Saturday, June 20, 2009

Albany County Judge Gerard Maney Charged With DWAI

Albany family court judge Gerard Maney arrested for DWAI
June 20, 6:09 AM · Daniel Weaver - Albany CPS and Family Court Examiner

Albany County Family Court Judge, Gerard E. Maney, was arrested by Green Island Police on Thursday evening, June 18, 2009, and charged with DWAI. Maney allegedly had a .07 BAC and attempted to avoid a DWI checkpoint by making an illegal u-turn.

Besides being Albany Family Court Judge, Maney has also been acting Supreme Court Justice since 1991, Judge of Family Treatment Court since 2002 and Judge of Juvenile Drug Court since 2006.

Maney was the focus of national attention in 2000 when Jill and Michael Carroll of Berne took their son off of Ritalin and were charged with neglect (see articles below). The Carroll's had become concerned about the side effects of the drug prescribed for their son who had ADHD. Judge Maney sided with Child Protective Services, without hold a fact finding hearing according to the New York State law journal.

A September 29, 2006 Times-Union article claimed that Judge Maney had seen 23 men and women successfully complete drug and alcohol treatment in his court.

In 2001, the Third Division of the New York State Appellate Court overturned a ruling of Judge Maney's that had terminated a father's visiting rights. According to the New York Law Journal, the court ruled that Maney had expressed hostility toward the father and his attorney and thwarted the father's efforts to visit his son. The case was then turned over to a different judge.

There are currently no plans to remove Judge Gerard E. Maney from the bench while he awaits the outcome of the charges against him.

New York State Office of Court Administration - relationship map

Albany County judge charged with DWAI
Updated: June 19, 2009 05:04 PM EDT

An Albany County Judge has found himself on the other side of the law after running into some trouble at a DWI check point. Judge Gerard Maney is facing charges that he had too much to drink when he got behind the wheel.

Green Island police say around 8:00pm Thursday night, Maney turned onto the Green Island Bridge and became one more driver ensnared in a highly-publicized checkpoint.

According to police, Maney even tried to do a u-turn on the bridge to avoid the traffic stop. Police followed after him and they say he did not pull over until he had driven a mile and a half more.

Police say the judge's short and slow run from the law ended outside the Purple Pub in Watervliet, when Maney was pulled over.

After failing a field sobriety test, police took the judge in where they say he blew a .07; not drunk, but still impaired.

Maney received a ticket and was sent home.

NEWS10 went to Maney's home on Friday, but found out that he was actually at work; deciding on cases at the Albany County Courthouse.

Many people in the legal profession who NEWS10 spoke with told us Maney has a sterling reputation. He has served as a Family Court Judge since 1991 and even established the Albany County Family Treatment Court.

A statement issued by Family Court Chief Clerk David B. Cardona said of Maney, "He's a good guy. A great judge. He is well respected not only by those who work with him but those who appear before him. As for the allegations, we have no comment." [Editor's note: David Cardona, a lawyer and Chief Family Court Clerk in the same court as Judge Gerard Maney, is speaking out in support of his boss, Judge Maney. David Cardona is also the son of the Presiding Judge of the Third Dept, Anthony Cardona](pictured at left).

At the very least, the arrest may stall Maney's aspirations for a higher bench. Just this past week, he announced his candidacy for State Supreme Court Justice.

Right now, it is unclear if these charges will affect his run.

Because Judge Maney was not legally drunk at the time, he was actually issued a DWAI and not a DWI. So what's the difference?

Under the law, anyone with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher is considered legally drunk. That's when police issue a DWI. If the blood alcohol level is under .08, but above .06, it's considered driving while impaired, and the person is issued a DWAI.

Albany County Family Court

Sobriety check snags judge despite alert
Albany jurist accused of DWAI count; cops say he tried to flee

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer, First published: Saturday, June 20, 2009

GREEN ISLAND -- By the time Albany County Family Court Judge Gerard Maney allegedly tried to avoid a road sobriety checkpoint on the Green Island Bridge (pictured below) Thursday night, it was no secret police were out looking for drunk drivers.

More than 24 hours earlier, District Attorney David Soares (pictured at left) issued a news release to announce that 16 law enforcement agencies would be at DWI checkpoints around Albany County, much they did twice last summer on Thursday nights.

Despite the advance warning, 24 motorists were arrested within a five-hour span - including Maney, a family court judge in Albany since June 1991.

Maney, 59, of Albany, allegedly spotted the checkpoint on the bridge just after 8:30 p.m.

Police in Green Island say he made a U-turn, failed to comply with a traffic stop and led police for a 1-1/2 mile chase before he "finally came to a stop" outside the Purple Pub restaurant in Watervliet.

An officer detected a "strong odor of alcoholic beverage" coming from the judge. He failed a field sobriety test, a police report said.

He was taken back to the Green Island police station, where he registered 0.07 percent on an alcohol test, just below the 0.08 percent legal limit for DWI, sources said.

Maney was charged with a driving while ability impaired by alcohol, a violation akin to a traffic ticket, and issued tickets. He was released but given a ticket to appear in Green Island Town Court at 6:30 p.m. on July 7.

His immediate status on the bench had not changed by late Friday afternoon, said Kari Holloway, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Court Administration. She said the office were aware of the arrest and looking into the details. The case was pending, she said.

But the arrest could have wider implications for Maney's future.

Maney, the supervising judge for the Third Judicial District, earlier this week announced his candidacy to be a state Supreme Court justice. The district comprises Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Ulster and Schoharie counties, along with Sullivan and Albany.

Maney, a former assistant corporation counsel for the city of Albany, was appointed to Family Court by former Gov. Mario Cuomo. The state Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. He began what he described as a "lifelong ambition" on June 11, 1991.

Maney did not return a call to his home late Friday afternoon.

A person familiar with the judicial system's disciplinary procedures against judges told the Times Union that judges arrested on alcohol-related driving allegations, in New York and other states, are generally not kicked off the bench - depending on the details of the case.

They usually receive a public admonishment, the least severe of the three levels of punishment possible from the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, the source said. The next most serious reprimand for a judge would a censure, followed by outright removal from the bench.

The source said reprimands can be more severe than an admonishment in the event of "aggravating circumstances," such as a judge throwing their name and status around during an arrest. While unfamiliar with the details of Maney's arrest, the person said leading police on a pursuit might be considered an aggravated circumstance.

The judge's brother, John Maney, was arrested on DWI and felony reckless endangerment charges in 1991. At the time, police alleged that when he was pulled over on Route 9 in Loudonville, he drove off and almost hit a police officer before being arrested near Colonie Town Hall. The case prompted complaints that he received special treatment from Colonie police.

That September, he pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired and misdemeanor reckless endangerment and fined $325. The case was adjourned for six months in contemplation it would be dismissed.

Bob Gardinier contributed to this report. Robert Gavin can be reached at 434-2403 or

COMMENTS from Crime Confidential

The Mysteries of Ritalin!
Chapter II

In our continuing series, we share with you several of the recent newspaper articles which show a continued biased approach to the truth. As we continue forward, we believe that the truth will come forth and prevail. We hope that these reports will be of benefit to each who read them. If you are one of the millions of people who are currently taking mood-altering prescription drugs, we suggest that you share this series with your family physician - for only through education, will they stop being a part of this form of genocide. Editor

New York Judge Rules Child Has Right to Visit Foster Mother
John Caher, New York Law Journal
June 27, 2001

In an apparent case of first impression in the United States, a Family Court
judge in Albany, N.Y., has held that a child has a liberty interest --
independent from that of his father and rooted in the constitutional
guarantees of freedom of association, equal protection and due process -- to
maintain a long-established relationship with his foster mother.

Judge W. Dennis Duggan's extraordinary opinion holds that a 6-year-old child
can assert a right to maintain contact with a person with whom he has
developed a parentlike relationship: in this case, the foster mother who was
essentially the only parent figure the boy knew from virtually the day he
was born to the day five years later when he was turned over to the custody
of his father.

Although an Australian court had ruled similarly, Duggan (pictured at right) is apparently the
first judge in the United States to expand the concept of free association
in such a dramatic and potentially reverberating fashion in the orbit of
family law.

In sum, the decision holds that: a child has a state and federal
constitutional right to maintain personal relations with a person with whom
he or she has developed a parentlike relationship; the child is entitled to
a process to enforce that right against unwarranted restrictions by the
state, a parent or another person; the child's and parent's rights must be
carefully balanced; and the court should presume that the parent's decision
to restrict or end contact with the nonbiological relation is in the child's
best interest.

Duggan acknowledges in Webster v. Ryan, 1448D, that he is recognizing a
right that is not explicitly found in the Constitution, and one which
requires a delicate balancing of liberties when exercised: the new-found
right of a child to maintain contact -- over the objections of a fit,
biological parent -- to a nonbiological relation against the right of a
parent to raise his or her child free of government interference.

A hearing will be held July 9 to determine if the boy in this case, who has
made no request for visitation with his former foster mother, has standing
to assert a claim and, if so, if granting such a demand would be in his best
interests. Duggan's decision outlines in detail the process for the child to
assert his enumerated and unenumerated rights and, if necessary, the
analysis the court will undertake in its best-interest evaluation.

"The narrow holding in this case is that a statutory scheme that permits
court intervention to order contact between a child and a parent or sibling
or grandparent is an unconstitutional denial of a child's right to equal
protection of the laws when the law does not provide a procedure for the
child to assert the same right with respect to a person with whom the child
has a significant or substantial parent-like relationship," Duggan wrote.
"Since the court holds that such a right is fundamental and constitutes a
liberty interest under the Due Process Clause, the child must have an
effective forum to assert that right."

Webster v. Ryan began as a petition by the foster mother, Harriet Webster,
raising the question of whether she had standing to make a claim for
visitation rights against the father, Alex Ryan Sr. In January, Duggan held
that Webster lacks standing. But in a footnote, the judge hinted at what was
to come and noted in a letter to counsel last month that he would be issuing
a follow-up decision addressing a child's standing to assert a liberty
interest in maintaining a relationship with a nonbiologically related person
"when that relationship has arisen under extraordinary circumstances and for
which the best interest of the child requires that the child have access to
the courts to maintain such a relationship."


The case centers on Alex Ryan Jr., a boy born addicted to cocaine on June 2,
1995. Alex's mother, a cocaine and crack addict, abandoned the child of her
boyfriend. The baby was removed from her custody shortly after birth. Ryan,
the father, immediately sought custody, but the child was turned over to the
foster care of Webster. From 1995 to 1998, Ryan was afforded one hour of
supervised visitation each week and in 1999 his parental rights were
terminated by Albany County Judge Gerard E. Maney upon a finding of
permanent neglect.

Last spring, the Appellate Division, 3rd Department, reversed. In an
unusually pointed decision directed at another court, the 3rd Department
said Judge Maney had "repeatedly thwarted the father's efforts" and
displayed hostility toward both Ryan and his attorney. The 3rd Department
found the record generally supportive of a finding that the father was
qualified to care for his son and remanded the matter, with instructions
that it be handled by a different judge. The case then came before Judge

Duggan granted Ryan custody of his son and initially afforded Webster
temporary visitation against the father's wishes. Webster subsequently
sought an order affirming her visitation rights, and in his January decision
Duggan said he could find no statutory basis for granting her petition. Now,
with the latest opinion, Duggan said that while Webster lacks standing to
seek visitation with Alex, Alex may have standing to seek visitation with

The court relied primarily on two precedents, Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S.
57 (2000), and Alison D. v. Virginia M.,77 NY2d 651 (1991) -- and then
conceded in a footnote that the result in Alex Ryan's case, if visitation
with the foster mother ultimately results, would probably be different under
a Troxel analysis and would definitely be contrary under Alison D. Troxel was the 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court case last year where the terribly splintered Court -- it issued six separate opinions, three going each way -- struck down as applied in that matter a Washington State statute allowing any person to petition for visitation with any child.

Justice John Paul
(pictured at right), in a dissent, raised the issue of the child's independent constitutional rights, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy also lent support to that concept in his dissent. In those dissents, as well as a dissent in a
New York Court of Appeals case, Duggan found authority for his holding.

In Alison D., the New York Court of Appeals held in a per curium decision
that the estranged mate of a lesbian woman could not assert a claim for
visitation. In dissent, now

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye noted that the law does not define "parent" and that if she were to do so, she would include a "de facto" parent.


If Duggan is delving here into the realm of judicial activism -- and he
acknowledges he probably is -- he suggests that there is a time for such an
approach, and that time is now. In the first of 45 footnotes in a 44-page
opinion, Duggan struggles with the Family Court's inability to keep up with
a changing society, bemoans the outlived usefulness of terms like "custody"
and "visitation," suggests that children are usually shortchanged in an
adversary system with winners and losers and notes that he has ceased using
the word "visitation" in his orders, employing the word "parenting time"

With references back to the Federalist Papers and up to the present, Duggan goes to lengths to explain and justify the expansionist nature of his decision. He notes that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized due process and equal protection rights to travel (Edwards v. California, 314 U.S. 160,1941), to wed (Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 1967) and privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 1965) even though those rights are not specified in the Constitution.

"The judiciary has no equivalent of the Rosetta Stone or Dead Sea scrolls to
divine the Framers' intent or unlock the original understanding of
Constitutional text when making a decision that determines a right or
expands a recognized right," Duggan wrote. "However, there still must be a
faithfulness to the text of the Constitution, a respect for the traditions
and values of our society and a deference to legislative authority."

Appearing in Webster v. Ryan were: Charles T. Kriss of Kriss Kriss &
Brignola in Albany for Webster; F. Stanton Ackerman of Ackerman Wachs &
Finton in Albany and Laurie B. Kurtzman of Schenectady for Ryan; and law
guardian Peter J. Scagnelli of Albany.


"This is an incredible decision," said Ackerman, counsel for the father.
Ackerman said the decision is constitutionally defective in that it tramples
the rights and destroys the statutory and common law autonomy of a
judicially determined competent parent.

"If this ruling stands, we are going to have to add a new branch to the
Family Court system to handle cases of this nature," Ackerman predicted,
adding that he could find no case in the nation that supports Duggan's
finding. "I just find it unusual, and bizarre, that he is discriminating
against a parent with sole custody. The boundaries of this decision are

Kriss declined comment on behalf of Webster, as did Scagnelli on behalf of
the boy.

Martin F. Guggenheim, professor of Clinical Law and director of Clinical and Advocacy Programs at New York University School of Law, said the ruling has enormous implications. However, he said that in light of the Justice Stevens
and Kennedy dissents in Troxel, and the Court of Appeals' 1992 decision in
Matter of Michael B., 590 NYS2d 60, it was probably just a matter of time
before some judge rendered a decision along these lines.

In Matter of Michael B., although not on point, the Court of Appeals
explored through Judge Kaye the weight to be given a child's bonding with
his long-time foster family in determining the placement that would be in
his best interest. The court found no liberty interest in a foster family
that can survive a child's interest in being returned to his parents.

With the court rejecting the argument that a child has a liberty interest in
remaining with the foster family, the court set the stage for a rule that
would allow post-return visitation in certain circumstances, Guggenheim
said. He said Duggan's decision providing a framework for post-return
visitation can comfortably co-exist with the principle adopted in Michael B.
and the proposition that the law should not countenance a rule that would
trump the very goal of foster care, which is the eventual reunification of
the family unit.

"In tolerating post-return access, courts would be taking into account
better than current law has the needs of children who grow up in
circumstances that no person who cares about children would have wanted,"
said Guggenheim, a family law expert. "Now the question is whether the law
is powerless to take the needs of the child into account. Frankly, I would
hope the answer is 'no,' that there is power in the law to figure out what
the right post-return arrangements might include."

Guggenheim said, however, that the father's views must be taken into account
and should be afforded great deference -- as, in fact, Judge Duggan held.

Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform in Alexandria, Va., said the ruling is detrimental to the extent that it pits a child against his father.

"This ruling, if it is upheld on appeal, will open a Pandora's box leading
to enormous harm to children all over the country," Wexler said. "There is
little more damaging to a small child psychologically than too much choice.
Here, you are placing the ultimate choice in the hands of a very young

Wexler said that once the biological parent is found competent and fit, a
court should defer to that parent's judgment absent extraordinary

"We have lost the fundamental presumption that most of the time parents are
in the best interests of their children," Wexler said. "Even if,
hypothetically, this particular child might do better in a situation where
there is a voluntary agreement for visitation, the tension caused by the
court interference itself, the harm caused by the meddling, outweighs any
possible benefit. What this court has forgotten is what every doctor is
supposed to learn in medical school: First do no harm."

Guggenheim said that while he understands and generally agrees with Wexler's
position, he also believes that a balancing of the interests and rights, as
ordered by Duggan, is both feasible and equitable.

Parents lose fight to take 8-year-old off Ritalin Child's hyperactivity disrupted classes, school officials say
Associated Press, Wire Sevices, October 22, 2000
BYLINE: Lynn Brezosky
The Associated Press

BERNE, N.Y. - The school nurse called during Kyle Carroll's first week of second grade in September. Wasn't Kyle going to be taking his Ritalin?

No, Jill Carroll said, he made it through the summer without the drug and did just fine. She and her husband, Michael, were holding out, hoping the Ritalin days were over.

On Sept. 15, the Carrolls say, they got another call. Their 8-year-old son was in the office and the district was threatening to expel him unless the medicating resumed.

Superintendent Steven Schrade, who wasn't with the approximately 1,200-student school district when all this happened, denies the threat and now says the whole situation with Kyle "was from well-intentioned people and just snowballed."

Confidentiality reasons, Schrade says, prevent him from discussing the case or the battle of wills the Carrolls say took place between Kyle and his teacher.

"I think there are a number of other factors that we can't talk about," he says. "Believe me, Ritalin wasn't the only reason that the family ended up in Family Court."

Meetings would follow, with the Carrolls on one side of the table and a team including guidance counselors and special education specialists on the other.

"I just started throwing things at them, why Kyle shouldn't be on Ritalin," says Michael Carroll, a construction worker. "They just kept throwing things back at me, why he had to be. They didn't let me finish a sentence. They were comparing Ritalin to insulin. It has nothing to do with that. [Without insulin] the child dies. Without Ritalin you've just got to give a lot more time."

The law requires that school employees report instances of neglect to child protective agencies. In Kyle's case, someone at the school equated the failure to medicate Kyle with the unexplained bruises or signs of malnutrition that might prompt other calls.

The matter went to Family Court, where a judge ordered the Carrolls to continue giving Kyle medications prescribed by a physician.

"The case as I see it is educational neglect," says Pamela J. Joern, the law guardian appointed to the case. "Your child has a diagnosis, it interferes with his education, a recommendation is made. It is not followed by the parents. It continues to interfere with his education. The parents take no steps to address the problem.

"It's not a pro-Ritalin decision; it's not an anti-Ritalin decision. A parent failed to ensure their child was able to receive an education."

Ritalin is a brand name for the methylphenidate, which is believed to increase a child's alertness by stimulating the central nervous system.

Psychiatrist Susan Abbott says Kyle probably was better able to learn when medicated.

"If unmedicated, you certainly won't learn as much as well, you won't achieve the same grades, you may not be able to follow your aspirations, attend your college of choice," she says. "When the kids in the neighborhood don't play with you and you fall further and further behind ... that's sad."

American doctors are now writing an estimated 11.4 million Ritalin prescriptions a year - more than double the approximately 4.5 million written five years ago. According to recent studies, the United States makes and uses 85 percent of the world's supply of the drug, and use is now beginning to pick up in Western Europe.

To Dr. Peter Breggin, author of several books on the subject and crusader against psychotropic drugs as a whole, it all speaks of mind control, of Big Brother and ultimately of trampled constitutional rights. Especially when he believes that the malady Ritalin and similarly classed drugs are used to treat - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, often called Attention Deficit Disorder - is "a fabrication" meant to label certain personality types as diseases. ADD is not diagnosed from the kind of evidence of brain irregularities that doctors use for, say, Alzheimer's disease or strokes, he says. "The diagnosis is if the kid squirms in his chair, interrupts, is sloppy - a list of things that annoy teachers and make it hard to teach."

Jeffrey Schaler, a psychologist who teaches at American University's School of Public Affairs, agrees.

"There's no deficiency that Ritalin is fixing," he says. "What it's doing is changing a behavior so the child complies with expectations and behaviors expected of him. You drug the child and get him to comply by drugging."

On Ritalin, the Carrolls say, Kyle is a zombie. He barely eats or sleeps; Michael says he senses him lying awake in his bedroom long into the night. When the parents went to school to view the children's pipe-cleaner bug projects, all the other children ran around excitedly. Kyle sat at his desk, staring off into space.

"We'd rather have him hyperactive than 'duh...,"' says Jill, who works as a store clerk.

Side effects like Kyle's are often attributed to Ritalin; the drug has also been associated with stunted growth and irregular heartbeat.

The Carrolls, who have three other children, feel the school would rather drug Kyle than take time with him.

Says Abbott, "I think in a world where each child can have their own teacher that would work. But in a class where teachers spend 33 percent of the time on one child with ADHD, you kind of have to think of the real world here."

After heavy media attention, the Carrolls' doctor has agreed to take Kyle off the drug and he has been enrolled in a special education program in another school district.

Ritalin Case Puts Parents, Courts on Collision Course
BY JOHN CAHER, New York Law Journal (August 17,2000)

ALBANY - An educational neglect case in Albany involving a 7-year-old boy whose parents were hauled into court after taking him off Ritalin has sparked a national debate over privacy rights, judicial authority and parental sovereignty.

The Kyle Carroll case is apparently the first in the nation in which parents were pressured - if not outright ordered - by a judge to give their child the controversial stimulant after the school district petitioned the court.

Albany County Family Court Judge Gerard E. Maney has become something of a lightning rod for criticism in a widely reported matter illustrating some of the legal complexities that arise when schools and courts are confronted with a child covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400.

His ruling has galvanized parental rights advocates who insist that the courts have no business ordering parents to administer a psychotropic drug to their child, even though that is not quite what Judge Maney did in the case.

"It is enormously harmful for the child for Gerard Maney to substitute his judgment, or for a [Child Protective Services] caseworker to substitute his or her judgment, in these circumstances," said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform in Alexandria, Va. "I don't believe the child welfare law was ever intended to be used this way."

The case, and ensuing debate, involves a boy in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District who was diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

Kyle Carroll is among some 3.8 million school children, mostly boys, with ADHD, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and one of at least a million kids treated with Ritalin. ADHD is a disorder covered under the Individuals with Disability Education Act, which requires school districts to provide educational services in the least restrictive environment that will meet a child's needs.

Upon the recommendation of a psychologist, a doctor prescribed Ritalin (methylphenidate) and, under the mandates of IDEA, teachers crafted an Individualized Education Plan to accommodate Kyle. Ritalin was administered and Kyle became subdued.

But Kyle's parents, Jill and Michael Carroll of Berne, a rural community outside Albany, grew concerned over the side effects their son seemed to be exhibiting - sleeplessness and loss of appetite, both of which have been associated with Ritalin - and informed the school that they wanted to take their son off the drug for a couple of weeks to see if the problems cleared up. That resulted in a visit from an Albany County Child Protective Services worker, and ultimately a petition that landed before Judge Maney.

In court, the school district accused the Carrolls of educational neglect. Michael Carroll was represented by Assistant Public Defender William P. Andrews. Attorney Ruth H. Supovitz of Albany appeared for Jill Carroll.

The law guardian, Pamela J. Joern of Albany, supported the district's position that the family should be required to address Kyle's condition.

"The child was diagnosed with ADHD, not by the school but by a psychologist, and a medical doctor prescribed Ritalin based on the recommendations of the psychologist," Ms. Joern said. "The child took it for a period of time, his behavior improved and the parents unilaterally decided, because of their own beliefs, that they weren't going to give him Ritalin. His behavioral problems returned and interfered with his school performance."

No hearing held there was no fact-finding hearing before Judge Maney. There was no testimony taken and there was no written decision rendered.

Instead, the Carrolls, under at least the theoretical threat of having their child removed from their custody, consented to an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACOD).

"The consent ACOD directed the parents to comply with the doctor's treatment regimen, which was a prescription for Ritalin," Ms. Joern said. "They could get a second opinion, but they couldn't ignore the problem.... This was not a case where a judge directs parents, over their objection, to give a child a prescribed medication. That is just not what happened."

Regardless, media and commentators around the country have weighed in with Brave New World concerns, many of them focusing - unfairly in Ms. Joern's opinion - on the supposed heavy handedness of Judge Maney.

Mr. Wexler said the Albany County Family Court overstepped its bounds by, in effect, compelling a particular medical regimen in a situation that was clearly not life-and-death.

"It is not as if these parents simply refused Ritalin outright," Mr. Wexler noted. "They tried it. They saw that it was having harmful consequences for their child and they did what any responsible, loving parent would do.... It is terribly damaging for children for the state to rush in willy-nilly and substitute its judgment for parents in those situations."

Professor Jeffrey Schaler, a psychologist who teaches Justice, Law and Society in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., said the consent decree constitutes an inappropriate use of judicial authority.

"I think that parents have a right to not give their kids drugs and this deprives the parents of the liberty of raising a child as they see fit," Professor Schaler said.

"If the child is disruptive in class, the school has a right to ask that something be done, but I don't think that is the equivalent to saying they must put a particular chemical in a child's body."

Ritalin, Professor Schaler said, does not address a medical condition the way, say, insulin addresses the condition of diabetes. Rather, he said, it is a "form of social control," an area where judges should not tread.

"What the judge is doing here is engaging in parens patriae," Professor Schaler said. "Invading a child's body or person with a chemical is an invasion of privacy and also a deprivation of due process. It deprives the parents of the liberty of raising their child as they see fit, and deprives the child of the liberty to not be on Ritalin."

Professor Schaler said a more appropriate judicial response would have been to impose on the parents the responsibility of making sure their child is not disruptive in school, and affording them the autonomy to find their own solution.

But Ms. Joern, the law guardian, suggests that is exactly what Judge Maney did. Ms. Joern said the judge ordered the only remedy before him - Ritalin - and left the door wide open for the parents to suggest another medically approved alternative.

Courts Reluctant Lucia Whisenand, an attorney in Syracuse and former chairwoman of the New York State Bar Association's Children in the Law Committee, noted that courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, are usually reluctant to intrude in matters of parental discretion.

Ms. Whisenand said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 5 in Troxel v. Granville, a grandparents rights case, is illustrative. In Troxel, the Court reaffirmed the right of parents to raise their children without state interference, absent a showing of harm to the child. However, the divided Court did not clearly identify the appropriate standard for review in determining when an exercise of parental discretion results in the type of harm that can invoke government intervention.

"You have an obligation [as a parent] to provide appropriate food, shelter and medical care," Ms. Whisenand said. "The problem is, what's appropriate?"

Ms. Whisenand said absent "some pretty strong evidence that the child was at great risk if he didn't take the Ritalin," a court is "walking on some pretty thin ice" if it orders ingestion of the drug.

Overtreatment Possible There continues to be considerable debate over labeling of a child as ADHD-afflicted, and the efficacy of using Ritalin, and nagging concerns that behavioral problems are overly attributed to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and overly treated with methylphenidate, according to Karen S. Norlander, of Ruberti, Girvin & Ferlazzo PC in Albany, a former staff attorney with the State Department of Education and former general counsel to Statewide Youth Advocacy.

"You have groups that will absolutely swear by Ritalin and you have groups, including the medical profession, that raise serious questions about any kind of drug for children and the long-term effects," said Ms. Norlander, who is also a former law guardian and 18-B attorney in Family Court, and is now of counsel to a firm that focuses on education law, children and family law.

She said it is "very troubling" for the judicial system to become entangled in the debate, but acknowledges that circumstances often require judges, particularly in family law matters, to delve into areas that some would consider out of judicial bounds.

With the Kyle Carroll case, there is no record from which to seek review by a higher court, and with the consent ACOD, nothing to appeal. So the propriety of Judge Maney's decision will apparently go unreviewed, while the debate over what he did, did not do, should have done or should not have done continues.

Meanwhile, a handful of other cases in which schools are attempting to employ judicial clout to compel use of Ritalin are pending.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Corruption and Incompetence in the First and Second Depts.

Sat, Jun 6, 2009 at 8:23 PM

James E. Pelzer
Clerk of the Court
Supreme Court of the State of New York
Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department
45 Monroe Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: (718) 722-6307
Fax: (718) 858-2446

Dear Mr. Pelzer,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my email of 6/1/2009.

I am sorry you take offense at my allegations of wrongdoing by your office. It is not my intention to insult anyone, but to assure just dispensation of my serious allegations of wrongdoing by three attorneys, who have violated the rules of the LCPR.

I have not received documents from the Appellate Division and Mr. Friedberg

I have never received the following documents you purport to possess on page two ¶2 of your letter:

1) The 2/20/09 order by the First Department Appellate Division
2) The 2/25/09 letter from Friedberg to you

I perceive this failure to as a violation of court rules by Mr. Friedberg. I am demanding the immediate provision of these documents to me. I will accept them from you or Mr. Friedberg, but until I do, this procedure is improper.

The Appellate Division Cannot Spontaneously
Adjudicate a Matter without it Being Brought as a Motion.

By their own account, neither the DDC nor Ms. Shivers requested the transfer of the complaint against Shivers. In his letter of October 23 Mr. Friedberg advised the court that “the committee takes no position and …that Ms. Shivers takes no position as well”. Ms. Shivers affirmed this position, a fact you have acknowledged. Who then, submitted a motion to transfer of the case against Ms. Shivers? No one.

Ms. Shivers is not a “Petitioner” in Minkoff’s Motion

Without Ms. Shivers’ express approval, Mr. Minkoff has no more standing to include her as a “petitioner” in a motion than I have standing to include you as a petitioner in a motion. Ms. Shivers can only be a petitioner by her express consent, which was not provided and in fact denied. Shivers’=2 0“no position” means she is NOT a petitioner, period. Mr. Minkoff’s inclusion of her as a "petitioner" is not only a misrepresentation of Ms. Shivers’ wishes, it is fraud upon the court.[1] It is also “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. 22 NYCRR § 1200.3, DR 1-102(A)(4)”

Mr. Minkoff’s motion also fails to mention to the court that the complaint against him is separate and distinct from the complaints against Shivers and Stryker. At the time he submitted the motion, the complaint against Stryker, Minkoff and Shivers were docket numbers was 2008.0513, 2008.0514 and 2008.0515 respectively. That is a fact.

Minkoff makes no argument for transfer of Shivers’ complaint

Minkoff writes: “I submit this affirmation to transfer this disci plinary matter” (2008.0514). In the body of his motion affidavit, there is no argument whatsoever given as to why the complaint against Ms. Shivers should be transferred. Minkoff gives two arguments for the transfer of his case; one nonsensical and one irrelevant, but he does not even attempt to make an argument to transfer the complaints against Shivers or Stryker.

The Ruling by the Appellate Division is not lawful.

The Appellate cannot rule on a matter that has not been submitted as a motion. The Appellate Division cannot rule on a matter for which no argument has been made. Given the above, there are no grounds upon which the Appellate Division rule on the status of the complaint against Shivers. The only basis upon which they could make this ruling would be incompetence or corruption. As such, you are legally required to rectify the situation by informing the Appellate court that a mistake has been made.

What “Conflict of Interest” ?

You say in your letter that Minkoff’s case was transferred due to a claim of “conflict of interest”. First of all, while a true conflict of interest may be a reason to transfer of a complaint to another jurisdiction, a “claim” is not. Who has investigated this claim?

Mr. Minkoff’s Claim of Conflict is Patently Nonsensical.

Minkoff writes: “I currently represent several clients who are respondents in disciplinary proceedings before the Committee. The Galison complaint obviously creates an obvious conflict of interest for me with my existing clients, because the existence of a disciplinary complaint against me…forces me to choose between my own interest in appeasing the Committee and [my] obligation to represent our clients aggressively.” Nonsense.

Mr. Minkoff does not have to “appease”[2] the Committee or anybody else. He only has to answer my complaint and tell the truth. If he is found culpable, then he will be sanctioned like any other lawyer, and unfortunately, his clients may have to find a new lawyer. The same is true for every lawyer who is brought before the Committee. If they are found culpable, they may have to refer their clients to a new lawyer. Until they are found culpable, however, they are considered innocent. Where is the "obvious" conflict of interest?

Is Minkoff saying that he has to choose between defending himself and doing his job? Not any more than any other professional that is the subject of an ethical complaint or lawsuit. Even if Minkoff i s found culpable in my case, that does not reflect on his clients. Unless the DDC admits that they are prejudiced against Minkoff's clients due to allegations against Minkoff (which is illegal and absurd), then Minkoff’s argument makes no sense at all.

If there is another conflict of interest involving Mr. Minkoff and the First Department, please inform me.

Minkoff’s second argument; that I once had a Federal complaint against the DDC and him, is utterly irrelevant and fraudulent. His writes: “Mr. Galison has commenced a separate federal action...” Asi de from the fact that this lawsuit is irrelevant to the matter at hand , it is another blatant example of fraud against the court. Minkoff does not mention that I withdrew the case over a year before he wrote the motion. That is fraud and deception by omission. A non-existent lawsuit cannot affect anything at all.

If Mr. Minkoff's first argument for transfer is nonsensical, and his second argument fraudulent, then on what basis did the Appellate Court grant him a transfer of venue? Incompetence? Corruption?

It should also be noted that Mr. Minkoff specifically requested that the complaints NOT be transferred to the Second Department for the same boneheaded reason of an alleged “conflict of interest”. He specifically asks the Appellate court to transfer it to the Third or Fourth department and NOT to the Second Department. Why does the loopy “conflict” argument prevail in one case and not the other?

Ms. Kearse’s Decision Indicates Incompetence or Corruption

Finally, Ms. Hearse’s decision that my claims were not in your subject matter jurisdiction is ludicrous. If citations of violations of the LCPR are not in her jurisdiction than nothing is. I allege violations of LCPR statutes, including simultaneous representation, which is cite directly:

DR 5-105. Conflict of Interest; Simultaneous Representation
A lawyer shall decline proffered employment if the exercise of independent professi onal judgment in behalf of a client will be or is likely to be adversely affected by the acceptance of the proffered employment, or if it would be likely to involve the lawyer in representing differing interests, except to the extent permitted under subdivision (c) of this section.

I allege conflict of interest just as Mr. Minkoff alleges conflict of interest, but in my case, the allegati ons are dismissed without investigation and in Minkoff’s case they are accepted without investigation. That is the definition of corruption. The only thing Ms. Kearse has to go by is my allegations, because she is prohibited to see Ms. Shivers response without my seeing it as well, and I never saw it. My allegation is of improper simultaneous representation. Kearse cannot rule on this matter without knowing the facts, and she cannot know the facts without an investigation. THE FIR ST DEPARTMENT RULED THAT SUBJECT JURISDICTION WAS VALID PRIR TO THEIR REFERRAL to Ms. Kearse. THAT IS RES JUDICATA. “ALREADY ADJUDICATED”. Is res judicata subject to revision under NYCRR 670.23? I wouldn’t bet my career on it.

Your citation of NYCRR 670.23 is misleading and disingenuous , because I am referring to the rules of the First Department, and NYCRR 670.23 is a rule of the Second Department. There is no corresponding rule in the First Departme nt canon.

Furthermore, NYCRR 670.23 refers to "criminal and civil procedure", neither of which applies. Furthermore, Mr. Friedberg is not a judge.

You are Required by Law to Report Improprieties by Fellow “Officers of the Court”

Mr. Peltzer, I am reminding you that you are legally required to rectify any misconduct by a lawyer or a judge or a tribunal. I have now made these irrefutable allegations clear to you. Your failure to address them will be used as evidence against you.

You know as well as I that the court must follow its own rules, until they are changed by due process, and that the “interest of justice” does not mean, the interest of laziness, corruption or incompetence. Your failure to refer Mr. Minkoff and the Judges of the Appellate Division to the appropriate tribunal will be grounds for charges of conspiracy in the upcoming federal class action. Blogojavitch, Madoff, Drier, Demjanjuk, …. all thought they could get away with it.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding the above.


Will Galison

[1] "Fraud upon the court" has been defined by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to "embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery can not perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication." Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968); 7 Moore's Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, ¶ 60.23. The 7th Circuit further stated "a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final."
[2] Webster: 1: to bring to a state of peace or quiet : calm
2: to cause to subside : allay
3: pacify, conciliate ; especially : to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles

-----Original Message-----
From: James Pelzer
Sent: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 12:23 pm
Subject: Re: Our Conversation regarding Yvonne Shivers.

Dear Mr. Galison:

I have replied to your facsimile transmission and your e-mail in a letter that will be mailed today. A copy is attached.

James E. Pelzer
Clerk of the Court
Supreme Court of the State of New York
Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department
45 Monroe Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: (718) 722-6307
Fax: (718) 858-2446

>>> <> 6/1/2009 6:13 PM >>>

Dear Mr. Peltzer,

Thanks very much for your time on the phone this afternoon.

As I mentioned, I have been asked to testify at the Senate Subcommittee hearing on the Judicial Oversight agencies which will be held on June 8th in Albany. My intention is to help expose the collusion by the Second and First departments to whitewash complaints against favored lawyers.

The Second department has been complicit in this practice involving complaints against four lawyers that I have brought, and many others that my colleagues have brought. If you are not aware of this pattern of corru ption in your department then it would appear you have been out of the loop. In any case, with this letter you are hereby informed of the improprieties of your colleagues at the Second Department.

My 4/7/09 letter to Ms. Maxfield-Kearse letter describes the matter of Ms, Shivers. In her reply of 5/3/09 Ms Kearse did not address a single one of my points. She summarilly dismissed the case against Ms. Shivers, which was entirely outside of her jurisdiction and without my having a chance to even see Ms. Shivers' response.

Ms. Kearse did not respond to any of my points regarding jurisdiction. She simply tells me that my complaint is "more appropriate for resolution by a court of law".

Aside from the fact that Ms. Kearse has no geographic jurisdiction her statement is faulty on two grounds:

1) My complaints against Ms. Shivers are all ethical complaints cited directly from the LCPR,

2) The First Department came to the opposite determination when they opened the investigation by ordering Ms. Shivers to reply. The investigation is open by res judicata.

I responded to Ms. Kearse's letter on May 3rd by sending a certified letter to Judge Romero, and I faxed the same to you. I have confirmation of the certified letter and electronic fax transmission confirmation to you. I also have a recording of a court employee confirming receipt.

Mr. Peltzer:20in our conversation you stated that in regard to transferring complaints "...the court can dispense with its own rules...". I do not think that you really believe that statement, but if you do, you are harboring a misconception that undermines our democracy and the rule of law.

At the June 8th hearing I will present your precise words as the quintessential fallacy that leads to utter abuse of power in government. John Adams wrote " the very definition of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men.". Laws and judicial rules can be changed, but only by deliberate due process - not by the whim of a famously corrupt and limited man like Alan Friedberg. The court rules were framed with intense deliberation and discretion, and they we re framed to be strictly followed, not to be tinkered with by corrupt little hacks. Likewise, Ms. Kearse cannot legally rule on a matter that is outside her geographic jurisdiction. That is why jurisdictions exist.

In his famous interview with David Frost, disgraced President Nixon discussed his own dispensing of executive rules: "What I'm saying is... if the president does it, its not illegal". That wasn't true for him, a nd its not true for you or me. According to Frost. even as NIxon spoke those words, the gravity and insidiousness of his wrongdoing and self delusion "descended on him". I hope you will likewise reflect on your statement of this afternoon.

If I do not hear from you by the end of this week, I will conclude that you and your department believe that you can "dispense with the rules" and I will file a formal complaint against you. In any case, I am also preparing a federal case including RICO complaints citing conspiracy to deny me due process.

I hope to hear from you.


Will Galison

William Galison
532 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY 10012
Dear Ms. Maxfield-Kearse, < /span>April 7,2009
Departmental Disciplinary Committee
Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Second Judicial Department
45 Monroe Place
Brooklyn, New York, 10012

Re: Complaint against Yvonne Shivers. Docket # 2008/0515 and T-433.09

Dear Ms. Maxfield-Kearse,
In her letter of March 31, 2009, Yvonne Shivers requests that the committee “expedite consideration” of the complaint # 2008/0515, which has been re-docketed by your department as T-433.09.
The transfer of the complaint against Ms. Shivers from the First to the Second Department is contrary to numerous state laws and rules. It is a tactic of the notoriously corrupt First Department Disciplinary Committee to illegally transfer complaints in order to whitewash complaints against politically con nected lawyers and to “disappear” complaints in foreign departments with no legitimate jurisdiction.
Any investigation or disposition by the Second Department of the validity or merits of the complaint by the Second Department is legally null and void, and constitutes conspiracy to deny due process under state, federal and federal RICO statutes.
Following are facts regarding this complaint, which establish that the proper jurisdiction for the complaint is the First Department and not the Second Department.

a) According to both the First and Second Department websites: “A complaint should be filed with the grievance committee having jurisdiction over the county in the State of New York in which the attorney maintains his or her office for the practice of law.”

b) Ms. Shivers maintains her sole office for the practice of law in Manhattan, New York City. Ms. Shivers does not maintain an office for the practice of law in Kings county. Therefore, by law, the proper jurisdiction for the complaint against Ms. Shivers is the First Appellate Division Disciplinary Committee, and not the Second Department.

c) The First Department DDC determined that the complaint was valid and opened the investigation in September 22, 2008, but the investigation was not completed.

d) According to Rules And Procedures Of The Departmental Disciplinary Committee there is NO provision for the transfer of jurisdiction before the completion of an investigation. Because the investigation is not completed, the transfer of 2008/0515 is illegal and null.

e) According to § 605.9 (e), there are three possible actions by the DDC “following completion of investigations.”:
1) referral to another body on account of lack of territorial jurisdiction;
2) dismissal for any reason (with an indication of the reason therefore), and referral to another body if appropriate; admonition; or
3) formal proceedings before a hearing panel.
The transferring of Ms. Shivers’ case to the Second Department does not conform to any of the above actions and would therefore be illegal, even of the investigation were completed, which it is not.

f) Ms. Shivers has never requested, personally or through counsel, that my complaint against her be transferred outside of the jurisdiction of the First Appellate Division.

Nor did Mr. Minkoff request the complaint against Ms. Shivers in his motion to transfer. Therefore, Ms. Shivers is NOT a petitioner in the motion to transfer the complaint against her, despite the fraudulent caption.

g) Furthermore, according to the Unpublished order of the Appellate Division (¶2) states “The [First Departmental Disciplinary] Committee takes no position regarding the petitioner’s motion to transfer”

h) Therefore, the complaint is being transferred spontaneously, randomly and in violation of numerous laws and rules, and to the expressed benefit of no party, because NOBODY HAS REQUESTED the transfer of the complaint against Ms. Shivers.
i) On the other hand, I have strenuously objected to the transfer on solid legal and procedural grounds, and my interests are harmed by the transfer.
j) I have never received any notice or confirmation from your committee that the complaint has been registered with, or is being investigated by your Committee.
k) The Supreme Court Appellate Division issued an unpublished order regarding the Jurisdiction of the complaint 2008/0514 against Ronald Minkoff. The order does not address the complaint against Ms. Shivers, and therefore does not apply to it.
l) Furthermore, the First Appellate Division’s unpublished order does not address the request for the transfer of any case to the Second Department. T he order specifically states: “petitioners have moved…. for the transferring the investigation and disposition of the disciplinary complaint under docket number 08/0514 of the to the Third or Fourth Judicial Departments”. The fact that the appellate division bizarrely approved the transfer of 08/0514 to a jurisdiction not even mentioned in the motion, has no bearing on the jurisdiction of complaint 2008/0515.
m) According to your website: “If it is determined that a complaint is suitable for investigation, the grievance committee will request the attorney to answer it.”
n) By demanding a response from Ms. Shivers on September 22, 2008, The First Department, determined that the complaint is “suitable for investigation”.
o) According to the booklet “Complaints against lawyers”: “during this investigation, the attorney about whom you have complained will be sent a copy of your complaint and will be given the opportunity to respond to it. You in turn, will be given the opportunity to reply to the lawyer’s response.”
p) Although Ms. Shivers claims that she responded to the complaint in a timely manner, I have never received any such response from Ms. Shivers, the First Departmental Disciplinary Committee, from your committee or otherwise. As far as I know, Ms. Shivers has never responded to my complaint against her.
q) As I have not been given the opportunity, under New York State law, no disposition can be made regarding this case until I have had an opportunity to reply to Ms. Shivers’ response.

In light of the above, I contend that the transfer of the complaint is contrary to the Rules of the Unified Court System. In light of the above, if you believe that the complaint against is legitimately in your jurisdiction, I am requesting a thorough explanation for this position.
If you do not believe that that the complaint should remain under the jurisdiction of the First Department, I demand that the complaint be sent back to that jurisdiction for investigation.
If the Second Department rules on the Shiver’s complaint against New York State Rules, you will be added as defendants in a federal complaint citing conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Finally, I have new evidence regarding my allegations against Ms. Shivers, which I would like to with the proper and which must be considered before any disposition is made by the appropriate committee. I cannot send you this information until your proper jurisdiction is established.

In summation: the transfer of the complaint to the Second Department is illegal, improper, and void for the following reasons:
1) According to § 603; because Ms. Shivers practices law in Manhattan, she is under the jurisdiction of the First Department.
2) Transfer before completion of investigation is contrary to § 605.9 (e).
3) Nobody requested the transfer of the complaint against Ms. Shivers and the transfer benefits no one, therefore there is no rational basis for its implementation.
4) The transfer of the complaint harms me and Ms. Shivers because it renders any resulting disposition legally ambiguous if not null and void.
5) I have not been given an opportunity to reply to Ms. Shivers’ alleged “response”
5) According to the First Appellate Division, a ruling is required for the transfer of a complaint, yet no ruling was made regarding the transfer of any complaint against Ms. Shivers. Furthermore, the motion did not request the transfer of ANY complaint to the Second Department.
I assume that the Second Department was ignorant of the above facts and laws when they gave the complaint a new docket number. I trust that upon learning these facts, the Second Department will reject the transfer as illegal and improper on numerous grounds.

The complaint against Ms Shivers alleges the depraved and wanton violation of the most fundamental ethical obligation of an attorney, to faithfully protect the interests of her client. Specifically, Ms Shivers simultaneously represented two clients with mutually contradictory testimony, and diametrically opposed interests.
Ms. Shivers wants the investigation “expedited” because she is seeking admission to the 18-b panel. Section 24 of the Application form to the assigned counsel plan of the First Department Appellate Division asks: “Have you ever been the subject of a complaint to a bar association or departmental grievance committee which resulted in your admonition, reprimand, or censure, you suspension from the practice of law, or your disbarment? If yes, state particulars.”

Any disposition made by your committee regarding my compla int Ms. Shiver’s will be fraudulent and illegal and will therefore constitute a fraud upon the First Appellate Division and will expose you to further claims of fraud against the court.
If there is any question about the abject corruption of the First Department DDC, please consider the complaint against Ms. Shivers’ client Jeffrey Greenberg, whose perjury and fraud upon the court has been whitewashed despite its almost comical blatancy.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter as soon as possible.

William Galison

Yvonne Shivers
Jacqueline P. Flug
Presiding Justice Prudenti
Alan Friedberg
Presiding Justice Gonzales
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman
US Department of Justice
1) Unpublished Order from First Appellate Division
2) Ronald Minkoff’s Motion to transfer
3) Response to complaint against Jeffrey Greenberg, Ms. Shivers’ client in the underlying case.

William Galison
532 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY 10012

Dear Mr. Romero
Chairman, May 3, 2009
Departmental Disciplinary Committee
Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Second Judicial Department
45 Monroe Place
Brooklyn, New York, 10012

Re: Complaint against Yvonne Shivers. Docket # 2008/0515 and T-433.09

Dear Mr. Romero,
I am reporting the illegal “whitewashing” of a complaint against a lawyer, by fraudulent assumption of geographical jurisdiction and fraudulent (albeit irrelevant) denial of subject jurisdiction. These illegal acts are in collusion with related efforts by the First Department. I urge you to rectify this immediately, as there is an investigation ongoing regarding whitewashing at the First Department. By correcting the blatant misconduct of Ms. Maxfield Hearse, you can spare your committee a lot of uncomfortable explaining in the near future.

In her letter of April 15, 2009, Ms. Maxfield-Hearse wrote:
“As you are aware, your complaint pertaining to the above-named attorneys, has been transferred to our office by order of the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department.”
I am aware of no such thing. I am aware that this statement is false and disdainful of the law for all the reasons listed in my letter of Aril 7, 2009 enclosed below.
As Ms. Hearse is entirely aware, there is no such order by the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department that mentions Ms. Shivers or her case, let alone that transfers such case to your jurisdiction. There was never even a request by anyone to transfer the case anywhere. There is only whitewashing of a valid and important complaint.
Ms. Hearse also wrote: “After reviewing your complaint, it has been determined that the issues you raise are more appropriate for resolution by a court of law.” That statement is also patently false and deceptive, as my complaints are prima face ethical complaints drawn directly from the rules of the LC PR.
All of my specific claims in my complaint against Ms, Shivers correspond exactly to specific provisions in the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct. The section of my complaint titled “The Role of Ms. Yvonne Shivers” cites the specific provision of the LCPR:
< /div>
“DR 5-105: The primary complaint against Mr. Minkoff, Ms. Stryker and Ms. Shivers is that they knowingly and maliciously represented Ms. Peyroux despite her drastically conflicting interests with their other clients and/or close colleague, with the intention of serving Greenberg’s interest to the detriment of the Peyroux’s. This is in direct violation of several disciplinary rules, especially:
DR 5-105. Conflict of Interest; Simultaneous Representation
A lawyer shall decline proffered employment if the exercise of independent professional
judgment in behalf of a client will be or is likely to be adversely affected by the acceptance of the proffered employment, or if it would be likely to involve the lawyer in representing differing interests, except to the extent permitted under subdivision (c) of this section.
(c) In the situations covered by subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, a lawyer may
represent multiple clients if a disinterested lawyer would believe that the lawyer can
competently represent the interest of each and if each consents to the representation after
full disclosure of the implications of the simultaneous representation and the advantages
and risks involved.”

There is no civil law that deals with DR5-105 or any of the other ethical allegations in my complaint, because it is specifically and uniquely under the jurisdiction of the disciplinary committee. Furthermore, the First Department already ruled that my complaint against Ms. Shivers was appropriate for disciplinary review, and they went so far as to compel Ms. Shivers to answer these complaints, precisely because they were ethical complaints.

My complaint is prima face an ethical complaint, and Ms. Hearse’s letter does not change that inalterable fact. It only shows that she either failed to read the complaint or that she is complicit in a criminal conspiracy to illicitly whitewash my complaint. Of course, the matter of subject jurisdiction is irrelevant, because your Committee does not have geographic jurisdiction. There is no ruling from the Appellate court transferring Shivers’ complaint.
William Galison