Crony capitalism and courthouse corruption – the egg and the chicken?

You can ask which came first, but the position being advanced here is that crony capitalism and courthouse corruption are each the sine qua non of the other – that without which the other could exist – and the real root cause of both may be nothing more than that basic human instinct to survive.  We all seem ready to accept and embrace the existence of “crony capitalism” as a root cause of current economic and political evil, but the suggestion that it spills over into our courts, and causes “impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle”, what Webster’s labels “corruption”, continues to be met with trepidation and resistance, and for good reason.

The theme of the “Bailey lynching” (defensibly hyperbolic) post is that we are dealing with austere and esoteric subject matter that we want to accept as having fundamental integrity, and that the sense of justice is a deeply personal thing, and, for Americans, is rooted in notions related to our courts – justice is blind, balanced scales, juries of our peers, etc, etc.. The point of our Lynching post bears repeating:

To understand the position that is being taken by Bailey one need only appreciate the true power of the judicial pen, and the instinctual credence we give to all things judicially-authored.  Like religion and our political and social beliefs, our beliefs about our judicial system are ingrained at very early ages, and become a subconscious part of who we are, but unlike religion, politics, or social values, and the effect that geopolitical factors have on our affiliations and beliefs, our learning and understanding of the courts is very common – they are generally revered as bastions of fairness and justice where disputes are resolved under the guidance of judges of wisdom and discretion.  The greater majority of Americans never has any, or very little, experience with the courts, and never has any reason to learn anything other than what they intuitively know.  This puts anyone who suggests further that the courts are not fair, and that judges are not wise and just, and are capable of carrying out political agendas, in the great minority from the start.  That is the essential nature of the power of the judicial pen – it is an institution and tradition of core common cultural beliefs that is not popularly assailed and criticized.

In a November 25, 2011 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Arthur Brooks of the Enterprise Institute seemed to put his finger on defining the common, but difficult to define, discomfort of the “occupy” movement.  To define the movement – the 99% – as “socialist wealth redistributors”, or however it goes, is intellectually dishonest demagoguery, most usually engaged in by those in political power, as the yearnings behind the movement seem to have a more common denominator, that being fairness.  Brooks argues that “crony capitalism” has caused the malfunction in the system, be it trickle-down economics, wealth redistribution, or whatever buzzwords you wish to attach to the theory or the problem, that has caused the discomfort that has inspired the movement.  Brooks suggests that the reason the system is failing is that instead of allowing the capitalist system to work as intended, crony capitalism, i.e., those with money and access protecting those with money and access, causes “the wealth” and the power to simply be passed around at the top.  Sure there are those who break through these glass ceilings, and opportunity would appear to exist for all, but somehow or other a massive and growing number of people still seem to believe that the haves keep on having and the have-nots keep on having naught.  Brooks’ article follows:

Arthur Brooks Fairness in the Occupy Movement WSJ

The occupy numbers may have fallen off recently, being deliberately put down in many cases, but there has been nothing that has changed that has quieted what stirred those massive numbers to come out, and those courageous numbers who remain, that might not be tapped if given the proper focus, whatever that may be – banking reform, political reform, social reform, or wherever the interests of each individual lie.  We note that the local occupy movements in Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster, have taken an active interest in the Satori Farm matter, and that situation clearly presents these themes across several dynamics.  The point, however, is that if you can accept Arthur Brooks’ assessment that the issue is one fundamentally of fairness, and to accept that our politicians are capable of robbing our futures, it should be quite natural to discuss these same dysfunctions in our courts, as the bastions of the innate sense of “fairness” built into the Constitution and our constitutions.  Judges, after all, whether elected or appointed, are products of the political process.

Regardless of the style of communication being adopted at this point on this site, there is an abundant record of testimony, court filings, affidavits, etc, that, if honestly assessed, would at least cause one to accept the proposition that there may be some “impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle” in our courts.  48 of the 50 people who have voted (one vote per person) at least support the PCRLN, where these things are being said.

The essence of crony capitalism is unfairness and the essence of the role of our courts is to provide fairness.  If unfairness has become such an uncontrolled and uncontrollable problem that it is causing people to leave the comforts of their homes and their families, and take to the streets literally, then there must be serious breakdowns in our “fairness administration process”, and there are, and we submit that no discrete aspect of the larger problems – money, banking, welfare reform, etc – can effectively be addressed until the system for administration of fairness, i.e., the courts, is reformed and discipline.  They are not currently disciplining themselves.

In winding down his successful swing through Iowa, Penn State’s most famous alumnus, Rick Santorum, urged voters to vote to create a cultural climate where faith, values, and virtue could flourish.  There may not be a voting American alive that would not support some aspect of those ideals, but those ideals are nothing where there is no fairness and no access.  If those who have protested and spoken out have said to themselves or others at some point that “it’s not fair”, then the “it” would seem to be everything.  Our “it” is the courts.  Whatever your “it” is, it will need to ultimately depend on fair courts – not because every issue is going to wind up in a court, but because a society with a fair and reliable system of justice disciplines itself.

The age-old debate over which came first in this case is largely academic, and should be had at some point, but right now things are not fair, and, for our purposes, crony capitalism and courthouse corruption are two sides of the same coin – the Bailey “shit storm” post post shows how they work together to affect the makeup of the fairness administration system, and the numbers of additional examples brought to you throughout these pages show that system in action.  As we pointed out, the real root cause of these issues may be human instinct, each reasonably trying to improve the condition of his or her survival, and this is really where the basic ethics of a society come into play, and why tested wisdom, intellectual independence, and discretion are the primary attributes of judging to temper the natural competition that exists between our basic instincts.  This is the administration of fairness.  We call it the system of justice.  There is no place for cronyism in it.  If this is not your “it” it will continue to be ours, because it is in need of reform.  “It” is a matter of “fairness” itself.

Thank you.

Why should you leave all the gains to the gluttons, knaves, and imposters? Go in and win! – Bailey class continues to organize / Conklin continues to fight for due process in mortgage fraud case

 ‘One word more, Mr Clennam,’ retorted Pancks, ‘and then enough for to-night. Why should you leave all the gains to the gluttons, knaves, and impostors? Why should you leave all the gains that are to be got to my proprietor and the like of him? Yet you’re always doing it. When I say you, I mean such men as you. You know you are. Why, I see it every day of my life. I see nothing else. It’s my business to see it. Therefore I say,’ urged Pancks, ‘Go in and win!’

‘But what of Go in and lose?’ said Arthur.

‘Can’t be done, sir,’ returned Pancks. ‘I have looked into it. Name up everywhere–immense resources–enormous capital–great position–high connection–government influence. Can’t be done!’

Charles Dickens – Little Dorritt, no 13

Bailey class continues to organize

One of the members of the Network circulated this quote from Dickens as she reflected on what has been lost to her personally, and to us (all of us as American citizens) collectively, as she remained resolute to oppose the mistreatment that she is now experiencing personally in asking for herself to have her case re-opened based upon the abundant public record of hostile and disparate treatment of Don Bailey and his clients over the years.  It may not be the perfect literary metaphor to capture every essence of what we have been discussing here, but the words do inspire and provide a focus as we resolve to continue and magnify our effort in 2012.  Thank you.

As we have reported in previous posts, numerous of Don Bailey’s clients have taken the unprecedented step of taking their causes upon themselves, and filing motions to open judgment, and the responses that have been received by the Courts, Judge Rambo and Judge Caputo taking the lead, have been disrespectfully dismissive, in the fairest light, and have failed to address the central contention that the bias and prejudice against Bailey, admitted by Judges Kane, Conner, and Jones’ mass recusals, and supported by the record as set forth in this site, and elsewhere in the public record, has interfered with their access to the courts.  The position is very easy to understand, and is clearly reasonable at its base.  Judge Rambo has been threatening and hostile, and Judge Caputo has been no measure friendlier.   The merits do not get addressed. Why?

Efforts continue to be underway to organize the Bailey class of clients and others who have been hurt and harmed by the course of conduct we have revealed through our coverage of all these proceedings.  We have begun to introduce you to cases of interest in our categories covering aspects of certain of the cases he has handled over the years, and is handling now, and will begin to bring you more regular case blogs as we identify the many American citizens, and even non-American citizens who have been hurt and harmed over the years, and have had their legitimate cases dismissed, or jury verdicts taken away, or accepted paltry settlements for their lost jobs, their lost opportunities, and their lost dignity, and have come to our courts seeking relief.  We will continue to update you on these efforts.  ‘Go in and win!’

Conklin continues to fight as Satori Farm remains under assault

We are very cautious about the language and rhetoric we use on this site, avoiding superlatives, hyperbole, and inflammatory words as much as possible so as to not off-put readers unnecessarily, and in due respect of the subject matter with which we are dealing, but the situation involving the efforts to evict Steve Conklin and his family have been a veritable assault – forces were literally amassed waiting to swoop in as lawyers attempted last-ditch chicanery to undo the TRO that had been entered less than 24 hours earlier, while Steve and, among others, his 83 year old father and a few supporters sat unaware like sitting ducks.  Again, that tragedy was avoided, but, before the ink on the TRO was even dry, the lawyers for the banks and the York County courts and officials proceeded anyway to schedule this para-military eviction for January 5, 2012; yet the federal court, Judge Mariani, has sat, while Steve continues to plead for judicial assistance.

The story of the abuse that Steve has personally taken at the hands of the York County judges, and now federal Judges, Kane, Rambo, and Conner, in particular, needs to be told, and the immediate story is one of current nationwide importance that could affect literally millions of people, and calls have gone out for support to all manner of activist group.  We understand that members of the occupy movements of York, Harrisburg, and Lancaster are making efforts to arrange a presence to peacefully protest, with civil disobedience, if necessary, the oppressive actions scheduled to take place, and in the hands of Judge Mariani, and that media coverage is expected with calls having gone out widely.  We encourage any of you to share in these efforts as well, and will bring you a more specific plan of action should the eviction not be stopped.

The details of the mortgage and fraud issues in the case have been covered more extensively on, and will are provided in some of the documents already linked here, and to be provided.  For now, there appears to be a real test for the wisdom and discretion of Judge Mariani, who has ignored the recusal motion filed by Conklin, and a real test, as real as it gets, whether the courts are capable of disciplining themselves.

We will continue to support Steve Conklin, and continue to bring you coverage of these most compelling issues.

Thank you.

The politics of personal destruction – anatomy of the judicial lynching of Don Bailey – Caputo piles on

As Tom Corbett said to Don Bailey during his deposition in the Kimmett case, “everyone knows who you are, Mr. Bailey”.  The implications and context for this comment are set forth in our November 21, 2011 “shit storm” post.  The premise of this article is that everyone has an opinion of Don Bailey, too, and those opinions are greatly divergent – his clients clearly holding one, and the judges and the lawyers, at least the ones taking their cues from the judges, another.  The purpose of this article, however, is not a general apologia for Don Bailey, he is fully capable of speaking for himself, and has told much of his personal story on the videos linked to his personal site, which you will find in the Additional Resources here.  The purpose of this post is to discuss the public record that has been made, by identifiable judges whose names have been used throughout, and to suggest that, based upon a reasoned study of that record, it reflects a judicial effort to smear Bailey’s reputation, and ostracize, isolate, and eliminate him and the cases brought to him by his clients.

Documents that have already been linked and referenced already reflect perhaps as many as a dozen or more direct attacks by judges – Conner and Carlson most prominently – that have been highly critical, and outright hostile to Bailey.  The 55 page opinion of Marty Carlson in the David Lease case is linked below, as is Don’s response, both of which are discussed at greater length below.  The point is that the Carlson report sets the tone for the negativity.  Oddly, however, Bailey is boldly on record throughout as claiming that every one of these censures, sanctions, and rebukes has been false – every one.  That does not leave much room for conciliation, and leaves a public record of what must either be false and slanderous accusations by judges, or valid criticisms and justifications for the actions being taken against Bailey.

To understand the position that is being taken by Bailey one need only appreciate the true power of the judicial pen, and the instinctual credence we give to all things judicially-authored.  Like religion and our political and social beliefs, our beliefs about our judicial system are ingrained at very early ages, and become a subconscious part of who we are, but unlike religion, politics, and the affect that geopolitical factors on our affiliations and beliefs, our learning and understanding of the courts is very common – they are generally revered as bastions of fairness and justice where disputes are resolved under the guidance of judges of wisdom and discretion.  The greater majority of Americans never has any, or very little, experience with the courts, and never has any reason to learn anything other than what they intuitively know.  This puts anyone who suggests further that the courts are not fair, and that judges are not wise and just, and are capable of carrying out political agendas, in the great minority from the start.  That is the essential nature of the power of the judicial pen – it is an institution and tradition of core common cultural beliefs that is not popularly assailed and criticized.

The Carlson report

It is in this context that we introduce the Carlson report.  Marty Carlson is not a United States District Judge – he is a Magistrate Judge, a subordinate judge who makes only recommended decisions, which require further action by a regular status District Judge. Kane was the District Judge in the Lease case.  The legal intricacies of the case would require a separate article just to understand the context, but well into the case, and long after the incident at issue, Judge Kane more-or-less suggested to the other attorneys that they file a sanctions motion against Bailey – yes, judges concerned with the excess of activity on their dockets inviting more activity through sanctions motions in old cases – smacks in itself of an agenda apart from justice, and will be shown to be a pattern engaged in by other judges to silence attorneys and parties.  That is what happened, and that is how the matter ended up with Carlson – it was filed with the court and referred to him for a recommendation.

The following is what is called the “report and recommendation” of Carlson, 55 pages, a recommendation for District Judge Kane to impose a $10,000 sanction against Don Bailey.  This is just a recommendation, but, for some reason, perhaps related to the denigrating content, this recommendation was released through a statewide publication, the Legal Intelligencer.  It was released well-before Bailey had any chance to respond, and before Kane even made any final decision on the matter – why?  The Legal Intelligencer called Bailey for comment, and he asked that his response be published as well – it was not.  The story was picked up by several daily papers across the state, and run.   The Carlson report does not pain a flattering picture of Don Bailey – Don did reply, and that reply is provided as well.  Marty Carlson’s 55 page “report” remains part of the public record that has never been qualified, retracted, or rebutted, despite the fact that it has been abundantly disavowed as a credible effort.  Kane later “adopted” Carlson’s report.

Carslon Report Lease Matter

Bailey Objections to Carlson Report

The power of the judicial pen is evident – the words are direct, and they have an impact on the reader, a negative impact about the character, competence, and credibility of Don Bailey.  These impressions are reasonable, but they are false, and presented to the reader deceptively.  The entire premise of the 55 pages, and its raison d’etre, is that Bailey did something wrong to justify a single word of sanction – if there is no reason for the sanction, there is no reason for the effort, and the ulterior purpose becomes evident.  If it’s not legitimate, it’s illegitimate, and it’s that simple.

Bailey was being sanctioned for suing attorneys for the constitutional tort called “abuse of process” arising out of the attorneys abuse of the federal rules of procedure to harass civil rights litigants.  Judge Kane had said in her earlier decision relied upon and quoted by Carlson that Bailey has done what he was supposed to do – he properly laid out his legal claim in form and substance, but his offense was that he sued lawyers and couldn’t explain why he should be allowed to – an absurd proposition.  When Judge Kane said Bailey stated the elements of his claim properly under the law, she was saying that Bailey met the requirements of the applicable rules, but she went on to give Carlson leave to recommend a sanction because, although Bailey complied with “the” rules, these rules were not “their” rules.  Bailey was being sanctioned for properly alleging that lawyers were abusing process in the federal courts, and every word of the 55 page effort was part of the faulty and deceptive premise that Bailey did something wrong.  His response makes that clear as well.

Conner chronicles and Venesevich smear

As has been referenced in the Bailey motion to dismiss post, Judge Conner has been particularly active in the effort to get Don Bailey.  We pointed out his false testimony that he was never a complainer to the Disciplinary Board, and the document that contradicted him, and his testimony, also linked here, related to yet other issues.  What is not known is that before all of these issues became so prominent, Bailey sent private correspondence to the Judge, a very proper and professional thing to do, indicating that there appeared to be issues that Conner was having with Bailey, and that Bailey would like to sit and meet and “clear the air” of any misunderstandings.  Conner not-so-politely declined.  His ethical canons suggested he should have met with Bailey.  Bailey was not aware that Conner was already a complainant to the Disciplinary Board at the time.

Related to our “power of the judicial pen” theme is the Venesevich case.  The term “case law” is commonly used, and what it is the officially published decisions of courts over time – they exist to the beginning of American history, over any and every manner of legal issue and, together, become part of the “common law”.  Not every decision written by a Judge becomes a “published” decision, and there is some mystery over how this process works.  Regardless, these decisions usually shed some light on some prior precedent or important legal issue of intellectual merit.  Along comes the Venesevich case, it is an opinion published on westlaw written by Conner.  It was an unremarkable decision by Conner – throwing out another Bailey case without providing any discovery, but contained a lengthy footnote rebuking Bailey of an alleged plagiarism of case law, and accusing him of fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation.  Bailey proved the accusation of plagiarism to be false, but was unable to get relief because the appeals court found it to be an unreviewable rebuke.  It is now part of the permanent record, and is false.

Conner did a similar thing in the Conklin case, where he published an opinion in a procedural motion, framing the issue as whether the court’s decision to sanction plaintiff’s counsel, Attorney Don Bailey, for his unprofessional conduct in the instant matter requires the court to recuse.”  Conklin v. Warrington Township, 476 F. Supp.2d 458 (M.D. Pa. 2007).  This opinion talks about a history (recent history by Conner alone) of sanctions against Bailey and his alleged “unprofessional conduct”, and there was no discussion related to a pertinent legal issue.  Don Bailey has had major sophisticated issues of constitutional law on all of these courts dockets frequently that have been debated honestly and competently, even arguing a case successfully before the Supreme Court; yet these slanderous attacks are all that show up in the public record.  These facts lone smack of anagenda unrelated to deciding cases.

There is a concept in law enforcement called “salting the file”, which means placing information into a file deliberately to support certain points to be later needed or made.  It is something an old-time prosecutor like Marty Carlson would know plenty about, and it’s what has been done with Bailey.  His responses don’t make it into the public record, and he doesn’t have the same access for dissemination that the judges do.  The public file has been salted with demonstrably false accusations based upon false and flawed legal premises, deceptively and deliberately, made by specific judges with a provable bias to create an impression that provides a screen behind which to conceal an agenda of protecting old political friends and power structures.  That is what has happened to Don Bailey.  His responses have not been provided, but have been provided here as much as possible, and the full record speaks for itself, and despite the effort we went through to explain and reveal this, we still understand resistance to crediting it.  That’s the nature of the problem.

Caputo piles on

Judge A. Richard Caputo, discussed in the “shit storm” thread, has appeared to join in the public smear effort – this time including in his efforts shots at the clients of Don Bailey’s who have filed motions to open judgment.   In the past 3 weeks, Judge Caputo has sanctioned Bailey in the Dave Morris case, and thrown out the motions to open judgment filed by Miles Thomas and Deborah Phillis, and these decisions have been released to an online federal research service called, a site which can be checked for yourselves.  The site seems to focus on issues of national import, and large appellate level cases; yet in the past two weeks, Judge Caputo has 3 Don Bailey cases appear on that site – no cases had ever been referred to that site previously, and they are all either taking further shots at Don Bailey or, worse yet, at his clients for defending him and asserting that they have been mistreated because of him.

These courts are indeed proving incapable of disciplining themselves, but are at least proving that the need for discipline is clear.

PCRLN call goes out to Senators Casey and Toomey

We have received copies of emails from Network participant Andy Ostrowski that were sent to Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey via their designee representatives in the process to fill two remaining federal judicial vacancies in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  Harry McGrath, a Scranton Attorney, is Senator Casey’s designee, and Bob Graci, former Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge, and Eckert, Seamans partner, located in Harrisburg, is Senator Toomey’s designee.  The Eckert, Seamans law firm is a key player in the current effort to “get” Don Bailey, as has been mentioned generally, and as will be brought to you in future posts.

Lackawanna County Judge Terrance Nealon, son of current Senior Middle District Judge William J. Nealon, was nominated in 2010 to fill one of the vacancies, but that nomination was withdrawn after Senator Toomey was elected.  County Judge Nealon has since become involved in a scandal involving an admitted “lapse of ethical judgment” seven years ago by privately advising local Democrats on how to oppose a county voting plan in a case over which he was asked to rule.  We do not know if disciplinary proceedings are underway as a result of these matters, but note that Common Pleas Judge Nealon continued to receive wide praise from other judges throughout.  Senior District Judge Nealon is Judge in the case of Andrew Kundratic, another Bailey client and Network participant who has filed a motion to open judgment, in a case in which McGrath was the defendants’ attorney.

The emails from Ostrowski  reference the PCRLN and the wealth of information available on this site, and invite Senators Casey and Toomey to review these materials and participate in our effort to bring reforms that are or may be needed to the courts.  Prolific efforts remain underway which will determine how the main query of the initial effort on this site – whether the courts capable of disciplining themselves – will be answered, with signs pointing to the negative.  Nonetheless, we pointed out early on in our efforts, after the Bailey hearings were allowed to proceed in such a hurried fashion, only to be left to languish now, that more formal political petitioning efforts directed at reform would be part of the process.  That was the phase one post – defining the problem.

Phase two would appear to suggest itself – a time to discuss the problem, debate even.  Positions have been taken on this site that have not yet been opposed in any reasoned way.  The central premise of these initial efforts is that the things said about Don Bailey by the Supreme Court Disciplinary Board are false, and have already been proven to be false.  This means the things he said about Judges out to get him, and, more importantly, hurting and harming dozens upon dozens of innocent American citizens who came to our courts seeking fairness and justice, not personal and/or political agendas, are true.  Having been supported by substantial evidence, and opposed by nothing but raw power, these are matters of high and urgent public importance that require legislative action, or at least oversight at this point.

Below the United States Supreme Court, the federal courts are the exclusive province of the Congress.  Article Three of the United Stated Constitution vests “judicial power” in one Supreme Court and in “such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”  The custom and practice is for the United States Senators from the state in which the vacancies exist to control, or suggest, nominees to the President.  Ostrowski’s emails ask for consideration of the views of PCRLN, which have been supported by our unscientific, but probative, polling efforts, in that process, and are provided here:

From: Andy Ostrowski
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 5:21 PM
To: Scranton Attorney Harry McGrath and Harrisburg Attorney Bob Graci
Cc: (approximately 150 lawyers, judges, media outets, PCRLN participant, and PCRLN Press Office)
Subject: Petitioning to Senators Casey and Toomey regarding federal middle district appointments

Dear Harry and Bob,

I understand that you (Attorneys Harry McGrath of Scranton and Bob Graci of Harrisburg) are the designees for Senator’s Casey and Toomey, respectively, in connection with the selection process for the two remaining Middle District Judge vacancies.  We understand these have been vacant for quite some time.  At this point, I am introducing you to the Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network, an organization with which I have been involved for the past year or so, along with a network of others, including many of Don Bailey’s and my present and former clients.  I commend you to, and ask you to familiarize yourselves and your principals, Senators Casey and Toomey, with the contents of that site.  As expressed therein, we do intend to engage in more formal petitioning activities and discussions concerning the state of civil rights and condition of the courts in Pennsylvania and nationwide (all these intentions are set forth on the site), but thought it important to bring these matters to your attention now, given the urgency of some of the matters currently on the federal and state court dockets (every state appellate level court and federal court through the Supreme Court has open dockets relating to the matters addressed therein).  I would note right now that there have been no discussions that I am aware of between or among any persons involved in PCRLN as to whom proper judicial candidates should be, but I must let you know that we have received word that Marty Carlson is on the short-list, so-to-speak, for one of the District Judgeships, and that, although I do not speak for everyone (or anyone for that matter) involved in PCRLN, I do know personally that his nomination would be viewed as a very bad thing for the conditions we are endeavoring to address, and would be most vehemently opposed by a number of persons involved in the network.

Again, we will be in further contact with you and/or Senators Casey and Toomey in the future with further suggestions and petitions for action in connection with all of these matters, but right now, we would like for you to pass along our site and our message, as I pass along the message from Deb Phillis, whose case was thrown out on the same day that Marty Carlson released his 56-page slanderous rant and tirade, pregnant with an agenda of settling old political scores, and released it statewide.  Ms. Phillis took high offense to it, as did many, many others. Deb sent this email to an attorney who is threatening her with sanctions for daring to say that the courts are not fair, which is what is being done to Don as well.  I pass it along to you as a reminder to lawyers and judges during your process, that the people have the primary voice, and they are speaking out about what is going on.

Thank you gentlemen for your attention.  Andy

I encourage the wide dissemination of these matters by all who are so inclined.


Dear Mr. Rowan

I am in receipt of your 11-30-11 letter which specifies monetary sanctions unless I withdraw my Motion to Open Judgment.  I am sharing this with those kind people active on the site, who have filed similar actions, and with my attorney, Mr. Don Bailey.  Your threat of sanctions under Rule 11 does not comply with Rule 11.  If, or when, you comply with your obligations under the Rule, I will comply with mine.  My motion has merit on its face, and was filed in good faith.  You cannot support a motion under Rule 11 in good faith.  All of the documents in the public record bear out my position.  Thank you for your attention.  I trust you will communicate this to your clients.

Deborah Phillis

This was my response to Attorney Rowan of the Shumaker Williams law firm here in Pennsylvania.  I am filing pro se and he is threatening me erroneously under Rule 11.  I, and others (teachers, police, mothers and fathers fighting for their children, kennel owners, property owners, lawyers, brothers, business men and women, men and women in the Armed Services, a Deputy Warden, electrical engineer, an elderly man fighting to keep his dog) active in [PCRLN] are meeting with this sort of unwarranted sanction and intimidation, as is our Attorney Don Bailey.  We work together on the network to disseminate information, and hope some of you in the media will take note.  We are not malcontents, but unite to fight for Mr. Bailey.  At this season, we pray his good angel reminds him of the good hope he has given us, like the George Bailey in the movie.

The media in our town, Harrisburg, PA, has printed scathing reviews of his struggle, and I only hope they will take a second look at the true state of affairs through our website

As noted in the quoted email, it was disseminated widely among a large number of people, including many lawyers and even Judges, Judges Kane and Carlson among them.  One reply was received by an agent of the Office of Attorney General, Deputies, they call them, a state employee, asking for exclusion from any future such emails.  Ostrowski provided that reply to he and all of those in the original dissemination as well, in an apparent effort to show that there is no mystique about communicating with our public officials and government employees – their power and their pay derives from the people and their mystique only from a lack of transparency – and it is they who should be anxious to engage in the debate.  The further email is as follows:

From: Andy Ostrowski []
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 11:36 AM
To: Deputy Attorney General Tim Keating Harry McGrath and Robert Graci
Cc: (same 150 or so people including PCRLN)

Subject: RE: Petitioning to Senators Casey and Toomey regarding federal middle district appointments – requests for removal

This is in response to the request I received from Assistant Pennsylvania Attorney General Tim Keating:

Sure, Tim, I’ll remove you from future emails.  We will have to revisit this issue, of course, should we have professional business to tend to at some point in the future.

I should also extend the invitation to others to let me know if you would like to be removed from my circulation of these matters of public concern to our elected officials, petitioning them for reforms in the name of equal access to justice for all.  I do not believe that sending copies of emails to people in my email list that I am sending to United States Senators is any offense whatsoever, except, perhaps, to the consciences of some whose interests are at stake. I really had no intention of making this a regular thing, however.

Tim Keating is an assistant Pennsylvania Attorney General in the civil litigation section, and has had many cases against Don and I, and, as you can see, he has some sort of unspecified objection to being involved in discussions concerning fair courts, and things of that nature, and I certainly do not want to bother him or anyone else with these types of things in the future.  I suppose deleting it was too much for Tim, and that there is some message he wished to communicate directly, though he is vague in his position.  I assume he’d prefer his state-paid email on his state-paid time be used for more productive things.  Tim was counsel in the Jim Martsolf case, as to which a motion to open judgment has been filed.  This was a case handled by Judge Conner.  Tim has not responded to the motion.  I understand this motion, involving the state police, has been stayed.

I note that in response to a previous email about the Don hearings, Assistant United States Attorney Darryl Bloom responded to me and told me “this is a federal email” and that I shouldn’t send things to it.  Mr. Bloom was a subordinate of Marty Carlson, who is also copied on this email, when Marty was United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and was with that office for 25 years or so, right downstairs from the Judges’ Chambers.  Of course, I believe it was just an intimidation tactic, but I did respect his requests, and will, of course respect others as well.  I also note that at a federal bar association meeting a couple weeks after Marty released his 55 page opinion sanctioning Don across the state, Judge Kane praised him as an addition to the federal courthouse staff of judges, and really endorsed his sense of humor.  I’m glad our federal courts have so much time for laughter.  I wonder if they’ve shared laughs over Don, and his clients.

As you see, Tim, your request is being forwarded to the PCRLN as well.  Can you please confirm for me whether or not you speak for the current or any past Attorneys General in your position on these matters?  Also, Tim, the PCRLN site has made it clear that adverse views and positions are most welcomed and invited, so if there is something more you or anyone in your office or some of those clients you have had over the years has something to say, it is a completely open forum to say it.  I’m sure we could arrange for you or any of your cohorts to be regular contributors, and really think the discussion and debate would be great.  Please let me know if you or anyone in your organization (the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) would like to participate on our efforts.  Regardless, I will not send you anymore emails after this.

For the rest copied on this, I do not intend to copy everyone on any and every of the responses I continue to receive and send.  I know how annoying that can be.  While I may circulate future petitioning notices of this nature, this is simply a sincere effort to avoid any annoyance to any of you in the future, and to determine whether any other of you object to your inclusion in these communication so that I can remove you from my list.

Thank you.

—–Original Message—–

From: Keating, Timothy P.

Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 10:15 AM

To: ‘Andy Ostrowski’

Subject: RE: Petitioning to Senators Casey and Toomey regarding federal middle district appointments

Dear Andy

Please remove me from your email list – I am not interested in receiving any emails from you.

Timothy P. Keating

Senior Deputy Attorney General

Civil Litigation Section

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

Harrisburg, PA

Tim Keating may have no interest in having this debate, but maybe these things are just a job to some.  In any case, we did not receive any adverse feedback or request to ignore by Senators Casey and Toomey, and hopefully we can have this debate without those predictable few bury-your-head-in-the-sanders who are going to go along to get along in the climate of acculturation that pervades the legal profession.

Although there has been no general effort or discussion in any regard, we note that the natural place for Senators Casey and Toomey to start any legitimate inquiry would appear to be with Don Bailey.  His office number is 717-221-9500.  His clients would appear to have a lot to offer as well – their filings are sprinkled throughout the site.  We could organize the Bailey class of clients and PCRLN, and have a public meeting to discuss these issues.  Judges and attorneys could be invited to attend, and take questions.  Press could be there.  These are just suggestions.  We will continue to make efforts to open up our site for more participation, and, as always, invite any and all comment and reply.

Thank you

Constitutional Law 101: Courts cannot allow property to be taken without due process of law (even in York County) – stop the attack on Satori Farm

Newly-appointed Pennsylvania federal District Judge Robert Mariani is getting the best education a new jurist could get – a real life lesson in what it means to have the fundamental right to not have property taken without due process of law.  The res (property) at issue is Steve Conklin’s farm, Satori Farm, in northern York County, as discussed in our December 6 Call to Action post.

Due process, in the courts, means hearings, or, more precisely, “notice and an opportunity to respond”.  Notice is the “what must I defend against” and opportunity to respond is “what evidence do you have to support your claim”, and the hearing in court, or trial, if you will, is where the evidence is tested.  That is the right every American citizen has under our Constitution before property is taken.  That is “due process of law”.

Steve Conklin has placed that very simple, yet fundamentally important, issue directly in the hands of Judge Mariani, a lesson in constitutional law 101 for the new judge appointed for life.  The essence of Steve Conklin’s claim before Judge Mariani is that he has never been provided with any hearing whatsoever; yet the York County Sheriff’s Office and State Police were amassed on the border of his 112 bucolic acres in rural York County, known as “Satori Farm”, waiting to swoop in and forcibly remove Conklin, his 83 year-old father, and anyone and everyone else on the property, in a literal last-ditch ambush by the lawyers for the courts and the banks to have Mariani vacate the TRO he had entered less than 24 hours previous.

A conference call was held where Conklin thought he was being called to schedule the hearing on the preliminary injunction, but was a backdoor ruse by the other attorneys to have the TRO vacated – with their literal “troops” sitting at the Bethel Church at the top of Boring Bridge Road, just east of the lake in Pinchot Park.  There they sat waiting for the call to swoop in, while Conklin, his family, members of Occupy York, Occupy Harrisburg, the Citizens Reform Center, and PCRLN met at the farm to discuss the issues that remained, believing the eviction to have been put off by the federal court, not knowing that they were sitting ducks.  Mary Grenen, of the law firm of Grenen & Birsic, representing the banks, proudly boasted to Judge Mariani and Mr. Conklin of the force of sheriff’s deputies, state police, locksmiths, movers, haulers, etc., that she had assembled.  The TRO was kept in place, and any problems averted.

From the beginning of his case, Conklin has disputed the amount of the debt, but in good faith, trying to resolve the issue, offered to pay off the entire mortgage, by dividing off a couple of lots, if they could present the original notes and prove the amount allegedly owed.  These are disputes that get resolved at hearings.  Conklin raised and paid thousands of dollars to get a survey under way to extinguish, upon proof, the alleged debt only to find as he got his first lot approved, the bank changed its mind. Conklin would never see any proof, and has come to find that the banks (yes, plural) have engaged in a massive fraud, as further supported by expert affidavits, that the York Court has continued to help conceal.  See the 60 minutes segment in our December 6 post.

In sum, Conklin has denied the allegations, and demanded proof of those allegations against him.  This is how you request and preserve a right to a hearing in accordance with principles of due process.  Mr. Conklin requested his hearing.  He has never been given a hearing, and he has been subjected to an astonishing course of conduct, exercises in deception, misdirection, deceit, and abuse, that is a saga all to its own, parts of which have been told here, and is ready to be separated from his property without a hearing.  He is being denied his property without due process of law.

This may be the most basic principle commonly understood by Americans under our constitution today.  Conklin is entitled to a hearing under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause of the federal constitution, and he is asking the federal court to exercise its power to uphold the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects individuals against unconstitutional actions of, in this case, the state courts.  It’s simple, and it should be done, and Conklin has filed an additional Motion asking Judge Mariani to recognize these simple principles, and to preliminarily enjoin (put off) the eviction indefinitely, while they sort out the issues on how to restore his right to the hearing that he was clearly denied.  Following is a copy of the motion.

Conklin Motion Summary Injunctive Relief

Conklin has filed an additional motion asking Mariani to first take up the issue of his recusal – that motion was set forth in the Call to Action post, and to at least temporarily, until the summary relief can be sorted out, extend the TRO.  It is in this Motion that Conklin explains the ambush by the lawyers for the banks and the courts, and how the lawyer for the Courts, Gerri Romanello St. Joseph, simply joined in the nefarious plan of the bank to have the TRO upset and the blackshirts swoop in for the eviction – the lawyer for the courts who knew Conklin never got a hearing advocated lawlessness, which our Supreme Court has said it is.

Conklin Motion Modify TRO

Astonishingly enough, Grenen & Birsic is right back at it, as if they expect Judge Mariani to rule favorably for them again, by already rescheduling the sale to go forward on January 5, 2012, while they are subject to Mariani’s TRO telling them the eviction was off.  How can they be so sure that they are going forward with their attack on Satori Farm?  Judge Mariani is getting a quick lesson in the awesome power of a federal judge – if he insists on handling this matter despite Conklin’s well-considered motion to the contrary, let’s hope that he uses it wisely, and shows that he is not beholden to the power structure through which he was just elevated to his current status of lifelong tenure removable only for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that he can use that power to do what judges do – protect and uphold the constitution.

We ask you to stay on alert to our continuing efforts in this regard.  We are expecting that Conklin will ask the Judge to adjust the January 5, 2012 date, but, in the event that that does not change, we will keep you apprised of the efforts to organize, assemble, and oppose that action by further call to action.

There are many, many very important principles at play in the Conklin litigation – principles that coalesce to reveal that whatever the agenda, be it tea party activism, mortgage fraud exposure, banking excesses, civil rights activism, or whatever the symbol of the movement, there is one thing that they all share in common – until you have courts where you can go in and expect fair treatment and basic due process, none of those agendas will ever find their true strength.  Conklin is presenting us all with the opportunity to see that lesson in action.  Judge Mariani was confirmed by the full senate not long ago by an 82-13 margin.  He needs to get this one 100% right, and the answer will be clearly known soon.  We will bring it to you.

Thank you.

New POLL: Should the Supreme Court dismiss the Don Bailey disciplinary complaint?

There was a glitch in our first poll as a result of a server crash over the Thanksgiving weekend, which did not permit access to our first poll question of whether you support the Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network.  Voting had been active and the glitch has been resolved.  Please vote your support or non-support for PCRLN.

We have also added a second poll, in light of the Motion to Dismiss filed by Don Bailey on December 7, 2011 in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, as referenced in our previous post.  The question again is very simple to understand, and everything that you need to make a fully-informed decision – everything that is before the Supreme Court – is here for your review.  Don has spoken abundantly.  The Court has been largely silent – two one sentence Orders have been issued.  Disciplinary Counsel has filed a response to the Rule to Show Cause, which is not yet available in pdf, but will be provided.  The documents upon which the determination must be based, all of which are available here, are the following:

1. Disciplinary complaint

2. Third Circuit Motion for Rehearing En Banc (containing matters upon which discipline is based)

3. Bailey verified Answer to the Complaint

4. Bailey Petition for Review and Enforcement of Subpoenas

5. Bailey King’s Bench petition

6. hearing transcripts

7. Motion to dismiss

Please take your time to review these materials, and cast an educated vote on whether the disciplinary complaint should be dismissed by our seven Supreme Court elected Judges.  If you believe that the disciplinary complaint filed against Don Bailey seeking interfere with his right to practice law should be dismissed by the Supreme Court, vote yes.  If, for whatever reason, you think the case should proceed, vote no.

Thank you.

Bailey motion demands that Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismiss disciplinary action against him

On December 7, 2011, Don Bailey filed a motion to dismiss the disciplinary case against him.  The Motion was filed directly with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and alleges that the process itself has been so bereft of constitutional protections, that it is an effective nullity, that there is clear evidence of prosecutorial misconduct, along the lines of what has already been set forth in previous posts, and, most importantly, that he did not violate any rules of professional conduct in any respect.  As it turns out, Bailey’s appropriate and respectful (as those things go) complaints of judicial misconduct, have turned out to be true, as the record of the hearing transcripts (void for any purpose involving Bailey’s license) already has shown.  Please read the motion filed by Bailey:

Bailey Supreme Court Motion to Dismiss Discipline Case

Significantly, that motion contains cites evidence suggesting that Middle District Judge Christopher C. Conner has testified falsely under oath at the hearing.  The issue is set forth by Bailey as follows:

16.          Judge Conner is believed to have testified falsely on the issue of whether he was a complainant to the ODC, testifying in the hearing that he was not.  Bailey received a “Complaint of the Honorable Christopher C. Conner” sent by ODC to Bailey dated November 29, 2006 outlining 5 separate cases on his docket upon which he was requesting action by the ODC, i.e., ODC identified him as the complainant, and the information about the specific cases had come from somewhere.  A copy of this correspondence is attached hereto as Exhibit D.  Respondent has alleged that Paul Killion told him that Conner was “pestering” Killion to “do something” about respondent, and as of November 29, 2006, that contention is substantiated.  The conversation between Killion and Bailey was in December 2008, meaning that there must have been more contact until 2008.  At the August 11, 2011 proceeding, Conner testified as follows:

Q: Okay. Now have you ever written a complaint about me that you sent to the Disciplinary Board?

A: The only [occasion] in which I forwarded a concern to the Disciplinary Board was in connection with the Conklin matter and that was contained in an order in which I directed the Clerk of Court to forward my opinion to the Disciplinary Board to determine whether or not there needed to be an action taken.

Q: Okay. That’s

A: Beyond that, no.

N.T. August 11, 2011, pp. 119.

Judge Conner’s testimony appears to be false, and this Court has an obligation to do something about it, in addition to dismissing all charges against respondent.  Incidentally, all of the allegations in the Conner complaint are bogus, as will be more fully addressed by further submission, if permitted as requested.  Regardless, Respondent’s contention that he was told by Killion that he was being prosecuted because Judge Conner, and perhaps others, were “pestering” Killion to “do something” is substantiated.”

This testimony in itself substantiates the claim of Bailey that this has been a “fix” from the start.  No judge or no prosecutor would allow themselves to be so  woefully under-prepared for a hearing to take the property and livelihood of an attorney (they certainly didn’t know Don Bailey) as to testify in such a sloppy manner, and certainly no honest judge would ever testify falsely, but a less scrupulous one might if the the hearing was intended to be a perfunctory pro forma political exercise.  Conner talked himself right out of any wiggle room in this testimony, revealing his state of mind that he had something to hide, and in an effort to remove all doubt, tried to cut off all further inquiry into the matter.  When he said “The only [occasion] on which I forwarded a concern to the Disciplinary Counsel was in the Conklin matter” and “Beyond that, none,” the falsity in his testimony is revealed in light of the November 29, 2006 correspondence – according to disciplinary counsel, he had been a serial complainant.  Had he simply said “NO” to the first question, he may have been able to lawyer his way out of the accusation of falsity.

He must believe all those slanderous things that he wrote and used his judicial office to publish about Bailey, calling Bailey incompetent and a liar, when it appears it is the federal judge himself who is, and has been revealed as such.  While Conner may at some level have been a victim of the lawyer acculturation otherwise discussed, and taken his cues when he was young, before and after being a judge, from the formerly esteemed federal judge Rambo, justifying some hope of conciliation, he has now put his fitness to be a judge directly at issue.  We cannot support judges who appear to show no respect for the oaths they take, and he took two – that for his office, and that for his testimony – he has violated both.  Again, apologies are required here, but only apologies for having to disclose that a federal judge has apparently testified falsely under oath.  These judges have had no problem for years tearing down the reputation of attorneys and subjecting clients to the further abuses that they came to the courts seeking refuge from – they have done so callously and they have done so falsely.  We apologize for telling you these things only because they are demonstrably true.

Judge Jones further testified that in the case that led to the sanctions and disciplinary vendetta against him that he didn’t let Bailey respond to a sanctions-related motion that was not even filed until 5 months after the case was closed because, in effect, he “knew what you would say.”  Can you imagine the number of clients, Bailey class members, who have been damaged and injured by this kind of judicial mentality, i.e., their access to justice is cut off because of who their attorney is – this is what Bailey has said as well, and has been proven right on as well – from the sworn testimony of his own accusers.

The Bailey discipline case must be dismissed.  Please read it and decide for yourself.  Everything you need to make that decision is before you here, and more that will be brought to you.

Thank you.

UPDATE – call for action – Federal Middle District Judge Mariani grants TRO to Conklin

We are pleased to bring you an update from our call for action that went out on December 5, 2011, to inform you that newly-appointed Middle District Judge Robert Mariana has granted a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting the York County Sheriff from going forward with the forced eviction scheduled for December  8, 2011.  It was the only right decision under the circumstances, and, while we do not feel it is incumbent upon us to thank judges for doing what is the only right and just thing, there is a certain appreciation that is expressed, under all the circumstances.

Judge Mariani set the TRO to expire on December 21, 2011, and has referred it back to Magistrate Judge Blewitt, who summarily denied Conklin’s April, 2011 motion, for a report and recommendation on the request to make the TRO into a preliminary and perhaps permanent injunction.  Mariani has not yet addressed the Motion for Recusal Coklin filed, and we will update you as these matters proceed.  A copy of Judge Mariani’s Order follows:

TRO Order

While Steve and his family are most certainly relieved of this urgent situation, it is no time to rest, and the efforts that are underway here must continue in earnest.  Judge Mariani was given almost no choice short of lawlessness to do what he did, and we will be cautiously optimistic, and continue to give every judge the benefit of the doubt, and opportunity to act in accordance with his or her judicial duties.

Thank you all for your support.