorts have joined with the commercial bar in an unholy alliance to extort the judicial pay increases. It's only about money, one way or another.  -  June 11, 2007 12:17 AM  

A fly on the wall said...
Tony called everyone on the carpet on the Weissman matter, he threatened everyone concerning the information getting out to the public. Some of us are honest and really hate what is going on.  -  June 11, 2007 9:24 AM
 
Anonymous said...
Tony and his friends are nervous, they are worried and they should be!!!  -  June 11, 2007 11:07 AM

jail4judges said...
Put all of them in jail, that's where they all belong
www.nyjail4judges.org  -  June 11, 2007 2:04 PM

a tired taxpayer said...
Judge Ann Plau do the right thing for the people that pay your salary and for all your benefits.  -  June 12, 2007 11:29 AM

Anonymous said...
Send Tony Scarpino, the Gavone a message, fire him  -  June 12, 2007 2:01 PM

The Shadow said...
Ethical rules REQUIRE Judges to report criminal acts. This should be required by statute not by some judical rules.  -  June 12, 2007 7:40 PM
 
The Green Hornet said...
Why did Judge Kaye ever write a letter to prevent the disbarment of Ted Friedman who's wife was one of the Manhattan Surrogate Judges? Fess Up Judge Kaye  -  June 12, 2007 8:11 PM

Anonymous said...
hey green hornet you got anymore treats for us - it would appear that Judge Kaye has some mud on her skirts?  -  June 12, 2007 10:18 PM

Anonymous said...
She has quite a bit of mud on her skirts  -  June 13, 2007 9:51 AM

Fedup taxpayer said...
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York had a breakfast yesterday to support pay raises for the Judges. Barry Kamins president of the Bar Assoc. said the "We all want a first rate justice system for the State of New York." Judge Kaye continuing her full "Court Press" saying "We're caught in a deadly squeeze, the judges are hostage to the other branches of government at the cost of an independent judiciary."
I was at the gathering and heard these words and I began to wonder where I was. What kind of KoolAid are these people drinking? They all should be sanctioned for their actions, every last one of them. They are over paid for what they do, if the truth be told. Oh let's not forget about the envelopes with cash.  -  June 13, 2007 9:07 PM

Anonymous said...
Squeeze them the way they squeeze us. Ever been to court and had to deal with one of these dictators in black robes?  -  June 13, 2007 9:30 PM

Anonymous said...
cut their pay - let them tell us all how much cash they get for their lock boxes.  -  June 13, 2007 9:47 PM

A reader said...
Did anyone see todays NYPost, Jim Copland (Post Opinion),titled A Judge Cries 'Sue!' Kaye's silly threat exposes disorder in N.Y. courts. Check it out. Judge Kaye pushes "legislators-in-robes" and makes a bigger ass of herself.  -  June 13, 2007 10:04 PM
 
Anonymous said...
What Judge is going to hear this case that all the Judges (including Kaye) are filing? No one can because it's called a Conflict of Interest stupid.  -  June 14, 2007 10:58 AM

The Shadow said...
The good Judge Kaye not only has much mud on her skirts she also has many lumps under her carpet.  -  June 14, 2007 12:40 PM

Anonymous said...
Will our hope for the end of corruption Judge Ann Pfau join in the judicial pay litigation with Judge Kaye?  -  June 14, 2007 3:55 PM

Anonymous said...
Time will tell whether Pfau is just another Lippman/Kaye-puppet and Good 'ole boy player. I hope not.  -  June 18, 2007 7:46 AM

Anonymous said...
Has she done anything yet? No.
Remember Pfau has been around for a long time and know what's been going on.... She doesn't have to LEARN anything, she knows it already. Only difference is that she's now the boss.  -  June 23, 2007 2:20 PM  

wishing said...
Is that Pfau I hear?

Actually, no, it's not.

Nothing from Pfau. Not a peep.
Not a surprise.
Wishful thinking, though.  -  June 25, 2007 1:29 PM
 
Anonymous said...
Judge Pfau please look into the sale of a house to Jody KELTZ (court attorney) from the Estate in the Westchester Surrogate's Court - thank you.  -  July 2, 2007 11:01 PM

Anonymous said...
is keltz still working at the westchester surrogates court?  -  July 10, 2007 11:44 PM

Anonymous said...
Ann Pfau corruption fighter, what a joke!!! Pfau is Lipman's long time assistant at OCA and like Lippman, she is an OCA bureaucrat who has absolutely no real judicial experience. Lippman gave her those assignments in Brooklyn to give her some credibility because otherwise, she is an empty suit. She was appointed to carry on the Lippman program and to clean up his messes. In fact, she is Lippman's version of Harriet Miers: a lapdog with a law degree who will do whatever her master tells her to.
The fact the Pfau was appointed as chief administrative judge is proof that politicaly ambitious bureaucrats at OCA have hijacked the courts and are running them for their own benefit and for the benefit of their political cronies.
Anybody who is hoping that Pfau is going to clean up the system shouldn't hold their breath because she is nothing more than an extension of Lippman. Political hacks can rest assured that the OCA program of nepotism, cronyism and incompetence will be continued without interruption beacause Ann Pfau is a sham, which is why she is known as "phony Pfau".
-  July 28, 2007 12:00 AM  

Anonymous said...
COUNSELOR, YOU DON'T HAVE TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT OCA..LEAVE IT TO EX-COURT EMPLOYEES...WE SAW IT ALL IN PERSON AND CAN TELL IT WITHOUT WORK RETALIATION,,,OF COURSE, UNLESS THEY FIND US OUT,,,THEY ARE NOT ABOVE A HIT! BUT OCA SHOULD REMEMBER HOW MANY CRIMINALS HATE THEM BEYOND THEIR OWN RECOGNITON OF WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO THEM! THUGS BEATING THUGS COULD BECOME THE NEW COURT JUSTICE!  - August 29, 2007 6:49 PM

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lawyers who Steal from the Dead

Ex-NY Attorney Charged With Stealing From the Dead
The New York Law Journal by Mark Fass - May 29, 2008

A former Queens attorney has been charged with taking more than $400,000 from the estate of a deceased man for whom he served as a trustee. Stephen E. Pearlman of Dix Hills, Long Island, maintained a Northern Boulevard practice until 2006, when he resigned from the bar while facing allegations in a separate matter involving misuse of his attorney trust account. According to the Queens District Attorney's Office, Mr. Pearlman, while still a member of the bar, was named the trustee of the estate of James Graham and charged with dispersing his assets. Instead, Mr. Pearlman allegedly transferred more than $400,000 to his own account or the escrow accounts of other clients, leaving the trust with $73.93. At an arraignment Tuesday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Joseph Zayas, Mr. Pearlman was charged with second-degree grand larceny, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Mr. Pearlman's attorney, Oona O'Flaherty of Legal Aid, did not return a call seeking comment.

Washington, D.C. Radio: FBI targets corruption in federal agencies

FBI targets corruption in federal agencies
Washington Radio station WTOP by Hank Silverberg - May 29, 2008

MANASSAS, Va. - With the economy souring over the past year, the FBI feels that corruption within local government is becoming more and more tempting. The bureau has set up an eight-agency task force aimed at stopping corruption on the local, state and federal levels. The task force will monitor agencies, such as the Department of Justice, U.S. Immigration and Customs and Homeland Security. A special emphasis will be placed on five Northern Virginia counties -- Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties. Assistant FBI Director Joseph Perichini says the FBI thinks this area needs the focus. "This region has the largest amount of federal dollars of any other region in the United States -- $97 billion," says Perichini. The task force will look to local business leaders and the general public to report any attempts of bribery or fraud. "In the very difficult economic condition we have today, we want to make sure that people are aware that we are out there," Perichini says. A Web site has been set up to report any individual or business that may be suspected of corruption.

Washington Post: Judicial Tampering

Judicial Tampering - Who pressured a panel to nominate a state senator's son for an Anne Arundel County court seat?

The Washington Post - May 29, 2008

GOVERNORS IN Maryland have sole authority to appoint judges. The legal tradition, though, is for special commissions to vet and nominate candidates. No governor in recent memory has deviated from that process. That makes recent allegations of political interference all the more disturbing. Three members of the Judicial Nominating Commission in Anne Arundel County quit in protest in recent days. They claimed that the work of the panel was compromised by pressure to nominate the son of Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) for one of three open seats on the District Court. Thomas V. Miller III was passed over by the panel of lawyers and other citizens but was selected after Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) demanded more names. The Senate president, his son and the governor, through a spokesman, maintain that they did not tamper with the process.

How then to explain the unprecedented resignations? The three are respected lawyers and community leaders. Paula J. Peters, who has been on the panel since 1985, told the Baltimore Sun that "political people" lobbied her. Ms. Peters makes no bones ab out her feeling that the younger Mr. Miller, a member of the state parole commission who has practiced law for four years, is not qualified for the bench.Regrettably, she is more reticent about who allegedly acted on his behalf. She should name names. We're not so naive as to think that judicial selections occur in a political vacuum; there's nothing unusual about people lining up for and against judicial applicants. Yet, as one member of the nominating commission pointed out, there is a cloud of suspicion in this case that hurts everyone. Mr. O'Malley has yet to name the judges, and it will fall to him to convince the public that his selections were made for the right reasons.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NY Lawyer Pleads for Leniency

Former NY Firm Leader Pleads for Leniency in Sentencing; Colleagues Echo Call
The National Law Journal by Amanda Bronstad - May 27, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Securities plaintiff's lawyer Melvyn Weiss, the convicted co-founding partner of Milberg Weiss, has asked a federal judge to sentence him to a term of 18 months, the minimum term allowable under a plea agreement he reached with federal prosecutors earlier this year.

Federal prosecutors are seeking the maximum under that plea agreement: 33 months. In court filings, prosecutors said they agreed with a pre-sentencing report that concluded an applicable sentencing range to be 33 to 41 months but recommended the lowest end of that range for Weiss. Weiss, who pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2. Weiss's plea deal is the latest in the government's kickback case, in which prosecutors have alleged that Milberg Weiss, now known as Milberg, and seven of its partners, including Weiss, obtained $251 million in attorney fees by paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs. In a binding plea agreement reached earlier this year, Weiss agreed to pay about $10 million in fines and forfeiture and serve 18 to 33 months in prison.

In court papers, Weiss's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, of Brafman & Associates, paints a picture of a talented and hard-working lawyer, loyal friend and family man who has been charitable to his community. "His life has been devoted to building a law firm capable of taking on corporate giants who were represented by some of the biggest and best staffed law firms in the country," court papers say. The "criminal conduct he engaged in destroyed his personal legacy and the legacy of the wonderful law firm he helped build, and by his actions caused damage to a legal system to which he devoted so much of his life, talent, and scholarship." In a letter to U.S. District Judge John Walter, Weiss expressed remorse. "Looking up from the bottom of the deep pit into which I have descended has been painful," he wrote. "The ability of our citizens to obtain access to our courts, no matter how rich or poor we are, is one of the hallmarks of our society. The guilt I am feeling knowing that I have violated the law and contributed to doing harm to that access has wounded me enormously."

More than 250 letters were submitted as part of Weiss's sentencing, including former judges, law professors and lawyers, including several who worked at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Among those who wrote letters were:

• Leonard Barrack, founding partner of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine
• Fred T. Isquith and Adam Levitt, partners at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz
• Stanley Bernstein, founding partner of Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz
• Kenneth L. Adams, partner at Dickstein Shapiro
• Richard Revesz, dean of the New York University School of Law, where Weiss endowed the loan repayment assistance program
• Stephen Susman, founding partner at Susman Godfrey
• Benedict Morelli, president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association
• Bernard Nussbaum, partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and former counsel to President Clinton in 1993 and 1994

In court filings, prosecutors note that Weiss should receive more prison time than another former Milberg partner, William Lerach, who, earlier this year, was sentenced to two years in prison, the maximum allowable under a plea deal he reached last year. Lerach, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, began serving that sentence this month. Weiss, unlike Lerach, paid $1.22 million to one of the lead plaintiffs, Howard Vogel, as his share of attorney fees while he was under criminal investigation, which "reflects a criminal arrogance that makes Weiss significantly more culpable, and hence deserving of significantly more punishment, than Lerach." Weiss also obstructed the investigation by failing to turn over a fax that prosecutors had requested under a grand jury subpoena, prosecutors said. But they acknowledged that Weiss, at 73, was much older than Lerach and had participated in more philanthropic activities. "Rather than retire as the undisputed and highly respected dean of the plaintiffs' securities bar, Weiss will retire in disgrace as a disbarred lawyers and a convicted felon," they said in court papers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Feds Indict Attorney..... Again

Ex-NY BigLaw Partner Charged in Second Fraud Scheme
The New York Law Journal by Anthony Lin - May 27, 2008

Brooklyn federal prosecutors have further charged a former Baker & McKenzie partner, indicted last fall on securities fraud charges, with stealing from a client escrow account. Martin E. Weisberg, 57, then a corporate partner in Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie's New York office, was charged in October by the Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office with participating in an illegal short-selling scheme that netted two Israeli investors $55 million. The counts in the indictment include securities fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Federal prosecutors said today they had since uncovered Mr. Weisberg's involvement in a separate fraud scheme. He is now facing additional counts of wire fraud and money laundering. According to the indictment announced today, Mr. Weisberg told three clients they would not receive interest on $30 million they deposited with him in an escrow account. Mr. Weisberg then allegedy deposited the money in an interest-bearing account which generated $1.6 million in interest between August 2006 and October 2007. Prosecutors claim Mr. Weisberg stole $1.3 million of it.

He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each wire fraud count and 10 years in prison on each money laundering count. He had already faced similar maximum sentences on his earlier securities fraud charges, as well as millions of dollars in fines. One of the clients that placed escrow funds with Mr. Weisberg, Bahamas-based SIAM Capital Management, recently sued Baker & McKenzie over the firm's turning over of the company's documents to prosecutors in alleged violation of attorney-client privilege. But William J. Linklater, a partner who acts as spokesman for the firm, said recently the case had been resolved with the firm returning SIAM's documents. Mr. Linklater could not immediately be reached for comment on the new indictment. Mr. Weisberg's lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz of Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, also could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the October indictment, Mr. Weisberg helped Israeli investors Zev Saltsman and Menachem Eitan gain access to hundreds of millions of discounted but restricted shares in two companies he represented. The alleged scheme involved a series of so-called PIPE (private investment in public equity) transactions. In such transactions, large investors are allotted blocks of discounted shares, the sale of which are restricted until after a registration statement becomes effective. From 2001 to 2004, Messrs. Saltsman and Eitan allegedly used a variety of vehicles to invest almost $90 million in PIPE transactions, acquiring 123 million shares of Xybernaut and 101 million shares of Ramp.

The government charges that, prior to the effective date of the registration statements, the two would take short positions in the two companies' stock. A technique utilized by investors betting a stock price will drop, short-selling typically involves borrowing stock to be repaid at a later date when the investor hopes it will be cheaper. Messrs. Saltsman and Eitan would set this date after the effective date of the registration statement, permitting them to use their discounted PIPE shares to repay the borrowed stock.

Messrs. Saltsman and Eitan were also charged in the October indictment, as were Edward G. Newman, Steven A. Newman and Andrew Brown, the top executives at the two companies whose shares were used in the scheme, New York health care software company Ramp Corp. and Virginia-based Xybernaut Corp., a maker of wearable computers. The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed a civil suit against the six men. According to prosecutors, Mr. Weisberg and the executives at Xybernaut and Ramp were aware of what Messrs. Saltsman and Eitan were doing and accepted money to give them continued access to the company's PIPE deals. Mr. Weisberg allegedly received $3.1 million from the Israeli investors, keeping $1.7 million for himself and transferring $1.4 million to Steven A. Newman.

Edward Newman and Andrew Brown allegedly received payments of $100,000 and $50,000 respectively. During most of the time the alleged PIPE scheme was ongoing, Mr. Weisberg, was a partner at New York's Jenkens & Gilchrist Parker Chapin, then an arm of now-defunct Dallas law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist. Most of the lawyers in the office, including Mr. Weisberg, left to open a New York office for Atlanta's Troutman Sanders in April 2005. Mr. Weisberg left Troutman Sanders soon after and became a partner in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie in August 2005. In a strange twist, Mr. Weisberg had also previously faced fraud and money laundering in a 1991 case brought by federal prosecutors in Texas.

Mr. Weisberg had been a partner in the New York office of Philadelphia's Morgan, Lewis & Bockius when he was retained in 1989 by William W. Gray of Horseshoe Bay, Texas, to launch a corporation specializing in "arbitrage" of the Mexican peso. In a January 1991 indictment, the government charged the arbitrage was in fact a Ponzi scheme in which investors were promised returns of up to 600 percent a year based on the supposed currency trades. Investors allegedly lost $27 million in the scheme. Mr. Weisberg left Morgan Lewis, where he had been a partner since 1987, in February 1991, shortly before he was added to the indictment. Mr. Gray was found guilty on all counts and sentenced in October 1991 to 18 years in prison, from which he was released in 1998. Most of the other participants reached plea agreements. But Mr. Weisberg was acquitted after a trial at which Dick Clark of American Bandstand, a longtime client, testified as a character witness.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memo to Judges: Welcome to the NYS court system

Early Trial Bid Denied In Kaye's Pay Action
The New York Law Journal by Daniel Wise - May 27, 2008

A Manhattan Supreme Court justice on Friday upended a litigation strategy designed by lawyers for the court system to push state lawmakers into passing legislation to raise judicial salaries. Justice Edward H. Lehner (See Profile) rejected a request for an expedited trial, starting June 2, at which Bernard W. Nussbaum, the lead counsel in Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's lawsuit to force a pay raise, had insisted he would call the leaders of the executive and legislative branches to testify about how they had linked judicial raises to other issues, principally a pay raise for the legislators themselves.

After a scheduling conference, Justice Lehner told the Law Journal that he had denied the request for an expedited trial after Mr. Nussbaum had "strenuously" argued for a June 2 trial date because that would prod the passage of a pay raise bill before the Legislature goes into recess on June 23. Mr. Nussbaum stated Friday, "We are disappointed the judge did not order a trial in early June, before the Legislature adjourns, for we believe that would have brought the matter to a prompt conclusion." Mr. Nussbaum, a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, added, "We are pleased he agreed to hear dispositive motions in July and we are hopeful about the outcome." The Law Journal was barred from a 45-minute session in Justice Lehner's chambers at which the judge and lawyers for the three branches of government charted the course of the lawsuit, Kaye v. Silver, 40076/08. Justice Lehner said he had decided to close the meeting because he agreed with all the attorneys that the presence of a reporter would lead to "public posturing." The Law Journal was the only publication requesting admission.

Governor David A. Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, are represented by Richard H. Dolan of Schlam Stone & Dolan. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, is represented by David I. Lewis of Lewis & Fiore, who also works part time on the majority leader's legal staff. Justice Lehner, who said that all sides had authorized him to report on what had transpired at the session, approved a schedule that will allow Chief Judge Kaye to file a motion for summary judgment on July 9. The legislative and executive branches will have until June 10 to file a motion to dismiss the case. The judiciary will have until July 9 to oppose the motion to dismiss and to file its own cross-motion for summary judgment. Reply papers from the executive and legislative branches must be filed by July 15, and oral argument will be held before Justice Lehner on July 17.

Justice Lehner still can authorize testimony from Mr. Paterson and the two legislative leaders, but he said Friday that it would be premature to address that issue now. Even if the Legislature takes no action on a pay raise bill before its planned June 23 recess, it could still reconvene before the end of the year and consider a pay-raise bill. Justice Lehner also advised the lawyers who attended Friday's conference that he will rule before June 24 on a motion for summary judgment pending before him in a second judicial pay-raise case assigned to him. The four judges, with the backing of their judicial associations, in that lawsuit, Larabee v. Paterson, 400763/08, have moved for summary judgment on the one claim that survived a motion to dismiss in February (NYLJ, Feb. 6). In January, Justice Lehner had ruled the Larabee plaintiffs can move forward with their claim that the failure to raise judge's salaries since 1999 violated the separation of powers doctrine. Justice Lehner will hear argument on the four judges' motion in Larabee on Thursday.

'Appropriate' Procedure

In rejecting Mr. Nussbaum's request for a June 2 trial date, Justice Lehner said he felt the request was "not appropriate" because "the appropriate manner in which to proceed is to file a motion." The filing of a motion to dismiss, he noted, stays the defendants' time to answer. Mr. Nussbaum, a former White House counsel in the Clinton administration, made his request for an expedited trial in a letter dated April 10, the day Chief Judge Kaye filed her suit. In the letter, he argued that "the defendants themselves - the leaders of the Legislature and the Executive - must be made to explain in open court their repeated failures, their outright refusals, to fulfill their constitutional duties." Mr. Nussbaum added that the leaders of the other branches also "must be made to explain their insistence that judicial pay raises . . . be held hostage to the desire to increase their own salaries, or the desire of the Executive to push through other initiatives resisted by the Legislature." Mr. Nussbaum continued, "We will prove at trial that legislators can and do earn outside income - in some cases, as we will show, substantial amounts." In opposing the request for an expedited trial, Mr. Lewis, writing for Mr. Bruno, stated that "the plaintiffs wish to conduct a show trial of legislative leaders." The plaintiffs in Kaye v. Silver are Chief Judge Kaye, in her official capacity as the state's top judge, and the New York State Unified Court System.

Two Other Pay-Raise Suits

In addition to the Larabee case, which was filed on Sept. 12, 2007, three other individual judges filed suit in Maron v. Silver, 4108/07, which was filed nine months earlier, on Jan. 2, 2007. Like Justice Lehner in the Larabee case, Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. McNamara in the Maron case dismissed all of the plaintiffs claims save one. Justice McNamara, who sits in Albany, allowed the three Maron plaintiffs to proceed on their claim that "political branch benign neglect is destructive of judicial independence" (NYLJ, Dec. 3, 2007).

Both sides have appealed from adverse aspects of the Maron ruling, and the appeal is on course to be scheduled for argument in September. The Appellate Division, Third Department, has stayed further proceedings in Maron until the appeal is decided. No stay has been requested in the First Department, though both sides in the Larabee case have filed notices that they are appealing aspects of the ruling. Neither side has yet filed an appellate brief. Until that happens, no schedule will be set for submission of subsequent briefs and an oral argument date. Both Justice Lehner in Larabee and Justice McNamara in Maron rejected claims from the judges that in the last nine years their salaries have been so eroded by inflation that a provision in the state Constitution has been violated. That provision of the Constitution, Article VI, §25, prohibits the salaries of state judges from being diminished.

The suit brought by Chief Judge Kaye, which seeks an order requiring raises for all 1,300 state-fund judges, has three claims. With the other two lawsuits, it shares a separation of powers claim. That claim, which survived motions to dismiss in both Maron and Larabee, has at its heart the contention that the absence of a raise since 1999 has impaired the independence of the judiciary. In ruling that the Larabee case could proceed on a separation of powers theory, Justice Lehner framed the issue in terms of tying judicial raises to other extraneous issues. For instance, he wrote, the linking of judicial pay to issues such as raises for legislators or campaign finance reform "raises an issue as to whether the two other branches have abused their power and thus unconstitutionally interfered with the separation of powers." The suit brought by Chief Judge Kaye, on behalf of the court system, however, raises a second claim, also grounded in the separation of powers doctrine, that judicial salaries have become inadequate.

Under that theory, judicial salaries in New York are inadequate in comparison to the responsibilities and duties of the state's judges, especially when measured against the earnings of lawyers employed in other sectors of the legal profession. The third claim asserted in the chief judge's lawsuit alleges a violation of the no-diminishment clause of the Constitution, the claim that was rejected at the trial level in the other two cases. Chief Judge Kaye's lawsuit asks for an injunction requiring that the salaries of Supreme Court justices be raised from $136,700 a year to the $169,700 now being earned by federal district court judges. The lawsuit also asks that the salaries of other judges sitting on other courts in the state system be adjusted proportionately, and that the raises of all judges be awarded retroactively to April 1, 2005. Daniel Wise can be reached at dwise@alm.com.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

WOW ! What a great comment...

Anonymous left the following comment in response to the May 22, 2008 posting, "Bias on Bench: Memory Lane, Current Reality":

Have you noticed that very few judicial positions have come up for election or re-election? What is happening is that in the early JUDY KAYE reign, mid1990's,someone in the court system determined that the courts with the speciality setups..like drug court and domestic violence, were being run exclusively by the LOWER courts, who cannot take felony dispositions, and to develop these courts at the higher level, would be redundant. So the term acting..supreme, county and city judiciary came about to handle higher level felonies in the lower court...supposedly to be exclusive in the high volume speciality courts only!
So with the passing of this order, no one in the judicairy, retires at age 70, either..they get re-certified and continue to work at their 'old" job..could be longer than their 14 yr term...county and supreme courts are filled with the "any" lower court(city) judges as acting higher court judges to fill in the gap that should have been filled through elections, and the lower court positions are being filled by town judges of the lawyer kind. Thus...we the taxpayer no longer get to vote for our choice to fill the judicial jobs, but are secretly forced by the judiciary and political bosses to accept WHOMEVER they have choosen to put in and keep in these ...life long judicial positions. I am certain very few taxpayers are aware of this ...NEW JUDICIAL RAISE AND ELECTION SYSTEM! A judge just has to get in at any level and, he or she is promoted for life as a JUDGE in any court....using the ACTING AND CERTIFICATION DETERMINATIONS!

HERE'S THE POST (and comments as of May 25, 2008):

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bias on Bench: Memory Lane, Current Reality

Appellate Judge Troubled by “Insidious” If Well-Intended Bias on Bench
Inside Fordam Online -TOP STORY - by Victor M. Inzunza - January 19, 2007

The judiciary has an inherent and insidious bias in favor of legal procedures and solutions, said Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. Delivering his first speech since becoming chief judge as part of Fordham Law School’s John F. Sonnett Memorial Lecture in McNally Amphitheatre on Nov. 20, Jacobs said the bias has led to an expansion of judicial influence over nearly every sector of society from schools and prisons to religion and medicine. Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals delivered the John F. Sonnett Memorial Lecture in McNally Amphitheatre. Jacobs made clear that the bias is not a political one, but one that places legal thought and solutions above all else in society.

“The tropism in favor of what lawyers do and the tendency to expand the spheres of activity in which lawyers act and control comes clothed in virtue,” Jacobs said. “It is seen by us mainly as respect for due process, as the open door to the courthouse, as a flower in the rule of law. So any excesses are viewed with indulgence as a Tocquevillian quirk of the American character. “But it is unbecoming of judges to dismiss this phenomenon. It matters that our conduct as judges is reinforced by the support and praise that we get from colleagues, lawyers, bar associations. … I think fair-minded people should recognize the dangers that arise when judges, as the final arbiters for allocating vast power, money and influence, are all members of the same, self-regulating profession and often the same professional groups and social environments.”

The “inbred” preference by judges to find solutions to public policy and other issues through the legal process is infused, he said, with a kind of smugness that such procedures “produce the best results.” For Jacobs, the end product of such a bias is the expansion of legal influence at the expense other professions. “When lawyers present big issues to courts, the judges receive the big issues with grateful hands, and tell the bar it has made inroads on jurisdiction and independence and praise the expansion of legal authority and together we smugly congratulate ourselves on expanding what we are pleased to call the rule of law,” he said. “Among the results is the displacement of legislative and executive power, the subordination of other disciplines and professions, and the reduction of whole enterprises and industries through damages.”

As to what can be done, Jacobs called on judges to exercise self-restraint and discipline in order to ward off a bias that he said has gone mostly overlooked in the legal profession. “The country could do worse than suffer rule by lawyers,” he said. “I would prefer a tyranny of law to life under a military regime. But outside our professional sphere, the dominance of law, the legal profession and the judiciary is resented more than we appreciate. As a matter of self-awareness and conscience, judges should accept that the legal mind is not the best policy instrument and that lawyer-driven processes and lawyer-centered solutions can be unwise, insufficient and unjust.… For the judiciary this would mean a reduced role, but not a diminished one.”
Posted by Corrupt Courts Administrator at 8:07 PM


7 comments:

a citizen said...
"The country could do worse than suffer rule by lawyers," Judge Jacobs said, well I very strongly disagree. The rule by lawyers of this country has sadly already begun and I believe that it will be our downfall if it is permitted to continue. Lawyers have imposed themselves in to every aspect of our society and look at the pathetic results. Further, they should be barred totally from holding public office as they once were along time ago. May 22, 2008 11:34 PM
 
Anonymous said...
I think everyone has been well aware of this real life intrusion by the legal and judiciary groups and I too disagree. The fact they we should have to choose between a horrible ruling government or the lawyers and judiciary in charge of all aspects of our existence is just outrageous and arrogant..but spoken by a true lawyer and judge in charge! I have personally viewed the corruption of the courts seeping into my ordinary life and realize that the courts manipulated this takeover. They have thusly influenced anyone, anywhere to accept whatever it is they choose to do to individuals and taxpayers, while violating their constitutional rights and the criminal procedure law, etc. to FORCE all victims into compliance! I say it is mandatory that we dis-mantle this entity immediately through federal intervention and anything but, is unacceptable! May 23, 2008 9:19 AM
 
a fly on the wall said...
the hubris of these Judges knows no bounds. Of course why should it? They are Judges and can and do whatever they want, they are untouchable. May 23, 2008 9:33 AM  

Anonymous said...
these judges need to be fired now, theyare disgusting. May 23, 2008 12:55 PM  

nyc bar member said...
this dumbass Judge Dennis Jacobs should remove his head from is ass! This kind of talk hurts all attorneys including Judges, stupid!!!!! May 23, 2008 4:46 PM  

Anonymous said...
what kind of drugs is this jerk on? The is a Judge? You have to be kidding. May 23, 2008 10:36 PM  

Anonymous said...
Have you noticed that very few judicial positions have come up for election or re-election? What is happening is that in the early JUDY KAYE reign, mid1990's,someone in the court system determined that the courts with the speciality setups..like drug court and domestic violence, were being run exclusively by the LOWER courts, who cannot take felony dispositions, and to develop these courts at the higher level, would be redundant. So the term acting..supreme, county and city judiciary came about to handle higher level felonies in the lower court...supposedly to be exclusive in the high volume speciality courts only!
So with the passing of this order, no one in the judicairy, retires at age 70, either..they get re-certified and continue to work at their 'old" job..could be longer than their 14 yr term...county and supreme courts are filled with the "any" lower court(city) judges as acting higher court judges to fill in the gap that should have been filled through elections, and the lower court positions are being filled by town judges of the lawyer kind. Thus...we the taxpayer no longer get to vote for our choice to fill the judicial jobs, but are secretly forced by the judiciary and political bosses to accept WHOMEVER they have choosen to put in and keep in these ...life long judicial positions. I am certain very few taxpayers are aware of this ...NEW JUDICIAL RAISE AND ELECTION SYSTEM! A judge just has to get in at any level and, he or she is promoted for life as a JUDGE in any court....using the ACTING AND CERTIFICATION DETERMINATIONS! May 25, 2008 9:49 AM

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lawyer Weiss Deserves 33-Month Term for Scheme, Prosecutors Say

Lawyer Weiss Deserves 33-Month Term for Scheme, Prosecutors Say
Bloomberg by Edvard Pettersson

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Melvyn Weiss, co-founder of securities law firm Milberg, should serve the maximum 33-month prison sentence allowed under his plea agreement for illegally paying clients to file shareholder complaints, prosecutors said. The government believes a 33-month sentence is "necessary and appropriate,'' because Weiss continued paying illegal kickbacks after he knew that the firm was under investigation and he tried to obstruct investigators by not providing subpoenaed documents, prosecutors said yesterday in papers filed in federal court in Los Angeles. Weiss, 72, pleaded guilty on April 2 to one racketeering conspiracy charge. He became the fourth name partner of the New York firm, previously called Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, to plead guilty in a nine-year investigation. Former partner Bill Lerach was sentenced to 2 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy.

"A sentence that is greater than 33 months would tend to create an unwarranted and impermissible disparity, particularly given Weiss's more advanced age and more substantial philanthropic activities as compared with Lerach,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Axel said in the sentencing memorandum. Prosecutors claim the firm reaped $251 million in fees from cases in which the lawyers illegally paid clients to file suits. U.S. District Judge John F. Walter is scheduled to sentence Weiss on June 2. Benjamin Brafman, Weiss's lawyer, asked in a filing for a sentence of no more than 18 months, the low end of his plea agreement, with at least half of it served in home confinement or community service.

Weiss's Supporters

More than 250 people wrote letters on Weiss's behalf, Brafman said. They include legal scholars, lawyers, family members, former UBS PaineWebber Inc. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Grano Jr. and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. "I mourn, from the bottom of my heart, his present situation,'' New York University law professor Arthur R. Miller, who has known Weiss for 25 years, said in his letter to Walter. "It is like watching a brother in continuing pain -- the end of his professional career, lost stature and dignity, the deprivation of certain philanthropic activities, and now the prospect of incarceration.'' The case is U.S. v. Milberg Weiss, 05-587, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Judges Warned Over Buttocks Slaps and Slavery Talk

Judges Warned Over Buttocks Slaps and Slavery Talk
New York Lawyer - Texas Lawyer by Mary Alice Robbins - May 23, 2008

The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct has issued public warnings to a Fort Worth judge who tried to discuss slavery with an African-American attorney representing clients in a case before him and an Amarillo judge who "slapped" a female lawyer's buttocks at a party. In public warnings released Thursday, the commission ordered Tarrant County Court-at-Law No. 1 Judge Brent Keis and 47th District Judge Hal Miner of Amarillo each to complete an eight-hour course -- Keis on racial sensitivity and Miner on gender sensitivity and sexual harassment -- within 120 days of the orders, which are dated May 14. The commission's order provides the following findings of fact: In April 2007, Keis attempted to engage Nuru Witherspoon, a partner in Dallas' Kelley Witherspoon, in a conversation about the transportation of enslaved Africans to the Americas in what is referred to as the "Middle Passage." Keis broached the conversation about slavery after learning that Witherspoon's first name is African in origin, but Witherspoon declined to discuss that topic with the judge.

Keis then asked about the injuries suffered by one of Witherspoon's client's, a plaintiff in a personal-injury action. The judge told Witherspoon that the amount of money offered by the defendant's insurer was very good in a case involving what is known in Tarrant County as a motor vehicle incident soft-tissue injury (MIST). When settlement negotiations in the case appeared to be at an impasse, Keis delivered what he called his "MIST" talk. As part of his talk to Witherspoon and his clients, Keis explained that he was a Republican and that Tarrant County juries are predominantly made up of Republicans. As noted in the findings, Witherspoon filed the complaint against Keis with the commission. Another attorney sent a copy of the complaint to the local news media, resulting in widespread publicity about the incident.

In its conclusion, the commission noted that because of the media attention on Keis' "inartful and insensitive attempt" to discuss slavery with Witherspoon, some members of the public reached the conclusion, perhaps mistakenly, that Keis harbored a bias or prejudice against Witherspoon based on the attorney's race. The commission found that Keis' conduct violated Texas Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 3B(5), which requires a judge to perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice; Canon 3B(6), which prohibits a judge from showing bias or prejudice in his words or conduct; and Canon 3B(8), which requires a judge to give every person with a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person's lawyer, the right to be heard. In the order, the commission noted that Keis violated Texas Constitution Article 5, §1-a(6)A, which provides that a judge may be disciplined or removed from office for willful or persistent conduct that is inconsistent with the proper performance of his duties or that casts public discredit upon the judiciary or administration of justice. Witherspoon and Keis did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

The commission's findings set out the following findings of fact in Miner's case: While attending a December 2006 holiday party hosted by a local firm, Miner approached a female attorney and "slapped" her buttocks. Miner approached the same female attorney a second time and "his hand made contact with her buttocks again." A witness said Miner joked about the attorney's height, "commenting to the effect that he intended to slap her on the back, but her 'ass' was at hand level." Miner was unable to recall the specifics of the incident but acknowledged in written and oral testimony to the commission that the allegations "are basically true except that I did not think it would be offensive to her." The attorney, who did not file the complaint, informed the commission that she had met with Miner privately to express her feelings and now "considers the matter closed," according to the commission's findings. The commission concluded that Miner's conduct violated Texas Constitution Article 5, §1-a(6)A. Canyon, Texas, solo William Kelly, Miner's attorney, says the commission's public warning of his client is silly. Kelly contends that an attorney, whom he declines to identify, filed the complaint with the commission, even though that attorney was not at the party where the incident occurred. The female attorney involved was not offended and told the commission that, he says. "This whole deal does not pass the smell test," Kelly says.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bias on Bench: Memory Lane, Current Reality

Appellate Judge Troubled by “Insidious” If Well-Intended Bias on Bench
Inside Fordam Online -TOP STORY - by Victor M. Inzunza - January 19, 2007

The judiciary has an inherent and insidious bias in favor of legal procedures and solutions, said Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. Delivering his first speech since becoming chief judge as part of Fordham Law School’s John F. Sonnett Memorial Lecture in McNally Amphitheatre on Nov. 20, Jacobs said the bias has led to an expansion of judicial influence over nearly every sector of society from schools and prisons to religion and medicine. Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals delivered the John F. Sonnett Memorial Lecture in McNally Amphitheatre. Jacobs made clear that the bias is not a political one, but one that places legal thought and solutions above all else in society.

“The tropism in favor of what lawyers do and the tendency to expand the spheres of activity in which lawyers act and control comes clothed in virtue,” Jacobs said. “It is seen by us mainly as respect for due process, as the open door to the courthouse, as a flower in the rule of law. So any excesses are viewed with indulgence as a Tocquevillian quirk of the American character. “But it is unbecoming of judges to dismiss this phenomenon. It matters that our conduct as judges is reinforced by the support and praise that we get from colleagues, lawyers, bar associations. … I think fair-minded people should recognize the dangers that arise when judges, as the final arbiters for allocating vast power, money and influence, are all members of the same, self-regulating profession and often the same professional groups and social environments.”

The “inbred” preference by judges to find solutions to public policy and other issues through the legal process is infused, he said, with a kind of smugness that such procedures “produce the best results.” For Jacobs, the end product of such a bias is the expansion of legal influence at the expense other professions. “When lawyers present big issues to courts, the judges receive the big issues with grateful hands, and tell the bar it has made inroads on jurisdiction and independence and praise the expansion of legal authority and together we smugly congratulate ourselves on expanding what we are pleased to call the rule of law,” he said. “Among the results is the displacement of legislative and executive power, the subordination of other disciplines and professions, and the reduction of whole enterprises and industries through damages.”

As to what can be done, Jacobs called on judges to exercise self-restraint and discipline in order to ward off a bias that he said has gone mostly overlooked in the legal profession. “The country could do worse than suffer rule by lawyers,” he said. “I would prefer a tyranny of law to life under a military regime. But outside our professional sphere, the dominance of law, the legal profession and the judiciary is resented more than we appreciate. As a matter of self-awareness and conscience, judges should accept that the legal mind is not the best policy instrument and that lawyer-driven processes and lawyer-centered solutions can be unwise, insufficient and unjust.… For the judiciary this would mean a reduced role, but not a diminished one.”

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Funding and Bigger Garbage Can Reduces Backlog at Commission on Judicial Conduct

The following in from www.judicialreports.com:

LexPress: Judge Not (Anymore)
By Jesse Sunenblick - jsunenblick@judicialstudies.com
and Leah Nelson - lnelson@judicialstudies.com
Posted: 05-20-08


Southport's Town Justice turns in his robes after an investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. In other CJC news, an infusion of new funds helps the Commission cuts its backlog. Elsewhere, a judge relates his trip to crime-torn Bulgaria.

INVESTIGATION PROMPTS SOUTHPORT TOWN JUSTICE TO STEP DOWN

The Commission on Judicial Conduct has given John Taft, Southport Town Court Justice, his walking papers. A January 2008 complaint alleged that Taft had violated three rules of judicial conduct while overseeing a 2003 case in which his personal physician was accused of speeding: (1) Failing to disqualify himself despite his ties to the defendant; (2) Initiating ex partecommunications with the defendant; (3) Sua sponte adjourning the case "in Contemplation of Dismissal." Though he admitted to the conduct in question in his 2008 answer to the complaint, Taft denied having violated any rules of judicial conduct — but he agreed to resign and never pursue judicial office again. He will step down on May 31. -L.N.

COMPLAINT CUTTING

The Commission on Judicial Conduct pared down its backlog by 14 percent last year, says its newly released 2008 annual report. According to The New York Law Journal, CJC administator Robert H. Tembeckjian attributed the cut to last year's budget increase, which, he says, "should enable the commission to even further reduce its backlog this year and, in general, bring its inquiries to a close more promptly absent an unexpected surge in new complaints." Of the record 1,711 complaints the commission received in 2007, 328 were filed against part-time town and village justices, of whom 241, or 73.5 percent, are not lawyers. Close to 90 percent of the complaints were dismissed. -J.S.

Attorney Disbarred for Using Dead Parents' Credit Cards

Attorney Disbarred for Using Dead Parents' Credit Cards
New York Lawyer - May 20, 2008

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Greeneville attorney has been barred from practicing law after complaints were filed against him claiming he misused his parents' credit cards, among other misconduct. According to a news release from the state Board of Professional Responsibility, one complaint charged that Lawrence A. Welch Jr. with using his mother's and deceased father's credit cards for his personal benefit. He also is accused of recording a warranty deed that falsely showed him as co-owner of his mother's condominium, for which his mother sued him. Other claims include that Welch encouraged plaintiff's to file sexual harassment lawsuits based on fabricated charges and that he pretended to file lawsuits for clients when he hadn't. Welch cannot request to have his license reinstated for at least five years.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BENCH $UPPORT LACKING

BENCH $UPPORT LACKING
The New York Post by BRENDAN SCOTT

May 20, 2008 -- ALBANY - The verdict is in: New York's judges haven't made the case for a wage hike.
More than half of registered voters oppose raising the salaries of the state's 1,300 jurists, according to a Siena College poll released yesterday. The poll found 55 percent against the judges' long-sought wage boost, compared with 39 percent in favor of it. Six percent were undecided in the statewide poll, which had a 4 percentage-point margin of error. The findings come despite the judges' full-court press on the issue in recent weeks, including an unprecedented lawsuit against the Legislature by Chief Judge Judith Kaye and a controversial effort - reported recently in The Post - by some judges to slowdown cases brought by law firms tied to legislators.

In fact, more voters - 45 percent in favor, 49 percent against - backed raises for the very lawmakers whom the judges blame for blocking the raise. Lawmakers, led by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), have refused to approve a salary bump for judges until they get one, too. Lawmakers collect a base salary of $79,500 a year. Judges make $139,000 annually, which they argue has increasingly driven perspective jurists toward more lucrative careers in private practice since the salary was set in 1999. "In the voters' minds, the more you make, the less you need a raise," Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg said. "The judges have not made the case." Sixty-five percent opposed a pay raise for the governor, who makes $179,000 a year. brendan.scott@nypost.com

Monday, May 19, 2008

World Lags Behind New York's Corruptive Ways

Quarter of Companies Asked to Pay Bribes, Ernst & Young Reports
Bloomberg News by James Lumley

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Almost a quarter of businesses have been asked to pay bribes over the last two years in spite of increased efforts to combat the problem by law-enforcement agencies, an Ernst & Young LLP survey published today said. A total of 23 percent of respondents said they had been approached for bribes to gain or keep customers and 18 percent said they had lost business to a competitor that paid a kick- back. The New York-based accounting firm interviewed 1,186 senior executives in 33 countries to calculate the statistics.

The figures give "reason to be concerned,'' said David Stulb, Ernst & Young's global head of fraud investigations, in a telephone interview. Law-enforcement agencies are increasingly viewing bribery as a serious offense, increasing the risk that companies that pay bribes will find their executives facing charges, he said.

The report comes as bribery cases are unfolding on several continents. In Germany, Siemens AG is facing an investigation over possible bribery. A U.K. court last month told the U.K. government to consider re-opening a probe into allegations BAE Systems Plc gave kick-backs to Saudi officials to win business. In South Korea last month, prosecutors questioned Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun Hee over bribery claims.

In the U.K., 13 percent of respondents had experienced at least one incident of bribery or corruption in the last two years, compared with six percent of French respondents and six percent of German companies that answered the survey. The global average was 24 percent, showing an ``increased risk of doing business outside Western Europe,'' the report said. "To be able to get 1,200 respondents talking about bribery and corruption would have been difficult five years ago,'' Stulb said. It is "encouraging'' that businesses are increasingly open to discussing and addressing the issue, he added. To contact the reporter on this story: James Lumley in London at jlumley1@bloomberg.net

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Judge denies setting up 'sham residence'

Judge denies setting up 'sham residence'
The Grand Rapids Press -by Barton Deiters and Tom Rademacher - February 16, 2008

The Judicial Tenure Commission's formal complaint against Rockford District Judge Steven Servaas calls into question his residency and his conduct. One of the reasons cited for Servaas to be permanently removed from the county's 63rd District Court is because he lives outside of his district. "In essence, (living outside his judicial district) left Steven Servaas, private citizen, in the role of a former judge of the 63-1 District Court play-acting the role of judicial officer," wrote Paul Fischer, executive director of the commission, in a petition to the state Supreme Court. The complaint also says Servaas did not tell the commission of his new address and tried to create a "sham residence" in his jurisdiction. The complaint also contained allegations that Servaas created a doodle while on the bench resembling male genitalia and told a female court employee she didn't have a bust large enough to fill out the University of Michigan sweatshirt she was wearing.

Regarding his residency, Servaas contends state officials are misreading the law. The 63rd District Court is divided into northern and southern regions. Servaas is elected from the northern region, basically north of Four Mile Road; Sara Smolenski represents the south. While Servaas' principal residence is south of Four Mile Road -- on Honey Creek Avenue NE in Ada Township -- he contends he satisfies residency rules because he still lives within the 63rd District Court's larger boundary. He also said he maintains a house near Bostwick Lake that is his residence for voting purposes, within the district's northern region; he uses the Rockford courthouse to receive personal mail. As for the sexual harassment allegations, Servaas claims he was at an after-work party with female court employees, one of whom was wearing a University of Michigan sweatshirt.

He says she teased him with the words "Go Blue," knowing Servaas is a fan of Michigan State. The judge acknowledges that he responded on the order of "You either gotta get a bigger chest or go to Alma (College)." Servaas dismissed the comment as "my weak attempt at humor." After learning that the woman was offended, he left an apology on her answering machine, he said. "I never heard another thing" about it until the incident showed up in Fischer's complaint, Servaas said. Of the doodle, Servaas said, "I have no idea where this obscene doodle came from. I have no information on it. I didn't do it." The commission has ordered a public hearing to be held in West Michigan no later than March 31. A judge, referred to in this process as a "master," would be appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the proceedings. Fischer would act as a prosecutor, called an "examiner." Both sides would present arguments. The master decides if Servaas is guilty or not guilty. If guilty, the master could order sanctions ranging from censure to permanent removal from the bench.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lawyer Stock-Fraud Case Tossed Due to Withheld Evidence

Lawyer Stock-Fraud Case Tossed Due to Withheld Evidence
The Wall Street Journal Blog - Posted by Dan Slater - May 12, 2008

Withholding evidence — particularly that which is potentially exculpatory — is a big no-no. Just ask the Nevada U.S. attorneys office. In the case of Daniel Chapman and Sean Flanagan, two lawyers charged in 2003 for a complex securities trading scheme, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of all 64 charges and refused to allow a retrial because the prosecution withheld 650 pages of potentially helpful evidence. Here’s the NLJ article.

“This is prosecutorial misconduct in its highest form; conduct in flagrant disregard of the United States Constitution; and conduct which should be deterred by the strongest sanction available,” wrote Judge Kim Wardlaw. Chapman and Flanagan, along with three other defendants, were charged for creating a scheme called a “box job,” in which a small group secretly control corporate shares and manipulate stock through straw officers and shareholders, according to the opinion (link forthcoming). The government alleged that the defendants made $12 million, which was allegedly laundered through Flanagan and Chapman’s law firm and various corporations.

AUSA J. Greg Damm, identified in court records as the trial attorney, assured the defense and the trial judge that he had turned over all documents, according to the NLJ. But one day before trial in 2006, he announced that the case agent, who was not on the witness list, would testify. None of his statements, memos or notes had been disclosed to the defense. A spokeswoman for Nevada U.S. Attorney Greg Brower said her office reported the matter to the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility upon dismissal. “OPR’s investigation concluded that the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not engage in any intentional misconduct,” she said.

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2