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Middle District Judge William J. Nealon, was nominated in 2010 to fill one of the vacancies, but that nomination was withdrawn after Senator Toomey was elected.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 www.pennsylvaniacivilrightslawnetwork.com, 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 pacivilrightslawnetwork.com 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 [mailto:ajo@bsolaw.com]
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

2 thoughts on “PCRLN call goes out to Senators Casey and Toomey”

  1. “One of the things John Kennedy used to say was that “everyone can make a difference – and everyone should try.” For this distinguished audience, particularly the chief justices of our state courts, that’s an understatement. For you know better than anyone – and so many of you have written cogently on this very subject – that our justice system needs fixing. It is a system in crisis. My purpose today is not to regale you with Doomsday stories – although I may end up telling you one or two. My purpose is to challenge you to take up the task of improving our system, committing yourselves to fixing it. No one is better positioned than you to improve it. You are, quite literally, “Justice” – it is both your honorable title and your most solemn obligation – ensuring that justice is truly done in your systems. Like the Prophet Isaiah, you have touched the burning coal, you have the vision, you have the knowledge, and perhaps most importantly, your voices command the respect which will drive true reform. Ask yourselves, if not you, who?” Larry Tribe -Harvard

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