Thursday, December 19, 2013

I have nothing but respect for the judges. Nothing. That’s the problem.

No longer permitted to practice law, I wait to one side.

My crimes:

  • demands to a miscreant judge to step aside;
  • confidential complaints to supervising judges;
  • an aborted inquiry into the miscreant’s ties to lawyers with court business - blocked by the miscreant - who bankrupted my solo practice with $15,000 in fines, for complaining about him, confidentially, to the Fifth Federal Court Judicial Council.

My many convictions:

  • interference with the administration of “justice” by the miscreant;
  • burdening lawyer-witnesses, whom guardians of judicial privilege themselves to decline to examine.

Questions which stop the ears of the guardians of both legal and judicial ethics:

  1. How many judges receive money gifts from parties with court business?
  2. How many do favors in return?
  3. How many such judges are too many? One hundred? Ten? One?

An information asymmetry:

  • the robed miscreant accepts the gift(s) and does the judicial favor(s).
  • the imprudent, but honest court officer denounces the miscreant.
  • One is distinguished; one is tossed aside.

When the conduct of a robed miscreant is placed in issue, plenary investigative tools (under the control of STATE judges) become as flaccid and useless as a third nipple.


  • your judges punish lawyers for not gifting them:
  • your Counsels of Discipline blend the power of lions with the prestige of dung beetles.

What are YOU STATES  afraid of? Judicial spite? What do they know that we cannot know? That gifts and favors to/from a robed miscreant are routine?
No Gifts Accepted - All Gifts Returned. 

This was the Cardozo Rule.

The road from Benjamin Cardozo to this moment has been a long, downward strut and shuffle.

I have nothing but respect for the judges. Nothing. That’s the problem.

FROM: RBC, That’s What I’m Talking About, page 51 (Amazon, elsewhere)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Legacy of Chief Justices Cologero and Moon & Chief Judge Bell

Some years ago, I complained, confidentially, to the Judicial Council of the Federal Fifth Circuit about the documented misconduct of a United Stated District Judge. 

At the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council, my complaints were either dismissed or ignored - without investigation. 

Unjust as this outcome was, I ought not to have been surprised or even bothered to file my complaint. I did not know then that over 99% of complaints about the misconduct of judges are dismissed - by other judges.

But matters did not end for me.

Two years later, I was prosecuted for misconduct by the Disciplinary in three states - none of whom would (1) acknowledge the evidence of judicial misconduct which I presented nor (2) would transfer my complaint about the judge to a US attorney or some other entity empowered to investigate or prosecute. 

Appearing before a committee in Louisiana, whose chair was a member of the organization that had facilitated gifts to the miscreant judge, I was suspended from the practice of law - until I "apologized" - for coming forward.

The three judges, who supervised the ridiculous procedures instituted against me, have each retired. 

They are Pascal Cologero, Ronald Moon and Robert Bell.

Pascal Cologero Jr

Chief Justice
Louisiana Supreme Court, 1991-2009

Photo - Loyola University of New Orleans, Office of Public Affairs


Ronald T. Y. Moon
Chief Justice 
Hawaii Supreme Court, 1993-2010
Photo Credit: Legislative Newsline April 18, 2008

File:Robert M. Bell (2008).jpg

Robert Bell, Chief Judge
Maryland Court of Appeals
Photo: Public Domain


Cologero, Moon and Bell protected a Federal Judge from Having to Face the Consequences of his 
own Serious Misconduct.


Cologero, Moon and Bell destroyed the career 
of an honest lawyer - a necessary consequence of these judges' decision to protect a federal judge who:
- failed to follow mandatory judicial 
complaint rules 

- failed to transfer complaints 
about his financial affairs to another court

- publicized the name of a confidential 
judicial complainant

- accepted gifts from litigators in his court


Memo to Mr's Cologero, Moon, Bell and your successors: 

I will NEVER apologize for telling the truth about a federal judge who used his judicial position to enrich himself with gifts from litigators. 
I will NEVER apologize for expecting supervising judges to actually investigate and also regulate the behavior of a berobed miscreant.. 
I will NEVER again believe your courts are free from the shameful consequences of judicial application of two sets of investigative and legal standards:
1. one for litigants, who expect but do not get evenhanded justice in court
2. another for judges who receive a wink from you, when they are the subjects of complaints about their misbehavior.

You just look the other way. 
Good riddance to each one of you in your retirement.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Law Students: Spot Judicial Misconduct? Keep That to Yourself

In the first federal lawsuit I ever filed, I discovered documentary evidence that a federal judge was a landlord to his former law firm while simultaneously hearing cases brought before him by his former law partners. This meant the judge had a financial interest in the outcome of these cases, since he was collecting rent from counsel in his courtroom.

I reported this to the judge in question by way of a recusal motion.

1. The Fifth Circuit supervising judges did nothing to address the factual basis of my complaint. Did they look at law firm financial records, or the judge's financial records? Of course. 
2. The judge in question failed to recuse himself from a matter focused on his financial interest (as required by the judicial conduct rules). 
Instead of following the judicial complaint rules - or being made to follow these rules by supervising judges - the judge who was the target of my complaint, bankrupted my solo practice, with $15,000 in fines, and then ordered me off the case - leaving my clients without counsel. 
3. Vindictive, indifferent state court judges in three jurisdictions (Louisiana, Hawaii, Maryland) placed me in a disciplinary procedural vortex which, by rule, cannot look into judicial misconduct - and then threw me out of the legal profession for making "allegations" which they themselves never addressed, and declined to forward to a US attorney.  
The Fifth Circuit Judicial Council remained silently on the sidelines while I was prosecuted for a matter in which they had declined to conduct even the most superficial inquiry.

Was my judge a landlord of lawyers with business in his court? I say, yes according to documentary evidence filed in the office of the Louisiana Secretary of State. The rest of the judges say, we don't care and are not going to look into that but we will surely punish you for making that "allegation." You are just too stupidly honest to be a lawyer.

In practice, the prettily-written judicial complaint rules belie the fact that these rules offer zero protection for a whistle-blowing attorney. 

In retrospect, I could have and should have done what 500,000 other lawyers do - kept quiet about the private financial arrangements federal judges have with attorneys and attorney associations. These lawyers and their associations have found ways to put money into the pockets of the judges in whose courts these lawyers appear.

In my experience, attorney disciplinary procedures are a pantomime of a fair, transparent and honest proceeding. 

My request to Disciplinary Council that my complaints about the judge be investigated before I lost my law license were simply ignored. (If you do not cooperate with the august Disciplinary Council, you can face a separate charge of 'non-cooperation' but the DC is not required to cooperate with you.)

Controlled by judges, attorney disciplinary procedures are used (three times, against me) to punish a lawyer who foolishly expects supervising judges to shine a light on an "allegation" of serious complaint  of financial misconduct by a brother judge.

Friday, July 19, 2013

In the USA, its OK (mandatory?) to slip something of value to "his'onor"

The New York Times reported today (July 19 2013) on the transparently corrupt conviction of a blogger, who has been a relentless Putin critic.

According to the Times, the chief prosecution witness 
"gave contradictory evidence, and defense lawyers were not allowed to cross-examine him. In addition, Judge Blinov barred the defense from calling 13 witnesses."
The cynical exile from civil society of a critic, effected by criminal conviction engineered by judges is not restricted to Russia. This is what happened to me.

I complained about the documented, ethical misconduct of a federal judge, but the supervising judges on the federal 5th circuit, simply circled their little wagon, not bothering to investigate the judge. 

This opened the door for state court judges, lemmings each and all, to drum me out of the legal profession by "suspending" my law license. 

None of my three licenses will be restored until (under the Louisiana disciplinary rules) I "apologize" - for telling the truth about a be-robed miscreant who probably should never have made it to the federal bench but who, once there, enjoyed a complete lack of supervision of the ethical performance of his duties.

There was never even the pretense of an investigation of my formal complaints by the Fifth Circuit Judges. 

Without investigating on their own, the top judges in the three states where I held a law license were free to characterize my documented complaints as mere "allegations" and lift my law license for coming forward to complain. 

So much for the integrity of the judges on the 

5th federal circuit 

and the state high court judges in 


These judges merely pretend to high ethical standards. They are as concerned about the ethical behavior of a judicial colleague as a moo cow is in the outcome of the Kentucky Derby. 

If you want to win in federal court, slip something of value to "his'onor" since a travel gift or some other perk to the judge is the only (un)ethical rule that counts. 

When I objected to all this - travel gifts, doing business with lawyers, ignoring the judicial complaint rules, failing to transfer to another judge a motion into his financial ties to lawyers appearing before him -  all this raised no alarms in the chambers of other judges. 

Instead, each and all of my "allegations" merely provided grounds for state court judges to become the executioners of my reputation.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

‘A lawyer and not a thief - Something that astonished people'

Former Chief Justice Pascal Cologero Jr. of Louisiana is to be honored on February 22, 2013, for his many years of contributions to the high standards of the legal profession. Permit me to join in the blandishments and toss one further accolade onto the bier.

Former Chief Judge Cologero ought to be acknowledged for having helped to protect the public and the legal profession - from me.

It was on his watch that the disciplinary counsel of Louisiana initiated the destruction of my professional reputation and my career in the law.

I had to go. I am gone.

My suspension is a disbarment as I cannot apologize to the Justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court.  I had told them truths, which they elected to disregard.

Furthermore, I don’t want to pay them any more money. $3,000 for one mandatory hearing is enough. Further outgo would be on top of the $15,000 in fines which I was compelled to pay into the court of the judge about whom I complained - confidentially - without any other judge ever investigating my “allegations.” Ever.

But I do have a couple questions, which ought to be answered as people shower encomiums on a champion of the law as it is practiced in Louisiana, and Hawaii and Maryland - where I once held licenses to practice.

Why did none of the Fifth Circuit judges and state court justices who decided I needed a public humiliation not have the care and concern to tell the whole truth?

When I complained about my judge’s multiple instances of serious misconduct, why was I never accused of making a false statement? I assume this oversight is no oversight; a formal charge that I had lied, would require a look at the “allegations.” No formal charge = no formal investigation.

Why are disciplinary counsel not required to see to an investigation into the facts before bringing a prosecution? I begged Disciplinary Counsel in Louisiana, and in Hawaii and in Maryland - to investigate my “allegations” about the judge, or forward them to an office that could. Each and every prosecutor to whom I wrote in the three jurisdictions simply ignored these requests.

First, the conduct of my judge was never examined by supervising judges. Then, I was placed in a vortex of rules, which forbade the investigation of a judge. Why? Where is the justice in this? 

When I complained that my judge’s former law firm had benefitted from the judge’s improper, highly unusual ruling in another matter - worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to the judge’s pals - why does the public record made by the Justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court neglect to advise the public: this complaint I made was never investigated and the only lawyer to be prosecuted was myself, who blew the whistle?

The professional rules of ethics mandate that a lawyer “shall” notify supervising judges of misconduct on the bench. Why does the decision that destroyed my reputation as a lawyer, nowhere state that I was acting within mandatory reporting rules? In the first federal lawsuit I ever filed I got into career-ending trouble because I took seriously the rules of professional ethics, which I had sworn to uphold.

My judge declined to transfer to another judge, a motion of recusal I filed in his court that complained of his personal financial dealings with lawyers. A referral is required on these grounds by the federal judicial rules of ethics. Why was this detail of judicial misconduct keep out of the order tossing aside my career as a lawyer?

When I complained about an attorney organization gifting a judge with overseas travel, why not let the public in on the fact that the lawyer who presided at my hearing and who recommended my destruction was a member of the lawyers’ group that sent the judge on an overseas junket?

When I complained about my judge’s behavior, why not mention that the lawyer who chaired the committee that destroyed me, was affiliated with a firm with an active practice before that very judge?

My judge fined me a total of $15,000. I have never seen such a large fine imposed - not after begging supervising judges for protection from a monster on the bench. Has there ever before been such a huge fine imposed by a judge - levied upon his judicial complainant?

Payment of these fines bankrupted my solo practice and was enough by itself to shutter my law business - which is exactly what occurred. I was finished after my one case in federal court.

The order which separated me from my law license makes much of the fact of my apology to the judge. But left out is the fact that my judge ordered me to apologize to him on threat of further fines. Why not tell the public this?

The decision which lifted my law license from me states that I resigned from the case but there is no mention of the fact that my judge first ordered my to resign from the case - thus forcing me to abandon my clients - dozens of incarcerated women, who had complained of being subjected to sexual and other physical abuse as well as threats of jail-house punishment for speaking to a lawyer (me) and for participating in a lawsuit (the one I filed for them). Why is none of this worth a mention in the decision that destroyed my career?

Everyone of my be-robed prosecutors - those who have bothered to review the files - know that I did what this monster ordered me to do - I paid all the fines, apologized to him, resigned from the case. What I could not do was trigger an investigation of him and his financial ties to lawyers in his courtroom. Only the judges permit themselves to enter this area - and then they don’t. I tried, was sanctioned by the Monster for making the effort and then disbarred.

But I do ‘fess up to making a serious mistake that is all my own.

I notified the judiciaries of Louisiana, Hawaii and Maryland about my complaints of judicial misconduct and what had happened as a result. This led to my prosecution years later - first in Louisiana, then daisy-chained everywhere else, for my “contumacious” behavior.

I had thought the oath I took to practice law with integrity would be upheld by the judges in whose courts I was licensed to appear. This was a foolish assumption.

In the past few years, I have recomposed the shards of my public life. I am a volunteer in a hospice program, commending folks into that Mystery, which awaits us all. For some of the dying , the highest arc of their meandering is entirely interior and private; others follow the philosophy of the judiciary: encountered earthly misery and malice is cosmic purpose, from which you may seek release or solace through a community of prayer but do not expect the well placed, right here, to notice you.

I have cultivated a distaste for “the law” which like many prostitutes, is made victim of scurrilous abuse foisted by the powerful, but yet, “the law” is a strangely complicit victim and therefore repellent to me. I write poetry as a re-balancing forrey into the unbalanced world that I occupy.

His Honor’s honor soared, then went to ground
His stony gaze on court officers smooth
His Honor had me easily broke down
His mutterings finding deference miss the truth

Let me join with other Loyola Law alumni, on February 22nd, and lift a glass to our former Chief.

Let us all salute Saint Ives, patron saint of both lawyers (not myself any longer) and the abandoned (that’s me);

- to good Saint Ives, the Improbable, who insisted that cases be proven before they are decided and whose tomb was inscribed, as the legend goes:

Advocatus et non latro
Res miranda populo

‘A lawyer and not a thief
Something that astonished people'



May It Please the Court by Richard Baldwin Cook (Google eBook)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The D.A. Stole His Life, Justices Took His Money -

July 2, 2011

The D.A. Stole His Life, Justices Took His Money

In an important prosecutorial-misconduct case this term, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority threw out a $14 million jury award for a New Orleans man who was imprisoned for 18 years, including 14 on death row, for a robbery and a murder he did not commit. One month before John Thompson’s scheduled execution, a private investigator discovered that prosecutors had hidden evidence that exonerated him.
After his release, Mr. Thompson won a civil lawsuit against the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office, which had been led by Harry F. Connick, for its gross indifference to the incompetence of the prosecutors who violated his constitutional rights.
Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the 5-to-4 majority in Connick v. Thompson, said the D.A.’s office was not liable for failing to train its lawyers about their duty under the Constitution to turn over evidence favorable to the accused.
The lawyers had kept secret more than a dozen pieces of favorable evidence over 15 years, destroying some. 

[. . .]

Innocence Project New Orleans found that in 9 of 36 death penalty convictions while Mr. Connick was chief prosecutor, his office suppressed exculpatory evidence. 

[. . .] 
Failure to turn over evidence is a chronic problem. Its consequences are magnified by the government’s advantage over the inexperienced and inept defense lawyers who are often assigned to indigent defendants. Many of these violations are exposed. Many other instances may never be uncovered.
[. . .] 

With this ruling, the court made it even more likely that innocent people will be railroaded by untrained prosecutors — with the terrible prospect of their being put to death for crimes they did not commit.


Windows On the World: The City in My Mind

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In the New Year, Watch Those Piggies Fly

The New York Times reported on Dec 31, 2011 (Chief Justice Defends Peers’ Hearing Case on Health Law by ) that, under federal law, judges must recuse themselves under certain circumstances. 

From the Times article:

Federal law requires that judges disqualify themselves when they have a financial interest in a case, have given advice or expressed an opinion “concerning the merits of the particular case” or when their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” 

In my experience, this 'law' is not prosecuted by U.S. attorneys. Nor do supervising federal judges enforce such strictures upon the judges they supervise.

I have been disbarred in Louisiana and two other states for insisting that my judge recuse himself or be recused from my clients' matter after I reported to other judges:

- the judge accepted overseas travel from a lawyers' organization
-the judge ignored the procedural rules of his own court so as to benefit - into the high hundreds of thousands of dollars - the president of this same group
- there is a document filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State, which shows that the judge's former law firm was paying him rent while bringing matters into his court

I brought these matters before the Judicial Council of the federal Fifth Circuit, who did nothing. Nothing, except deny my complaint and send me and my clients back into the court of this gifted judge.

My complaint to the Judicial Council (the Circuit Judges) was made in confidence, as the judicial complaint rules require. All this meant was that I was outed by the judge about whom I complained. (See below.)

I made my Judicial Council complaints in compliance with ethical standards then applicable to me, which mandate that a lawyer "shall" report the misconduct of a judge, when this conduct becomes known.

What happened? Nothing at all happened to the judge but the consequences were devastating to me.

The judge - in violation of the judicial complaint rules - identified me in a formal decision as a confidential judicial complainant. This meant, of course, that my clients' matter before this judge was wrecked. All opposing counsel had to do was wait for the judge to finish me off, since my effectiveness before this judge had been nullified by the judge himself. (He ordered that his clerk accept no more pleadings from me, including a motion for a stay of further sanctions against me. I was to be gagged before my execution.)

The judge fined me a total of $15,000 - a sum which bankrupted my solo legal practice. 

The judge also instructed me to withdraw from representation of my clients and apologize to him - under threat of further fines. I did so. 

My destruction as a lawyer was complete. Almost.

Two years after I had withdrawn from the lawsuit and discontinued my law business, the Supreme Court of Louisiana, through its employees in the office of the disciplinary counsel, prosecuted me for having filed a confidential complaint with the Judicial Council.

To guarantee my conviction, the prosecution was conducted before a three-person committee, whose chair was a member of the organization that had gifted the judge in the first place.

My underlying complaints about the judge were never investigated. They were never referred to a US attorney, as I had pleaded be done. I was convicted of abuse of the federal judiciary, by insisting that my clients receive a hearing before a judge who was not on the take.

I will never get my law licence back, in Louisiana or in Hawaii or Maryland - the three jurisdictions whose highest judges prefer to destroy the career of an office of their own court rather than embarrass a federal judge by asking him uncomfortable questions.

I will never be a lawyer again because I first must "apologize" to the Louisiana Supreme Court for my misconduct. I will not apologize for insisting that my clients are assured of appearing before an honest judge. It is disgraceful that these justices (quite a misnomer) require an apology for my having made allegations against a judicial colleague of theirs long after their own refusal to investigate my complaints. 

I have done nothing which requires an apology, but I do have many regrets. Here is the litany:

I regret that I ever thought federal judges were held to ethical standards that were actually enforced by someone.

I regret that a lawyer who brings documented evidence of a federal judge's misconduct before supervising judges can expect not protection but the destruction of his client's case and of his own career.

I regret that my clients - dozens of incarcerated women who were being abused and sexually assaulted by prison guards - were too poor to do what was expected of them: pay-to-play in federal court.

I regret that the attorney oath I took in New Orleans, promising to follow high ethical standards myself, was merely for show, that no judge actually expected me to turn in a judge for misconduct, as I swore I would do.

I regret that no one on the highest court in Louisiana actually expected me to report a federal judge for taking gifts and doing favors in return, and that this court, instead, would punish me in the most personally destructive manner that they could devise.

I regret that the Louisiana Supreme Court conducted a Disciplinary Counsel charade instead of an actual investigation into my documented complaints of federal judicial misconduct.

I regret that the judicial lemmings on the Supreme Court of Hawaii and the Maryland Court of Appeals think so little of themselves as independent jurists that they were willing to destroy the legal career of an officer of their own court rather than publish the uncomfortable truth about the misbehavior of a be-robed miscreant on the federal bench.

I regret the prevalence of the notion that pigs don't fly. I know that some pigs do fly, the ones in judicial robes - so long as someone else is paying for the piggy's flight. 

I regret that the book I have written about this mess, MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT, is not permitted to be advertised to members of the Louisiana State Bar Association.