Tag Archives: James R. Nowlin

Do Dead Lawyers Lie Still?—Attorney-Client Privilege and its Oxymoronic Effect on “Legal Ethics”

Every truth is routinely denied and falsified, every lie is affirmed and promoted.  So as I, with Mephistopheles, so often like to state: “Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint, und das mit Recht, denn Alles was entsteht, Ist werth daß es zu Grunde geht.”

Montana State Representative (former State Senator, all-time great guy) Jerry O’Neil and I have spent many hours discussing the question: what IS it that a LICENSED ATTORNEY can do that really makes a license worth having?  I am a thrice disbarred attorney, basically a victim of political games played by evil NeoCons in Texas.  Jerry O’Neil has obtained a license to practice as an “advocate and counselor” from several Indian Nations, notably the Blackfeet, but he has never sought the license of any state.  If ETHICS were the sole test of qualifications to be an attorney—Jerry O’Neil would be recognized as one of the greatest of all time, in fact, he would probably at the very least be on the Montana Supreme Court.   

What Jerry and I have concluded, along with many other people, is that, in terms of functional definition, relatable to any part of the U.S. Constitution, a lawyer is a person who takes the First Amendment VERY SERIOUSLY and does EVERYTHING in the second half (non-religious) clause of the First Amendment routinely:  An attorney SPEAKS, he produces and uses the press (i.e. printed matter) prodigiously, he peaceably assembles with others, and, above all, he PETITIONS the Government (and other private citizens) for REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.

But whereas the United States Supreme Court has found that there can be no licensing whatsoever for ANY aspect of religious practice (the first two clauses of the First Amendment) and has similarly said that there can be no “prior restraint”, i.e. censorship, of freedom of speech or the right to print anything at all, all branches of government, including the Supreme Court, have at least tacitly approved the licensing of attorneys.  

Even though the licensing of priests and preachers of the Gospel would never be tolerated under the free exercise and establishment clauses, even though the licensing of newspapers has throughout U.S. history been regarded as an abomination.  It DOES matter that the NDAA and Patriot Act have had a major limiting effect on America’s traditional freedom of speech, but my concern tonight, on this First Day of July and the beginning of the Second Half of the Year, is more parochial:

Is it at all legitimate that TWO of the few things lawyers can CLEARLY get by with doing, with more impunity and immunity, than anyone else (except President Obama himself) are TO LIE and TO KEEP SECRETS.

One of the more famous sources and/or manifestations of the lawyer’s ability to lie and keep secrets is known as “the attorney-client privilege.”  The basic idea, I think, is to encourage attorney-client candor, and to prevent a client from fearing to tell his attorney “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” simply because the attorney (without the privilege) might have to tell the whole world.  This makes sense and is positive, but DOES IT REALLY MAKE SENSE and IS IT REALLY POSITIVE if construed as broadly as it seems to be in the modern world?  

Given broad construction, is the attorney-client privilege not an instrument of corruption in and damnation against society?

For example, imagine if you will an upper middle class Father, a doctor, a surgeon perhaps, who has voluntarily relinquished his paternal rights in court so as to avoid further liability for child support and his ex-wives’ attorneys fees.  This doctor has, in both form and effect, “sold” his daughter and permitted her adoption by her new husband, who is neither a professional nor anything like the biological father.   The doctor would now claim duress.  He would claim fraud and coercion.  In particular, though the doctor/surgeon claims that since he was not able to arrange a complete discharge of his (admittedly unfair, oppressive, possibly illegal, but nonetheless Court ordered and enforced) financial obligations, he should have his daughter back.

Suppose this doctor hires a socio-political advisor and consultant.  Suppose that the socio-political advisor and consultant concludes that the doctor/surgeon is unfit as a man or a father, or even to claim those names and titles.  Suppose that the advisor and consultant concludes that this man, the doctor/surgeon cannot possibly be a competent father.  Suppose that the private advisor and consultant concludes this only after spending a total of nearly four weeks with this doctor.  

Suppose that the consultant concludes that a man is unfit to be a father if that “man” turns out in reality to be a pusillanimous pup who (1) breaks down in uncontrollable tears at every discussion of his serious legal and social problems, (2) speaks more-or-less constantly of his fear of prison, his fear of suffering, and his desire for death, (3) elaborates graphically upon his suicidal ideation, (4) his plans for international flight, and/or digging a bomb-proof air-shelter or bunker in his front yard, (5) a man who is confused and distressed within the confines of his own financial, professional, and even his sexual competence and prowess.  

Suppose further that the advisor and consultant is also a socio-political advocate for the regeneration of Traditional American Values, including Christian sacrifice, individual responsibility and manliness.  SHOULD THIS SOCIO-POLITICAL CONSULTANT CONSIDER HIMSELF, because of the pendency of legal proceedings, to be bound in any sense by analogy with the attorney-client privilege?  In other words, should an advisor keep secrets or tell the truth?  Will society benefit more from a conspiracy of silence (which is one of the licensed attorney’s true “superpowers”) or from exposing reality?

Should the advisor REMAIN SILENT, OR SHOULD HE SPEAK OUT, and by way of an “intervention” of sorts, do EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER EITHER TO SHOCK THE DOCTOR/SURGEON BY PUBLIC SHAME INTO REFORMING HIMSELF OR TO PROTECT HIS (presumably) INNOCENT TEENAGE DAUGHTER FROM HER DEEPLY UNSTABLE, ONLY MARGINALLY MENTALLY COMPETENT FATHER?  

Is not “intervention” the approved means, an emotional shock therapy preferable by far to the electro-shocks or lobotomies so long administered by the sadistic practitioners of primitive psychology and psychiatry, of approaching an addicted or deranged person mired in psychological turmoil?  

Analogy: the confessional and penitential privilege, the web of hypocritical deceit and deception to which the attorney-client privilege is often compared, which was and still is one of the primary sources of and shields for the child-buggery, priest-pederastry scandals plaguing the Roman Catholic Church.  Given that Christ assured an eternal lake of fire for those who harm little children, and that priests are quite literally sworn as Christ’s fiduciary vicars, is the penitential privilege  not an intolerably inconsistent thing to be scorned, derided, and abolished rather than preserved?  

The root concept of justice, throughout history, has been to illuminate the dark places of secrecy and hidden lies with sunshine.  The Ancient Sumerians, when oppressed, are known to have rioted violently and en masse in ancient Iraq (4th-early 3rd Millennium Mesopotamia), when any person in that land cried out publicly “I UTU”—an invocation of the Sumerian name of the Sun God (UTU), the supreme god of Justice.  To demand sunshine was to allege a deep cabal of secrecy and hidden lies*** and the people of Ancient Sumer and Akkad apparently found such things intolerable.  They only wanted to live in the sunshine of truth (or so their cuneiform texts seem to suggest: Egypt, by contrast, seems to have been much more comfortable with cultural institutions built upon and treasuring values of hypocrisy, secrecy and lies).

Within the Roman Catholic Church (no other branch of Christianity enforces a celibate priesthood), the confessional-penitential privilege gave rise, over the past near millennium if not more, to countless generations of children who must have hated and feared their priests and the Church as true monstrosities.  The Catholic Priest child molestation scandals have now been going on so long they hardly make the news, but have we reflected sufficiently on the ethical lessons and analytical consequences? A CONSPIRACY OF PERMITTED SECRECY and PROTECTS LIES and LEADS TO HYPOCRISY.  

I suppose this goes also to the question of whether recent Moscow resident Edward Joseph (“Ed”) Snowden, U.S. Constitutional Attorney Glen Greenwald, and other “whistle blowing” internet disclosers (e.g. Julian Assange of Australia) are traitors or among the greatest American (and Australian) Patriots ever to live.  My own bias on and answer to that point may be evident in the way I phrase the question.  My only complaint about Snowden is that he disclosed too little too late….

Attorneys in America have become a cabal, an elite, who control society but do not, for the most part, administer justice at all.  In fact, for the most part, I would submit to you that attorneys BLOCK justice, and the attorney-client privilege is one of their tools for doing so.  

In discussing the entirely hypothetical above, suppose the political consultant asked a local attorney with parallel experience with the same doctor for her opinion.  Under the dogma of “attorney-client privilege”, one North Florida attorney (Beth Gordon) wrote dramatically regarding this scenario: 

“I certainly don’t wish to engage in any kind of discussion . . . , what kind of a parent  [SOMEONE MIGHT BE], or anything else like that. I take my ethical duties very seriously, and therefore don’t wish to engage in anything like this.  . . . As an attorney, you can be appalled by someone’s behavior. You may or may not know this however- you cannot then feel free to share and discuss what you know about the client.”  

OK, as I understand this statement, SO ONE OF THE FIRST RULES OF LAW, THE ATTORNEY’S CREED, IS ONE OF SECRECY, I.E. LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE CENSORSHIP AND REPRESSION OF TRUTHFUL SPEECH—NOT MERELY IN THE CONTEXT OF A TRIAL WHERE AN INDIVIDUAL’S INNOCENCE MUST BE PRESUMED UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY—AND THE WHOLE POINT OF HIRING A LAWYER FOR A TRIAL WOULD BE DEFEATED IF THE LAWYER COULD BLURT OUT: “HE TOLD ME HE KILLED THE VICTIM, YOUR HONOR, THAT’S WHY HE HIRED ME.”  

So, the ritual presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings requires some sort of discretion on the part of an advocate.

But when an innocent third-party is involved, a child, do the same rules apply?  I submit that advocacy is only legitimate when it seeks the truth, to maximize sunshine, and to hide nothing.

I cannot help but wonder where Glen Greenwald would stand on this question.  I know he would violently (or perhaps non-violently, but vehemently) oppose compelling attorneys to reveal-client secrets in order to obtain convictions for terrorism—he is already on the record for this.  But those who defend American victims of denial of due process are presumably, at least in large part, defending people who are “actually innocent” of terrorist acts even though they may be “guilty” of hating America, and all that America has come to stand for, which is, after all, a gigantic culture of hypocrisy and lies.

Anthropological linguistics teach us that language is symbolic communication and that symbols are inherently abstract and hence, by definition, removed from the “reality” they describe.  So all language and all expression requires and demands deception of a sort: but is the purpose of law and litigation to protect the guilty or the innocent, and to maximize truth or to protect lies.  Lawyers seem to exist, in large part, to maximize protection for the guilty and to secure lies their “rightful place in the domination of world history”.

And in closing, I categorically deny that this is “sour grapes” on my part. I am NOT actually thinking about how the Austin, Texas based Admissions Committee of Western District of Texas in 1997-8 protected the one or two carefully selected and manufactured witnesses who testified in private, behind closed doors, with no recordings or transcripts, only committee summaries, from any cross-examination by me or my attorneys throughout the “Disciplinary Procedures” ordered by Judge James R. Nowlin against me. Or actually, they were protected from cross-examination until their testimony had been sufficiently rehearsed to be credible.  This was indeed an example of secrecy guaranteeing the efficacy of lies, but it goes back much farther than that.

 Rather, it is in memory of a Great-Grandfather of mine, known as “Judge Benny” who was a Louisiana Judge of impeccable albeit local reputation in Shreveport and Natchitoches who (at least according to family legend) had a knitted or crocheted and framed textile on the wall of his chambers which said, in a grand Louisiana tradition of cynicism, “Dead lawyers Lie Still.”

***It is Utu’s Akkadian-Speaking Eastern Semitic Successor Shamash who greets the Babylonian King Hammurabi and hands him the sacred laws, or pronouncement of laws, atop the Stela removed from Susa to Paris and now resident in the Louvre in Paris (with exact replicas at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and the magnificent Pergamon Museum in Berlin).  The Greek Apollo, tragically, acquired very few of the characteristics of  the Near Eastern Sun God of Justice—Apollo was more known for his sarcastic gifts mixed with curses (e.g. Cassandra’s true power of prophecy coupled with universally inaccurate disbelief) and any real justice or fairness.

BREAKING THE BAR: For Family, Home and Freedom, DISINTEGRATE THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA (and every state)! ABOLISH THE LICENSING OF ATTORNEYS! RESTORE EVERY ELEMENT OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO FULL VIGOR, and ABOLISH ALL STATE-SANCTIONED MONOPOLIES (it’s the American Way)

Once again, Renada Nadine March leads the way onto the legal frontier in California. Here is Renada’s latest filing as of November 17, 2011 8-11-cv-01768-UA-SS March v Russell Complaint Filed in SACV11-01768 11-17-2011; it is directly related to our joint filing of September 30, 2011, in 8:09-cv-01072-DOC in response to Judge Carter’s Order to Show cause regarding the question of why the case was dragging on so long without being effectively moved forward (Case 8-09-cv-01072-DOC-E Document 86 Response to Order to Show Cause Filed 09-30-2011Case 8-09-cv-01072-DOC -E Document 86-Part 1—Filed 09-30-2011Case 8-09-cv-01072-DOC-E Document 86–Part 2—Filed 09-30-2011)

WHY DO SOME LAWYERS ACCEPT CASES AND THEN BETRAY THEIR CLIENTS?  Is it “all about money” (i.e. stealing: accepting money for nothing) or is there an agreement to silent certain people and their positions through acceptance of representation?

Mandatory Membership in State Bar Associations is supposed to increase the quality of the profession.  (see, e.g. A Reassessment of Mandatory State Bar Membership in Light of Levine v. Heffernan). 

In reality, I submit and many (for example Milton Friedman, F.A. von Hayek, and other economists) would agree that the perfection of any monopoly protects the mediocre and incompetent members of the profession to the detriment of innovators and the sharpest experts, and subjects the profession as a whole to oppressive regimentation and mind-numbing conformity.   The time has come to wipe the slate clean and remove the bar to creative advocacy and competent legal analysis independent of political power hierarchies.  When elite block gradual evolution, bloody revolution becomes more likely, even necessary.  It is a form of ordinary systemic readjustment to prevent stagnation and death—which is what we’re experiencing right now in America: socio-cultural and economic death because the legal monopoly has dug in and taken sides against the Constitution.

Judges are either political appointed and confirmed (in the Federal System) or elected politically (in most state systems, although most state Judges are in fact “appointed” and then subjected to uncontested, undebated, issue-free “retention elections” as a matter of political realpolitik and social fact—supported and bolstered by the “integrated bar” in each state).   It is preposterous to suppose that individuals politically important enough to become Judges, or with friends politically important enough to make them judges, will be anything but partisan arbiters of cases.  We live in a political society, and to pretend otherwise would be to engage in self-deception.  

The genius of the American Constitution, however, was always and should always be to take the human condition as it is (full of sin, especially greed and envy) and make the best of it by structuring a government wherein no one group or faction could ever achieve too great an ascendency over another: and this then is the fundamental constitutional, cultural, economic, and social evil inherent in monopolistic practices of any kind.  This anti-monopolistic structural-function (one could equally call it an anti-Monarchy framework with anti-Oligarchy safeguards) is the origin of the Separation of Powers doctrine advocated in favor of the Constitution throughout the ratification debates (see especially Madison, Jay, and Hamilton’s Federalist Papers) and which Separation of Powers doctrine was at the heart of most major Constitutional Litigation in the Supreme Court from its first session starting on February 1, 1790 through at least the Slaughterhouse Cases published at 83 U.S. 36, 100 U.S. 1, and 111 U.S. 746 in 1872-1884.   The dissent in the first of those case may have gotten it right when stating that the Civil Rights Acts implementing the Fourteenth Amendment perpetuated the Common Law of England in condemning governmental interference with the obligation of contracts and to avoid state-created monopolies.  The Slaughterhouse Dissent, and my own position, is that equality of rights, in the lawful pursuits of life, throughout the entire country, are privileges of the citizens of the United States.  Certainly states may (up to a point) regulate health and safety issues within their territory (although I would say this should be done with a keen eye NOT to violate either the Constitution or the Common Law), but once enacted those regulations must be free to be followed by every citizen who is within the conditions designated—there can be no specially privileged classes, no monopolies, and yet that is EXACTLY what lawyers have become.  Some have even suggested that the status now enjoyed by lawyers in the United States violates the Constitutional prohibition on titles of nobility, and there is much historical as well as socio-cultural and economic reality in that suggestion.

I myself have repeatedly advocated cutting back on the State Licensing of Attorneys and the State Licensed Monopoly created by “Integrated (i.e. Mandatory) Bar Associations” nationwide.  Currently there are several live counts in 8:09-cv-01072-DOC pending in U.S. District Court in Orange County which attack the constitutionality of several provisions of California Civil Law as creating special status for attorneys (most pernicious of which is surely the Civil Conspiracy Exemption: §1714.10, but also obnoxious and injurious is the 425.16 prohibition on the filing of Lis Pendens except by attorney).  But in the past I have advocated a more radical position which I think is in fact the correct one, see e.g.: 04-03-09 Complaint in Intervention Montana04-03-09 NOTICE OF INTERVENTION,  Case 9-08-cv-00091-DWM-JCL Lincoln & Freiman Intervene in O’Neil Document 82 Filed 04-03-09, and Case 9-08-cv-00091-DWM-JCL Lincoln & Freiman Complaint in Intervention Document 82-1 Filed 04-03-09.

Right now in California, it seems that the Attorney General and the Bar are ganging up on attorneys who really and truly want to fight the foreclosure epidemic, as I pointed out last year in an open letter to the then Attorney General, now Governor, Edmund G. Brown.  CEL to EDMUND G BROWN CAL AG 08-26-2010CEL to EDMUND G BROWN CAL AG 08-26-2010.

The result is that the State Bar of California, like all State Monopolies, has become a source of stagnation and oppression.  I submit that as a matter of Federal Law, Congress has the power to by statute enact that NO STATE SHALL INFRINGE upon, limit, or grant any monopoly or license to any person or group of persons to speak, write, regarding the effect or interpretation of the law or any other subject, and no State may grant any monopoly or license to any person or group of persons to petition orally or in writing, on behalf of themselves or of others, for redress of grievances.   I think that pretty well defines and takes care of the practice of law, doesn’t it?   The practice of law is NOTHING but the exercise of fundamental First Amendment rights.

I promise to propose and advocate such legislation every day of every session if I am elected United States Senator from California.

And yes, as everyone knows, I have the nerve to write all this criticism of the system either in spite of or (in part only) because of the fact that I was formally disbarred from three integrated bar associations, resigned from two others (State and Federal).  I was once licensed to practice over most of the length of Interstate-10 from Jacksonville to Santa Monica, but on the order of Federal Judges sitting in Texas, but on the illegal or at the very least Constitutionally improper, oppressive and irrational order of two power-mad Federal Judges sitting in Texas, I have been jailed (without probable cause for any crime, but “just for a little talk”) at both opposite extremes of that same interstate for the purpose of being brought before their Honors Lynn N. Hughes and Janis Graham Jack in Houston (August-October 2006) and Corpus Christi (December 2007-February 2008).  And in fact, the result of BOTH my interactions with Judges Hughes and Jack was JUST a little talk.  I would think it were too incredible to believe if it hadn’t happened to me.

So if you think that the State Licensing of Attorneys is a system beyond reproach, you must believe that I am a very bad person.  A convicted felon found (by a guilty plea no less) to have misstated two digits of his social security number in an application for a non-interest-bearing checking account at Wells Fargo Bank in November of 1996.  Oh what a heinous crime!   Oh shock, oh horror, oh dismay! Oh what will they think of next?

Ever since my experiences with the Honorable United States District Judges James R. Nowlin, Sam Sparks, and Walter S. Smith—Yes Nowlin,Sparks, and Smith are honorable; So are they all, all honorable men*—and especially since becoming closely acquainted with Family and Mortgage Law coast-to-coast, I have concluded that there is no single more destructive group in America today than licensed attorneys.   It is often said that the 99% of that profession which is bad unfairly destroys the reputation of the remaining one percent, and I have known and worked with several in that one percent, even during the past ten years.    But as a whole the legal profession is poisoned by the monopolistic practices which permit judges, in particular, to choose and regulate those who appear before them.  This system is categorically wrong.  

*   The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest, —
For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men, —
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man. 

Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2: Mark Anthony’s Funeral Oration (Shakespeare).

If you would like to help the fight for “corny old values” like Truth, Justice, and the American Way, for Family, Home, and Freedom, and to add one Senator for the Bill of Rights and against Indefinite Detention, against the PATRIOT ACT, and against the use of United States Troops in this Country against its own citizens, please support Charles Edward Lincoln, III, for U.S. Senator from California.  We are fighting one of the most entrenched establishment seats in Congress—Dianne Feinstein who tried to make cosmetic changes—and we ask you to send your check or money order to Lincoln-for-Senate 2012 to Charles Edward Lincoln, III, 952 Gayley Avenue, #143, Los Angeles, California 90024.  Call 310-773-6023 for more information.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: but on that stage, are courtroom dramas sometimes pre-scripted to produce results and/or social effects? Do these scripts negate due process of law? A Northern California Example.

In the eight years since AAMES Vice-President Deborah S. Gershon in Los Angeles explained to me that AAMES loans could not be modified because they did not belong to AAMES…. strike that, in the 17 years since I first participated in the preparation of an SEC-acceptable registration statement for an MBO (Mortgage Backed Obligation, actually a Mortgage Bundled-Bond, in that case) IPO on Wall Street at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft, I have been almost obsessed with trying to understand and undo the evil caused by securitized mortgages.  It’s a lonely obsession, like so many of my interests: from Wagnerian Opera, Gilbert & Sullivan’s operettas, Tom Lehrer’s and Weird Al Yankovich’s “comic pop-cultural folklore”, to the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European Language, Culture, and Mythology, the calibration of the Maya and Christian calendars by and through archaeological stratigraphy and ceramic seriation, the comparative structural analysis of dual, tripartite, and quadripartite forms of religious and social organization, and then over to the comparative American graveyard organization and iconography of Colonial New England and the South, especially New Orleans, the detailed history of the Oracle at Delphi, the best approximation of Moses’ route through the Sinai Peninsula in Exodus. But of all my interests and obsessions, only securitized mortgages have become not merely a national but a worldwide crisis and obsession as well.   Since my happy days as a young (or at least a much younger) judicial extern clerk for Stephen Reinhardt (Ninth Circuit, Los Angeles) and later a judicial law clerk for Kenneth L. Ryskamp (Southern District of Florida, Miami & West Palm Beach), on the opposite coasts of America, since those days when I believed that Federal judges all worked late hours into the morning with their clerks sifting through pleadings and motions and agonized over the proper disposition of cases, never “pre-judged” anything, and that federal judges in particular were basically among the hardest working and most honorable members of society at large, never mind the much maligned legal profession, I have learned a lot and become very cynical.

Sadly, I have to say that I repeatedly, and with increasing frequency, see evidence that at least some federal judges either manipulate or fix cases, and that the putatively adversarial attorneys may sometimes participate in this process.   I have neither the time nor the energy to review all the cases where I have suspected this, except that I saw the process directly for the first time in September 1997 in Austin, Texas, when I saw Judge James R. Nowlin take charge of a case (ALL sides), primarily for the purpose of attacking and ultimately destroying me (well, actually, my “ordinary” legal career: which by ending that very ordinary phase of my life began the “extraordinary” phase in which I have been living ever since).  But I’ve seen some evidence of staging and restructuring cases many times since, though no one has ever been quite as outrageously blatant about it as Judge James R. Nowlin of the Western District of Texas (that was one for the Guinness Book of World Records), until perhaps right now, September 2010, in the Northern District of California.

A couple of weeks ago, I became aware that a respected an experienced attorney by the name of Michael Pines had filed a truly extraordinary lawsuit against the foreclosure and eviction consequences against the securitization of mortgages, and in particular against one marvelously slimy fellow by the name of Steven D. Silverstein who operates a rather vicious shark tank out of Tustin, Orange County, California.  Michael Pines’ complaint was, frankly, music to my ears: as eloquent as Wagner while as socially apt, “right on the mark” and stinging as the comedies of Gilbert & Sullivan, or the satires of Tom Lehrer and “Weird Al.”  Everything that Michael Pines said was true, or at least reflected MY version of truth and reality to a very reassuring degree: Michael T Pines’ NDCA Complaint for FDCPA-Wrongful Foreclosure 10-02622 Class Action

Finally, a non-disbarred, currently licensed attorney with community respectability, standing had become so thoroughly acquainted with the truth as even to go record as giving CLE Courses to other lawyers on the topic, see e.g.: http://www.free-press-release.com/news-securitization-in-litigation-workshop-6hrs-mcle-michael-t-pines-esq-certified-forensic-loan-auditors-llc- 1268337159.html

Surely a lawyer like this knows at least as much as a pathetic disbarred attorney such as myself would know.  Inception of a major lawsuit, especially a class action, means that you must design your litigation according to a very careful strategy, frame issues to match your defendants, and you must thoroughly research every topic prior to launching litigation.  Above all, before you file your complaint, you must anticipate vigorous and violent opposition—especially if you’re suing other lawyers, but even if you’re “ONLY” suing certain major banks and loan servicing companies in the largest financial industry in the WORLD in a state (California) whose, by itself, would rank right after that of France and just above Italy’s if California were a separate and independent nation, apart from the rest of the US.  Anyone who goes into Federal Court knows that the first thing to expect is the ALMOST inevitable 12(b)(6) Motion.  Few and far between are the cases where anyone just files an “answer” in Federal Court, when Federal judges, even the good ones, LOVE to throw out cases without allowing a jury trial if they possibly can, because all Federal judges are “judged” and rated by their “case statistics” which rewards a LOW case load (which requires less work) than a HIGH case load (conscientious management of which would require MUCH more work).   Congress has built in some VERY perverse incentives for Federal Judges but that is, as they say, a “Political Question” which we need not address here.

SO how can it be that Michael T. Pines, a distinguished lawyer known for speaking on this topic, had not filed (by September 2010) even a single answer to the motions to dismiss his complaint filed in June, 2010?  CAND-ECF-10-02622 Michael T Pines v Silverstein Docket 09-19-2010 Michael T. Pines did the almost unthinkable: he filed and served a major, complex lawsuit in his special field of expertise and advocacy and then, faced with the totally predictable barrage of motions to dismiss and for sanctions, never filed any responses and finally, on September 21, 2010, VOLUNTARILY DISMISSED HIS CASE.  09-21-2010–PINES AND ASSOCIATES—Notice of Voluntary Dismissal.  The Notice provides no explanation whatsoever why Plaintiffs’ Counsel so utterly and completely failed to file any response or contest to the Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss, but only lamely “advised the court:”

2. Further investigation is occurring and will be helpful.

3. Many new party defendants need to be added.

4. The case may be re-filed in a court where other class actions are pending as this

case is related to other similar actions not only in California, but in Florida,

New York, and Seattle.

5. In an attempt to further conceal their wrongful conduct, with the exception of a

few defendants, no demand for defense was made to insurance carriers and

plaintiffs wish to make sure this occurs.

6. If the case is re-filed in this court, this action will be brought to the attention of

the court so it can be reassigned here if the court desires such.

Steven D. Silverstein’s lawyer Larry Rothman responded  09-27-2010 10-cv-02622-RS Case Status Report in a more mild-mannered and civilized way than I would have thought possible, because Larry Rothman is nothing if not a fairly consistent shark in the tradition of his client (and mentor?) Silverstein—and yet Rothman pounced on 09-22-2010 THE VERY DAY AFTER Michael T. Pines’ Notice of Voluntary Dismissal and demanded that jurisdiction to impose sanctions be retained.  Judge Seeborg of the Northern District could do nothing other than comply with Rothman’s request: 09-27-2010—10-2622 McComas order re pending motions—Rule 11 Sanctions Remain.

This story is clearly not yet “over”—it remains to be seen what Judge Seeborg will do about the motions for sanctions and the administration or implementation of Rothman’s California “anti-Slapp” motion in Federal Court.  (The idea that Silverstein’s use of the California Superior Courts of Limited Jurisdiction [solely to eviscerate the rights and lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians] could be protected against a “Suit to Limit Access to Public Process” [a “SLAPP” is usually conceived of as a harassing lawsuit designed for no purpose except to silence environmentalists or civil rights advocates, or historic or coastal neighborhood preservations—NOT as a vehicle to insulate criminals like Silverstein from very meritorious lawsuits] is beyond preposterous and downright offensive.   I believe and have submitted in two lawsuits of my own that California Anti-SLAPP legislation is the “mother of all First Amendment Constitutional Violations”—even more reprehensible for its vagueness and obviously realized potential for overbreadth than the “Vexatious Litigant” index which I can only imagine Silverstein would like to have me registered on).

It also remains to be seen whether Michael T. Pines actually WILL refile his class action against Silverstein and his cronies and seriously litigate the Complaint once he DOES file it again.

In the meantime, Michael T. Pines has voluntarily dismissed his very fine complaint without even attempting to defend it.  And I have never seen anything this suspicious in my life, except for Judge Nowlin’s conduct towards me in September 1997 [footnote/sidebar: it was a civil case, but Judge Nowlin appointed a very expensive downtown Austin lawyer, a former law clerk of his, to represent the crook I was suing as Defendant, who was proceeding pro se —when I say “crook” I mean Donald Richmond was a forger, an interstate racketeer in real estate before it was even fashionable, and we had the certificate from the North Dakota Secretary of State confirming that he had forged a notary seal—and then he arranged to have me fired as counsel for the Plaintiff by strong-arming my housekeeper into giving outrageously and obviously false testimony against me, and on that occasion expressed his gratitude in open Court, on the record, to her and anyone else who would assist him in procuring evidence leading to my disbarment…..]

I submit that this all looks just a little bit too STAGED to me.   Even if it were true, as Michael T. Pines so weakly claims that:

1. Counsel is working with several agencies including the State Of California to

coordinate proceedings against named defendants and others (and criminal proceedings in other states).

2. Further investigation is occurring and will be helpful.

3. Many new party defendants need to be added.

4. The case may be re-filed in a court where other class actions are pending as this

case is related to other similar actions not only in California, but in Florida,

New York, and Seattle.

These facts SIMPLY do not excuse Michael T. Pines failure even to defend himself for filing the Complaint in any way, shape or form.  (Aside from submitting the Complaint, Pines had submitted a TRO and motion for reconsideration of denial of TRO, and no other substantive papers in the case WHATSOEVER).

And frankly, all of it would be pretty inconclusive and not nearly so suspicious if it were not for the judgment obtained in the California Attorney General’s case against a certain Mitchell Roth in Los Angeles in August of this year.   I wrote a critical letter to the Attorney General immediately after learning of the Mitchell Roth judgment, saying that I did not believe that the Attorney General had acted in the best interests of the people of California in attacking Mitchell Roth’s abortive crusade against non-judicial foreclosures and evictions.  CEL to EDMUND G BROWN CAL AG 08-26-2010.  I feared then and still fear that the end result as far as the public is concerned will be that everyone who pushes the “securitized note” issue, as a defense to wrongful foreclosure and the evictions that follow therefrom will be lumped with “the scammers” and the filers of frivolous lawsuits, such as Roth and, I’m going to predict, Michael T. Pines.  I note in the attorney general’s summary of Roth’s conduct the disturbing sentence: “Roth filed lawsuits on behalf of homeowners, pushing a novel legal argument that a borrower’s loan could be deemed invalid because the mortgages had been sold so many times on Wall Street that the lender could not demonstrate who owned it.” Isn’t THIS suit, by the Attorney General of the State of California, the ultimate “SLAPP” in the face to the movement of which I am apart, the advocacy in which I believe and have fought ever since it effectively cost me my high-paying, high-prestige job at the (they claim) oldest lawfirm in the United States (allegedly traceable back to a law office founded in lower Manhattan near the battery in 1792).

However, even more suspicious and odd, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown had made precisely the same claim against Mitchell Roth as the demonstrable reasons for the voluntary dismissal of Plaintiffs’ case in the NDCA: “Once the lawsuit was filed, Roth did next to nothing to advance the case and often failed to make required court filings, respond to legal motions, comply with court deadlines or appear at court hearings.”http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/release.php?id=1979

Honestly, it just doesn’t get much more suspiciously coincidental than this: on or about August 12, 2010, the Attorney General enters into a consent judgment with Mitchell Roth preventing Mitchell Roth from “pushing” his novel legal argument that a borrower’s loan could be deemed invalid because the mortgages had been sold so many times on Wall Street that the lender could not demonstrate who owned it”—Mitchell Roth’s alleged “M.O.” was to file lawsuits and then never do anything else about it.

Slightly over a month later, on or about September 21, 2010, Michael T. Pines, supposedly one of the leading advocates AGAINST SECURITIZED MORTGAGES, voluntarily dismisses his very strong complaint against wrongful foreclosures, after having identified the issues correctly, named all the right defendants, after initiating a lawsuit and never filing any other papers or attempting even taking steps towards the serious prosecution of the lawsuit, (i.e. (without ever answering the Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss or defending his complaint in any way) .  (Perhaps it is significant that Pines’ Complaint named too many plaintiffs and defendents to be practically combined into a single suit, especially one seeking class certification, where “identity of injury and identity of nature of causation of injury” must be proven, but that’s a quibble about strategy).

Two nearly identical case histories, flawed legal strategies, associated with the same legal issue, both leading to potential legal sanctions or stigmatization of the very meritorious legal issues involved in attacking the securitization of home mortgages as the direct and proximate and therefore legal cause of the present mortgage foreclosure crisis.

The end result of both the stories of Mitchell Roth and Michael T. Pines’ case histories, as of Tuesday, September 28, 2010, is that two “seasoned” lawyers in the State of California who wanted to push that self-same “Novel Argument” about securitization leading to unenforceability of mortgages have both bit the dust without adequately developing or examining the legal theories or factual evidence which could be marshaled in favor and support of either Roth’s Complaint or Pines’ Complaint.  This is going to lead to a lot of “See, I told you so” comments which those trying to dissuade homeowners from fighting foreclosure on this issue will now be able to use.   Litigation on the scale of the Pines’ now voluntarily dismissed complaint or (I assume, without ever having looked at an example) Roth’s Complaint supposedly filed (???) 2,000 times without a single genuine litigation is expensive and difficult, and scares away even many serious people, but that is because it must be fought against all odds against such tough enemies—the international banking & finance industry, its attorneys, and its servicers.

In other words, I charge, without any inside knowledge, that Mitchell Roth’s cases and Michael Pines’ case were both staged, fraudulent situations specifically staged to discredit and destroy the causes which I so passionately support: the abolition of securitized mortgages and the modification of the foreclosure and eviction laws in the state of California and elsewhere, especially in those Western U.S.A. states which tend to slavishly copy California Codes, by inertia and gravity, as physical factors relating to size and proximity, rather than virtue or success of theoretical arguments.

And that, therein, is the biggest problem.  In almost all pro se complaints, the systems-loyal state and federal judges all have an easy time throwing out the desperate homeowners who demand to see the note or ask how their property can be taken from them by a party who appears to have no relationship to them or their original mortgage application and promissory note whatsoever.

The continuing lack of argument and exposition of evidence and theories is perhaps the most devastating consequence of the Mitchell Roth judgment and the Michael T. Pines’ voluntary dismissal (with continued exposure to punitive sanctions under both Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the ABSURD California “Anti-SLAPP” Motion filed by Rothman for Silverstein).

“Due Process” never occurs on stage.  It is true that the language used to describe and explain legal “representation” and thespian performance is sometimes eerily similar:  the lawyer “acts on behalf” of another by “representing him” as accurately as possible in his “presentation” to the Court.   An actor, like an attorney in court, is to be judged on the “quality” or “accuracy” of his representation of both the character and the “original intent” of the author of the movie, the play, the book (before being made into a movie or play), or of the statutory and constitutional provisions underlying the lawsuit brought to be “put on” in Court—under the best of circumstances to a small, non-paying, poorly paid, “captive” audience of 12, and more often, to an even smaller audience of one judge, one or two bailiffs or courtroom deputies, and one-or-two law clerks.

Meaningful argument, substantial dialogue or “Due Process” on stage is impossible, except of course in completely “ad libbed” dramas (where no preset script is to be followed), because all the arguments and outcomes are normally predetermined (“Shear Madness” is a notable exception).

What aggravates so many Americans who get caught up in one or more aspects or elements of the litigation system in this country is how “pre-set” and “pre-determined” the outcome of all proceedings seems to be.  There is no room for open or free argument or debate—there is no “due process” for the free development of ideas or evidence—there are rote formulas and outcomes which in some courts seem totally fixed—the opposite of freedom.

In Florida for several years now I’ve been working intermittently with Dr. Kathy Garcia-Lawson on the question of why every divorce litigation must end in a divorce.   Why are there not multiple, possible outcomes, as unique as the individuals and families involved?  Why can one not question the “pre-fixed” outcome that all divorce proceedings must end in a divorce?   There is no such thing as a “not guilty” verdict.  As Kathy and others have said—every marriage is doomed once it goes to court—there are no pardons and no hung juries, every marriage must die.

Likewise, in California Unlawful Detainer Courts—the outcome is even more fixed.  In divorce court, there is at least some diversity of outcome with regard to who gets the house and who gets the house, the shares of Bristol-Myers-Squibb, the kids, the dog, the parakeet, and all those ancient plates inherited from one spouse’s great aunt who collected Royal Doulton (but whose eyesight was so bad in her old age that every set is hopelessly mismatched in the China cabinet).

In Unlawful Detainer Court, as in California non-judicial foreclosure, there is no diversity of outcome, and Judges have been known to tell defendants out right that only one outcome is possible—the homeowner must lose and be evicted.  Contractual defenses are not allowed.  Defects in property title are not allowed.  Violations of due process and allegations of fraud are not allowed—or if a good humored judge allows these arguments, the Plaintiff still wins, anyhow.

Accordingly, “due process”, has become meaningless in many American Courts: there is a “prix-fixe” menu of “notice and opportunity” whereby you have notice of some dire event—either your marriage is about to be torn apart or your home is about to be sold (and possession delivered) to the Mainland Chinese and/or Saudi Arabian investors who’ve been stalking your neighborhood or both.

“Due process” is ordinarily defined as “meaningful notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard” but even those qualifying words are extravagant compared to what’s really given in most American Courts of limited and/or specialized jurisdiction (i.e. Divorce/Family/Domestic Relations Courts or Courts of Limited Jurisdiction/Municipal Courts/Justice of the Peace Courts specializing in evictions/foreclosures).   The State of Florida is setting up special “foreclosure courts” just to speed the destruction of private property in that state along at a merry pace.

But then there are the real problems—where the Courts are of unlimited jurisdiction, like the Northern District of California—but a “show” is apparently planned and put on to discredit an idea.   A case is made up and then litigated in such a way that one side must lose.  It is exactly like fixing a boxing match or a baseball game so that the “gamblers” and “bookies” will be happy, or make money, or both.

When lawyers participate in the fixing of cases, they betray their clients and themselves, but they also betray the concept of due process and the constitutional meaning of the courts as a part of government.

When judges participate in the fixing of cases, well, it’s just too horrifying for words.

Did any of these happen either in the Mitchell Roth case in Los Angeles or the Michael Pines case in the Northern District of California?   Similar fact patterns, similar outcomes, identical legal-factual subject matter relating to the effect of securitized mortgages.

I think that “due process” should be redefined as meaningful dialogue concerning all facts and issues.  The Judges would be primarily responsible for enforcing the Court as an arena for such discussions.   Last year I was involved in an unfortunate case of ill-repute in Orange County wherein I worked with a lawyer who brought some very controversial claims of great national interest, and that lawyer then intentionally sabotaged her own claims on several levels by rushing the process, and then by ignoring it once she had a chance to get into court.  The judge granted this particular lawyer an extraordinary opportunity to correct some past mistakes, the attorney made more.  The judge then wrote an opinion outlining everything that this attorney needed to do to make her case and claims stronger, and the lawyer called the judge a traitor on the internet.  It was all just tragic and disgusting, because this one particular judge really DOES get that “meaningful dialogue” is at the heart of due process.  “Due process” is simply not satisfied by summary executions where the doomed defendant has a few words to say by way of complaint before his head is lopped off or he is thrown bodily out of his house.

The world goes faster and faster, and it is time to slow some things down.  Legal process, for instance, should NEVER be streamlined.  It should ALWAYS be slow and deliberate and give adequate opportunity for thought, reflection, and debate both on legal theories and evidence.   Above all, there must be no fixed or pre-determined outcomes.

I hope that Michael Pines did not intentionally “throw” his case by failing to answer the Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss, but I’d say it looks very suspicious.  I hope that there is nothing more than great  and random coincidence between the allegations made (and established by a consent judgment) against Mitchell Roth in Los Angeles and the obvious conduct of Michael Pines’ case in the Northern District of California.

Full and open debate and exposition of evidence is absolutely critical both to resolving important issues facing the country and for the future of the free rights and enforceability of contract and the maintenance of the right to keep and own private property.  In other words, due process, by which I mean “well-developed and meaningful dialogue” (i.e. dialectical reasoning and process) in the evaluation of petitions for redress of grievance concerning impairments of the rights to enforce and maintain obligations of contract, for the benefits of acquiring and maintaining ownership of private property, and the presentation of these arguments to juries, is key to the future of the United States of America, and there is some evidence that such dialectical debate and the adversarial process itself is being regularly subverted in these United States as we teeter on the verge of a major transformation in our country, as one economy, the “capitalist mode of production” gasps for air and tries to survive against creeping socialism and collectivism which deeply threatens our way of life.

In Plato’s Republic, Book VII, men are chained to a wall and never see the sunlight, and they believe that their shadowy reflections in the torchlight is the only reality of life, because they either never knew or have forgotten the sun and how the world looks by day.  We in America are chained in our caves by lack of due process in court, lack of full debate on important aspects of our lives, such as WHERE and HOW we live.  The judicial courts need to be a radiant source of light for all people to see evidence and theories concerning what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false, especially in the economy, especially in regard to the essential elements of life, such as food and shelter.