Thursday, February 5, 2015

Putting the circumstance of the legal profession into perspective

In our discussion last night on your television program "Cooper's Corner"  the 2nd oldest profession came off badly.    The impression is deserved as by allowing lawyers like Larkin to have law licenses and to be engaged in 'cover ups' the profession has not covered itself with glory      I would like to clear the record a bit with the following piece:

My more than ½ Century before the Bar
The Mary Sykes case was a revelation.   Up until that them I lived one of the most sheltered lives that any individual could enjoy.     Yes, I was in the nitty gritty of the active practice of law, and yes, after my partner retired I was essentially a sole practitioner spending inordinate amounts of time in litigation.   Yes, I was practicing in Cook County, Illinois – the home of Greylord and the worst of the elder cleansers.   Yes, there were reputed to be (and actually were) scores of dishonest lawyers and judges, but, these bad people were not on my radar.
The Judges that I regularly appeared before was all decent people who did their job made their decisions in a manner that was not only appropriate and acceptable, but, fairly and honestly.    The lawyers I regularly opposed were my friends and most importantly doing the job that they were engaged to do.    Rarely, did I find a lawyer who was dishonest or a person who I could not trust.     
In 1961 when I was first admitted to the bar I heard about corruption and actually witnessed it; however, for reasons that I cannot explain I was able to navigate through it.     The practice of law was not Pollyanna but it was a rough and tumble business.    I love it as 90% of the time I had a level playing field to address my client’s grievances and opponents who were interested in doing a service to their clients.    Thus, the usual approach to a case was for “us” lawyers to upon receipt of a case to call each other on the telephone and discuss the problem.     The First Question was:  “what are we fighting about?”      The Second Question was “what facts can we agree upon?”     
After we addressed all the facts that we could agree upon, we were in a position to ascertain if the facts were agreed upon were sufficient to determine the outcome of the case, and if not we then and there agreed on what the law was!       The case was in a manageable situation and we were in a position to examine the facts that we disagreed upon.     Were these facts relevant?     What facts would determine the case?      Was the litigation worth it to the client?    What were the settlement possibilities?
Sometimes we talked several times before we addressed the matter in Court, but, we talked.      Trials were not long drawn out affairs because we had a common goal – we wanted to be heroes!      A client was appreciative (to the extent that a client did not believe that you were a blood sucking predator) to have the matter resolved inexpensively and quickly.     Unfortunately, not all disputes were easily reduced of their complexity or their acrimony.       Some clients hired a lawyer to see if he would fight to the last drop of his/her blood, but, these clients usually were unprofitable and were referred to the bigger firms who would soak the client with fees until they squealed “uncle!”     
More than one client of mine described litigation with me as “going to a party!”      It was not usual for the lawyers to break bread and socialize.     On trips “out of State” it was usual for my opponent and I to travel together, stay at the same hotel, and even share the same rental car.     Yes, we ate our meals together.  
As to the 10% of the lawyers who “would not play nice” we (I) tolerated them and dealt with the problem.     I was a ‘big boy’ and could inflict pain as well as absorb it.      More than once I frustrated a dishonest opponent and more than one I dealt with a wired Judge.     I did not like it, but, I had so many nice people to socialize with and transact with that the occasional distraction of a non-level playing field was unpleasant but not determinative.
When Greylord hit, I was involved.      I was engaged by a Community on the South Side of Chicago that was receiving Chicago’s benign neglect.      To mollify a group that was essentially a “street gang” a middle class community of Americans of African descent was being cut off from two major arterial streets for the entire rush hour.    I sued and asked for an injunction.     Before I could get in contact with the City Legal Department I received a visit from Estelle Holzer.    (The wife of a Greylord Judge).   She wanted to sell me life insurance.     I was uninterested.    (I called my friend Harry Heckert who at the time was a Special Agent of the Department of Defense and several other people employed by law enforcement to complain as I knew that I was dealing with a ‘wired case’)     Jack Akerly also heard my ire.  (Jack was with the FBI)     

It was the next morning that the Judge ruled that I did not state a cause of action.    I appealed.     The corporation counsel filed with the Appellate Court a “certificate of error” and the case settled by the dropping of the project I was complaining.   (I was not called as a witness in Holtzer’s trial)
It was not until I got involved in the Mary Sykes case   09 P 4585 that I actually rubbed shoulders with the nadir of the legal profession and the population of the profession that has provided infamy for the reputation of the Law.     Up to that point in time the criminal element of the Bar had been careful not to ruffle my feathers beyond from time to time forcing me to take an Appeal or change course to assist my client.     That is not to say that I was not involved in some ‘dirty cases.’   I was.    The Cigarette Tax cases concerned corruption that was quite venal.    (Mafia bribing public officials to interfere with interstate sale of cigarette)   The CPS treatment of Ida Berger and its cover up was demonstrative of the worst mismanagement and neglect of the educational process that could be imagined. (School teacher protesting assault on one of her students by neighborhood criminal right in the class room)      The City of Chicago residence case (Bastian) demonstrated why Chicago has such a terrible reputation for fraud, corruption, and *****.  (city residence case)    Terrazas vs Vance represents the nadir of Federal bureaucratic incompetence and backbiting.  (century old backbitting  - denaturalization)   Casablanca Flea Market involved the political shakedown racket.     HOWEVER the lawyers that I dealt with were employed by political criminals who had the ethics of alley cats, but the lawyers themselves were decent people.     Birds of a Feather was not applicable to the legal profession in their self-dealings.
From 1961 until the present day the relationship between lawyers deteriorated.     In 1961 we felt that we were all friends in the same boat, however, as the years went on a new breed of lawyers entered the picture.    Intellectual dishonesty became a norm, not an exception.     Previously if you had the facts you won – if you did not you expected to lose.    Upfront a client was informed.     Most of us did not provide the Judge directly or indirectly with non-governmental remuneration, but as the elder cleansing cases have proven more and more lawyers participating in so providing – or allowed their client to do so.   

  In another e-mail I’ve outlined how it was generally done.     Corrupt judges are no secret!      Holtzer was not the only corrupt judge.    More than a score were convicted in Greylord and many score more resigned to avoid being charged.     Lawyers and law firms went into retirement as several score of lawyers went to jail.    
My practice was sheltered (until Sykes)  and I practiced law much as before enjoying the friendships of the lawyers who appeared as my opponents and we even sharing clients, playing racquetball, and socializing.     It was not usual for lawyers  to counsel each other as to cases that we were not opponents.   In fact, it was an unwritten rule to help one another.      It was not usual for a lawyer to cover a court call for another lawyer as a matter of course.     The courtesy occurred so often that there was no though of remuneration.       
Sykes was Alice in Wonderland!      I’d had heard of the nadir of the profession, but, I had never rubbed shoulders with it.      In point of fact I misjudged Shykes.       I never realized exactly what a cancer it was and how deeply imbedded it was in the profession.    Worse yet I never realized that my brethren in the 2nd oldest profession were such cowards and so afraid to stand up to the clout heavy felons.      I guess I should have realized that I was being sheltered and what happened to me in Sykes could have happened years before – but,  apparently the miscreants knew that it was second nature with me to share experiences with friends in law enforcement who were like minded with me.      (That is another story)
The net of this e-mail is that (prior to Sykes) I’ve rubbed shoulders with the majority of the lawyers and the judges and they are honest decent people.     Yes, the legal profession has a metastatic cancer illustrated by the likes of the miscreants in the Sykes, Gore, Wyman, Tyler, Stone et al cases.    

Let me suggest that Lawyers such as Jerome Larkin ****** are still a minority at this point in time.   The profession also has a wealth of decent participants who are at risk.    JoAnne Dension, L Amu, ***** are decent honest lawyers!      (I do not wish to name the names that come to mind as under the regime of Jerome Larkin I do wish to have him target them).     I am carrying on this fight and demanding an HONEST intelligent complete and comprehensive investigation because I believe in the Core values of America!     The miscreant and dishonest lawyers might thing that the same is unethical, but, I could care less!     As I told Larkin - as long as the Stars and Stripes flies over America I will demand my Constitutional rights and in particular my FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.       
Note:   I’ve had an open challenge to Larkin – list the statements that you claim that I made that were untrue!     Not only has he refused to do this, but he will find that every statement that I made is backed up with a sworn affidavit of a person with actual knowledge.      Intimidation and cover-up are the MO of Larkin – for instance, the file in 09 P 4585 reveals that in Sykes there was no actual hearing as to Mary’s competency and jurisdiction is absent.

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