How I Became A Judicial Reformist: Part 2

So why was I viciously attacked by system people?  That is a question I continue to ponder.

But surely, the attacks on me were numerous, frequent, and many, many judges and lawyers have lined up to share in the attacking.  The widespread effort to attack me (and I use this word to summarize the various forms of attack) has been assisted by court clerks, counter help, probation officers, and even the Fourth Judicial District Court Administrator.

I have several theories about why I have been attacked, and I’ll share those in later posts.

I am human, and surely there were times I have been hurt.  Anyone experiencing abusive conduct over a period of time is going to be worn down.  (Gosh – do you think that’s what they intended?)  But I don’t live in a “victim” space, and I quickly move through it and re-focus on what’s important.

I really never sat down and decided to become a judicial reformist.  It was my values and my commitment to my clients and the rule of law that compelled me to refuse to cooperate with inappropriate judicial (and lawyer) conduct that I observed.

A quick example of this is my refusal to tell my clients to lie under oath to get a guilty plea.  I was shocked to learn how much this happens.  Lying under oath (for any reason) is clearly illegal.  And I won’t have any part of it.  I shudder to think of the values of those lawyers and judges who participate in these “sham” events – staging guilty pleas so the appellate courts think they are real.  This clearly does not belong in a system that says it is about truth-seeking.

In the state criminal system, I represent private people who have been accused by government of wrongdoing.  I refuse to participate in a sham  judicial system, where private people are scrutinized down to the gnat’s ass, and public officials are protected by judges no matter how heinous their conduct.  I’ll discuss some of this in more detail in future posts.  But to me, this makes a mockery of the justice system, and I have refused to become a particpant in a sham perpetrated on the public.

Or, stated another way, I believed strongly that everyone needs to follow the law.  And I acted on those beliefs.  Some judges seem not to realize how insane it is for them to point fingers at private people saying we have to follow the law – all the while flagrantly violating the law themselves.  This judicial juxtaposition will also receive discussion in later posts.

But in my view, judges who do not themselves obey the rules breed contempt for the law, distrust of government, and generally undermine the rule of law in a democracy.   This is not a game.   And there is much at stake.  Asking to be placed in a position of trust in this democracy carries with it a heavy burden.  To whom much is given – much is expected.  I expect each and every judge to do their part in making everyone obey the law.  Or, they should resign.

I will continue to do my part.

Sometimes my part is simply standing strong (like an oak in a harsh windstorm) while a judge pressures you in chambers to plead your client guilty.  It’s uncomforatable, but it’s really not hard to do if you have convictions.

Sometimes it means calling out the judicial conduct (for example, I tried making complaints to the Judicial Standards Board – that’s a whole ‘nother set of posts, people).

And sometimes it means being willing to stand up if you are attacked for reporting a judge’s bad conduct.

I’ve always known that an attack on my law license would eventually come.  I’ve prepared for this day.

I am prepared to stand strong in these harsh winds.  I have nothing to hide.

Of course, judges will ultimately control what happens to me in this fight about my license.  I will demand a jury of my peers, but I presume that will be denied.  No matter what happens in this case, no matter what happens to my law license, I have no regrets.  It has been my pleasure to be a representative of uprightness – even when I am the lone soldier.  And I would do it all again.