Thursday, May 29, 2008

Discontinued Until Further Notice (2009)

Canon 4 of the Code of Ethics for Judicial Employees requires me to consult with my Judge regarding the appropriateness of blogging related to the law. After our conversation, I decided that to continue summarizing other cases might create the appearance of impropriety when the same issues could arise before my chambers. Clerks, like Caesar’s wife, must be beyond reproach.

While I could continue to blog until I start work this fall, I would rather avoid that appearance all together. Therefore, I am discontinuing this blog until after my clerkship ends, at some point in 2009. Thank you to the readers, and to those who have so graciously helped my readership grow.

I am leaving this blog up both because I hope to return, and so that the sidebar remains active to return the favor. If someone wishes to join this blog to write similar case summaries, I would also be interested in that, as I do not believe a passive association with the writing would create any negative appearance -- I would be in the same position as if I was reading a HLR case comment.


Alex said...

I am interested in why you think there would be an impropriety. Under your logic, it seems that you could you not write a law review article on say the Supreme Court's recent sentencing cases, because you may draft opinions or memoranda relating to sentencing? Do you think Canon 4 applies in that manner?

Klerk said...

Alex, please email me and I would be glad to explain my reasoning. For a number of reasons, I do not want to say more in public than this brief disclaimer. My email address is on the right side bar of the blog.

FWIW, most judges do have a policy that you have to clear any law review articles to be published during your time in chambers with them.

Randall Hodgkinson said...


lex said...

pls resume blogging soon

John O'Sullivan said...

Good to see a conscientious attitude in the legal profession. It's something I'm finding as a rare commodity nowadays.
I am an advocate currently fighting to uphold the principles of due process in a most disturbing case concerning the rape, battery and near killing of a mother of one left permanently disabled with a broken neck.
Barbara Bracci was a long-serving and respected New York State corrections officer who claimed she was brutally attacked by her work supervisor, Captain William E. Peek. Bracci made tape recordings she claimed were of her remorseful attacker confessing to his crimes. She alleged the NY State Dept. of Corrections (DOC) took the tapes from her then conspired with a crooked judge to illegally withhold them from a New York court.
The case first appeared before the New York Division of Human Rights (SDHR) in 2007. Bracci wanted her original tapes played in open court. DOC defied court orders and refused to give the tapes back to her. Instead the state defense counsel gave them instead, to the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) who inexplicably refused to let them be heard.
In a stunning piece of injustice the ALJ then took the tapes behind closed doors and weighed them secretly (ex parte, in camera) despite Bracci’s protests. Thereupon the ALJ ruled the tapes ‘unreliable’ and the case was dismissed. A perplexed Bracci protested and the matter went before the Appellate Division, Third Department earlier this year as an Article 78 special proceeding. Inexplicably, the tapes somehow became 'lost' and a tongue-tied (In)Human Rights declined to explain their actions in the higher court. So with Bracci having proof her tapes were now destroyed and with the opposing party declining to defend themselves, she duly filed for summary judgment.
However, out of left field the Appellate justices made the Article 78 special proceeding ‘disappear’ and simply upheld the lower court’s judgment dismissing Bracci’s claim on May 14, 2009.
Thus a New York higher court had not only condoned the secret weighing of evidence and then its destruction, it had unlawfully removed Bracci's status as a litigant in an Article 78 special proceeding.
Even a layperson looking at the court’s website under ‘Bracci-v-State Division of Human Rights’ (Case no: 506150) can see that nowhere does the term, ‘Article 78’ even appear.
Thus this raped, abused and permanently scarred woman was outrageously cheated of her most basic rights to due process. Now Bracci is filing with the Court of Appeals. We shall soon see if the very highest court in New York dares be as corrupt.
You see, I’m British and I grew up with a worldview of America as an honorable civilization. Like most people in the English-speaking world I was greatly influenced by Hollywood movies. I confess I have now learned that real 'American Justice' is quite different from what I saw in films. It appears your country has forgotten the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Law is practiced very differently today and ‘American Justice’ is a fiction told in Hollywood.