Bailey case updates – clients continue to be mistreated on motions to open

Attorneys take cues from the courts and seek sanctions from Bailey client

As we brought to you in our update on the Bailey class clients who have filed their own motions to open judgment, Judge A. Richard Caputo denied the motion filed by Deborah Phillis, and the opinion was immediately released into the public domain through a private research service.  Caputo’s Orders in the Miles Thomas and Jeffrey Dock cases were released to the same service.  Another Caputo Order conspicuously came through the same service sanctioning Bailey in the Dave and Pam Morris case, who have filed a motion to open of their own.  Caputo piles on.

In accord with the serious developing theme, i.e. the Conklin case and Bailey disciplinary proceedings, none of these Bailey clients are getting due process hearings, or any procedure whatsoever.

The first attorneys to take the bait, so-to-speak, come from the Harrisburg law firm of Shumaker Williams, through attorney Michael Rowan, who has filed a Motion for Sanctions sanctions against Deb Phillis, citing a lack of any reasonable basis to her claims that she has suffered prejudice because of who her attorney is that affected her case before Judge Yvette Kane, who has recused herself from all Don Bailey cases, and initiated disciplinary proceedings of her own, which have not been discussed in any detail.   Deborah has filed a reply brief, citing significantly that they have operated under an entirely false factual construct, and objecting to her mistreatment for being clearly reasonable.

The Motion for Sanctions essentially cites Phillis’ statement that she intends to do anything and everything she can to get her justice, which is not asking for anything at all.  The motion for sanctions is, on its face, more punishment for daring to raise issues of bias against Don Bailey, and the civil rights causes of his clients, and simply smack of an attempt to oppress and silence an innocent American citizen for daring to raise an issue that is reasonable on its face.  There are 70 votes of general support.  Their reason cannot withstand that.

Mr. Rowan was kind enough to speak with us about the filing, and assured it was directed by his clients, but was equivocal in his support for such a drastic measure, citing only Ms. Phillis’ “pattern in this case” to support the motion.  Pattern?  In this case?  Rowan also suggested that there was a proposal to resolve the matter by withdrawing the motion for sanctions in exchange for withdrawing the case.  That’s the removal of the proverbial boot from the throat, but Phillis may have no choice.

Rowan did say that he was familiar with this site, but that he had not read it in any depth.  He based a motion for sanctions an a filing by Deborah Phillis that specifically cited this site as support.  There do appear to be questions of good faith involved, a lack of diligence at least.  We discussed the fact that this is exactly what opportunist attorneys do when they read clear judicial attitudes in our struggle behind the civil rights struggle essay.

The entire tone again is set by the lengths to which some personalities, judges unfortunately, have gone to create a public “smearjob”, as Bailey has been heard to say.  Judge Rambo has already threatened Jim Dewees and Vicki Smith with sanctions, and barred the door to the courthouse against them, and the dissemination of the attacks on Bailey speak for themselves.  See Politics of personal destruction.

What is wrong with these American citizens asking for fair access to their courts?  Why are they being subjected to mistreatment and sanction freely for suggesting they have been subjected to mistreatment and sanction?  There would appear to be many opportunities for the courts to still discipline themselves and remedy what is on record here as being serious wrongs.   We will continue to bring you these updates.

Bailey discipline case update

The Supreme Court has entered an Order scheduling the submission of post-hearing findings of fact and conclusions of law, tentatively believed to be due in mid-February.  The process requires each side to submit “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law” in support of their respective positions.  Presumably, because the Office of Disciplinary Counsel carries the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence, they will be required to make a submission making their case against Bailey.  This will be based upon the hearing transcripts and exhibits submitted into the record on August 11 and 12, 2011.

Bailey, of course, has raised, once again, substantial due process issues, which have led to an infirm record to support anything, but the Supreme Court has denied his substantial and repeated pretrial motions, largely in one-line orders, despite Bailey’s pleas for due process.  Every reader of this right now is in the absolute dark of the this judicial decision-making, and that simply is not fair to the large numbers of people who have significant interests at stake.

It is assumed that “they” again are attempting to back Bailey into a corner so they can see what he says about the record before the Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, most of which has been made public here, and then fashion whatever it is that they are going to do, which will likely involve more of the same.  Through the disciplinary process, however, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court still has the opportunity to fully  address the substantial issues raised by Bailey throughout these proceedings, and to do complete justice in this case, and to all of us.  There are many issues to address, well before any issues concerning the “complaint” against Bailey are reached, and we are all entitled to the transparency that is inherent in the notion of due process.

We will keep you updated on these efforts.

Thank you.

13 thoughts on “Bailey case updates – clients continue to be mistreated on motions to open”

  1. I would seriously love to know where some of these judges got their law license. How sad that they think they can get away with rewriting the law as they go. Lawless thugs is what they are.

  2. With such corruption in the courts, sooner or later, ALL the attorneys will lose…because most people will realize there’s no reason left to fight!

  3. Judicial-selection process a private affair
    March 25, 2001| By L. Stuart Ditzen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    The Federal Judicial Nominating Commission is a panel that was created by, and exists exclusively for, the two senators. Headed by Fred Anton, chairman of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, the commission holds its sessions in private law offices around the state

    Specter and Santorum each chose half the members of the commission. There are three 16-member panels, each of which makes judicial recommendations for the U.S. District Court based in its region – the eastern, middle or western district of the state. Each panel has a regional chairman. Anton is the overall chairman and serves on each panel.

    “US judge clears Pa. lobbyist of insider trading”

    Frederick W. Anton III, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, was cleared of a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint that he helped a former colleague and his son avoid $381,000 in losses.

    U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez, who presided over a judge-only trial last fall, said the SEC failed to prove that Anton benefited from any disclosures.

    sanchez ruled favorably for specter/kline in the “TAP” case. They were co-chairs of the regional Commission that recommended sanchez to arlen specter for a seat on the bench. he awarded william lamb over 500 bucks an hour in lawyer’s fees a year after thanking him for his support before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  4. Wiretapping may become the investigative tool of choice for the FBI to break-up the collusion that appears to dominate some of our courts in Pennsylvania and throughout the rest of our country. What seems to be taking place is unique in our history because it looks like corruption has spread like a virulent plague, like wildfire fanned by F5 tornadoes. The approach embraced by this once sacred institution to silence its critics suggests they are on the run, that they are overcome by fear of exposure. Instead of standing tall, with self-assurance, to prove with poise it has nothing to hide, this one time shining light of American values behaves like a neighborhood bully.

    Once upon a time, young men put their lives on the line in the jungles of Viet Nam to protect our precious freedoms and indivual, constitutional rights, (or so Johnson and Nixon promised them). It must be devastating to those who survived to watch the moral decay eat away the fabric of those very ideals and to question why their friends had died.

  5. Alito was paid $15,000 for teaching at Duquesne University School of Law on August 5, 2011 and $11,995 for teaching at Duke Law School on August 25, 2011. He traveled to Rome, Vienna and Hawaii among other places and taught for about 34 days, altogether.

    April 28, 2008
    “Last month, our nonpartisan, nonprofit citizens’ organization, Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc. (CJA), delivered its own 73-page Critique of the Breyer Committee Report to Congress, expressly in support of congressional hearings and disciplinary and criminal investigations. The Critique demonstrates that the Report is ‘a knowing and deliberate fraud on the public’, ‘methodologically-flawed and dishonest’, and that it rests on ‘hiding the evidence – first and foremost to the thousands of judicial misconduct complaints filed under the Act, which the federal judiciary, not Congress, shrouded in confidentiality and made inaccessible to both Congress and the public, so as to conceal what it is doing.'”

  6. What is fascinating about all this is that grown-ups, intelligent, educated adults are blinded to the reality that many judges are thoroughly corrupt; many have been caught in lies, accepting bribes, fixing the outcomes of cases, engaged in conflicts-of-interest ad infinitum, etc.

    To sanction Mr. Bailey for his courage to address what is already widely known and accepted by many citizens, reminds me of foolish, out-of-touch dictators trying to suppress the spirit of good, decent, loyal patriots who demand democratic reform.

  7. “Apparently not satisfied with Sprague’s response, Orie demanded more answers during a speech on the Senate floor Jan. 6.

    ‘Why the blatant disregard of the federal IRS filing stipulations? Why the cloak of secrecy?’ Orie asked. ‘It shocks the conscience that the Pennsylvania Casino Association would not list former Pennsylvania Chief Justice Zappala [on tax returns]. Quite frankly, it’s unconscionable.’

    Tax records show the PCA was formed by Sprague, then-Mount Airy casino owner Louis DeNaples, and Charles Hardy, an attorney with Sprague’s firm, on May 8, 2007, five days after a Dauphin County grand jury subpoenaed the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The grand jury was investigating whether DeNaples, a wealthy Scranton-area businessman, lied to the gaming board about alleged mob ties. Sprague represented DeNaples in the probe.”

  8. Why the blatant disregard of the federal IRS filing stipulations? Why the cloak of secrecy?’ Orie asked. ‘It shocks the conscience that the Pennsylvania Casino Association would not list former Pennsylvania Chief Justice Zappala [on tax returns]. Quite frankly, it’s unconscionable

    gee, can anyone guess what happened to orie?

    we are so thoroughly awash in the cesspool of corruption, we have forgotten why our kids sacrifice their lives overseas

  9. After co-founding the PCA, DeNaples fought charges he lied to the gaming board about his ties to organized crime. As the case languished nearly two years, DeNaples received what the prosecutor and several legal experts said was extraordinary consideration from the Supreme Court.

    The court stopped the grand jury investigation for three months beginning in September 2007, and exercised its rarely used ”Kings Bench” authority after DeNaples was charged with perjury in January 2008, halting the case until February 2009. Charges against DeNaples were dropped in March 2009 after he agreed to give up control of Mount Airy to his daughter, Lisa.

    Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said the Supreme Court’s interference played a major role in his decision to drop the charges in return for DeNaples giving up control of Mount Airy.

    Among other disruptions, Marsico said, the intervention prevented a preliminary hearing that would have featured testimony from reputed Bufalino family crime boss William D’Elia and others.

    ”I would have preferred to continue the prosecution but we had been to the Supreme Court twice and had not fared well,” Marsico said. ”We had a Supreme Court exercising extraordinary authority. I found it quite unusual that the court would step into this case but it led me to believe that even if we were to secure a conviction we would have problems sustaining that conviction on appeal. I was reading the tea leaves.”

    Bruce Ledewitz, a law professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and an expert on the state Supreme Court, said the court’s actions in the DeNaples case were ”incomprehensible.”

    ”It wasn’t consistent with any kind of case law,” Ledewitz said.

    The Supreme Court made other gambling-related decisions following the formation of PCA in May 2007.

    The court dismissed the appeals of applicants who lost bids for casino licenses. Pocono Manor Investors lost out to Mount Airy for a casino in the Poconos. The court dismissed the Pocono Manor appeal in July 2007.

    In April 2009, the court declared unconstitutional a state ban on campaign contributions from casino interests. That same month the PCA paid $100,000 for the legal expenses of Peter DePaul, a Philadelphia-area developer who filed the successful lawsuit challenging the ban on campaign donations.

    The PCA’s payment went to the Pittsburgh law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, which represented DePaul in the case. Former Chief Justice Cappy joined Buchanan Ingersoll after retiring in January 2008.

    Don, it is past time to bring in the feds. Do you recommend any agents in particular known for their integrity and tenacity we should approach? We have had organized crime running our courts far too long with nothing being done (on the surface.) The appearance of impropriety is so far beyond the pale the conspiracy of passivity among the legal community alone clamors for an investigation. Is the FBI under their control, as well, one must ask?

    Thankfully, Bruce Ledewitz spoke up and he despises Castille, which is a good sign. Maybe he has some advice.

  10. The Many Ways in Which Lawyers Can Do Nothing About an Unethical Environment
    Thu, 2010-07-08 08:22

    Complicity and Knowledge
    Ethics Environments
    Local Government Attorneys

    When it comes to government ethics, too often lawyers are nowhere to be seen, unless they are the ones saying that unethical conduct is legal. Far too often, lawyers do not use their knowledge, their strong, independent personalities, and their professional obligations to stand up to, or at least question, those acting unethically.

    A horrible example of this, a cautionary tale that every law student should read in the first year, occurred when all the lawyers in the system (and other professionals, as well) did nothing to stop thousands of juveniles from being tried without counsel and wrongfully sent to detention centers in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (see my blog post on this situation).

    The Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Conduct’s final report on the criminal and unethical conduct of the Luzerne County juvenile court was published a month ago, and it is painful, but important reading.

    Here’s how some of the lawyers with obligations relating to what occurred acted and spoke about the situation, according to the report.

    The District Attorney’s Office
    Rule 3.8 of the Rules of Professional Conduct requires prosecutors to inform defendants that they have the right to counsel, and Rule 8.3(b) requires lawyers to inform the appropriate authority if they know a judge has violated the rules of judicial conduct, and yet the county district attorney’s office did neither.

    According to the then district attorney, now a juvenile court judge, none of his assistants said a word to him of what was going on.

    The first assistant D.A. overseeing juvenile matters says that she had no idea half of the juveniles were not represented by counsel, and that none of the issues were discussed.

    The assistant D.A.’s sent to juvenile court were fresh out of law school, and appear to have been largely unsupervised. One told the commission, “the trust factor was there that if the court is satisfied in proceeding in that manner that was the manner it proceeded.”

    The district attorney told the commission that he heard nothing about any violations in the juvenile court. “I think that was the atmosphere, that — that it was a very strongminded judge who ran things his way. And over time that atmosphere was created where he was — he was going to run things his way.” (p. 32)

    The Public Defender’s Office
    The public defender’s office, according to its chief, lacked resources for even one full-time lawyer for juveniles, and represented very few of them. He said he ignored a complaint about one of the judges from a lawyer newly assigned to juvenile court, because he was so understaffed. The complaint said that juveniles were not being represented, and the chief said he wasn’t going to advertise that his office was available.

    The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission
    Luzerne County was detaining juveniles at twice the statewide average in 2003, and in 2007 detained 20% of all the state’s detentions, and its waiver of counsel rate was “vastly higher than the statewide average,” according to statistics compiled by the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission. And yet the executive director of the Judges’ Commission said that “there were certainly other counties that had high placement rates as well. So I would say that our data did not cause alarms to go off with respect to Luzerne County.” In fact, the director said that no statistics would have set off an alarm, because you need very case-specific information.

    When a state representative asked the executive director about the high juvenile detention rates and costs in Luzerne County, the director spoke with the juvenile court judge, but with no one else, and waiver of counsel rates were not made public.

    The Disciplinary Boards
    It appears that no lawyer filed a disciplinary complaint against any lawyer or judge in the juvenile court. But there is no way to know for sure, since there is so little transparency to the disciplinary systems.

    When an anonymous complaint detailing the conduct in the juvenile court was filed with the Judicial Conduct Board, the board’s chief counsel failed to send the complaint to any criminal authority and failed to put the complaint before the board, thereby preventing an investigation from being made. He is still in his position.

    And then the Conduct Board fought the Interbranch Commission in court (unsuccessfully, thank goodness) to try to prevent it from finding out how the anonymous complaint was handled.

    Of all the people asked to testify before the commission, it appears that the only ones to refuse were leaders of the Luzerne County bar.

    A system without transparency where, even after the most horrible local scandal comes out, the participants fight to keep everything secret, exists not for the public, but for the personal interests of the participants, in this case lawyers and judges. What they did and failed to do is a clear statement that lawyers and judges feel above the law. The confidentiality of their disciplinary system and preservation of their honor appears to be of highest importance to them.

    The Court System
    The Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia was the only group of lawyers who did anything positive in this whole mess. In April 2008, it filed a petition with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court asking it to exercise its King’s Bench Power or Power of Extraordinary Jurisdiction to end the juvenile court’s practice of conducting hearings without counsel or lawful waivers of counsel.

    The district attorney opposed the petition, arguing that no broad pattern of abuse had been established and that the matter should begin in the lower courts. The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts responded for the juvenile judge, contending that the issues were moot since the judge had resigned. The Supreme Court denied the petition. Again, not a single lawyer in the system found anything wrong with children being denied counsel at a rate “vastly higher than the statewide average.”

    Two non-lawyer professionals acted worse and better than any of the lawyers (excluding the judges themselves). The chief juvenile probation officer appears to have colluded with, or otherwise strongly supported the judges. She even helped set up a fine court where juveniles who did not pay fines or restitution were ordered into detention, very few of them represented by counsel. But the district attorney’s office was sometimes at these sessions and apparently said nothing about this illegal court, which effectively turned juvenile facilities into a “debtor’s prison,” according to the report, with children incarcerated until their parents paid what was due. (p. 37)

    The practice ended when the fiscal officer of the probation department pointed out that “as a business operation it didn’t make sense for us to be trying to collect $400 by placing somebody in a facility at $200 a day.” Of course, it made sense to the judge’s business (the detention center he partly owned), but at least the very reasonable, although purely economic complaint put an end to one part of the judge’s scheme.

    The Culture of Intimidation
    The president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association told the commission, “there is … an element of acculturation that apparently occurred in Luzerne County. … it’s kind of like the dog that gets beaten. It’s only when you stop that it recognizes something was wrong. … behavior starts to be the norm to everybody, and nobody thinks things are that far off the mark; or they do, but they are uncertain and unsure what they can do.”

    A better name for the culture in the Luzerne County juvenile court was intimidation. And is there anything sadder than a bar association president comparing silent lawyers intimidated by a judge to beaten dogs? Dogs aim to please. Dogs don’t understand what is going on. And dogs don’t have professional obligations, which are supposed to be enforced by a disciplinary system.

    The only behavior that is supposed to be normal to a lawyer is behavior that follows the law, the constitution, and the rules of professional conduct. If they face behavior that does not follow these laws and rules, they are obligated to report it. Junior lawyers are obligated to report it to senior lawyers. Senior lawyers are obligated to report it to the appropriate authorities.

    They might even discuss the matters among them and stand up to the judge in court. Yes, it’s dangerous for one lawyer to do it. But a few lawyers or a district attorney’s office should have nothing to fear. All it takes to end such practices is a show of minor force. A judge can, as these judges did, get one person moved out of a position. But they cannot do anything about a group of lawyers. Even a small group of lawyers trumps a judge.

    Local Government Ethics
    What does all of this have to do with local government ethics? The same culture of intimidation exists in local governments with poor ethical environments. And the same failure of lawyers to join together and stand up to it exists, as well.

    Lawyers do not have the same obligations in local government that they have in courts. Therefore, their unwillingness to stand up for ethics in court does not bode well for their willingness to stand up for ethics in local government.

    When I was involved in trying to stop my town government’s games with the budget, failure to bid out contracts, and culture of intimidation, I wrote to twenty-five lawyers in town, detailing the government’s conduct and asking them to meet together to discuss it. None of them was willing to meet. In fact, not one of them responded to my letter. Nor did one of them speak out.

    The first selectman (effectively the mayor) was a lawyer, and the town attorney and his partner were involved in supporting the government, defending its worst offenders, and intimidating people themselves.

    As in Luzerne County, three high-level officials were arrested, and they immediately retired rather than resign. The voters threw the government out of office. But no thanks to the town’s lawyers.

    There cannot be unethical local governments without the active and passive support of lawyers. I don’t think there can be ethical local governments without the active support of lawyers. Please let me know if you’ve seen one.

    Robert Wechsler
    Director of Research, City Ethics

  11. And then the Conduct Board fought the Interbranch Commission in court (unsuccessfully, thank goodness) to try to prevent it from finding out how the anonymous complaint was handled.

  12. The defendants include six current and former Philadelphia traffic court judges and three suburban judges, including Bruno, who had stints at the court. Among them is former Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary, who had been kicked out of office for showing cellphone photos of his genitals to a female clerk.

    don, please don’t say another word! these perverts say it all

  13. When a judge finally dismissed the charges against Forrest Solomon, investigators said, the citation in the electronic case docket bore the user name of a different judge – RARNOLD, which belonged to Rita Arnold, a district judge in Chester County.

    Forrest Solomon is her son, and officials allege the dismissal culminated an elaborate effort by Arnold to hide a citation against him for an offense that would have violated his probation.

    Arnold resigned Tuesday after her arrest on charges of tampering with records and obstruction, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

    not to worry don. soon there won’t be any judges not in prison to decide your fate

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