Thursday, September 3, 2009

Express your opinion about Judges and Attorneys

If you are lucky you have never experienced the losing end of a corrupt judge, prosecutor or attorney. If you are like most of us activists then you have and that is often the reason for our activism. It would have been great to have a list of these corrupt people prior to having to deal with them though. At least that way we could have been prepare and had no illusions about what we were facing.

The opportunity is out there for us to do this but for some unknown reason it isn't happening. When Judge Steve David took a pay-off to decide my child's custody I wrote about it. I am not alone in this either. Information on the website reveals some of his corrupt practices by attorney Cy Gerde of Lafayette, Indiana, and also about the incidents involving his parents including Gerde beating and robbing his mother. No one should be more involved in exposing corruption than the very attorneys who face these corrupt actors.

It happens. Take the case of a young lawyer exposing a scheme involving a judge who oversaw an estate and sold property at a bargain price in exchange for a $30,000+ payoff. The story "Whistle-blowing attorney gets 6-month suspension" tells how the attorney was suspended for six months over the revelation. The Supreme Court Justice who handed down the suspension, Bobbe Bridge, was charged with drunken driving. She was granted deferred prosecution on condition that she attend an alcohol-treatment program and abstain from alcohol or drugs. Apparently only the best make it to the top.

We then have another case involving a lawyer trying to expose a judge for violating ethical rules. In July of this year the headline "Judge's Defamation Suit Against Lawyer Is Dismissed" came out following the dismissal of a New York case in which a judge sued a lawyer whose comments about the judge sitting over a case involving his personal attorney appeared in the Daily News. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Martin Shulman allowed the defamation claim to proceed against the Daily News and columnist Errol Louis. So much for attorneys and newspapers exposing judicial corruption.

We have people starting websites about attorneys and judges, we have attorneys getting sued or suspended and we have the vast majority of people still having no clue about the judges and attorneys before whom they appear. There is information available if you want to start a website about an attorney or judge. Much simpler than searching the web for info about a particular judge or attorney is to go to a discussion forum.

InCRA has a discussion forum about Indiana attorneys and judges. There isn't much info on there even though posters may leave information anonymously. I must confess I just posted today. I had previously but the board had to be wiped out and started fresh because it got spammed with porn.

Aside from me forgetting to go back and repost there are still many people visiting the site who send e-mails directly to me about certain judges or attorneys. This is what leaves me perplexed. I hear it time and time again. "I wish I had known this judge was . . ." or "I wish I had known this attorney was just . . . " Yet, the opportunity is there but the comments aren't.

If you have something to say about a judge or attorney, good or bad, then do it. I often hear people say "I don't want to get sued for defamation." It's only defamatory if it is not true. If you "feel that Judge blah blah is corrupt" and it is true that you feel that way then it is not defamation. I wrote more about defamation last month. If we are going to be effective in court then we need to go in with as much information as possible. There is no one better to provide that than those of us who have been there. Please take a few moments here to leave a message about your experiences with judges and attorneys. If you don't live in Indiana then just do a search for Judges and Attorneys discussion forum and post there.

Stuart Showalter

©2009 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

1 comment:

Leisha said...

I'm not in Indiana but here is a little about Massachusetts.