The woke war on objectivity hits the federal judiciary by Jerome Marcus

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The woke war on objectivity hits the federal judiciary
by Jerome Marcus | July 24, 2020 04:25 PM

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/the-woke-war-on-objectivity-hits-the-federal-judiciary

The Michael Flynn case has opened a new front in the woke war on objectivity: Within the federal judiciary, we now have judges taking sides in the cases before them. It’s a development directly at war with the political philosophy that animates our Constitution. It would, if left unchecked, destroy the neutrality of the federal courts. If that were to go, the judiciary’s legitimacy and public respect for its dictates would be destroyed.

When the Justice Department decided to agree with Flynn that his prosecution was unfounded and joined in his motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him, presiding Judge Emmet Sullivan refused. Instead, he appointed another lawyer, who had already gone on public record opposing dismissal, to “advise” the court whether Flynn should be prosecuted even after the prosecutor chose to end the case. The adviser later came through with a 70-page brief accusing the Justice Department of cronyism and corruption.

Flynn appealed, and the Court of Appeals held the judge had no authority to do anything other than what the prosecutor and the defendant had jointly agreed upon. He could not, the court held, take a side in the case or seek a resolution unwanted by either of the actual parties.

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Now, Sullivan has doubled down on his insistence that he need not be neutral: He has, as if he were a party to the case, filed a motion in the court of appeals asking that its decision be vacated and that the entire District of Columbia appellate bench rehears the matter. In so doing, he has dropped all pretense of neutrality and revealed his desire to steer the criminal case against Flynn, rather than presiding over it as a neutral figure who interprets and applies the law.

So why isn’t it the case that … if the government makes a considered but racist decision that it just does not want to have a white officer stand trial for excessive force on a black victim that the District Court can deny the motion and then the political chips can fall where they may, and perhaps under pressure from the public or Congress or whatever, the District Court may not be able itself to force government to prosecute the case that maybe through operation of the legislative branch or other pressures from the public and the media…a new prosecutor is appointed and the case proceeds?

Like Sullivan, the judge in Wilkins’s example is not a neutral decisor. He is on the political ramparts and inviting others to join him there.

How would this work in practice? A motion for dismissal of an indictment, under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a), would be denied by a judge who distrusts the prosecutor and believes the decision to dismiss is animated by impermissible considerations. Many people now believe that virtually every decision made by the Trump administration is driven by racism. Perhaps the judge before whom our Rule 48(a) motion is pending is such a person. So the judge writes an opinion, denouncing the effort by the prosecution to dismiss the case and making whatever allegations about the prosecutor’s motivation the judge finds persuasive. The judge has life tenure after all; he can say whatever he wants. Such a ruling isn’t appealable. Then the fun starts.

“Pressure from the public” is brought to bear. “The media,” who may share the judge’s hostility to the prosecutor or the prosecutor’s boss (the president) do their part to amplify the judge’s allegations in newspaper stories, interviews, talk shows, and late-night monologues. Sympathetic members of Congress join the effort. Most importantly, an election is never too far away. Elections can produce a new president, and that’s how you get a new attorney general and then, as Wilkins says, “a new prosecutor.” According to this understanding of the federal courts’ role, the judge’s denunciation of the prosecutor is appropriately a part of that process, which will end when “the political chips fall where they may.” If the judge gets his way, “a new prosecutor is appointed, and the case proceeds.”

A judge who rules with the expectation that he can make “political chips fall” as a result of how he rules has crossed the clearest line there is distinguishing the federal courts from the other two branches.

It should hardly need explaining that judges don’t (they can’t) take sides from the bench in political disputes. They are neutral interpreters of the law; they aren’t parties to the case.

President Dwight Eisenhower was able to send the army to enforce Brown v. Board of Education, and so to integrate the schools in Little Rock, because the nation recognized that if the Supreme Court had decided the law required it, then the law required it. We had, and have, no choice as a country but to follow the law.

If the federal courts allow judges to become parties, no one will any longer believe that the judges are applying the law. They will be revealed as people trying to advance political goals. A nonelected body trying to advance political goals will not long be obeyed in a democracy.

There’s a simple way to put a stop to this: When the Court of Appeals denies (or better, dismisses) Sullivan’s petition for rehearing, it should reassign the case to a judge — an actual judge, who will be neutral. That would have to be someone other than Emmet Sullivan.

Jerome Marcus is an attorney in private practice and a former federal prosecutor.

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Looks like the rest of the country gets to become familiar with the way normal people have been treated by the federal courts, and state courts alike for going on more than 20 years now.

And what was it that was said around 100 years ago now? In 1960, the ruling was already 30 years old so, yes, around 100 years ago…

It was in ELKINS v. UNITED STATES, 364 U.S. 206 (1960) 364 U.S. 206?? No. 126.
Argued March 28-29, 1960.   Decided June 27, 1960.

The Court, discussing the use of evidence illegally obtained by State Police, by federal prosecutors, and the FBI, and the Rights violations are discussed pretty heavily. Hell nowadays, the Courts do not give a second thought to violations of our civil and constitutional rights:

Elkins v. United States, 364 U.S. 206, 222-23 (1960) (“These, then, are the considerations of reason and experience which point to the rejection of a doctrine that would freely admit in a federal criminal trial evidence seized by state agents in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. But there is another consideration — the imperative of judicial integrity. It was of this that Mr. Justice Holmes and Mr. Justice Brandeis so eloquently spoke in Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, at 469, 471, more than 30 years ago.
“For those who agree with me,” said Mr. Justice Holmes, “no distinction can be taken between the Government as prosecutor and the Government as judge.” 277 U.S., at 470. (Dissenting opinion.) “In a government of laws,” said Mr. Justice Brandeis, “existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means — to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this Court should resolutely set its face.” 277 U.S., at 485. (Dissenting opinion.)”)

This basic principle was accepted by the Court in McNabb v. United States, 318 U.S. 332. There it was held that “a conviction resting on evidence secured through such a flagrant disregard of the procedure which Congress has commanded cannot be allowed to stand without making the courts themselves accomplices in willful disobedience of law.” 318 U.S., at 345. Even less should the federal courts be accomplices in the willful disobedience of a Constitution they are sworn to uphold.

For these reasons we hold that evidence obtained by state officers during a search which, if conducted by federal officers, would have violated the defendant’s immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment is inadmissible over the defendant’s timely objection in a federal criminal trial. In determining whether there has been an unreasonable search and seizure by state officers, a federal court must make an independent inquiry, whether or not there has been such an inquiry by a state court, and irrespective of how any such inquiry may have turned out. The test is one of federal law, neither enlarged by what one state court may have countenanced, nor diminished by what another may have colorably suppressed.

Elkins v. United States, 364 U.S. 206, 223-24 (1960)

Now think about the Flynn case, and numerous other cases, where the last thing the Courts think about, is if the evidence was illegally obtained, or if someone’s rights were violated in the illegal obtaining of the evidence.

We have no rights, and the many Courts’ flagrant disregard of the procedure
which Congress had commanded cannot stand…

All I can wonder is what the fuck?

California Throws The Books At Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking

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California Throws the Books at Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking

California Throws the Books at Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking


Thomas BrejchaBy Thomas Brejcha
MARCH 10, 2020
From the time of its founding and fight for independence, America has been synonymous with the idea of freedom – freedom to speak your mind, pursue your own dreams, worship as you want. The American press has often been called the “Fourth Estate” or referred to as the fourth branch of government for its ability to hold leaders to transparency with the ability to expose wrongdoing. Today, that cherished Freedom of the Press is at risk. Why? Because of the power of the abortion lobby and its insistence that the rules are different when it comes to the business of selling death.

Federalist
The Federalist

Read The Federalist article by Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, on how the rights of all journalists are at risk because a California federal court deemed David Daleiden’s undercover work – exposing baby body parts trafficking by abortion vendors – a crime.

“What does it tell you that the Daleiden case may have been the first time that any journalist has been criminally charged with violating the California recording law in the many years it has been on the books?” from California Throws The Books At Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking by Tom Brejcha.

California Throws The Books At Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking
Even those who disagree with David Daleiden and his techniques but care about how the legal actions against him could define press freedom need to follow this case.

Thomas BrejchaBy Thomas Brejcha
MARCH 10, 2020
https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/10/california-throws-the-books-at-undercover-reporter-who-exposed-baby-body-trafficking/

An undercover reporter has been arraigned in California and charged with ten felonies for secretly recording conversations, and it’s time to revisit how the judiciary and the law can stifle the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press.

The accused, David Daleiden, used standard media undercover techniques to investigate and expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetus body parts. While the use of undercover techniques like Daleiden’s is a controversial practice even within journalism circles, Daleiden’s upcoming jury trial has far wider implications for journalists.

Namely, can and should government criminalize undercover reporting, which historically has revealed otherwise hidden wrongdoing of all kinds?

Being Pro-Life Is Not a Crime
Let’s first put aside that Daleiden, as director of the Center for Medical Progress, is a pro-life activist—which is not a crime. He should have the same right to penetrate the practices of America’s abortion providers and report his findings just as other reporters and publications investigate other matters.

Consider the multitude of covertly conducted investigations exposing threats to public health and safety, racism, and various other injustices, dating back to the dawn of our republic. To mention a few: In a classic case of disguised reporters using hidden cameras, ABC “Prime Time Live” outed Food Lion’s alleged unsanitary food handling practices. “Dateline” NBC deployed decoys and hidden cameras to expose men who solicited sex with minors on the Internet. Vanity Fair had a clandestine reporter join a tour group to the Holy Land to probe then-President George W. Bush’s alleged ties to religious right leaders.

Undercover Chicago Tribune reporters, working from the inside as employees, exposed life-threatening conditions in nursing homes. Another Tribune reporter worked undercover in the city’s election board to reveal widespread election fraud. Chicago Sun-Times reporters, working inside, turned up dangerous practices at abortion clinics. The paper also opened a bar, the Mirage, in a sting using hidden cameras to bare shakedowns by city inspectors.

Jerry Thompson of the Nashville Tennessean infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan to provide a first-person account of its racist practices and beliefs. BBC used clandestine students to describe a “sex for grades” scandal. In Los Angeles, CBSN’s David Goldstein regularly goes undercover.

The Washington Post captured a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service by disclosing disgusting and unsanitary conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The reporters never identified themselves as such, which, according to Brooke Kroeger, a New York University law and journalism professor, defines their action as investigative reporting. It is, she argued, yet another demonstration of how deception in investigative reporting is not only permissible but a necessary tool regularly exposing wrongdoing that can’t be found any other way.

Attacking Whistleblowers Who Exposed Crime
Instead, Daleiden faces a legal system that has unleashed both criminal and civil actions against him for a variety of supposed violations of law, including criminal trespass, fraud, and breach of contract, even federal civil racketeering. A jury in the civil trial awarded the plaintiffs more than $2.2 million in damages, enough to permanently silence Daleiden’s small pro-life and nonprofit operation. We are appealing.

The criminal case, the one more likely to chill undercover work, was the product of then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris. A judge threw out six of 15 criminal charges against Daleiden and co-investigator Sandra Merritt but ruled that the other counts can go to a criminal trial. Thus, the arraignment. Never mind that Harris violated shield laws protecting reporters by raiding Daleiden’s home and capturing previously unpublished raw journalism materials.

How ironic, because about the time that Daleiden published his findings, animal rights activists were praised for ­documenting abuse in the poultry industry. Unlike in Daleiden’s case, Harris launched probes of the poultry industry and didn’t charge the reporters.

That Harris received campaign donations from, and touted her support for, pro-choice groups suggests she was motivated by political bias. Same for the judge in the civil case, who was affiliated with an organization that had a joint venture with a Planned Parenthood affiliate whose successor is now one of the entities suing Daleiden.

No one can be blamed for thinking that the legal actions were inspired and carried out by pro-choice organizations to punish and silence their opponents. What does it tell you that the Daleiden case may have been the first time that any journalist has been criminally charged with violating the California recording law in the many years it has been on the books?

Putting Reporting Under Government Threat
Even if the government’s action were bias-free, Daleiden’s pursuit still jeopardizes quality journalism. The California accusations are based on the claim his targets had an expectation of privacy even when the conversations were conducted in a public place, like a restaurant or hotel convention hall, where bystanders could hear them. It’s a ludicrous assertion, a gross misinterpretation, and an undue and overbroad extension of the law.

I refer to two pro-choice law professors, Sherry F. Colb and Michael C. Dorf, who support Planned Parenthood’s work but warned that the criminal pursuit of Daleiden “follows a troubling pattern in American constitutional jurisprudence” to cripple investigative journalism. In a CNN opinion article, they wrote, “Whatever the precise facts of this case prove to be, the prosecution has broader implications, and not just for abortion and anti-abortion speech. Undercover exposés play a vital role in informing the American public of important facts that would otherwise remain hidden.” The Los Angeles Times deemed the prosecution “disturbingly aggressive” and an “overreach.”

Possible prison sentences and burdensome fines attached to criminal conduct cannot be ignored in this debate. They are more than a disincentive to expose wrongdoing; they give the upper hand to criminal enterprises, powerful corporations, avenging politicians, ideologues, and special interests to protect themselves from public condemnation and costly penalties for misconduct. This is not a loophole that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they crafted the constitutional protection of freedom of the press.

Even those who disagree with Daleiden and his techniques but care about how the precedent-setting legal actions against him that could define press freedom in the future need to follow this case as it winds through the legal system, possibly all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thomas Brejcha is founder, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm defending life, family and religious liberty. It represents David Daleiden.
Photo kambodza / Flickr

Fact, Not Advice!

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Too, whenever you file a case, you need to do everything, as if you plan to appeal. Every case goes to appeal, unless it is so shitty a case that it don’t warrant an appeal. Everything you do in your case should prepare for an easy appeal, you have to be diligent, as if you are the one being sued, and you have to do plenty of discovery if you want anything from the opposing party, and the most important thing, is you have to follow the Rules of Civil Procedure, Uniform Superior Court Rules, the Court’s Rules and all Orders.
If any of the above things have not been followed to a “t” then you have made it hard for yourself, and will most likely loose the case. If you have planned to appeal, which should always be done, then it will be easier and less costly to appeal.

Damn, that’s good, I am going to post.

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Florida Judge Takes Child From Parents and Decides the Best Treatment for Leukemia. How Long Before the Courts Decides Everyone’s Treatments for What Ails Them?

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(image from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/leukemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20374373)

State Takes Child from Parents for Treating Cancer With Cannabis, Forces Him to Take Chemo
Saturday, December 7, 2019 16:19

Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project
Waking Times

Parents of a 4-year-old Florida boy had their child taken away last month because they sought to treat his cancer in a holistic manner. A judge ruled the couple had placed their son in harm’s way after ceasing chemotherapy treatments for his leukemia.

Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams had their parental rights taken away from them following the couple’s decision to seek a second opinion out of state. That decision led to the parents giving their son CBD and THC oil along with traditional chemotherapy treatments.

NBC News reports:

A Hillsborough County judge ordered that 3-year-old Noah McAdams continue to receive chemotherapy treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital within the next 28 days, NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa reports.

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Bland-Ball responded to the judges decision outside the Florida courtroom. She said, “we’re disappointed with the fact that they are moving forward with chemotherapy considering all the side effects that were brought up in court today, including death.”

It turns out, she’s right. A landmark study published in the United Kingdom detailed just how deadly chemotherapy can be, even within 30 days after its initial use. As TFTP reported, the chemotherapy often turned out to be deadlier than the patients’ cancers. In fact, some hospitals had a higher mortality rate than those in other cities, leading the researchers to question why such mortality discrepancies with chemotherapy existed.

Bland-ball and McAdams wanted to do more for their child and include cannabis as an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation, the universal standard treatments for cancer. It’s unclear precisely which cannabis medicine they wanted to give their son. Currently, the only FDA approved cannabis-based medicine is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals whose researchers are attacking some of the world’s deadliest cancers such as glioblastoma, a brain cancer which is almost always fatal and of which chemotherapy and radiation have little to no effect.

GW Pharmaceuticals’ 1:1 THC/CBD medicine was used in conjunction with a traditional chemotheraphy. The test results, according to GW Pharm hold promise. According to one of their recent studies conducted in the United Kingdom:

The study showed that patients with documented recurrent GBM treated with THC:CBD had an 83 percent one year survival rate compared with 53 percent for patients in the placebo cohort (p=0.042). Median survival for the THC:CBD group was greater than 550 days compared with 369 days in the placebo group.

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Patients given cannabis lived nearly twice as long as those who were not given cannabis as an alternative treatment. But the choice to give cannabis to Bland-Ball and McAdams’ child was taken from the parents and given to the State of Florida which has usurped not only the parents’ wishes but the current research being conducted using cannabis in conjunction with standard chemotherapy. Florida has now ordered the son to be given chemotherapy completely against the parents’ wishes.

In addition to being used to help kill cancer cells, cannabis also helps to mitigate nausea and pain while taking chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Bland-Ball and McAdams’ child will now have to take his chances with chemotherapy and wonder whether or not it will even work. With legal decisions being made by the state one must logically ask the serious question as to whether or not a day is coming when all decisions about one’s health can be taken away from the citizenry?

As an example of humans losing rights to states, take for example the subject of vaccinations in the State of New York. As TFTP has reported, parents are no longer allowed to even decide when, if, or which vaccines will be given to their children, making such universal declarations akin to 1984, George Orwell’s work on a dystopian future where people give up all rights to the government. The forced vaccination program may be eerily reminiscent to Nazi Germany with the government controlling all procreation/birthing/parenting/child-rearing decisions.

Enough is enough. The Police State in America has to be replaced with logical, common sense approaches to health and wellness. Fascist Big Pharma is now allowing the state to force feed its chemotherapy onto little children whose parents do not want the drug to be given to their kids. Shouldn’t an oncologist refuse to be an agent of the state in this matter? Where are the courageous physicians who will refuse to administer drugs to children whose parents object? Likewise, should parents be allowed to keep their children if they neglect life-saving medical treatment?

About the Author
Jack Burns writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.

Try This Sec

Supreme Court Lets Trump Build the Wall; Lifts Injunction

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(EL PASO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 11: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum on February 11, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. U.S. Trump continues his campaign for a wall to be built along the border as the Democrats in Congress are asking for …Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supreme Court Lets Trump Build the Wall; Lifts Injunction
https://www.breitbart.com/border/2019/07/26/supreme-court-lets-trump-build-the-wall-lifts-injunction/
JOEL B. POLLAK26 Jul 201911,830

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump to begin building the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border using emergency funds, lifting an injunction Friday that had been imposed by a district court in California and upheld by the Ninth Circuit.
After Congress refused to appropriate enough funding to build a barrier along the border earlier this year, President Trump declared a national emergency to allow the administration to access more money. In total, he ordered $8 billion spent — though, as Breitbart News pointed out, only $3.6 billion needed an emergency declaration.

The president was exultant on Twitter:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!

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6:37 PM – Jul 26, 2019
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56.7K people are talking about this

The decision was largely along partisan lines, with all five Republican-appointed justices voting to lift the injunction, while all three liberal justices were opposed. Justice Stephen Breyer sought to have it both ways, allowing the process to go forward but not the construction: “There is a straightforward way to avoid harm to both the Government and respondents while allowing the litigation to proceed. Allowing the Government to finalize the contracts at issue, but not to begin construction, would al- leviate the most pressing harm claimed by the Government without risking irreparable harm to respondents.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

I Don’t Think They Ever Even Looked for Richard Merritt, While the Victims That Testified Against Him Remain in Fear

Richard-Merritt-via-Fox-5-Atlanta

Ex-Lawyer Supposed to Be In Prison for Cheating Clients, But Now He’s Wanted in His Mom’s Murder
by Alberto Luperon | 5:51 pm, February 3rd, 2019

Disbarred lawyer Richard Merritt, 44, was due in prison Friday for swindling his clients. Yet it’s two days later and he’s now wanted for allegedly killing his mother. Cops in Dekalb County, Georgia said that officers responded to a local home on Saturday morning regarding a dead person, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They found Shirley Merritt was fatally stabbed. Cops blame this on her son.

Cops said Richard Merritt might be driving his mom’s brown 2009 Lexus RX350. It features the Georgia license plate CBV6004.

The suspect shouldn’t even be out, whether or not there was a murder. The suspect was convicted of settling lawsuits without clients’ knowledge, and keeping the cash. He was sentenced last month to 15 years in prison, to be followed by an equally long stint on probation. Prosecutors say he took advantage of the elderly, and those alleging medical malpractice. This scheme affected 17 former clients. He’d lie to them about the settlements, and claim their cases were ongoing, authorities said. Prosecutors claim he forged their signatures and checks, and notary seals.

Merritt surrendered his law license last year. From the Supreme Court of Georgia in a filing dated January 29, 2018:

In his petition, Merritt, who has been a member of the Bar since 2000, admits that in February 2017 he settled a client’s personal injury matter for $75,000, but failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client or her medical providers and failed to render a full accounting of the funds to his client.

The judge in his sentencing gave him time to prepare for prison, and turn himself in by 5 p.m. on February 1. The defendant had to deal with what was described as family medical issues before serving his sentence, according to a Fox 5 Atlanta story.

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Georgia: Disbarred Lawyer Richard Merritt Jailed on Theft, Elder Abuse Charges
http://www.barcomplaint.com/attorney-theft/georgia-disbarred-lawyer-richard-merritt-jailed-on-theft-elder-abuse-charges/

The problems of Richard Merritt have come to a head with his arrest. This has been long coming has his behavior has been in question for several years.
Georgia: Disbarred Lawyer Richard Merritt Jailed on Theft, Elder Abuse Charges
Attorney Richard Merritt was disbarred Monday for pocketing a client’s $75,000 settlement and jailed Wednesday on multiple felonies.

Richard Vinson Merritt

Former Smyrna attorney Richard V. Merritt, who was disbarred Monday after admitting to settling a client’s suit for $75,000 and then pocketing the money, woke up in the Cobb County Jail Thursday after being arrested on separate felony elder abuse, theft, exploitation and check fraud charges.

The spokesperson for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office said he had no further information on the charges, which were apparently filed by the Smyrna Police Department. The booking report includes a notation that Merritt is to be held for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, where a press liaison said they received a bench warrant for “indirect criminal attempt.”

He provided no further information, and there was no immediate response from Smyrna police.

On Friday, Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said there was little he could offer concerning Merritt’s case so far.

“We have yet to receive the complete investigative file from the Cobb Sheriff’s Department,” said Reynolds via email. “When we do, our White Collar Unit will begin the process of determining what charges we will proceed to the grand jury with. In addition, our Investigators will begin reviewing the file upon receipt to see if there are any additional victims or charges which need to be pursued.”

Merritt remained in jail on Friday afternoon.

Merritt is the subject of multiple civil suits in Cobb County, including one filed by a woman who claims he forged her name on a $150,000 settlement agreement and check without her knowledge. She claims Merritt never turned over any funds.

He also faces several legal malpractice and fraud lawsuits in Cobb County from clients claiming he agreed to handle their cases and then never filed them and never pursued any actions.

Merritt has represented himself in each of the lawsuits.

The attorney for a plaintiff in one case, Sapp & Moriarty partner Daniel Moriarty—interviewed before word of Merritt’s arrest was known—said he was surprised at the mild tone in the state Supreme Court’s disbarment opinion, which only said Merritt “settled a client’s personal injury matter for $75,000 but failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client or her medical providers and failed to render a full accounting of the funds to his client.”

“That’s a euphemism for stealing money,” said Moriarty. “I talked to an investigator who has seen his bank records and determined that he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars. It just blows my mind what he’s gotten away with.”

According the bar complaint reviewed by the Daily Report, Merritt was retained to handle a personal injury matter in December 2016 and settled it last February, cashing the forged check Feb.7. On Feb. 10, he filed a lawsuit “and continued to lead me on until late May 2017 when I learned what he had done,” the confidential complaint said.

“I have never seen a dime of the $75,000,” said Merritt’s former client.

Another civil suit filed in Cobb County State Court last year said Merritt forged a husband and wife’s signature on a settlement and check in a medical malpractice case and never told them.

Another complaint said Merritt accepted a med-mal case and continually told his client that he was investigating it. Merritt sent emails saying “All is well and we are moving forward on your case,” and “No worries I’m on it!”

Then he stopped accepting the woman’s calls, and the filing deadline passed.

In that case, Judge Maria Golick struck Merritt’s answers and ordered a damages-only trial after finding he “willfully failed to respond” to hearing notices. Golick scheduled a show-cause criminal contempt hearing, and the decision is apparently still under advisement, according to court records.

In the case Moriarty is handling, Merritt also allegedly claimed to be conducting discovery and searching for experts, even scheduling bogus depositions for his clients, only to cancel them at the last minute.

Merritt was the principal for the Smyrna-based Merritt Firm, whose offices were the subject of several dispossessory actions between 2015 and 2017, according to court records.

Last August, Merritt sued two attorneys on behalf of spine surgeon and frequent medical expert James Chappuis. At the time, Merritt said he vice president and general counsel of Chappuis’ Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery of Atlanta.

That case settled confidentially shortly after it was filed.

Source: Professional Legal Blog
Doctor Claims Patient, Lawyers Stiffed Him After Winning $700K at Trial
The doctor, who claims he’s owed more than $200,000, also testified as an expert witness at his patient’s trial.

An Atlanta spine surgeon who sometimes works as an expert witness in personal injury cases has sued a former patient and his lawyers, claiming they stiffed him on $200,000 in medical bills after netting a $700,000 jury award.

The complaint filed Monday by Dr. James Chappuis, founder and CEO of Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery of Atlanta, said he’s owed $205,323 for more than two years of treatment provided to Shin Cho. Chappuis also testified as an expert witness at Cho’s trial.

The complaint was filed by the surgery’s vice president and general counsel, Richard Merritt, and named Cho as well as his attorneys in the personal injury action, James Rice Jr. and Thomas Schaefer.

It accuses Cho of using “pressure and misrepresentation” to convince a clinic staffer to accept just $7,500 as full payment of the debt and said the lawyers paid themselves and disbursed Cho’s net award from their trust account despite knowing Chappuis was still owed.

Even the debt Cho purportedly satisfied was “erroneous” and allegedly constituted less than a quarter of the actual sum owed to the doctor, according to the complaint.

Rice denied the suit’s allegations, pointing to a May 31 letter from Chappuis’ practice, saying Cho’s $7,500 payment satisfied his “current outstanding patient balance of $43,871.01.”

“Shortly after they sent that, they contacted us to say there was a ‘bookkeeping error’ and that Mr. Cho owed more than $205,000,” Rice said. “I retained outside counsel to get advice on what to do, and we told their office we were going to disburse the funds in two weeks, and that’s what we did.”

“I also contacted the Georgia bar, and they confirmed that that was the proper way to handle it, so we did all our due diligence before we distributed the money,” Rice said.

Rice said the doctor and his practice were already paid more than $100,000 by Cho’s insurer, and “Mr. Cho candidly feels that he doesn’t owe them anything.”

Schaefer said he was out of town and had not had a chance to review the complaint but was “not really sure why I’ve been named as a party.”

“Our official quote is that we stand by the complaint as drafted,” said Merritt, declining to discuss the case further.

On May 22, Cho was awarded $700,000 for claims that he developed back pain following a minor car wreck in Gwinnett County.

Rice told the Daily Report at the time that Cho drove away from the scene. He argued Cho, who already suffered at least three previous back injuries, was an “eggshell plaintiff” for whom even a low-impact wreck was dangerous.

Last year, Cho signed a “letter of protection” with Chappuis and his practice, agreeing to pay or have his attorneys pay “all outstanding medical bills” from funds accruing from the legal action, the complaint said.

The lawyers had previously worked with Chappuis on other cases and “knew the critical importance of the medical care being provided by [Chappuis], as it related to satisfying the burden of proof in proving causation and damages, and in the effectiveness of Plaintiff Chappuis’ testimony, as both a treating physician and a medical expert,” according to the complaint.

In fact, Rice sent Chappuis a congratulatory text message after the trial, saying the jury “liked you a lot and coming across as objective helped,” while they did not “buy” the defense expert’s “nonsense.”

But on May 31, Cho went to Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery’s main office and “through deliberate pressure and misrepresentation of the facts, convinced a clerical employee to accept $7,500 in satisfaction and payment in full of an alleged $43,871.01, which was erroneous, as the amount due and owing is $205,323.70,” according to the complaint.

The complaint said that, on June 17, Chappuis’ attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rice “specifically instructing him not to disburse any funds” until he and his practice had been paid. On June 30 a satisfaction of judgment was filed with the court, but Rice and Schaefer “intentionally disregarded their obligation to compensate” the plaintiffs.

The suit, filed Aug. 21, names Cho, Rice, Schaefer and the lawyers’ practices as defendants, and includes counts for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

Rice said it is “unfortunate that the plaintiffs have chosen to bring both my firm and Mr. Shaefer’s firm into a matter that is moot,” and is also moot regarding Cho.

“To say the least, the lawsuit is disappointing, but in any event we will vigorously defend it, including seeking fees and costs,” Rice said.

Source: Daily Report

Name Of The Attorney: Attorney Richard Merritt
Name Of The Law Firm: Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds
State: Georgia
xyz_fbap: 1

Judge Issues Ruling In Pubic Housing Gun Battle The case centered around a woman who was threatened with eviction from public housing if she kept a firearm in her own home.

Hagedorn1-780x392
Judge Hagedorn had zero chance of winning election to the state Supreme court less than four weeks ago, but a grass-roots effort helped galvanize voters.
50 States
PUBLISHED: 1:15 PM 14 Apr 2019
UPDATED: 5:05 PM 14 Apr 2019
Judge Issues Ruling In Pubic Housing Gun Battle
The case centered around a woman who was threatened with eviction from public housing if she kept a firearm in her own home.
Georgette by Georgette

One Tiny Election Shows Americans Fed Up With Liberal Manipulation, Assaults

It is no longer legal for the state to prohibit gun ownership for low-income people.
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In East St. Louis, if a person lives in public housing, they are not allowed to own or have a firearm on the property. That is… that was the previous ‘policy.’

Now, a judge has ruled the action is a violation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The Belleview News-Democrat reported:

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the East St. Louis Housing Authority cannot deny, through rules and regulations, a tenant’s right to lawfully own a firearm.

“Among whatever else, the Second Amendment protects the rights of a law-abiding individual to possess functional firearms in his or her home for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense and defense of family,” US District Court Judge Phil Gilbert said in the ruling.

A lawsuit filed in federal court was brought by Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association, who argued that firearm bans in government-subsidized housing is unconstitutional.

Their case focused on an East St. Louis woman, identified as N. Doe, who was beaten and sexually assaulted in her home.

The assault ended only when one of her children pulled a gun on the attacker.

Doe alleged in the suit that the East St. Louis Housing Authority threatened to terminate her lease unless she could prove she did not have a gun at home.

She said she was told the building was safe and that she didn’t need a gun after she protested to housing authorities, the lawsuit states.

The ban applies only to people of low-income who live in public housing and denies them the right to keep and bear arms because they can’t afford private housing, the lawsuit states.

The Belleville News-Democrat reported that Doe’s lease says “residents are not to display, use or possess or allow members of (Doe’s) household or guest to display, use or possess any firearms, (operable or inoperable) … anywhere in the unit or elsewhere on the property of the authority,” according to the lawsuit.

Violating the lease can lead to its termination, something Doe feared.

The East St. Louis Housing Authority did not respond to a request for comments.

ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson said of the ruling:

“The right to defend your life and your property is a right for everyone regardless of where they live …” Pearson said. “It is sad that this woman had to go to these lengths just to defend herself. The threats to her are real.”

“Thankfully, she will be able to legally own a firearm and defend herself, but it is truly sad that it takes a federal judge to do what should have been done a long time ago,” he added.

But many people point out that the Second Amendment is not solely designed for the use of self-defense.

Scholars agree that the Founding Fathers placed that right early because 1.) without the power to defend your other rights, they can be taken away, and 2.) the people must have the power to dispossess an unjust government.

Thankfully, this judge understands the rule of law and upheld one of the most basic rights Americans have.

The fact that the liberal public housing authority tried to derive this woman of her right is unconscionable.

Of course, such as asinine policy has not stopped the gun violence and deaths plaguing the projects in East St. Louis. A few months ago, six people were shot in ‘unrelated’ incidents in one night, and the deaths continue to rise.

Perhaps now that decent people who are living in public housing have the ability to defend themselves from the liberal filth that has been perpetuated, deaths will decrease.

New York’s Lawyers and Judges Behaving Badly, From New York Law Journal

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/12/30/lawyers-judges-behaving-badly/
Tara-Lenich-Article-201612051956
Tara Lenich, admitted to forging judicial orders to run illegal wiretaps on a fellow prosecutor and a New York City Police Detective, sentenced to one year in prison in early 2018.

Edmund-Duffy
Edmund Duffy’s five-decade legal career, during which he rose to prominence as the former heard of the China practice at Skadden, officially ended 02/08/2018, when he was automatically disbarred after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

AP-Robert-Cicale-web
A Suffolk County District Court Judge was suspended from the bench after he was arrested and charged with burglary. He was caught with women’s underwear that he allegedly stole from a private residence.

Evan-Greebel-Article-201710202147
Evan Greebel, a former partner at Kaye Scholer and Katten Muchin Rosenman, was sent to prison for working with disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli to defraud investors.

ravelo-keila-Article-201810091948
Keila Ravelo was sentenced to five years for conspiring to defraud her former law firms and clients out of $7.8 Million, using bogus litigation vendors. Prosecutors said that the former Hunton & Williams and Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner used the money to fuel a lavish lifestyle.

Frank-Aquila-Article-201809281858
Prominent M&A partner Frank Aquila deleted his Twitter account after tellling White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders she should “Rot in Hell You Bitch” for defending Sen. Lindsey Graham amid the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Aaron-Schlossberg-Article-201805171926
Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg’s rant against employees speaking Spanish at a Mexican Restaurant provoked a firestorm on social media.

Anna-Lushchinskaya-Article-201812142118
Another viral video captured a second New York City lawyer who directed racially charged comments at bystanders.

Gavel-and-Book-Article-201710162142
“Egragious and outragesou” conduct by ex-Mintz Levin associate Anthony Jacob Zappin during his pro se legal war with his former wife, also an attorney, led to his disbarment.

Judicial-Robe-Article-201712011528
New York’s high court unanimously said that Civil Court Judge Terrence O’Connor’s “intemparate” and “inappropriate” behavior in the courtroom were bad enough, but his decision to not cooperate with an investigation into his actions also contributed to his removal from the bench.

From Our Friends at Livinglies, Neil Garfield

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/95852/posts/2112751964

How to Use and Oppose Judicial Notice

One of the biggest bluffs used by claimants in foreclosure and eviction proceedings is the request for judicial notice. If unopposed, this results in myths being propagated as facts. Just because a document exists or has been uploaded to SEC.GOV or any other site doesn’t mean the source or the content is credible or reliable.
If I manage to record a deed purporting to transfer title that doesn’t mean that title is transferred nor that my ownership is to be presumed. The same is true if I upload the same fabricated deed to SEC.gov or any other site on the internet.
Judicial notice is erroneously applied as a vehicle for shifting the burden of proof. The basic rule of evidence is simple: the proponent of evidence must prove the truth, credibility and reliability of that evidence, even if it is admitted into evidence. Otherwise the evidence is admitted with zero weight.
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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
==========================
Most states essentially have the same statute in their laws of evidence, like this one from Florida:

90.202 Matters which may be judicially noticed.A court may take judicial notice of the following matters, to the extent that they are not embraced within s. 90.201:

(1) Special, local, and private acts and resolutions of the Congress of the United States and of the Florida Legislature.

(2) Decisional, constitutional, and public statutory law of every other state, territory, and jurisdiction of the United States.

(3) Contents of the Federal Register.

(4) Laws of foreign nations and of an organization of nations.

(5) Official actions of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

(6) Records of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

(7) Rules of court of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

(8) Provisions of all municipal and county charters and charter amendments of this state, provided they are available in printed copies or as certified copies.

(9) Rules promulgated by governmental agencies of this state which are published in the Florida Administrative Code or in bound written copies.

(10) Duly enacted ordinances and resolutions of municipalities and counties located in Florida, provided such ordinances and resolutions are available in printed copies or as certified copies.

(11) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. (e.s.)

(12) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot be questioned. (e.s.)

(13) Official seals of governmental agencies and departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

History.s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 77-174; ss. 3, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.

A quick review of this statute, essentially the same as all others, reveals that it is not intended to be used as proof of contested facts. The fact that a document obviously exists may not be subject to contest unless the objection is that the document was prepared expressly for trial and not as part of whatever transaction is being contested.

Courts often overstep by becoming the lawyer for the claimant in foreclosure or eviction. As an example of the court stepping into the shoes of the claimant, there is the issue of judicial notice. You should research this. Because judicial notice is intended to be used as follows:
  1. For judicial economy — i.e., acceptance of facts that are virtually incontrovertible and not requiring proof. VERSUS your objections to the content of those documents. The requirement of absolute credibility is essential for judicial notice. There is no prejudice to any party by requiring actual proof of the documents and its contents. Judicial economy does not trump the rules of evidence which are designed to ferret out the truth not to assume facts that are untrue or that could easily be untrue because they came from an interested party.
  2. For documents, the only application of the judicial notice doctrine is that the documents exist and are maintained on a completely trusted site and not that what is written on them is true.
  3. In the case of government documents prepared by government with no interest in making any claims or defending any claims but simply in the ordinary course of record keeping, the record is subject to judicial notice and the content is generally presumed to be true unless disproven by the the opposing party.
  4. Judicial notice is completely inappropriate where the documents were prepared by parties with an interest in the outcome of litigation and claims and are not inspected, reviewed or scrutinized as to accuracy.
  5. Verifying facial validity of a document is NOT the same as verifying the statements contained on the document.
  6. For documents the source must be an independent third party source with no interest in the outcome. So if a fabricated assignment of mortgage is recorded in the county records, then the the existence of the document may be judicially noticed without any presumptions of the veracity or sufficiency of the statements contained in the assignment.
  7. Failure to object to the introduction of the document MIGHT be grounds for admission of both the document and its contents. The ability of the opposing party to present evidence that the document had been fabricated and that the statements contained within it are untrue or misleading is not barred by failure to object.
  8. The fact that it is admitted in evidence does not mean that should be given great weight by the trial court. Any evidence submitted by a party who has a direct interest in the outcome of litigation is to be viewed skeptically and requiring corroborative proof.
  9. Judicial notice is NOT appropriate for the PSA or anything else if the request for notice directs the court’s attention to SEC.GOV. This is an effort at misdirection.
  10. SEC.GOV is merely a repository for uploading documents with no more official capacity than box.com or dropbox.com. The fact that a document is there is NOT an indication that the document is an official document. The SEC has not reviewed it or approved it in any way, manner shape or form.
  11. BEST Evidence: Only the original document produced in court would be sufficient evidence of the document’s existence and then only if it was complete and signed — which means that the mortgage loan schedule is attached as the original mortgage loan schedule attached the trust instrument, the prospectus and the servicing agreements when they were originally executed.
  12. It is a common ploy to upload documents to SEC.Gov and then request judicial notice. This is wrong.
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From Our Friends at Living Lies Weblog: CitiMortgage Must Face Class Action for False notarization of Documents in Foreclosures


CitiMortgage Must Face Class Action for False notarization of Documents in Foreclosures
https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/95852/posts/1614247594
Oct 3, 2017

Where is the prejudice in requiring the foreclosing party to prove its case with facts raather than presumptions?

There are two big takeaways: (1) Courts are getting more curious about what really happened in the mortgage meltdown and (2) this is one more example of how the TBTF banks are not entitled to any legal presumptions regarding their documents.

Research always shows that a fact is presumed in certain cases — but only in the absence of questions about the credibility of the party who proffers a document from which the legal presumption arises.
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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-
see https://www.reuters.com/article/citimortgage-foreclosures/9th-circuit-revives-lawsuit-over-citimortgage-foreclosure-records-idUSL2N1MD245

What the banks have done is (1) create self-serving documents and then (2) fabricate other documents that rely upon the facts stated or implied in prior fabricated documents. The “greater weight” (piles of false documents) of the evidence falsely leads judges to presume that all that paper must mean something even when it is all trash.

Like other objections or motions in limine practicitioners should strive for a ruling that the foreclosing party must actually prove the facts that they want to be presumed. That includes the funding of the loan, the payment for the loan, and whether any so-called “transfers” were anything more than some words scratched on a piece of paper. They must prove facts not receive the benefit of a legal presumption or factual assumption.

Transfer documents (e.g., assignment of mortgage) and endorsements imply that a purchase took place. Whether such a purchase took place or not, the documents read the same. The error is in assuming the transaction took place when the source of the document has at least questionable credibility. Credibility questions arise whether it is Wells Fargo in creating fake financial accounts and then charging fees for them, Citi fabricating signatures and notarization, BofA or US Bank appearing as the injured party, or Chase claiming to own WAMU loans that not even WAMU had on its books. It’s obvious that the players are

Credibility questions arise whether it is Wells Fargo in creating fake financial accounts and then charging fees for them, Citi fabricating signatures and notarization, BofA or US Bank appearing as the injured party, or Chase claiming to own WAMU loans that not even WAMU had on its books. It’s obvious that the players are allin on the same “game,” to wit: keeping ivnestors and homeowners in the dark while the banks trade “paper.”

That includes the funding of the loan, the payment for the loan, and whether any so-called “transfers” were anything more than some words scratched on a piece of paper. They must prove facts not presume them. Transfer documents and endorsements imply that a purchase took place

Transfer documents and endorsements imply that a purchase took place because it is obvious that nobody goes around giving mortgage loans away. The “presumption” that the foreclosing parties want to use is that there must have been a purchase transaction in real life — facts — as opposed to the presumption that a transaction occurred in which one party purchased a loan from another party.

The presumption to the contrary in the context of hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of cases in which documents were fabricated, forged, robo-signed, and falsely notarized leads the courts to a false conclusion and the denial of the homeowner’s basic defense: this foreclosing party has no right, title or interest in my loan and doesn’t represent anyone who does have a right, title or interest in the debt, note or mortgage.

It is wrong for a court to ignore the 50 state settlement, the consent orders and the many cases in which borrowers were successful in undercutting the claim that the foreclosing party had legal standing.

Consider this: if the foreclosing parties really were acting legally, why wouldn’t they want to prove it? That would certainly discredit borrower defenses and send a message to foreclosure defense lawyers that these loans are real and the transfers were in fact purchases. Where is the prejudice in requiring the foreclosing party to prove its case with facts raather than presumptions?