(orig. published Sept. 15, 2012; some updating on 4/15/23)
People who have googled my name will find out not only that I was forced to defend, for five years, against a slew of groundless disciplinary proceedings brought by the Colorado Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, but will see the entries by David Lat of “AbovetheLaw.com,” mocking me for the only thing I actually did wrong, a peccadillo I self-reported. I backdated a brief by four days in a water matter which had been pending for over 50 years (diligence on the Animas-La Plata project), because I had been denied a last extension I needed. I then voluntarily self-reported what I had done to the Supreme Court, after I had learned the brief had been accepted as timely filed–and was suspended for a year. And the appeal was dismissed, a case in which I had done stellar work for five years, my clients punished for my transgression. See my opening brief about the numerous illegalities I exposed in this case, which included the installation of the applicant’s attorney on the bench in 1966, whereupon, as judge, he granted the very application he had filed as attorney in 1963.
Contributing heavily to this picture, and my bad decision, was that the Supreme Court had also unexpectedly put the same deadline on me in the companion Animas-La Plata case, for reserved rights, saying “No further extensions” there, too, both on pain of dismissal, both with only a few days’ notice. I could not comply in both cases: the amount of work was huge. Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs, a crony of the attorneys opposing me in both cases, had publicly advocated for the Animas-La Plata water project and engaged in ex parte communications with my opponents about the cases, as I found out after the diligence case was dismissed, upon doing a records request. This unethical individual participated in both orders denying extension (and other adverse rulings); and then lied to the director of the Commission on Judicial Discipline when I grieved him, saying he had recused. While he did recuse in the reserved rights case, it was not voluntary: after the diligence case was dismissed, I learned he had been meeting with my opponents, and filed a motion to get him off the reserved rights case. He did not recuse in the diligence case. So he lied to the Commission.
I note, additionally, that I was seeing the complete 18-box file in the diligence case for the first time on appeal, because it was not available to me while the case was in the trial court. It had been sent out for microfilming, and I got an order from the trial judge preserving my right to bring up additional issues on appeal, once I had been able to review the file. Lastly, when I was denied that last four-day extension, I had had an extension of 34 days altogether. The motion of the United States for its own 30-day extension on its answer brief was automatically granted, in contrast.
The point of this blog post is how undeservedly harsh the punishment of me was. Compare this opinion published in 2012 by the Colorado Supreme Court, which concluded Attorney F. deserved NO public discipline for violating Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(d) and 8.4(c), which proscribe conduct involving “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” and “prejudicial to the administration of justice.” I was also charged with violating RPC 8.4.
Attorney F, a deputy district attorney, had a chat with her witness, the mother of the victim, during a break in the testimony. The mother went back on the stand and “corrected” what she had testified to earlier. The defense attorney asked the mother whether she had had a discussion with the deputy DA, and the mother lied and said, “No.” The defense attorney also asked Attorney F. during the break whether she had spoken to the mother, and Attorney F. lied and said, “No.” Attorney F. did not correct these lies until the next day (when she realized the victim’s advocate had been present while she coached the mother).
So my case is in some respects similar, except the date on which I mailed the brief was immaterial to the issues before the court (unlike the mother’s false testimony); and I had no witness to my misrepresentation. I came forward not because I feared someone would rat me out but because I did not want to be making oral argument to the Court about the frauds committed by my opponents (and three judges) in the Animas-La Plata water case, while knowing I had made a misrepresentation, myself. Instead of being unethical, I was the opposite, in the words of one acquaintance “excessively scrupulous.”
So this was my George Washington moment–“I cannot tell a lie”–where my conduct in rectifying my error was even more exemplary than that of the first president’s, because no one accused me of wrongdoing, and I had committed my bad act under great stress, to save my clients’ appeal. I voluntarily came forward to disclose what I had done.
Attorney F. had the public censure originally imposed (a much less severe sanction than a suspension to begin with) wiped off her record. Her name was not even published. The Court explains its “policy” of not publishing attorneys’ names under certain circumstances, apparently to distinguish the string of cases in which they have dragged my name through the mud. Another striking contrast is that Attorney F. actually got her issues decided on appeal. The Supreme Court did not decide mine. I showed that, as a matter of law, I could not be convicted of the offense of making a false statement, because I had retracted it in the same proceeding in which it was made. I also showed that my statement was not material, since the date a brief was filed has no bearing on the issues before the court, and had caused no injury. These are affirmative defenses based on sound principles of law. The Court did not even mention them, issuing a one-line affirmation of the hearing panel’s order. For that matter, April Seekamp, the attorney opposing me from the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, did not even respond to these issues in her answer brief. That shows that she knew she would win regardless of what she said. She knew there would not be any ruling on the issues I had raised.
The Supreme Court did the same thing in Mark Brennan’s case. Mark was wrongfully, and outrageously, suspended for the “offense” of whipping the Denver City Attorney’s butt in court. [Now, as I learned in in 2021, the Supreme Court has even authorized itself, by rule, to summarily affirm disciplinary appeals, thumbing its nose at the Constitutional right of a litigant to have his or her issues decided on appeal!]
Clearly, both Mark and I have been selectively prosecuted by the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. But for defending on this basis (as well as others) in the last of my disciplinary cases in 2010–in which I was suspended for a year and a day for the grievous offense of kicking the billionaire butt of Gary Magness and his lawyers at Baker & Hostetler–I have been required to undergo a mental evaluation before I can be readmitted, since believing that I am being selectively prosecuted is evidence that I am mentally impaired. This condition was stuck into the opinion without notice or any opportunity to defend, yet another blatant violation of due process.
This is, of course, what the OARC goons know better than anyone: that all it takes to destroy you is to just keep piling more crap on.
*2023 addition: Let’s make that seven years of my life being forced to defend against OARC’s crap. In March 2019 I was introduced to Prof. James Fetzer, and helped him defend against the bogus defamation suit in Wisconsin brought by Leonard Pozner of Sandy Hook fame. I did considerable drafting on Fetzer’s behalf over a three-month period, but without being compensated, and without doing anything in a representative capacity, which means, under Wisconsin law, that I did not engage in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL). (Remember that I had been under suspension in Colorado continuously since 2009, since I refused to submit to the mental evaluation, not to mention paying about $6,000, before I could be readmitted.) Fetzer put my name on a petition I did not even write, which opened a Pandora’s box of vicious harpies who descended on me, and have smeared me viciously and relentlessly on the web since he did that. They include Pozner’s “attorney” Jacob Zimmerman, who filed grievances against me in three states. The one he filed in Colorado of course fell on fertile ground, since I have exposed profound judicial misconduct in my former home state on my blog since 2010. So I was disbarred–by default, my defenses once again not determined or even mentioned. As a matter of law I didn’t engage in UPL, nor violate any Wisconsin court rules! That’s why Lucero had to default me: it’s the only way the OARC could win, and the OARC has to win. Lucero is there to ensure that.
So I have spent seven years of my life defending against groundless, vindictive “disciplinary proceedings,” and 16 years living with the ignominy, wasting the prime years of my life in a blue funk, years in which I could have made a significant contribution. But–I have done a little, and will do much more. The value of this experience is that these perverts exposed themselves. I would not have known about the Catholic takeover and subversion of the judiciary, had these twisted religious zealots in Colorado not engaged in their ceaseless campaign of harassment.
I can’t take judicial criminals to court (although I’ve tried, in vain)-every court being equally corrupt, not to mention stuffed to the gills with Catholics who protect their brethren–and I can’t get them prosecuted, because law enforcement is just as corrupt (and just as Catholic). But I can expose them, which I am doing in this blog and my forthcoming book.