Thursday, September 23, 2010



"COOK, Richard Baldwin - Suspended for eighteen months by Consent for filing two motions to recuse the judge in a federal lawsuit for alleged misconduct which had no connection with his client’s case and for filing discovery requests in pursuit of this motion against individuals who were not parties to the lawsuit and who did not possess discoverable information. Respondent violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct 3.1 (meritorious claims and contentions), 4.4 (respect for rights of third persons), 8.4(a) (violation of Rules of Professional Conduct) and 8.4(d) (engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice). There was no allegation or finding in the disciplinary proceeding before the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana that Respondent made any false statements about the federal judge in his motions to recuse or at any other time."

Couple questions:

1. Why ought it be  improper to complain about a corrupt judge? Why must an attorney demonstrate "a connection" between a dishonest judge's conduct and a client's case?

Even the required-connection principle ignores the fact that this judge presided in a matter effecting some 100 of my clients.

Why ought my clients or any other litigants be made to come before a court with a track record of departing from the FRCP to do favors for his pals and former law partners?

The finding that a lawyer can only come forward with a judicial ethics complaint when the questioned conduct involves that lawyer's case is a novel doctrine that has no precedence or, really, any point, except to penalize a lawyer for reporting judicial bad behavior.

2. It is common for attorney's to file discovery requests against individuals who are "not parties."

To have found these potential witnesses had no "discoverable information" is an assumption made without reference to the actual facts - the miscreant on the bench ordered that no information from them could be obtained.

To find this discovery attempt to be unethical belies the fact that I had been ordered to show cause why I should not be sanctioned by the miscreant judge.

It was both proper and essential that I discover information from the former managing partner of his old law firm, especially after the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council signaled it would do nothing to protect me from this judge, after he announced he was going to punish me for filing a (so-called) confidential judicial complaint.

At no time was my conduct improper.

What was improper - and ignored by the state judges in Louisiana, Hawaii and Maryland who have destroyed my legal career - was that a judge is not supposed to rule on discovery which is directed at his own finances and his own financial misconduct. Each and all of these judges simply ignore this stricture - which is binding upon their own conduct, and is probably the reason why they do not want to go anywhere close to the practice of gift-giving to judges by litigators who appear before them.

3. To rule that I violated various ethical strictures - while steadfastly refusing to do anything at all about my truthful complaints about the judge - belies a degree of cynicism, which ought to make the Louisiana, Hawaii and Maryland Judges embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

Of course, there is no chance of that. But questions remain:

Why do state court judges subject a lawyer to discipline for complaining about judicial misconduct - in a disciplinary proceeding which, by rule, cannot examine the conduct of a judge?

Why are state judges set on protecting a federal district judge from the consequences of his misbehavior?

Why do state judges shield well-connected lawyers, whose documented behavior demonstrates they gifted a federal judge? Is it because state court judges also benefit from lawyer-largesse?

Why do state judges refuse to forward "allegations" of judicial misconduct to a competent prosecutor before throwing a demonstrably honest attorney under the judicial bus?

4. It is worth repeating the final statement of the Maryland summary - out of the mouths of the Maryland judges' chosen guardians of legal ethics:

"There was no allegation or finding in the disciplinary proceeding before the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana that Respondent made any false statements about the federal judge in his motions to recuse or at any other time."

Only judges who are indifferent to the truth and hyper-protective of a miscreant on the bench, would make this statement - while banishing an attorney from the legal profession. Did I say "profession" ? I meant to say "club."

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