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Friday, October 24, 2008

More Court Comedy in Judicial Pay Lawsuit

Kaye Seeks to File Amicus Brief in Judges' Pay-Raise Suit
Newsbriefs - The New York Law Journal by Dan Wise - October 24, 2008

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye yesterday asked the Appellate Division, First Department, for permission to file an amicus brief in a case seeking to force a pay raise for the state's 1,300 judges. The chief judge also asked the appeals court to let her lawyer, Bernard W. Nussbaum, participate in the Nov. 18 argument of the appeal in Larabee v. Governor, 11201/97. In the Larabee appeal, Governor David A. Paterson and the Legislature are seeking to overturn a June summary judgment ruling by Justice Edward H. Lehner (See Profile) requiring them to implement a pay raise reflecting the rise in the cost of living since judges' salaries were last increased in 1999 (NYLJ, June 11). Justice Lehner ordered lawmakers and the governor to proceed in "good faith" to enact a raise within 90 days, but that ruling has been stayed pending the outcome of the appeal (NYLJ, Aug. 28). Chief Judge Kaye has a separate suit, Kaye v. Silver, 40076/08, in which a summary judgment motion has been pending before Justice Lehner since July 17. Writing that the governor and lawmakers have made "expansive contentions" in Larabee, Chief

Judge Kaye's brief asks the First Department to resolve all issues raised at the trial level in both cases. Pressing a point unique to her case, she contends the judges' salaries have fallen to "unconstitutionally low" levels whether measured "by what others make today or by comparison to what other judges made in the past." In Larabee, Justice Lehner found that the two other branches had violated the separation of powers doctrine by linking judges' raises to extraneous issues. The four individual judges, who brought Larabee with the backing of their judicial associations, contend their salaries - Supreme Court justices earn $136,700 a year - have been eroded 30 percent by inflation since the 1999 raise. An appeal on the viability of claims raised in a third lawsuit, Maron v. Silver, 4108/07, was argued in the Third Department in September and a decision is pending (NYLJ, Sept. 4).


Anonymous said...

Want to know something interesting (at least to me it is) you know the position in the Supreme Court of "Acting" Justice, well, the interesting thing is there is no such job listed in the Judiciary Law for such a position. It looks like the OCA created this and decides to give all those "Acting" Justices the salary of an actual "Justice of the Supreme Court" even tho there is nothing in the law that allows this.
This is another example of how Kaye has completely failed in her responsibility and mandatory obligation to both the citizens of the state and the judges. If she had actually done the job she was supposed to, the Courts wouldn't be in the mess they are. The Court system is sloppy, inefficient, ineffective and corrupt. Nobody is happy, at it goes right to the top.
The court system needs a professional at the top, including an effective administrator. One of Kaye's responsibilities is to audit the courts. She has never done this. Attorney's are allowed to create chaos in the courtroom and file ridiculous papers which contain B.S. and waste everybody time and resources. It's no wonder judges are fed up. Who wants to listen and deal with that nonsense? When a decision is made which may or may not resolve the issue, then the litigants have to go to the Appellate Courts, where the B.S. continues. Kaye and the OCA make-up stuff as they go along, and are not being held accountable to actually doing their jobs and complying the the laws or even their own rules.
Patterson should learn from the melt down in the financial markets. A lot of people saw it coming, and now Greenspan, the guru of financial management for eons, has now learned that you can't trust the people in charge to do the right thing. Patterson should get outsiders to look at what the problems are and come up with a fair, workable plan. It the courts were more efficient and accountable, I'm sure no one would have a problem with judges getting a fair professional salary.

Zoey said...

To the author above - AMEN on your thoughts - I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please tell that spineless idiot Kaye that she's the chief judge and she has a little bit of a conflict. Her last day can't come soon enough. Put her in diapers and bid her a nasty good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Judge Kaye can join Judge Pirro on a TV show. Bitches of a feather.....

Anonymous said...

I want to pass along the following:

Arrogant Judge Sues To Increase Her Own Pay
Posted by Hans Bader

The chief judge of New York’s highest state court, Judith Kaye, is displaying her usual chutzpah. She’s suing in state court, demanding a pay raise for herself and other state judges, even though judicial pay is supposed to be set by legislatures, not courts. That raises the specter of judicial bias and conflict of interest, since she’s effectively asking state judges to rule on their own pay – the very judges whose rulings in future cases will be appealed to her own court.

The irony is that if there ever were a state judge who deserved a pay cut, it’s Judith Kaye, given her rotten tenure as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and refusal to evenhandedly apply the law. Kaye has repeatedly exhibited bias in favor of trial lawyers, against small businesses, and against breadwinner spouses and fathers in divorce cases. She routinely distorts and ignores her own court’s past precedents.

I have written earlier about the bad, biased record of New York’s state courts, which, along with high state taxes, have done much to drive jobs out of New York State (and thus make it harder for state taxpayers to afford the high judicial salaries that Judge Kaye now demands). But Kaye is truly in a league of her own when it comes to judicial overreach and legislation from the bench, such as ordering the state government to increase spending by billions of dollars in the CFE case. If she doesn’t like her pay, which is much higher than what experienced state prosecutors and public defenders get, she can always resign. The people of New York State would be much better off if she did. (CEI has not rated the nation’s judges. But it has rated The Nation’s Top Ten Worst State Attorneys General, who share many of Judge Kaye’s vices).

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine knows Mario Cuomo, who says, privately, that Judith Kaye had promise but sold out and has been a 'dismal failure.' So don't blame Kaye losing her mind and soul on Mario!!

Anonymous said...

If you want to see what kind of world Judith Kaye lives in, rumbling around only in her own head of course, you should see the shrine she has erected in her own honor at her Park Avenue offices. It's absolutely shocking: awards to herself, plaques, pictures of every person on earth with the top court Queen.

Anonymous said...

As bad as "politics" and our "political system" is, and I would say that is quite bad given the various loopholes that create unaccountability, like the fact that former Senator Joe Bruno did not have to account for "who" his outside consultant clients were or how much he made and all the other loopholes on all sides of the political aisle including Dems, GOP, Conservative, etc, with all the campaign finance loopholes and lobbying loopholes, at the very least there is "some" level of accountability of the Legislature to the general public since their terms of Office are much shorter and these folks are up for re-election every two years or so.

thus the public has at least "some" leverage in holding those folks accountable even though there are far too many loopholes and incumbency protections which diminish the accountability. but again, with the Legislature, at least there is "some" accountability.

but with the Judiciary, with all the systemic corruption of the Commisson on Judicial Conduct, the Attorney Discipline Committees, and the OCA, the public to a very large degree, too large, has had no ability to hold the folks in the justice sytem accountable in any meaninful way for far too long which has allowed blatant corruption, case fixing, bribery, payoffs and more to go for far too long and has created an inner system of "protection" for the chosen few.

and No, Judge Kaye and the other Deputy Administative Judges have done little or nothing to change this and the public's confidence has rightfully eroded almost completely for some in our system of justice.

lawyers who bring Judicial Conduct complaints face retaliation and destruction. And there will be an article right on point posted here soon out of the Third Dept which involves an Appellate Division Judge named Carpinello up for re-election who is squarely in the middle of this in a case where according to the article this woman lawyer was told right out by Carpinello and others during the middle of Oral Argument on an Appeal not to raise judicial "Bias" issues and the like if she wanted to practice anymore.

but yes, the Judges continue to put on the "professional" faces and public appearances still trying to convince those in the public who have not yet experienced the dark side of the system that they just "follow the law" and "apply the law". of course this does not apply to all judges as there are many who have tried to stay on the straight and narrow.

but in too many cases, the counties have become judiical fiefdoms with next to no oversight by the CJC or OCA of the County and Supreme levels.

we can all have our own opinions on former Gov Spitzer but at least he did come out in a 2007 press release carried in the NY Times and Captial District Times Union stating that the system of Judicial patronage was the last stronghold of statewide corruption or a theme to that effect.

so No, Kaye and the Judges should not be winning this argument to set their own raises at all. these folks all chose public service in the first instance and lets not forget all the time off, paid vacations, sick days, and related benefits and the like too which makes the overall compensation plan really not too bad especially when these folks give themselves "Judicial Immunity" for performing acts which others would be charged with crimes for committing and the like.

keep in mind, "judicial immunity" was a Judge created doctrine, not some great law that was passed by a Legislative body and this is a doctrine which needs to be fixed by the Legislatures and the Congress both at the state levels and federal levels so the US Constitution does not get in the way. If the judges had to face prosecution and lost the immunity, these folks may be less likely to do the many wrongful things done now. not to say there should be no immunity at all, but that it should be a limited doctrine at most.

Anonymous said...

the following is an article posted by the North Country Gazette in 2005 which involves Third Dept Appellate Division Judge Anthony Carpinello who is up for re-election this year after the time honored ( with perhaps not always that much "honor" in play )system of cross -endorsements fell apart forcing Judge Carpinello to have to get the vote of the public to retain his seat on the bench.

while not making any comment or opinion on the merits of the underlying case mentioned in the article which involves heinous criminal allegations against the lawyer's client, the purpose of this Post is to show how the courts and in this case Third Dept Appellate Division responded in 2005 when a woman lawyer raised issues of Judicial Bias involving the trial judge below and raised grounds for judicial disqualification which was denied in the court below and then denied on appeal by the Third Dept.

the message sent to the lawyer during oral argument is the type of "chilling message" too often sent by those currently in power in the Courts to deter lawyers from doing what would otherwise be required under the Attorney Code of Professional Responsibility, which is raise every issue zealously in defense of a client that can be raised in good faith which calls into question the manipulation and selective enforceability of the Code as a whole.

This is but one of many reasons why the Code and system needs re-working as a Discipline Committee could have easily chosen to come after the Lawyer for failure of Duty if the lawyer failed to raise such an issue on appeal and yet the message in this case is "don't follow the Code and your Duty if it means attacking one of our Judicial friends".


Originally Posted - December 28, 2005

Court: No Judicial Bias If Judge Doesn't Remember

ALBANY-"Judges aren't biased", state Supreme Court justice Anthony J. Carpinello
emphatically boomed from the bench of the Appellate Division, Third Department
during oral arguments in an appeal heard in 2001 and the clerk of the court told
the defendant's attorney not to raise the issue of judicial bias again before
the court or else she wouldn't be practicing law because the judges didn't like
judicial misconduct claims.

A ruling handed down last week by the Third Department clearly points out why
public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary has grossly deteriorated and
blatantly shows why rules regarding disqualification of judges must be
immediately revised to stop the runaway robes of judicial tyranny.

Even though court transcripts show that Madison County Judge Biagio DiStefano
called a defendant before him "scum" and a "predator" during a 1999 proceeding
in which the defendant was charged with rape and related charges, the Appellate
Court said there was no judicial bias and the judge didn't have to disqualify
himself for bias in a later matter because of a case of convenient memory----he
claimed he didn't recall making the biased comments.

In a unanimous opinion written last week by Justice Carl J. Mugglin, the Third
Department denied the appeal of Thomas C. Wallis and his appeal issue regarding
judicial bias because although the record clearly shows that Judge DiStefano
berated Wallis during a prior Family Court proceeding, he couldn't remember
doing it but admitted it after being shown a transcript of the proceeding.

"As this does not constitute a legal disqualification pursuant to Judiciary Law
14, the judge's discretionary decision to refuse to recuse himself will only be
disturbed in circumstances which indicate clear abuse", the court ruled. 'We
find no record support for the assertion that the trial judge abused his
discretion in this regard".

The law mandating disqualification of a judge is very narrow, leaving most
decisions for recusal to the discretion of the judge who rarely agrees that he
can't be fair and impartial in a matter. Judiciary Law 14 mandates that a judge
cannot take part in any action, claim, matter, motion or proceed to which he is
party or in which he has been attorney or counsel or in which he is interested
(financially) or if he is related by consanquinity or affinity to any party to
the controversy within the sixth degree.

Wallis appealed a verdict rendered by Madison County Court and Judge DeStefano
on March 19, 1999, which found him guilty of rape in the first degree, two
counts of rape in the third degree, sodomy in the first degree, sodomy in the
third degree and endangering the welfare of a child.

Wallis began cohabiting with the victim's mother when the alleged victim was
four years old. The crimes for which he was convicted occurred during the time
when the victim was 15 and 16 years of age. Wallis, while admitting to sexual
activity with the victim, testified that it did not occur prior to her 17th
birthday. He was sentenced to a number of concurrent indeterminate sentences,
the longest of which were 8 to 25 years, and to one consecutive sentence of 1 to
4 years for rape in the third degree. On appeal, defendant's counsel and
defendant pro se claim that error occurred by reason of insufficiencies in the
indictment, judicial bias, errors in jury selection, improper testimony,
inadequate disclosure and erroneous evidentiary rulings. They also claimed that
the verdict was not supported by legally sufficient evidence and was against the
weight of the evidence, that defendant received inadequate services of counsel
and the sentences are harsh and

The Appellate Court rejected all arguments and affirmed the judgment. Wallis was
represented by John A. Cirando of Syracuse.

© 2005 North Country Gazette

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the strong contributors and support system for skanky Kaye and her tribunal, is her very own peanut gallery....OCA counsels office.
This is a group of lawyers that were mediocre law school grads, that because of same, became easily influenced and well paid for their low ability, to work all day, every day for years...thinking up illegal ways to deal with anyone who crosses the HAG and her court! This is a fact and you need to check them out..especially the leader... John Sullivan...a dorky weasel, with a pension for pure evil! He appears to mimick THE SARATOGA SCUMBAG... Jan Plumadore's modus operandi in dealing with anyone, they belive is too weak or deserving of extinction, and who cannot ever effectively attack OCA!
As a NY txpayer, I implore Gov. Paterson to negate anything OCA, until someone has cleaned house....and I mean the whole house...not just the witchy head and a few well known crook administrators!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about comedy, but Judith Kaye and the condition of our courts is one big joke!

Anonymous said...

Kaye needs to go to jail together with the other hacks who are asking for a pay increase. I guess the pay off's and kick backs are not enough. I hope your last days are painful and agonizing in a nursing home with a soil diaper.

Anonymous said...

The way to stop this madness is to take Judge Kaye's license to practice law away from her then she is out of business.

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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
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