Our friend Richard Fine, (ex-Esq.) sat in one of the worst jails, the Men’s Central jail in Los Angeles, alone and ignored for a year and a half. He believed in a cause, the cause of honesty and fair dealing by the exalted arbiters – Judges – who hold sway on the lives and well-being of our citizens.
How is it that this can happen here in California? We are the only state of the union that has a special Court presided over by judges. If the State Bar determines that an attorney’s actions involve probable misconduct, formal charges are filed with the State Bar Court by the bar’s prosecutors (through the office of chief trial counsel). There, it’s considered whether lawyers have misbehaved. The court hears the charges and also has the power to recommend that the California Supreme Court suspend or disbar attorneys found to have committed acts of professional misconduct or convicted of serious crimes. When a finding is made, the decision then goes before the Bar, where they decide whether they agree with it. If you see signs of self-dealing and conflict of interest, you will find it here.
Richard appealed. What were his serious crimes? Read the following, from the introduction to their Opinion and Order:-
Respondent Richard Isaac Fine appeals a hearing judge’s decision finding him culpable of committing 16 violations involving moral turpitude in multiple civil proceedings. Citing respondent’s “pattern of deliberately and repeatedly misusing this state’s statutory process for challenging a judicial officer’s qualifications” followed by a “campaign” of repeatedly filing meritless lawsuits in federal court, the hearing judge recommended respondent’s disbarment and ordered that he be involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar of California in accordance with the provisions of Business and Professions Code section 6007, subdivision (c)(4). Respondent attacks the legal sufficiency of the culpability findings and raises several constitutional claims for the first time on appeal. The State Bar urges us to affirm the hearing judge’s findings and recommendation. Following our independent review (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.12), we find that the hearing judge has fairly and fully reviewed the testimonial and documentary evidence, and rendered the appropriate findings. Although we reverse the culpability determinations on certain counts and find culpability on others the hearing judge dismissed, these modifications do not impact our ultimate recommendation. In addition to respondent’s pattern of misconduct over about a three-year period, his misleading and dishonest statements in his pleadings are a common theme throughout this proceeding. Based on the overwhelming evidence of respondent’s repeated abuse of the judicial process, we agree with the hearing judge that disbarment is the only appropriate discipline recommendation.
And so, by this decision, we can assume that they think that Richard has been immobilized, rendered harmless. I disagree, for what they’ve done is to anger the electorate. They will rise up in protest when enough individuals have been deprived of their freedoms, a number which is growing by the day.
Meanwhile, Richard is now one of us. He intends to file motions as an honorable Pro Per, seeking to immobilize each and every judge guilty of taking funds from Los Angeles County tax-payers, to which they were not entitled. And we can do the same, as he teaches us here.
Don’t forget that Judicial Watch has been doing its thing too. It carries more weight than Richard Fine, and it would be most unlikely that one would see their West Coast lawyer Sterling Norris, Esq., who wrote and filed the paperwork, finding himself removed from the rolls of active lawyers. They filed their original complaint back in April 2006, in the Sturgeon vs. County of Los Angeles case, and while it has been beaten at every turn, it remains to be seen whether they’ll take it to the United States Supreme Court. You can read the history of the twists and turns here.
Watch American democracy in action, because it’s fascinating and very very important. The Supreme Court will most likely not want to dirty its hands and will deny consideration of the issue. As a last chance, it will be left for action from the White House. Obama now has a record of stepping into places usually avoided by his predecessors. He recognizes that America has a stake in preserving the integrity of the Constitution and our Rule of Law and not just in name only. It needs to be demonstrated as a significant arm of his foreign policy, and he does have a safe law degree.