Saturday, February 25, 2023

Crazy Lawyer Story

I ran across an article from a few years ago about Oregon attorney (ex-attorney now) Megan Perry (Moeller) which highlights just how difficult it is to bring lawyers who commit crimes to justice. 

The story itself is crazy enough to serve as the basis for a Coen brothers movie. However, the most interesting part to me is the discussion about what to do when you catch a lawyer committing a crime. 

What do you do if someone steals money from you? Or if someone forges papers that harm you? What if someone kidnaps your child? The answer to all three questions, of course, is that you call the police.

Now, what if the person who does those things is an attorney?

Well, the answer is still to call the police. Theft, forgery, and child trafficking are crimes no matter who commits them.

Strangely though, there is tremendous public confusion about where to report criminal conduct committed by a lawyer. Instead of contacting law enforcement, victimized clients tend to call their state bar and report criminal conduct not as a violation of criminal statutes, but as a breach of bar rules.

That’s basically like contacting the DMV after a drunk driver plows into you, expecting them to investigate the accident and prosecute the drunk for violating the law. Obviously, the DMV doesn’t do that. The DMV is authorized under state statute only to regulate the licenses it issues, and is clearly not a special branch of law enforcement tasked with bringing drunk drivers to justice. Similarly, the state bar is authorized only to suspend or revoke a bad attorney’s privilege of practicing law. It is not a special police agency that investigates and prosecutes crimes committed by bad attorneys.

Law enforcement seems nearly as perplexed by this as the public is, often deferring to the bar’s handling of professional complaints against an attorney before deciding whether or not to ‘get involved’ in allegations of criminal conduct — or, conversely, failing to ‘get involved’ under the misconception that sanctions imposed by the bar can somehow resolve criminal acts by attorneys.

The last paragraph is important. When I caught Nelly Wince red-handed committing crimes, my first step was to file a complaint against her with he Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. They white-washed it. I subsequently contacted John Choi, the County Attorney, who openly committed the crime of obstruction of justice in order to protect Wince. I also contacted both the FBI and the local police but neither bothered to look into the matter. No doubt because lawyers committing fraud is so common no one actually thinks it is a big deal.  Or they think, as the article indicates, the matter should be handled by the state bar. Either way, such actions (and inactions) reward criminals and harm innocent people. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Most Stressful Job In America - Lawyers

Lawyers have the most stressful job in America, at least they think they do, as reported in a recent survey.  People who work in agriculture, logging and forestry are the happiest. I get outdoor work would lead to happiness, especially for the type of people who would naturally gravitate to that type of work, but why would the legal profession be particularly stressful? We are not talking emergency room doctors, fighter pilots or even the type of technology career I had which was an "always on"  job. 

The most stressful sectors are the industry including finance and insurance, followed by education and the broad grouping of professional and technical industries, a sector that includes the single most stressful occupation: lawyers. Together, they paint a simple picture: A white collar appears to comes with significantly more stress than a blue one.

I can think of three reasons why lawyers view they jobs as so stressful:

  1. Many people become lawyers for the money. They aren't really interested n the law at all. Working in an area you are not naturally interested in is never fun. 
  2. Bad lawyers who knowingly commit crimes or break their own profession's rules of conduct, at least on some level know they are doing wrong. Other than for those who are true sociopaths, this has to cause some stress.  
  3. Good lawyers not only see the actions of the bad lawyers but often have to litigate against against them. Not only does this put the ethical lawyers at a disadvantage, but if the good lawyer does not report the bad lawyer, they are in violation of the professional rules themselves because the rules state they have an obligation to report lawyer malfeasance. Very few lawyers will report on even egregious actions of fellow lawyers. This and just the knowledge of working in a profession where criminal and unethical behavior is tolerated would, I think, be highly stressful to anyone with a conscience.  

Friday, February 10, 2023

Judges Are Immune In Practice

After committing misdeeds from the bench, 9 out of 10 judges keep their jobs. Many go back to the bench even after serving a sentence. 

In the past dozen years, state and local judges have repeatedly escaped public accountability for misdeeds that have victimized thousands. Nine of 10 kept their jobs, a Reuters investigation found – including an Alabama judge who unlawfully jailed hundreds of poor people, many of them Black, over traffic fines.

Think about it. The very people who control the fate of people in court, criminal or civil, get away with crimes themselves.  Even more prevalent, to the point of being common, judges violate their ethical rules without so much as anyone batting an eye. 

How is this possible? There are several reasons. One is because most people just do not have the time or ability to dig into the often cryptic rules and laws our legal system is supposed to follow. Another is that attorneys are very good at using "con man" speak to cover up their malfeasance. On the job training for lawyers is often  more about how to get around the law than how to follow it. 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Unequal Treatment

From a post on Reddit comes the surprising to some but obvious to many that there is a double standard when it comes to abuse assessments. 

Numerous studies show female perpetrators of emotional or psychological abuse against male victims have their abuse assessed as less serious than the reverse, despite abuse being identically described. This trend even holds true with professional practising psychologists.

My ex-wife made direct allegations of abuse in writing during the divorce. Oddly she completely denied these when asked in court. My belief is that the allegations were actually written by her lawyer  and she just signed the document because her lawyer just told that was the best course to get money. 

The only one who was ever abusive physically or emotionally was my ex-wife. In fact if I had committed the actions she had, I have no doubt I would have gone to jail. What did she get for her perjurious statements? Massive amounts of money. Crime pays in court. 

Some of the comments made to the Reddit posting:

  • I was temporarily staying with a buddy. He and his wife got into a nasty fight and he came and got me and said we gotta get out of here. We went to a hotel. His wife showed up there making a scene in the lobby and parking lot. Cops never came, hotel staff kicked him out.

If the roles were reversed, the cops would have come right away and arrested him, and charged him with domestic violence or something. Hotel would have done anything to keep him away from her.

It's absolutely a double standard out there.

      • I've literally been told, to my face, that my ex couldn't be abusive because she was a woman. I've had other women sympathize with me wholeheartedly and then retract it immediately when I clarified that I'm a lesbian. It's so heartbreaking to know that men are taken even less seriously as victims.
      • It's not just psychologists. Nearly every person on the planet see's it that way. Try being a male telling other people about being abused by your female partner. You'll be lucky if your not 'cancelled' amongst your social group.