Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, England
M.B.A., University of Michigan Business School
D.E.A., La Sorbonne, Paris
Judicial Discipline Reform
New York City
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You, a pro se or a lawyer, who have had a judge deny you or your client due process and equal protection of the law, can take unconventional, imaginative action to expose such wrongdoing (*>jur:5§3; ol:154§3) judge, e.g., one who has clerks allege that documents were served on you but who can neither produce copies nor even show a record that they were actually served on you.
* All (blue text references) herein are keyed to my study of judges and their judiciaries titled and downloadable as follows:
Exposing Judges’ Unaccountability and
Consequent Riskless Wrongdoing:
Pioneering the news and publishing field
of judicial unaccountability reporting* †
* Volume 1: http://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL/DrRCordero-Honest_Jud_Advocates.pdf >all prefixes:# up to ol:393
† Volume 2: http://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL2/DrRCordero-Honest_Jud_Advocates.pdf >from ol2:394
A. Two principles that pro ses and lawyers should know about wrongdoing judges
- There are two basic principles that should guide the actions that pro ses and lawyers take to defend their rights in court:
a. The court has all the institutional power. If a court wants to railroad you, there is nothing you can do about it, as shown in the analysis(†>ol2:452) of the official statistics of caseloads and their management by judges. Suing the judge before his or her own colleagues, peers, and friends is an exercise in futility foretold and a show of lack of understanding of how and why judges cover for each other, as explained in the article(ol2:461) that discusses the concepts of:
1) dynamics of interpersonal relations based on reciprocally dependent survival; and
2) institutional circumstances enabling judges’ wrongdoing.
b. Think strategically! This means think outside the box, putting aside the conventional, in-court ways(*>ol:390§B) in which pro ses and lawyers have tried for centuries(jur:21§1) unsuccessfully to secure the respect of the law by judges and their clerks.
1) Strategic thinking(Lsch:14§3; ol:52§C; ol:8§E) consists of the use of knowledge of parties –here: the parties in the judicial and legal systems– and their interrelations to determine through analysis their constantly strengthening and weakening harmonious and conflicting interests underlying and motivating those relations so as to figure out a way to influence those interests to one’s advantage through, e.g.:
a) the forging of strengthening alliances or the driving of weakening wedges between parties, in application of the principles:
(1) The enemy of my enemy is my friend…and I will do everything possible to help him prevail in order to help myself;
(2) The friend of my friend is my friend…and I will help him because there is strength in numbers and my grateful friend may help me.
- KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Read as much as you can of my study of judges and their judiciaries*, starting with the (blue text references* †) to it herein. Then you can proceed, not by rote, but rather by strategy crafted against a formidable opposing party: judges and their clerks, who have all the power of their institutions and will use it to crush you. You only have the power of knowledge, which can help you outsmart them. This you can do in the following concrete ways that apply the above principles. They provide for you to use your case only as an element of a strategy: the out-of-court inform and outrage strategy(†>ol2:458§1) for exposing unaccountable (ol:265) judges who consequently engage risklessly in wrongdoing coordinated with their clerks.
B. Concrete ways for searching for document records and information about judges’ wrongdoing
1. Searching online and in the office of the clerk of court and county clerk for document records: the case docket and the judge’s calendar
- Go to the court website(jur:20), surf to, and download the docket of the case and the calendar of the judge for the last year. You must do that immediately to preserve those records as they stand now before they are altered to suit the clerks’ account of the documents in question. If you cannot download them, take screenshots of every screen –Shift + Screen print (the key after F12)–.
- Indeed, whenever you visit a webpage for any aspect of this search, download and date it, and add its link to it because it can be moved or deleted. Add all of them to a single searchable pdf(ol:102; 277¶¶18-20) and bookmark each page to facilitate navigation through the pdf.
- Go to the courthouse if those records are not online. Many state courthouses are located in the same building as the county clerk’s office, where the judges’ decisions as well as plaintiffs’ complaints and parties’ briefs, motions, and other case papers are filed as public records. It will become apparent below why it is pertinent to note that the county clerk’s office has other departments to keep, file, register, and issue a host of records, licenses, certificates, and applications regarding jury rosters, property, incorporation and sole proprietorships, marriage, birth and death, name changes, identification cards, voting, running in and results of elections, social security, public assistance, etc. County clerks work in close contact with state court clerks. The former know through the latter all the gossip about the judges and what happens in the court.
- In a federal court filings are made in the in-take office of the clerk of court, which is not associated with the state county clerk’s office. In-take clerks learn from the law clerks, who are lawyers and ‘clerk for a judge’ (only for a year after law school) or for the court in general as their permanent job, what goes on in chambers, the courtroom, and elsewhere. An in-taker may also learn from a judge who wrongfully orders her to “change that motion’s docket date to today’s”.
- These state and federal case filing offices are referred to here as the clerk’s office or office. Go there and quietly, without drawing attention to you more than needed, sit at a public computer terminal and check your case for its docket and the judge calendar. Print them AND take a picture of every frame with your smartphone or tablet, making sure that the picture allows the identification of the computer as that in the clerk’s office. If there is no computer available to the public, ask a clerk for the paper version of those records and make a copy or take a picture.
- Likewise, download or print every single document in the docket. You want to determine whether the alleged document was docketed at all so that it is online and, if so, whether it was docketed in the proper numerical order. What you are looking for is:
a. the date stamp on the first page;
b. the sequential number of the document, which often is handwritten next to the date stamp;
c. the initials or name of the clerk who made each docket entry;
d. whether the document was docketed completely because it has all its internal pages;
e. markings on pages even if they appear meaningless at this early research stage…or no markings, but a year later the document has markings. Who reloaded it with them? Why?
- Examine the judge calendar and look for any entries concerning your case. Are they plausible? Determine whether the judge was in chambers, holding court, or even in town on the date when the document in question was signed or the order for its issuance was allegedly issued; or he or she was at a seminar; teaching a class as an adjunct professor; judging a moot court session at a law school; at the wedding out-of-state of his or her son; on holiday; etc. So check the judge’s:
a. webpage on the court’s website, paying attention to dates, times, places, names of people, titles, relations, occasions, membership in organizations and clubs, etc.;
b. social media page, e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube; download all pictures of the judge, his family, associates, etc., and accompanying articles for future use(infra, ol2:470¶25).
c. appearance on a Google search showing that he or she holds an honorary position in an organization that advocates positions that under the code of conduct for judges (jur:68fn123a >Canons 4 and 5) are inconsistent with the obligations of judicial office or involve political activity; or contradict his or her public statements.
……………1) This is an example of serendipity: You are looking for one thing but detect another thing of great value because you are proceeding with your eyes wide open and a mind that looks at everything critically and integrates every piece of information into a system. A large percentage of findings are made thanks to serendipity.
- Compare your case docket and the calendar entries for your case with those of the judge’s 20 other current cases; compare them with those of other judges. Does a pattern emerge that:
a. was broken in, or confirmed by, your case and points to the judge’s failure to abide by the injunction in Canon 2 of the judges code to “avoid even the appearance of impropriety”?
b. raises suspicion?: e.g., the judge takes the type of order affecting you on Fridays close to the end of business: Is that a mere caseload dumping(ol:92¶b) measure for a light shoulder feeling that has nothing to do with the merits of the cases?
c. involves other parties that strangely enough are the same? One of the main rules of wrongdoing is: Involve as few people as possible to avoid leakage, mistakes due to lack of coordination of timing and action, infighting for turf, and reduce the number of ‘slices in which the cake’ of wrongful benefits must be divided among the wrongdoers:
1) the same clerk, the same accountant, auctioneer, warehouser, guardian ad litem, executor, liquidator, evaluator, companies, and other parties with whom the judge and/or the clerk works together in a scheme(ol:85¶2, 91§E), the most complex, profitable, and harmful form of coordinated(jur:88§a) wrongdoing.
- Think like a lawyer: What arguments can you make based on each piece of information, such as a marking, in a source, such as a picture, a webpage, an article, and through their integration in, or failure to fit, a system? Arguments do not scream at you to identify themselves. You have to stare at sources critically and imaginatively to craft them; sources only provide a hint in the form of a piece of information. Does it hint at manipulation of dates, conduct unbecoming of a public servant, text replacement, bias, conflict of interests, counterfactual statement, odd behavior, etc.?
2. Financial wrongdoing: the Al Capone approach
- Al Capone was convicted, not on his alleged mafia crimes, but rather for tax evasion. Likewise, a judge may not be brought down on account of her wrongful decisions, which peers and clerks may squeeze within her discretion or cover up, but rather on account of financial crimes(ol:250§B); after all, the most insidious motive for wrongdoing is Money, lots of money!(jur:27§2).
- The key documents in this respect can be downloaded or examined and copied in the field and subjected to financial analysis to determine whether the judge is liable to the Al Capone approach for illegal benefits sought and/or obtained for herself or others. These documents are:
a. the judge’s mandatory annual financial disclosure reports(jur:65fn107d) available for the last seven years(jur:105fn213a); and
b. the filings in county clerks’ offices(jur:110fn242-244) concerning the property in the name of the judge, her family, close associates, and even strawmen (fictitious people).
- Such financial analysis may produce probable cause to believe that the judge may be:a. filing reports that make no financial sense(104¶¶236-237; jur:72§b; ol:315§6), which may point to off-shore accounts in tax heavens(ol:1, 2), money laundering, and tax evasion;
b. living above his or her means because on a judges’ salary –a matter of public record–:
1) records in county clerks’ offices show that the judge has a yacht, a condo in Miami, a large investment in a company, in addition to a home in a gated community;
2) based on the information found in huge commercial databases of newspapers and journals, e.g., Nexis(jur:108§d): the judge has three children at expensive private universities, takes vacations at luxurious resorts, is a member of exclusive clubs;
c. taking indirect bribes, e.g., has taken out large loans for which little or no collateral has been posted by mortgaging a property and recording it in the county clerk’s office.
15. The above should have allowed you to realize the strategic thinking that motivates this exercise:
a. You are not looking to establish that the judge abused his or her discretion. That is a losing battle because by definition ‘discretion’ has a wide margin of leeway. Even if appellate judges would have exercised their discretion to do the opposite of what the judge did, they cannot reverse her decision if it was within her margin of discretion(ol2:437).
b. You are looking for wrongdoing, including criminal activity, from which the judge and the clerks benefit(ol:173¶93). Three basic elements are considered to establish wrongdoing: motive, means, and opportunity(jur:21§§1-3). They may reveal a settled way of doing, the modus operandi, which manifests itself in a telltale mark: a pattern of wrongdoing. You only need to show ‘the appearance of impropriety’(jur:92§d), not prove with evidence.
3. The strongest support for a claim: a pattern of wrongdoing
- The search for patterns of wrongdoing is what can allow you to strengthen your case as nothing else can. Right now, you only have yourself, a pro se party or a lawyer for a party, who as such is by definition biased toward his own side of the story. You are alleging with nothing more than words that you are the victim of some form of judicial wrongdoing, e.g., that you did not receive a document or that the record of a document cannot be found. Nobody is going to take your word for it over that of a judge and her clerks, who are her protégés as her accessories in wrongdoing. Forget about people reading the whole record to reach their own conclusion. Thus, you are nothing but a lone whining loser. You need to break away from that damning status.
- Strategic thinking and proceeding will allow you to become a member of a class of people victimized by a pattern of wrongdoing of a judge or judges and their clerks. How you form that class, beginning with a small, manageable team of three to seven people who have appeared before the same judge as you have, is described in painstaking detail in the article Auditing Judges (ol:274; and at http://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL/DrRCordero_Auditing_Judges.pdf).
C. The search for Deep Throat: developing confidential informants
1. Court, law, and county clerks: the insiders
- To build the Auditing Judges class, you and your Auditing Judges team need inside informants: Deep Throats(jur:106§c), similar to the classic one in the Watergate Scandal, which brought down President Nixon, forcing him to resign on 8aug74(jur:4¶¶10-14).
- Clerks know a lot about judges’ wrongdoing, for they may be their willing or coerced assistants in committing it. Yet, most only get the smallest benefit, usually limited to holding on to their jobs: They either do what they are told or they are flung out(jur:30§1). If they are fired arbitrarily, they can hardly count on other clerks testifying on their behalf. If they file a suit, they land in front of the firing judge’s peers, who have an interest in sending a message to all clerks: ‘Don’t you even think of disobeying our orders: You can only jump from the pan to the fire.’ Cowardice and helplessness breed resentment in the clerks. How many female clerks have had to endure sexual abuse by judges, such as J. Samuel Kent(jur:22fn14)? Read about it and turn this subject into a talking point to strike up a conversation with a clerk identified as a potential informant.
- This explains why clerks may be the ones most indignant about the judges’ wrongdoing: They may have joined the court expecting to be Workers of Justice, but have been forced to become the judges’ Enforcers of Wrongdoing. They may not feel proud about their behavior.
- All this points to the need to:
a. identify former clerks: They know a lot about what went on in the court; still have contacts there, and cannot be fired…or were fired for protesting;
b. imagine scenarios of how to approach a given clerk based on what you are learning about her that may persuade the clerk to become an Informant for Justice; and
c. role play(ol:356) frequently with other team members, even on the phone, or in front of a mirror: Do not wing it! Here are three steps for you and your team to search for informants: identify, learn and choose, and contact:
a. Identify current and former clerks
a. Go to the website; download and print the picture of every judge and clerk; identify each with name and title, and affix all to The Wall of Insiders of your home, where you will build their organizational diagram (organigram) with those pictures and additional information found elsewhere; use 3” x 5” cards for people whose picture have not been found;
b. download the telephone register, which lists the name and title of judges and clerks;
c. check the website’s Contact Us webpage;
d. check the webpage for each judge, which may identify his or her law (chambers) clerks;
e. send a crawler to roam the Web for people who in social media or resumes have listed among their former jobs ‘clerk at court X [=wild card]’ or ‘clerked for Judge X’;
f. Go to the courthouse; look in the lobby for a directory on a wall listing the name, title, and room of each judge and clerk; take a picture with your smartphone or tablet;
g. go to the county clerk’s office, the in-take office, the court library and other departments:
1) the personnel headshot gallery, with name and title, may be on a wall; take a picture;
2) ask a clerk for a roster of clerks to help you navigate your way through the maze of departments that you have been told you need to work with. If the clerk has such a roster but not for distribution to the public, ask to be allowed to copy it;
3) inconspicuously take a picture of every clerk and the desktop nameplates;
4) ask for newsletters, brochures, fliers, forms, etc.; some may be downloadable;
h. go to the court library; check the publications that report court decisions, called reporters and advanced sheets, which at the front or the back may have a list of clerks’ names;
i. check the pages posted on the outside wall of the courtroom on the day when a judge holds motion hearings, which may list the name and phone number of the judges’ clerks;
j. walk through the courthouse and pay attention to the shingles outside some doors indicating the names of the several departments and their respective heads;
k. strike up a conversation with any clerk even if you show that you are in the wrong department and have no clue what it does. Use your ignorance to ask for, and receive, the names of current and former clerks in that and other departments with whose requirements you have to comply…to receive child support for a newborn after changing your name after your home was foreclosed and your new address is your car that was stolen. Bad day!
l. if needed, go to the courtrooms and photograph judges on the bench and their clerks.
22. Think, think, think creatively, imagining and rehearsing scenarios in advance, to come up with the opportune questions or comments at the right moment. Think strategically to craft a plan of action and, very importantly, to ‘connect the dots’ represented by each big as well as small, even tiny, piece of information. You are doing field research work: You are a Detective for Justice.
23. Go back home; print and post new pictures and add your field information to that already in the organigram on your Wall of Insiders. Google names and run pictures through face recognition software(jur:146fn271, 272 for a spectacular result of so doing); read the related articles; and add information on 3” x 5” cards. You will be impressed by your own work and so will be others.
24. Reproduce your Wall on your computer using PowerPoint preferably, otherwise Word, and its many collapsible/expandable features for adding information, such as digital sticky notes, call outs and cloud forms, connecting and freeform lines, etc., also available after you save your PP page in, or add it to a, pdf. Save a copy on your mobile device so that you can share your organigram with other team members(ol2:416§A) by email or when you meet them; and compare it with theirs in order to correct, combine, and enlarge it. This is team work, not competition.
b. Learn about each of the clerks and choose the most likely to become confidential informants
- After compiling the list of clerks, you and the team must learn about each. Check their social media pages and Google their names, as shown above concerning judges. Learn as much as possible about where and what they studied; what their past jobs were; whether they have family and who their friends are; what school their children go to; where they went for their holidays; what hobbies they have; what associations or church they are members of; where they are likely to be found outside the courthouse; etc. Every piece of information will allow you to relate to them better when you meet them. With insatiable curiosity, imagination, and foresight, hog information.
- The determination of what clerk is most likely to become an informant begins with those who are more relatable to you because of age, race, educational level, religious affiliation, marital and family status. However, keep in mind that young people are likely to still be idealistic. They may resent more the injustice that they see in the court and that they are forced to participate in. An unmarried young clerk who still lives at home may still be sensitive to a motherly figure.
- Old clerks may have become jaded. They have established links of, not only conspiratorial relations with judges, but also of friendship and loyalty. They may be so deep into wrongdoing schemes that they risk too much if they give you any piece of information that may lead to any aspect of the court being investigated. Their ‘fingerprints’ are in every wrongdoing. They knew or should have known about it. They are not only accessories under duress(ol2:462§1); they have become principals(jur:90§§b,c). They may be close to retirement and cannot envisage losing their pension just because you tell them to think back to the days when Justice mattered to them.
c. Contact the clerk to persuade him or her to become an Informant for Justice
- The previous two steps called for members with a bent for research and organization of data and capacity for profiling people(jur:xLvi§H). The third step calls for people’s persons, those with great social skills, talkative, and the ability to touch other people’s soul. They have to go in the field to befriend clerks who have been determined likely to become confidential informants.
- Befriend a clerk until you can appeal:
a. to his or her moral fiber:
b. the image of themselves as decent persons, who “Treat others the way they would like others to treat them”;
c. as honest public servants who take pride in serving the public;
d. as good parents who want to set the right example for their children;
e. people with a personal and civic conscience who would be outraged upon being informed(ol:236) that you and so many others, their families, employees, suppliers, etc., have been harmed profoundly by the wrongs, committed with the coerced assistance of their clerks, of the judges who have deprived them of their property, their liberty, and the rights and duties that determine their lives. The harm is real –injury in fact–; the pain is constant.
- Elicit understanding and empathy, positive reactions that generate personal identification with a common cause and commitment to its advancement; not guilt, a negative feeling that drains people of energy and draws them into self-absorbed recrimination that causes degenerative self-worthlessness. Get the clerk to confide in you under the assurance that you will preserve their anonymity. Share only the information with the other team members(ol2:416§A). Invite the clerk to meet and join them.
2. The invisible little men and women: outsiders with big eyes and ears
- There is another class of people that can provide an enormous amount of information about judges and their wrongdoing: They are outsiders: hotel drivers, receptionists, bartenders, waiters, waitresses, particularly the beautiful ones, room cleaners, and similar ‘little people’ with underestimated intelligence –more than matched by their street smarts, experience with VIPs, and financial interest in satisfying their every wish– who are invisible to life-tenured, in practice unimpeachable judges full of themselves, and in whose ghostly presence Judges Above the Law uninhibitedly discuss, or engage in competitive boasting about, their wrongdoing(ol:175§2).
a. Got to the places where, according to your research, the judge went or frequently goes. and show the ‘little people’ the pictures of the judge, her family, associates, etc.;
b. ask them what they know about the judge and the others. Any apparently insignificant dot of information can become significant once you start ‘connecting the dots based on what makes people tic and the world go around’(ol:279¶25) and a richly detailed figure emerges of the judge, her train of living, property, extra-judicial activities, etc. So, ask about:
1) the occasions on which the judge was there;
2) the other people that were with the judge: spouse, boy- or girlfriend, children, other VIP’s, shady people;
3) who picked up the tab;
4) any bit of the conversation among them that the little people picked up;
5) how the judge treated the little people; etc.
D. Taking action for you and others and becoming a national Champion of Justice
32. Einstein said that “Doing the same thing while expecting a different result is the hallmark of irrationality”, because it ignores the fundamental law that governs both the physical and the human worlds: cause and effect. The secular practice against wrongdoing judges is to sue them in court, lodge complaints against them with a judicial performance commission, and ask legislators to investigate them. If you do that, you will likewise end up frustrated, exhausted, and abused; and with dissatisfied one-time clients.
33. Strategic thinking leads to a radical departure: inside knowledge and rational analysis of people’s interests. It detects patterns of wrongdoing and devises an out-of-court/commission plan of action that imaginatively fosters or hinders such interests to expose wrongdoing and hold wrongdoers accountable. This calls for hard work, but it is reasonably calculated to have positive results: objective, verifiable, and convincing wrongdoing patterns that you and your team can take to:
a. journalists, who do not pay attention to the self-serving allegations of a single party;
b. politicians(ol2:416) who are looking for a novel issue on which to run for office, set themselves apart from their challengers, and develop a personal, reliable constituency;
c. documentarists looking for a story that can make them the next Michael Moore, with the equivalent of a hugely successful Fahrenheit 9/11(ol2:461), or Laura Poitras(ol:35, 36);
d. to other parties before the same judge or other judges in the same court, in other courts in the same city, in other cities, and beyond to build a class and develop a precedented, Tea Party-like movement(jur:164§9) of victims of wrongdoing judges and the huge(ol:311¶1) untapped voting bloc of the dissatisfied with the judicial and legal systems, who are members of the dominant segment of the population: The Dissatisfied With The Establishment;
e. even the judge on a motion for recusal; an appeals court for disqualification or remand and new trial; and a judicial performance commission to support a fact-based complaint;
34. You are not alone. There are many like you out there. The above is a plan of action for you to become their rallying point. It all begins in your mind, by strategically thinking, then taking imaginative action(ol2:431). Strengthen your mind by reading in my study*† because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Read and reread the Auditing Judges article(ol:274) to learn how to form a small team of people who have appeared before your wrongdoing judge. They share your experience and frustration. They understand you. They are on your side. Your success is their success. You can become the leader of many pro ses and even lawyers by starting with a few just like you.
35. Take heart from the people who never dreamed of becoming leaders until they were hit by an event that knocked them to the ground. But they would not stay down and take it: They stood up and fought back. They became reluctant heroes(ol:142§B).You never know what you can do until you decide that enough is enough and take the risk: To do your most. That is how you become recognized by We the People as one who asserted our right to Equal Justice Under Law and to hold all our public servants, including judicial ones, accountable and liable to compensate the victims of their wrongdoing because Nobody is Above the Law.
36. Thus, I offer to make a presentation at a video conference(ol:350) or in person on how you can become one of the People’s Champions of Justice.
Dare trigger history!(*>jur:7§5)…and you may enter it.
Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
Judicial Discipline Reform
New York City
Dr.Richard.Cordero_Esq@verizon.net, DrCordero@Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org, CorderoRic@yahoo.com, Dr.Richard.Cordero.Esq@cantab.net
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