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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Give Judges A Big Raise, After They Help Clean Up The Corruption....(MORE, CLICK HERE)

Remember the name Thomas J. McNamara, an Acting Supreme Court Justice, out of the Third Department in Albany. As you will read in a New York Law Journal article dated Monday, December 3, 2007, by Joel Stashenko and Dan Wise, Judge McNamara was bold enough NOT to submit to the monumental behind-the-scenes arm twisting to rubber stamp a pay raise. Instead, Judge McNamara booted most of the claims in one of the Judicial Pay Raise lawsuits. Every honest judge, citizen, litigant, court officer, state worker and attorney is disgusted with the known corruption in and about our court system. We say: Pay Up, but ONLY after a Clean Up!.... MORE....

Most of Pay Lawsuit Rejected; Last Issue Draws Skepticism
The New York Law Journal
By Joel Stashenko and Daniel Wise
Monday, December 3, 2007


ALBANY - A state court on Friday dismissed all but one of the grounds in a suit filed by three judges seeking their first pay increase since January 1999.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. McNamara rejected a variety of constitutional and statutory arguments made by the judges. He allowed one claim - that the lack of a pay increase has impinged on the independence of the judiciary - to proceed to trial but indicated that the plaintiffs would face an uphill battle.

"Given that legislators and senior Executive branch officials have also been denied raises [since 1999], plaintiffs face a difficult task in establishing that the failure to provide salary increases is designed to influence the Judiciary," Justice McNamara wrote in Maron v. Silver, 4108-07. "Even showing that political branch benign neglect is destructive of judicial independence presents a difficult task."

The judge scheduled a conference for Dec. 19 at the Albany County Courthouse to set a trial date.

The suit, brought by Nassau County District Court Judge Edward A. Maron and Supreme Court Justices Arthur Schack of Brooklyn and Joseph A. DeMaro of Nassau County, asked the court to order the disbursement of $69.5 million that was appropriated in the 2006-07 state budget to increase salaries for the state's 1,300 judges. The money did not go for the salaries because then-Governor George E. Pataki and the Legislature did not approve provisions specifically authorizing the state to spend the money.

The plaintiffs argued, among other things, that appropriating the money was tantamount to authorizing its use for salary improvements. Justice McNamara, however, refused to order Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to release the funds.

The judge said that Article VI, §25(a) of the state Constitution requires that judicial salaries be set by law, a prescription the Legislature "no doubt" had on its mind when it declined to amend Judiciary Law §§221-221-I during the process that produced the 2006-07 budget.

"Inasmuch as the sections of the Judiciary Law which establish judicial salaries were not amended, no increase in judicial compensation can be affected despite the appropriation of funds for that purpose," he wrote.

Also unavailing, the judge held, is the plaintiffs' argument that the Compensation Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits judges from having their pay reduced during their term on the bench, provides for the judicial raises to protect against salary erosion due to inflation.

While federal courts have held that a similar clause in the U.S. Constitution may provide for protection of more than the nominal value of judicial compensation, Justice McNamara wrote that courts have stopped short of ruling that the absolute value of compensation must be maintained. Scant case law in New York has not directly addressed the question, but the judge concluded that the state Constitution does not require that "the absolute purchasing power of judicial compensation must be maintained."

Justice McNamara also rejected the plaintiffs' contention that the Equal Protection Clause of the state Constitution has been violated by the long denial of pay increases.

Justice McNamara, who ruled from Saratoga Springs, decided the case from the parties' briefs. He said the information contained in those documents was insufficient to determine if the long pay raise drought has been a result of attempts by the Executive and Legislature to punish the Judiciary. The three plaintiffs contended that a series of rulings that were unpopular at the Capitol, such as Court of Appeals' decisions vacating death sentences, could help explain the long interval since the last pay increase.

Daniel A. Zimmerman of the Law Offices of Stephen Cohn in Carle Place wrote the plaintiffs' brief. Assistant Attorney General James B. McGowan was on the brief defending the state.

The suit named Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, Governor Eliot Spitzer, Mr. DiNapoli and the Office of Court Administration as defendants. Justice McNamara removed the individual defendants from the suit.

Reaction to Decision

Mr. Cohn said, "We are thrilled that the court felt there was substance to go forward, but with respect to those causes of action that were dismissed, we will definitely appeal. On even a summary reading, it is apparent that the determination is not predicated on what was presented to the court."

John Milgrim, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, said the ruling is "under review."

Plaintiff Justice DeMaro said, "We are disappointed with regard to those claims that were not sustained but are certainly pleased that the lawsuit was not dismissed and will proceed forward. We believe the difficulties the judge cites can be overcome."

Justice Schack, another plaintiff, said, "I am happy the lawsuit will go forward but I would be happier if the Assembly would adopt the bill already passed by the Senate which provides for a retroactive pay raise and the establishment of a commission to set future raises so we will never have to go through this again."

The judges' suit is one of the more extreme examples of the frustration caused by the continuing inability of the governor and Legislature to grant judges raises.

A second suit has been filed in Supreme Court in Manhattan (NYLJ, Sept. 13) on behalf of the New York City Family Court Association, the state Family Court Judges Association, the New York City Civil Court Judges Association and the New York City Criminal Court Judges Association. Briefs are being submitted in that case, Larabee v. Silver, 112301/07. The state is seeking to change the venue to Albany.

Thomas Bezanson of Chadbourne & Parke, who represents the plaintiff judges in the Manhattan suit, said it is "unfortunate" that Justice McNamara rejected the claim that the lack of a raise for nine years violates the state constitutional prohibition against diminution of judge's salaries, an argument he also has made.

"I trust [Justice McNamara's denial] can be remedied by other courts," Mr. Bezanson said.

The Supreme Court Justices Association is also considering a suit, its president, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Marsha L. Steinhardt, said in an interview prior to Justice McNamara's ruling. She said she is still holding out hope that the Legislature and Mr. Spitzer could still agree in December to a pay increase.

"I don't think the timing is right right now [for a suit]," Justice Steinhardt said. "What are we going to do, sue them when they are on the verge of doing something?"

There have been reports that the Legislature will reconvene later this month, but no deals are imminent on a salary increase.

- Joel Stashenko can be reached at jstashenko@alm.com. Daniel Wise can be reached at dwise@alm.com.

24 comments:

Supporter of Replacement said...

Immediately replace Judith Kaye with this Judge McNamara.

nyc attorney said...

Acting S.C.J. Tom McNamara must be an interesting guy that I would like to met. The fact that these guys (Judges) had the gaul to do this is beyond the pale. They should all be fired. What they have in their lock boxes will carry them and that's cash! For these jerks to state that the lack of an increase has impinged on the independence of the Judiciary is a joke. They all want a big windfall. Good Luck and God Bless Tom McNamara the knives will be out for you.

Anonymous said...

They want a big raise, fine give them all a swift kick off the ground, nice and high and then throw them all out.

Anonymous said...

their a bunch of bums --- kick them all in the ass and get rid of them

CO said...

Judge Kaye was trying to shake everbody down to get a pay increase, she encouraged these Judges that sued. Get rid of Kaye, after she is gone then grant the pay raises.

Anonymous said...

Judicial independence and pay raises is a false statement, because in my 30 yrs with OCA, independence of the judiciary never existed...it never had anything to do with pay and existed in its lack, long before 1999! Do these black dress wearing phonies think real people buy their crap? Give these elected officials a 4 yr term ( with taxpayers oversight) while only being able to serve twice....and maybe we can get some actual fair and impartial judging accomplished!

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court watcher said...

The idea of term limits for the Judiciary might be an idea worth considering? We have to find some way of stopping these lawyers including Judges from continuing to ruin our country.

Anonymous said...

4 years is long enough for a judge.
In N.Y civil court the term is 10 years. That is way too long.
Before the clowns get pay raises we the public should be able to see how many complaints were filled against them how many cases they handled, how many cases they threw out. How many cases were appealed and how many cases the judges decision was changed in appeal. They also take money from law firms and lawyers for thier campaign. If that is not a conflict of interest what is. You go to court the judge knows the attorney on the other side`s law firm writes big checks come election time you are in deep trouble. When I checked some of the records the judges were taking money from laywers and law firms.
If you are representing yourself and the judge knows that the law firm has a big fat check book,
guess who the judge is going to go along with.
Judges should not be allowed to take money from anyone.
Or how abou this all donation must be made so the judge does not know were the money is coming from.

ny attorney said...

Oh boy wouldn't that be revealing! If all, repeat ALL the individuals or entities that gave any money (of any kind) for any political purpose to any Judge or individual for a Judgeship (directly or indirectly) were ever put on the internet for everyone to see - that would be something to see! Oh boy, would it!

Anonymous said...

give them spit that's what they deserve

Anonymous said...

Judge Jan Plumadore, NYC strongly participated in my personal and professional destruction within OCA and at my home...and i had worked there longer than he has! I am a single mother with a son in college and this administrative judge and ex- soldier ( Viet Nam War Vetern) felt that he was more of a man attacking illegally and unlawfully, a lone female, using perjury and conspiracy as his new weapons! I never met or saw this man and the things he did TO ME were COMPLETE AND ABSOLUTE LIES as he well knows, but he felt it necessary to protect JUDGES JUDY KAYE AND SHARON TOWNSEND from a history of embarrassing discrimination and retaliation...so he took out an innocent woman! Did this make PLUMADORE a real man, as he got older and weaker himself? Do i believe that he and those other female judges deserve raises.....HELL NO!

kaye foe said...

To use the words of the infamous Judge Judith Kaye and her friends - DENIED, DENIED, DENIED - NO PAY RAISE FOR YOU OR YOUR FRIENDS.

a fly on the wall said...

Good for you, someone has Kaye's number for sure.

Shakespeare was right said...

WHAT!!! A raise? That is pure insanity!

How bout they raise their personal and professional Intigrity, Morals/Values, and Consciousness???

How bout THAT?

court victim said...

There are a great many victim of the courts. Now with the internet we are networking and finding one another and comparing notes. I think the thieves are worried. I'm an old lady, but I'd take a pitchfork and run them out of the court house. Upstate here it would be easy, what are they going to do shoot a bunch of old ladies? That would look great on the television.

10 big ones said...

The real reson that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courhouse is this: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou Shalt Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians since it creates a hostile work enviroment. And that's the TRUTH!

upstate court worker said...

I see people getting set up all the time, they don't know what goes on, they get taken. I try to help but I have to keep my job. I've been told, you do this or find another job. This happens all the time. The lawyers, judges and their flunkies have the control. I guess I'm a flunky most of the time since I need to keep my job.

Anonymous said...

These are the jerks that want to rule us and they want a raise let them drop dead

Anonymous said...

I'm from upstate and YES, i saw so much sick and painful activity against innocent people or people that had minor issues, that when OCA chased them down so hard, their issueS BECAME worse or out of control. OCA then used the negative behavior THEY caused, as an issue to fire them! I have seen this at least 7 x's since the 90's.... DURING THE EMPIRE OF JUDY KAYE!! I was one of their victims, but they could not get me on anything that was real, so PLUMADORE, TOWNSEND, KAYE AND THEIR POLITICAL HACKS made up lies...now they have to present them to a federal court! I could not stand the continous DISCRIMINATION, RETALIATION AND HARASSMENT against me, so i filed withthe OCA;S OIG OFFICE... I then met my immediate demise! I lost everything from my job to my house , credit, car furniture, etc and to make it more horrendous...THEY TORTURED ME AT MY PERSONAL HOME FOR ONE YEAR AND TOOK AWAY ALL MY RETIREMENT BENEFITS...USING THEIR LIES AND FALSE AND ALTERED TESTIMONY! You are correct to protect your job,until the feds can address all the people now employed in corrupt political judgeships and their hired hacks! This present OCA operation needs federal intervention and criminal charges. lISTEN up COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT....THIS IS FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED ASAP!

Anonymous said...

kick these SOB in the ass and get rid of them ALL NOW

Anonymous said...

when is that fat ugly stupid bitch Kaye going to go away? enough already!

abdul said...

if you give them a pay increase their avarice index will rise and that is not good

Anonymous said...

The judges are about to get a raise...watch the corruption soar! The more money you pay these selfish, dysfunctional lawyers who rarely practiced law before the election or appointment, the more they begin to believe they have superior self worth.God help us and this battle to fight the NY COURTS!

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2