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UPDATE:Rambo leads flurry of recusals, reassignments, and responses to Bailey clients’ motions to open judgment

The first official reply to the motions to open judgment as referenced in our November 5, 2011 post came from her Honor Sylvia Rambo, Senior District Judge in Harrisburg, and alleged by Bailey to be one of the original participants in the plan to “get Bailey”.  Judge Rambo was the presiding Judge in the Vickie Smith/Central Dauphin and James Dewees (Deputy Dauphin County Prison Warden)/Dominick Derose (DCP Warden) cases.  The allegations in the motions were, of course, similar, because they are based on the information that has come to light through the Bailey disciplinary proceedings, which have shown what Bailey has been saying for years.  As Dewees put it “I always took what Don told me throughout my case about the agenda to get him with a grain of salt, and thought that justice just failed me in my case, but now I realize that what Don said all along has been right.”  That is the agenda that has been reported, and uncontested, here or in the courts.  Please, if you have not, review the transcripts of the disciplinary proceedings.

Judge Rambo did not wait for any response to the motions, a denial of procedural rights, and made no references to the cases and facts cited by Smith and Dewees in the motions, but instead, in a threatening fashion, labeled the motions “frivolous”, and addressed them in an accusatory fashion as to how they were prepared, again without a word of denial on her part that the basis for the motions was factually incorrect.  Interestingly, Rambo herself recognized the commonality of the interests of Smith and Dewees by placing her Order in a combined caption of both cases.  While similar, these were motions of two unrelated litigants in two unrelated cases at two unrelated times on her docket.  The combination of these cases by the Court itself suggests that there is a very easily identifiable “class” of persons who have been and continue to be affected by all of these things.  Smith and Dewees have gone on record jointly in response to Judge Rambo’s threatening Order, and have demanded that their cases be removed from the Third Judicial Circuit in its entirety, and that the merits be addressed.  A copy of the Motion for Reconsideration, as well as Judge Rambo’s Order, follows:

Dewees.Smith Motion Reconsideration Rambo

Order Dewees.VSmith

Also, Don Bailey has gone on record in these matters on both the Smith and Dewees dockets, with a personal letter to Judge Rambo, responding to some vague suggestions that he was involved in filing the motions – it would not have been improper if he was – they were/are his clients after all.  The Bailey letter follows:

Rambo letter nov 16 2011

In other developments, an additional motion to open has been filed, and still more are expected to be filed, bringing the number to more than a dozen cases of clients and former clients of Don Bailey and Andy Ostrowski who have seen that their rights have been violated by the course of conduct that we have been reporting, and discussing in the broader context of needed reform.  We will provide you more information on all of these individual cases in an update to our original post on these unprecedented matters.  In six of those cases, other than Smith and Dewees, Judges Kane, Conner, and Jones have recused and/or reassigned the motions.  One of the motions has gone to Senior Judge Caldwell, two to Senior Judge Caputo, and three to newly appointed Judge Mariani.  Mariani has also recently received the Steve Conklin case from Rambo.  Little is known about Mariani, but much is to be learned.

Also, attorneys for defendants in the underlying cases have begun to appear on the record and file briefs in response to some of the motions.  None of these briefs at this point appear to address the merits of the motions, and the relevant case law that is clear in the motions, and none appear to have taken on the central question of whether there was a bias and prejudice that affected the Bailey clients’ access to justice.  As we discussed in the “struggle within a struggle” post, and will continue to develop, attorneys who practice before these judges, and judges who have easily discernible predilections toward some attorney or others, read these things, and are the direct beneficiaries of the judges’ tendencies to serve that bigger agenda.  These attorneys win cases that they shouldn’t win, or should be settling, and they are able to pad bills through increased and exaggerated docket activity, knowing that the more motions they filed, the more they get paid, and the more chance that the Judge would find reason to make an attack on Bailey, and dismiss a case, or award a sanction, or do something to make it look like these lawyers are lawyering, when all they are doing is taking what is being given them.  We will prove to you that there are attorneys who have made a practice of doing exactly this.  They, too, must realize that there is a class if litigant – Bailey clients – who they also are harming by participating in thsuch a course of conduct.  Rambo has, of course, brought those defense attorneys into these things together as well as a class.

The John and Jane Does have never been identified.

Thank you.

The role of partisan politics in PCRLN – the Bailey “shit storm”

Here we introduce the story behind an anonymous memo Bailey received sometime in the 2003-05 time frame in the aftermath of the jury verdict returned in a federal court in Wilkes-Barre late on a cold and snowy Friday evening in February, 2003.  Two state narcotics agents out of Philadelphia were awarded $1.5 million in actual and punitive damages against some of their superiors, including then-attorney general Mike Fisher.  There was no press coverage of it, except perhaps a local blurb, yet it was a historic verdict.  The verdict ultimately was taken away by the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, to which Fisher was appointed as the case wend its way through the courts for an inordinate number of years.  The wife of then-governor, Ed Rendell, Midge, is on that court as well.  Sometime after the verdict, Bailey received a memo anonymously that said “Bailey has caused a shit storm” in Pennsylvania, which was circulated through the state email, suggesting some kind of vague political agenda.  Efforts will be made to locate a copy of the missive.

The short answer to the question of what role partisan politics has in this site is none.  It appears that the fact that Tom Corbett is an attorney and is now our governor has led some to view our effort as a partisan attack on Tom Corbett in our Penn State post.  Tom Corbett was attorney general for most of the past decade, and the attorney general is, obviously, a central figure in setting the state civil rights landscape – it is his former office that defends lawsuits against the state and its officials and employees, and his conduct is unquestionably at issue in some of what we have been discussing, but our focus is Pennsylvania, and central Pennsylvania, in particular, and the condition of the courts upon which we wish to shine light.  We expect the record to speak for itself as our efforts proceed.

Central Pennsylvania, as we use that term, covers the geographic region from Fulton to York County in the south and due north to New York, with some accommodation to the east to include Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.  This is also the region covered by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which we have discussed at length in this site.  Republican party politics have traditionally dominated the culture of the southern region of central Pennsylvania, through State College, and Democratic party politics have dominated the north and east.  Democrats and Republicans, however, all seek and need access to the same courts, and neither party typically ever has policy objectives directed at court reform.  The exclusive objective of this site, the only slogan used, is “working to provide equal justice under the law”.

“Political reform” has been discussed as an objective, and will continue to be.  It may be necessary already, but the mantra we have been repeating is that the courts must first be given the chance to prove capable of disciplining themselves, and the motions to open judgment and other matters that are pending throughout the state and federal courts concerning the Don Bailey saga would still appear to provide ample opportunity for the courts to do so.  The only specific politicians who have been connected to these discussions have been Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Bob Casey, a Democrat.  Our objective is court reform, even political reform.  It is non-partisan.

Don Bailey is, of course, a well-known lifelong Democrat, but is not believed to have run for any office since 1998, and doubtful that he plans to do so.  He has said this case is about settling old political scores, but they are not his.  His clients include lifelong Republicans, such as Roger Snyder, a Lancaster County Republican, and Tom Kimmett, a lifelong Republican in the attorney general’s office.  Parts their stories have been shared here.   Don has sued Democrat politicians and officials as well.  Party affiliation is only relevant because the courts in central Pennsylvania have become instrumentalities of the political process, instead of checks on it, and that dynamic is at the heart of our study.

Nothing more clearly shows the insidious interconnectedness of party politics – both parties – to the condition of the courts than the story behind the Fisher verdict.  The trial judge in the case, A. Richard Caputo, is from Luzerne County, and believed to be a democrat.  He was appointed under Clinton. Fisher, Republican Attorney General, was a defendant, and United States Attorney Michael Stiles of Philadelphia, also appointed by Clinton, was earlier dismissed as a defendant, but was a witness.  Bailey’s clients were two state narcotics agents who were retaliated against after getting too close to, and reporting, investigations of narcotics trafficking activities involving possible misconduct of public officials at high levels.  There is an abundant public record of all of this, and, at some point, we hope to put all the evidence before you.  It is there, and was presented to a jury.  That jury awarded a verdict totaling $1.5 million in actual and punitive damages.  Mike Fisher, now a federal judge, was held personally responsible for violating the two narcotics agents’ civil rights.  It was shortly after this that the “shit storm” memo was received by Bailey.  Bailey had it hanging on a wall in his office.

The trial was originally delayed, without any real cause, until after the gubernatorial election of 2002.  Rendell beat Fisher to succeed Ridge.  The case then sat before Judge Caputo on post trial motions for two years or so, an excessive time.  On May 1, 2003, less than 3 months after the verdict, Fisher was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, one step below the United States Supreme Court.  He was confirmed and began serving on the Third Circuit in 2004.  He served for a period with then Third Circuit Judge, and now Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito.   Justice Alito has participated in three decisions that have significantly limited the First Amendment rights of whistleblowers, decisions which have impacted the cases of many Bailey clients, which we will discuss further in future posts.  The Fisher case was a First Amendment/whistleblower case.

Judge Caputo eventually ruled on the post trial motions, and they were appealed to, of all places, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the court on which Fisher became a Judge right after the verdict.  Several years later, that very court reversed the verdict of the jury, and dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims, with prejudice.  In other words, the Court upon which the former highest law enforcement officer of the state of Pennsylvania sat, overturned a verdict of a jury of Pennsylvania citizens against him in a case where two narcotics agents’ civil rights were violated by that judge when he was their trusted attorney general.  Rendell’s wife Midge, is also on the Third Circuit, as is Donald Trump’s sister, Marian Trump Barry.  Barry just authored an opinion taking away another Bailey verdict, this one about half a million, in favor of a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper who was the victim of an unlawful wiretap by his superiors using PSP facilities to do it.  All of this can be very easily confirmed in the public record, and will also be brought to you in future posts.

The shit storm created by Bailey is the frenzy caused by these core groups of Pennsylvania politicos, Democrat and Republican, knowing that the citizens of Pennsylvania, i.e., jurors, do not confine their judgments to political lines – there was even a Republican committeeman on the Fisher jury – and that the “good old boys” way of doing things will have consequences if exposed.  The good old boys network has become so institutionally entrenched in Pennsylvania that is has become institutionally protected as a matter of perceived necessity.  The federal judicial appointment process in Pennsylvania has depended upon and grown out of this network, and a connectedness to state politics.  Judge Jones, for example, was co-campaign fundraising chairman with Tom Corbett for Tom Ridge, and PLCB Chairman.  We, of course, appreciate the value of vibrant political activity, but where, in this resume, is the qualification to be a judge of what the founders of our country have set out as guides to protect our individual liberty?  The point is that the administration of justice in Pennsylvania has been about protecting institutions and power structures, as set out in our Penn State post, and not about providing for the equal rights of the individual.  Only such a system would put a proven civil rights violator, as adjudged by a jury of his peers, one step below the Supreme Court.

Bailey has shown that he will stand for the rights of the individual in the face of these institutions, and that juries of these individuals will too.  As set out in our earlier posts, 25 years ago, Bailey made it clear that he will not and cannot be bought to turn a blind eye to corruption in the public sector.  Twenty-five years later, he is still showing it in the courts.  In a deposition of Tom Corbett conducted by Bailey in the Kimmett case, a case in which Corbett is a defendant in a corruption scandal while he was Attorney General, Bailey casually asked Corbett the introductory question “do you know who I am”, to which Corbett directly responded, “everybody knows who you are Mr. Bailey”.  This is the shit storm.  Much like Penn State, the institutions of the courts have much to hide, and Bailey has shown it, and threatens to show even more.  That is what the disciplinary case is all about – stopping the shit storm.

* Note – We suspect that a partisan political tone may have been read into our pointed rhetorical questions asked of Corbett in connection with the Penn State scandal, and possible relationship to the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.  We believe the questions were fairly suggested by the facts presented, but note that we have done some additional research, and limited further inquiry has revealed the following:

http://deadspin.com/5860034/past-and-present-board-members-of-sanduskys-charity-and-their-businesses-or-families-gave-64148121-to-gov-tom-corbett

http://crownsports.blogspot.com/2011/11/sandusky-cover-up-scandal.html?spref=fb

Our focus will remain on the condition of the courts.  We will let others answer these broader questions.

Thank you.

Bailey clients demand cases be reopened/Hearing transcripts now available

Bailey clients demand cases be reopened

In what is surely an unprecedented legal maneuver in the courts of the United States, nine present and former clients of Don Bailey, and his colleague, Andy Ostrowski, have signed their own motions to have eleven (updated 11/16) of their cases reopened based upon the matters revealed through the disciplinary proceedings against Don Bailey.  The cases go back to 2003.  It is believed that still other other such motions will follow.

The admitted basis for the motions first revealed itself through the March, 2011 recusals of United States District Court Judges Yvette Kane, Christopher Conner, and John E. Jones from all of Don Bailey’s cases, in excess of 20 at the time – unprecedented in itself.  There are statutory bases for recusal, involving bias, prejudice, and things of the like, and these Judges have now admitted that they have met that standard.  Mr. Bailey has been saying so for years, and is currently being disciplined for saying it.  His clients are now saying it too, and demanding that their cases be reopened because of the effect that these biases, and when they arose, clearly has had, or may have had on their cases.  There is a process in our courts to address motions of this nature, very clearly based in the federal rules and precedents of our Supreme Court, and through this process, all sides of the issue have the right to be presented.

Sample MotionsThomas Motion to Open (Jones.abc27)Phillis Motion to Open (Kane)

Bailey has taken the position throughout these proceedings that either the courts must prove capable of disciplining themselves, or political solutions aimed at reform will be needed, and we have discussed these things in here as well, and where responsibility ultimately lies, and will be shortly bringing you the ability to participate in these solutions.  For now, however, it is a matter still squarely within the ability and power of our courts to correct, although it means that dozens of lawyers and their other clients will be forced to participate in the process.  But if it is what should be done, then it should be done.

One of the core problems that Bailey has discussed is the control that the courts have over attorneys, and their livelihoods, and how loyalties, and ultimately justice, become compromised by that control.  Perhaps over time the legal profession has become acculturated to look past the faces of the persons who seek the attorney in the first place – Bailey solicits on reputation alone – and to make it about the attorney.  No clearer case can be made than this one.  With these unprecedented filings, the courts must now look into the faces of those to whom access to justice has been entrusted, and to determine whether they can bring discipline on themselves.

Each of the clients filing such motions will ultimately have the right to seek relief all the way through the United States Supreme Court, and there are proceedings still underway in both the federal courts and, of course, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which can wend their way through to the Supreme Court as well, sooner and later, and that is the process through which the Bailey question – whether the courts are capable of disciplining themselves – will be answered.  These are individual American citizens, who are school teachers, police officers, public administrators, and contributors in every way to society, and they ask for nothing – except “their day in court.”

In Lessons of the Bailey hearings, we discussed “phase one” and urged that reform is needed, and reform at some level is most definitely needed.  We suggest that the days of reform through silencing the protest, squashing the attorney, and whitewashing the stain are over.  That is what we believe that the recusal and coordinated disciplinary proceedings are intended to be in this case – old political thinking playing out old political agendas (and perhaps some newer agendas) through the politics of personal destruction, and abusing our courts to do so.  We apologize for stating that conclusion, but it has proven to be true.  There is, of course, room for some philosophical dispute in the area of civil rights, and we hope to have those discussions here, but both the means being used and the ends being sought in this case are improper by any legal standard.  Efforts will be made to have all these matters properly investigated as well.

A bias surely comes through on this site, but it is believed to be a bias compelled by the facts, and in favor of the innate sense of justice through which these rights are determined.  Opposing views, criticisms, debates, and discussions are most welcomed.  We are all potential jurors, and the jury decides what is and is not acceptable in the are of civil rights, according to their own cultural values in accordance with the law.  Review these materials, keep informed, and reach your conclusion.

The following are a listing of the cases in which motions to open judgment have been filed:

Miles Thomas/ABC27 News/Humane Society – Thomas has two cases open, the first involving the wrongful seizure of his dog by a Humane Society officer, then a second case which involved allegations of local television personality Alicia Richards’ of abc27 agenda to protect the Humane Society politically as one of their primary local public supporters.

Deborah Phillis/Harrisburg School District – This is a case of age discrimination and retaliation by a dedicated Harrisburg City School teacher against certain of her administrators and the District, in which the right to trial was unfairly cut off.  The case is currently before the United States Supreme Court on Petition for Writ of Certiorari.

Julian Adams/Harrisburg Police – Please click the link to this discrimination case of a Harrisburg City Police Officer.

James Martsolf/Pennsylvania State Police – Martsolf’s was a highly acclaimed member of the distinguished SERT team until his then-wife became the victim of an ugly course of sexual harassment, and Martsolf became a target after he complained too.  There are many state police cases we hope to bring you in the future.

Vickie Smith/Central Dauphin School District – Vickie’s case grew out of her reports of a mold problem at the Central Dauphin School District.  This case demonstrates the principles of secrecy and acculturation, and involve Senior Judge Sylvia Rambo.

James Dewees/Dauphin County Prison – Dewees was a deputy warden at the Dauphin County Prison who reported his boss, Warden Dominick DeRose, and others, as being involved in administering the prison in corrupt ways and abusing taxpayer dollars.

Steve Conklin/Warrington Township – Please see link for Conklin’s York county saga.

Angela and Johnny Robinson/City of Harrisburg – the Robinson’s sued the City of Harrisburg and persons involved in the youth soccer leagues for spreading racially charged messages, and interfering with their rights as to how to raise their minor daughter.

Jeffrey Dock/Snyder County Prison – See the link to the story of Jeremy Dock, prison informant allegedly murdered in prison, with suggestions of a coverup of prison officials’ illegal conduct.

Bailey hearing transcripts

We post these transcripts with some reticence because there are certain contextual premises that need to be understood in terms of what a proper due process hearing is intended to encompass in our system of justice.  We also hope to bring them to you in more manageable form.  The premise that will be developed, from the standpoint of this site, is that, although shrinking from nothing factually, these transcripts can be relied upon for nothing as a basis upon which to deprive Mr. Bailey of his liberty and property rights in his chosen occupation.  These are “due process” issues, and have been addressed in the Bailey Docket, and which should have been addressed and resolved prior to ever convening a proper hearing.  There was no reason not to, and these transcripts will be further broken down and studied in that regard, an effort which we had hoped to do by now.

These hearing transcripts reflect the mockery that can be made when our courts are used as instruments of political oppression instead of affording open access to justice.  We apologize again for the strong opinion, and wish to maintain objectivity, but trust that further study will bear out that conclusion.  The due process issues that were unresolved left Mr. Bailey with very limited opportunity to confront his accusers, and the hearing did not proceed in any orderly fashion, with what appeared to be a coordinated effort between disciplinary counsel and hearing examiner to distract Bailey, avoid issues, and obstruct witnesses.  This was a hearing held by lawyers for lawyers, and should be held to an impeccable standard of due process, respect, and civility, and instead it degenerated into one witness being threatened with arrest for doing nothing but trying to testify completely, other witnesses repeatedly interrupted with discussions that turned the rules of evidence on their head, and a process that is fatally corrupt.  We are sensitive to the reverence with which we hold our esteemed judicial institutions, and it is because of that respect that efforts to denigrate them should be addressed in the strongest of terms.  We believe these proceedings, and everything that underlies them, have denigrated them.

Transcripts

Day one was primarily the testimony in the disciplinary counsel’s case of Judges Conner and Jones, which includes, among many other things, Judge Jones admitting that he has decided issues without waiting for Mr. Bailey to respond because, in essence, he already knew what he was going to say.

Day 1 Disciplinary Board Hearing DBailey

Day two involved a string of Don Bailey’s clients, some of whom have been mentioned in this site, and his colleagues Sam Stretton and Andy Ostrowski about their knowledge of discussions concerning efforts to get Don Bailey, among other things.

HearingDay 2

Further proceedings

After a delay of over 2 months, the Supreme Court has finally issued rules to show cause in connection with the subpoena issues.  More will be provided.

Federal Judge Arthur Schwab has thrown out the Bailey/John Doe case in its entirety, without even allowing the John Does to be named.  The following is the motion for reconsideration that Bailey filed concerning this action by Judge Schwab.

Brief Reconsideration Dismissal

We will continue to provide you with updates as all these matters proceed.

Thank you.

The struggle behind the civil rights struggle

Despite periods of apparent inactivity, there is indeed a civil rights struggle that continues to proceed unabated in Pennsylvania, a real civil rights struggle, with the Bailey hearings and federal lawsuit providing all of the legal context for it.  The story of that struggle will continue to be told here, and there is much that will be coming soon, as the August 11 and 12, 2011 hearing tapes are being transcribed, and the transcripts will be posted.

With little study, you will see clearly the nature of the abuses that led to these proceedings to begin with.  Bailey, representing himself, was being repeatedly sidetracked by a constant intellectually dishonest dance between Disciplinary Counsel and Hearing Examiner to protect the testifying judges and obstruct the witnesses that Bailey called in his defense.  One witness, Stephen Conklin, was threatened with arrest for disorderly conduct for trying to fully answer  a perfectly appropriate and directly relevant question – threatened with a crime for testifying in a court of law!  Other witnesses were obstructed, impeded, and frustrated, by the same dishonest dance.  The implications of what occurred in the courtroom on August 11 and 12, 2011 are immense, and will be further brought to you as we follow the civil rights lawsuit that we have learned Conklin intends to file.

The struggle that endures, however, in periods of apparent docket inactivity, and inactivity here, are those struggles to try to maintain the causes of all of those American citizens, and even non-American citizens, who Bailey and his colleagues represent now, and have represented over the years.  For the past 10 years, Bailey has been associated professionally with Andrew Ostrowski, a currently unlicensed Pennsylvania civil rights attorney, and sporadically with Sam Stretton, a West Chester attorney, and other attorneys from time-to-time.  Ostrowski has a significant history of representing minority business owners, and we intend to bring light to the unresolved systemic issues that have kept historically disadvantaged populations presently disadvantaged as well.  Ostrowski and Stretton were witnesses in the hearings, and more on their involvement in this struggle will be provided.

The point is that over the years, Bailey and his colleagues practiced in a way that many people do not expect anymore – with their commitment to their clients at the fore, and took cases and causes with as little hardship to the clients as possible – often for nothing – usually against persons and parties with unlimited resources, and even political access.  Commitment to the cause of civil rights and civil liberties demands a different set of priorities.  In that mix is the struggle behind the struggle.

There are rules that protect against abusive litigation practices – those that needlessly waste the resources of the parties and the courts – and we do not propose at this point that there is some need for wholesale rules changes to correct this problem; however, it is through this problem that the judicial misconduct issues raised and proved by Bailey become manifest, and why deliberate study is needed to ever understand the nature of the problem, particularly for the non-lawyer voting public.  Judges are guided by what are called “standards of review” and “scopes of review” (we will bring you more on this in connection with the Debra Phillis/Harrisburg School District case in the near future), and it is through the abuse of these standards, i.e., the abuse of their “discretion”, that tolerance for practices of unlimitedly-resourced defendants, and their handsomely paid attorneys that duplicate time, effort, and expense to the already under-resourced plaintiff’s is fomented.

When there are judicial attitudes and predilections guided by old political thinking from otherwise unsophisticated legal minds that are politically or “philosophically” averse to the traditional “civil rights causes”, i.e., governmental oppression, the formula is one where every case becomes rife with duplication of effort, each effort taking away from every other – time and attention to detail for each case diffused, and further opportunities to exploit and abuse being constantly created and magnified.  We will bring you specific examples of all of this, from “well-respected” and “high profile” attorneys and law firms, that will reveal these excesses.  Add to this the millions of dollars in jury verdicts that are taken away, the sanctions that are piled on, and the intellectually dishonest throwing out of meritorious cases, not to mention the colossus that is this entirely bogus disciplinary proceeding, and the result is that the abuse that brought these individuals to their lawyers to begin with is more-often-than-not magnified when resort to the courts is sought.  This is the daily struggle.  This is the struggle you don’t see.  We don’t see what the courts are doing – they sit silently since August 12, 2011 – but they know that this is the civil rights struggle foisted upon Bailey, his colleagues, and their clients.

Defendants budget to get sued, individuals budget to eat food – and buy clothes, and educate their children, and pay their mortgages, and take family vacations.  Not one has ever budgeted to have their civil rights violated.  People don’t run to courts in this field looking for handouts, and easy bucks – of course its happened, to be sure.  The vast majority seek access to the courts because they feel mistreated, and their conscience drives them to ask more questions, to satisfy the justice they feel as part of their humanity, and, yes, to remedy the injustices and injuries that have been done because of the objection to an unlawful practice, the exercise of some protected right, or the possession of some trait that they were born with – which has cost them and their families their jobs, or got them arrested, or has had them ostracized and feeling abused.  The harms that we are describing in this site are harms being inflicted immediately upon Don Bailey, and Don has suffered – his reputation, his family, his political future, his personal wants and desires – but more importantly hundreds of individuals with all of the same liberties as the others under our Constitution have been abused twice – once by their employers, police, and governments, and then again by their courts.  The correction of, and future prevention against, that problem is everywhere our efforts are focused.

We must note that we do not speak for Don Bailey at the Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network; we speak only to the causes that he supports, and the story that his case, and those of his clients that we have permission to highlight, tells, and stand strongly behind them.  The federal complaint (see Bailey Docket post), in which Bailey has named 25 of his clients as John and Jane Does, remains pending.  That action relates all of the claims and abuses being described here to their basis in the United States Constitution.  The brief that Bailey filed in opposition to the efforts to dismiss that case follows.  We will keep you informed of all of the developments in this case as well.

Brief in Opposition to Federal Dismissal

We understand that efforts are underway for Bailey’s clients and others to organize behind their attorney, and all of their own causes, and to take whatever concerted action they can to support this cause.  We will be making efforts to better organize at PCRLN as well.  We will be bringing you updates on our political efforts, and suggesting ways for you to help.

For now, we thank you for your attention.

Bailey hearing status and PCRLN updates

As we reported in previous posts, there has been something of a hiatus imposed on the Bailey disciplinary proceedings, although there has been some working behind the scenes to move the case forward.  The hearing tapes have been received and are being transcribed, and we hope to bring you both the transcripts and the sound files here.

The Bailey docket shows that Bailey has submitted about 2500 pages of documents into the record of the proceedings, and we hope to get these documents and bring them to you here as well.  Apparently, under the odd procedure being followed in this case where lawyers are adjudicating rights of lawyers under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Supreme, and because of the outstanding matters that remained unresolved related to whether Mr. Bailey’s Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights will be afforded him, the Disciplinary Board has agreed to  allow Bailey to submit the documents where he and others have complained about judicial misconduct in the past, and to support the allegations he has made that underlie the current complaint.  It appears Bailey and his colleagues and clients have been complaining about these things for years, and nothing was ever done but attack Bailey and others in indirect ways, as we have discussed generally, and as we continue to reveal.

Please review our prior posts as to the status of these proceedings otherwise.  While there have been periods of apparent inactivity on this site, efforts continue to be underway to fulfill every goal as stated herein, and to continue to work and to bring you information on the state of civil rights in the State of Pennsylvania and elsewhere.  We will continue to bring you the “case updates” and hope to be more regular in making contributions to keep the genuinely appreciated interest that has been expressed in our efforts.  The issues that we are bringing you have no chance of success without public attention and public light, and we will be bringing these issues to those responsible to make political changes in the near future as we have promised.  For the time being, as suggested early on, the initial focus, or “crucible” if you will, for the elucidation of these complex issues is the case of Don Bailey, and the many things we will continue to bring you related to those proceedings.

Thank you.

 

UPDATE: Federal Judge recuses herself from civil rights case of Don Bailey and clients/State disciplinary authorities resist release of hearing tapes/Efforts underway to initiate investigations

In recent posts, we alerted you to expect the posting of the transcripts of the August 11 and 12, 2011 hearings in the proceedings to “get” the law license of attorney Don Bailey.  To update the status of that proceeding, the hearing was left open pending the Supreme Court’s resolution of the Petition for Review filed by Bailey (see Bailey document post), and to provide Bailey the opportunity to submit additional documentary evidence into the record.  Despite the fact that the Petition for Review, which raises the issue of Bailey virtually being denied all witnesses essential to his defense, has remained pending since August 2, 2011, and despite the fact that the rules require this Supreme Court to issue further directives to the parties to handle the disposition of these types of matters, no action has been taken.  In other words, the Supreme court has self-imposed a stay of sorts in the advancement of these proceedings, and is just sitting on this for reasons as yet unknown.  It is specifically unknown what effect any of the following are having on this Supreme Court:  1) the pending federal civil complaint with its John and Jane Doe plaintiffs and defendants (and whether the Supreme court Justices will be named therein); 2) the connections between Cali and the Supreme Court’s embroilment in the kids for cash scandal; and 3) the August 31, 2011 perjury charges against State Senator Jane Orie, and the fact that the campaign of her sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, is alleged to be involved.  We will continue to update you on these connections, and will, as promised, have all the hearing transcripts posted in the near future (see below).

Federal Judge Nora Barry Fisher recuses herself from case filed by Bailey and clients

The federal judge assigned to the federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Don Bailey and, currently, 25 of his clients, named as “John/Jane Doe” plaintiffs, has recused herself based upon Bailey’s discovery that this Judge had been specially assigned by Third Circuit Judge Anthony Scirica (named specifically in the lawsuit) to deal with prior complaints of judicial misconduct against middle district judges.  Bailey pointed this out to Judge Fisher in a motion for reconsideration of her order denying the request for preliminary injunction filed by Bailey before the hearing.  Judge Fisher’s recusal was obviously the right result, and the following motion to reconsider the order denying the injunction remains pending.

Brief Reconsideration TRO

State disciplinary authorities resist release of hearing tapes

Again, we have been delayed providing you with the transcripts from the hearings because the Office of Disciplinary Counsel’s contracted court reporter, Commonwealth reporting, has refused to provide the tapes of the proceedings unless the private company receives $1200 advance payment, which appears to be improper under the law, and which is denying all of us access to justice.  We are an unfunded venture at this point at PCRLN, and would order the tapes for public consumption, and are exploring our options in bringing them to you, but from Bailey’s standpoint, the attached motion outlines the obstruction that some private interest in producing the transcripts has over the huge due process implications in this case, and all of our access to public information.  Bailey does not want the transcripts because it appears, based on the following motion, that those transcripts are not entirely reliable.  He wants copies of the tapes, to which he is entitled, and which involve no labor or materials other than the small cost of making copies, and it would appear that $1200 is not an appropriate fee, and is interfering with access to justice.  The following motion describes the issue.

CourtReporterMotion

Further investigation being sought

As we explained in one of our recent posts, and in keeping with the spirit of our mission, the lesson of these proceedings is that reform is desperately needed.  We want to bring you the transcripts of the proceedings so that we can let you see for yourself what happens to a civil rights lawyer who dares criticize the Judges that hold the power over his law license.  We have received communications from other lawyers and disciplined lawyers from all over the country that tell stories with the same theme – that the courts of our country are not capable of disciplining themselves.  We want to ask our state and federal legislators, and even our state and federal criminal law enforcement authorities, to conduct investigations into some of the things that we have been talking about here.  We hope to bring you formal petitions that you can sign electronically, or through some appropriate means, to ask these public officials to police these courts because they are incapable of doing it.  We want to bring you all the evidence we can, and not just position statements, and arguments based upon suppositions that fly in the face of everything we as Americans have been raised to believe.  We believe that reform is needed, we will bring you the basis for that belief, and we will ask you to make your own informed decision as to whether or not this is a cause worthy enough for you to subscribe yourself to.  We believe it is.

Thank you.

Federal Judge Yvette Kane lists approximately $80,000 in gifts of jewelry, an automobile, interest, trips and other gifts

Original Story from YardBird.com author Bill Keisling, follow this link if you wish to view all of the links and evidence Mr. Keisling has taken the time to compile.

Posted August 4, 2010 — A chief federal judge in Pennsylvania received more than $80,000 in gifts from three Pennsylvania attorneys from 2003 to 2008, according to financial disclosure statements Judge Yvette Kane filed with the court.

Yvette Kane is the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

In six successive Financial Disclosure Reports filed by Judge Kane from 2004 to 2009, covering the years 2003 to 2008, Kane lists approximately $80,000 in gifts of jewelry, an automobile, interest, trips and other gifts from “John R. McGinley, Jr, Esquire.”

A John R. McGinley, Jr., is a member of the board of directors, and Chair of the Executive Committee, of the law firm Eckert Seamans, of Pittsburgh, according to that firm’s website.

Kane was appointed to the federal bench in 1998. She became Chief Judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 2006. The chief judge is charged with sweeping administrative and appointive duties.

Kane’s financial disclosure statement for 2003 lists $10,000 in “Jewelry, Personal Gifts,” from “John R. McGinley, Jr., Esquire.”

Kane’s report for 2004 lists $17,800 in “Jewelry, Personal Gifts,” and “Steeler’s Playoff Tickets” from McGinley.

Also in this report for 2004, Judge Kane lists a $750 gift of a “Guided Fishing Trip” from James E. Nevels.

In 2006, in addition to $3,000 in “Jewelry, Personal Gifts” from McGinley, Judge Kane listed her receipt of an additional gift of $1,200 in “Jewelry” from David W. Sweet.

Having initially listed $36,000 in gifts of “Jewelry, Personal Gifts” from McGinley in 2007, Judge Kane filed later an amended report with the federal court’s Disclosure Office.

“Please accept this letter as an amendment to my Annual Report dated May 14, 2008,” Judge Kane wrote. “Both amendments relate to the donor John R. McGinley. During 2007 Mr. McGinley and I exchanged many gifts. He has assisted me with a more detailed accounting of those gifts and has reminded me of two instances of travel that should be reported.

“Part IV addressing Reimbursements should be amended to add the following travel, with John R. McGinley listed as the Source:

“May 25-28 –Boston, Mass.-Attend wedding-Airline travel, Accommodations, Meals

“July 5-8–Wolfville, Nova Scotia-Vacation trip-Ferry travel, Accommodations, Meals

“Part V of my report should be amended to itemize gifts from John R. McGinley as follows:

“520 Household Items
514 Stationary cycle
800 Recreation (Golf, Fishing, Concert)
1216 Clothing
8895 Jewelry
9100 Payoff of auto loan
17,500 (interest in automobile)

“The last item involving the automobile is unresolved. Mr. McGinley and I purchased a vehicle together, but as I am now enjoying exclusive use and possession of this vehicle, I am treating it as a very generous gift and have listed it in Part V,” Judge Kane declares.

Telephoned at their offices, neither Judge Kane nor McGinley responded with a comment about the listed gifts, or their relationship.

We were instead referred by a secretary in Judge Kane’s chambers to the federal court’s Office of Financial Disclosure.

Habeus corpus: Beyoncé advises, ‘put a ring on it’

Richard Carelli, spokeman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, explained that the law requires federal judges to disclose “anything of value over $335 from a non-family member.”

Gifts to judges from spouses or fiancés are exempt from reports, Carelli said, but not gifts from others.

“It’s pretty much summed up by that Beyoncé song, ‘Put a Ring on It,'” Carelli explained.

Carelli says that the financial disclosure of federal judges was mandated by Congress in the Ethics in Government Acts of the 1970s.

Judge Kane’s report for 2009 has yet to be published by the court.

Hello and Welcome

There is a geopolitical adage in civil rights circles that Pennsylvania has Philadelphia on one end and Pittsburgh on the other, and that in between lies Alabama.  Harkening back to the civil rights struggles of the 60’s, and the role they had in changing the political and legal debate about civil rights, if central Pennsylvania is indeed like Alabama, then Harrisburg is its modern day Montgomery.

In the days of the civil rights struggles in the south, the federal courts stood as the bulwark against the abuses of individual liberty by state and local authorities that impeded progress in the area of equal rights for all, and our leaders had the courage to ensure those rights by sending in our armed forces just to ensure that little black and white boys and girls, and all other races and ethnicities would share in the virtue of equal rights for all.  While racism remains a pressing civil rights issue in the 21st century in Pennsylvania, and will remain a focus of our effort, it is not the only issue that defines the modern civil rights landscape, but the one thing in common between and among all persons who suffer the abuse of their individual rights under the law is that they still believe that their federal courts stand as the bulwark against such abuses.  They do not, however, and until they do, the climate of institutional oppression that exists, and that earns central Pennsylvania the dubious designation as the symbol of a backward way of thinking, will not be likely to change.

The federal courts have, to the contrary, become the vehicle by which the institutional oppression is fostered, largely through state courts and state and local governments that are not made to conform to rigid due process requirements, but instead are protected by the federal courts for political and even personal reasons.  The result is a tremendous loss of confidence in our judiciary and political system, and the exploitation, frustration, and outright abuse of people’s preconceived notions of what justice in America is supposed to be.

The civil rights problems that exist do not, of course, exist in central Pennsylvania alone, but because of the geopolitical connection between the federal courts in Harrisburg and the center of state government, also in Harrisburg, the nature of the problem is made more prominent.  Two of the three current regular status judges in the federal court in Harrisburg were appointed right out of their state-wide bureaucratic positions, and the third has risen through the Harrisburg legal community with strong state and local political connections.  The administration of justice through those judges is very clearly driven by bureaucratic thinking and the protection of political friends and power bases, and there has been a demonstrable lack of fidelity to the rights of the individual.

One of the primary purposes of this site, at the outset, is to continue to reveal the exact nature of the problem that is leading to the denigration of the role of the federal courts in protecting and preserving civil rights, and to work to remedy the civil rights issues that exist by working to ensure that the federal courts, and, by extension, the state courts, perform the functions that every citizen expects its courts to do – provide equal justice under the law.

There are current efforts underway to eliminate what has become simply a corrupt federal court system in central Pennsylvania, and Harrisburg in particular, and there are a variety of sites that have been set up to address these immediate problems.  Again, until there is equal access to justice for all, there is equal justice for none, and the courts have been permitted to keep the lid on the climate they are creating by implementing policies and practices which allow them to act with little or no transparency or public accountability, and it is essential to the civil rights climate to first shine the light on the problem and to try to create those conditions.

The longer term goal is for this site to become a resource network for civil rights lawyers, public interest groups, and individuals who are experiencing the deprivations of their rights across the spectrum of ways in which the government and its officials are involved in all of our daily activities.  Overt racism and the lack of equality of opportunity in public contracting and in employment continue to pervade the culture of Pennsylvania, whistleblowers who try to expose public corruption have no protection against retaliation, and citizens continue to be subjected to the whims of rogue local politicians without recourse.  The result, again, is local systems and cultural attitudes that the federal courts stood against a half-century ago.  Through this site, we will work to create a more open, transparent, and enlightened political and cultural climate through the guarantee of equal access to justice.  We will look forward to being your network of resources to achieve that end.

Please read on as we reveal the nature of the problem, the way in which it is manifest, and  some of the possible solutions through the civil rights saga of decorated war veteran, former united States Congressman, former Pennsylvania Auditor General, and civil rights lawyer Don Bailey.