The Oregon State Bar Hires a Lawyer
by Lauren Paulson 2/11/16
This lawyer, Thomas Brown, represents over 13,000 Oregon lawyers. Let us take a short look at what he just did.
I am a whistleblower. No one in power in Oregon’s Oligarchy wants me involved in the legal profession, for good reason as we shall see: I have just discovered that judges in Oregon federal courts and in the Ninth Circuit are not following the Judicial Conference of the United States 2008 mandatory policy on conflict of interest screening in foreclosure cases. Conflict screening is mandatory, yet these judges are flaunting the policy and the law. Members of the Oregon State Bar. This grievous omission includes judges such as Judge Leavy in my case here with the Oregon State Bar, currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit. Moreover, this case on appeal includes objective plagiarism by Judge Ann Aiken and lying to the federal courts by Attorney Brown’s law firm.
So, Attorney Brown is clueless on this mandatory federal policy on conflict screening, while enabling plagiarism and lying. This on behalf of Oregon’s legal profession.
Last year I sought to talk directly to Richard Spier, then the OSB President on these matters. He refused. Odd. He purports to be a professional mediator in his occupation. Oregon law requires parties to a dispute to explore mediation. See ORS 36.100 et seq. This on behalf of Oregon’s legal profession.
The Oregon State Bar has had three Executive Directors and three Regulatory Counsels in the last five years. My issues go back a decade. ‘Regulatory Capture’ prevails at the OSB BOG.
Just now, since Mr. Spier’s OSB duties are done, I thought he might want to know what I wanted to talk to him about last year. Let’s see:
- The Oregon Bar’s lawyer, Thomas Brown, employs my former office manager, Brenda Tiland. She still has the computer hard drive from my law office computer and has had it for the last decade during which I have sought rapprochement with the Oregon State Bar. I guess litigation is the only way to bring my hard drive and justice back to me. If only the Bar will tell me whether or not Ms. Tiland is your partner helping the Bar avoid my quest to right all wrongs, on behalf of Oregon’s legal profession.
- I have formally sought reinstatement to the Oregon State Bar, but that application from 2012 has been ignored while others have been processed. See Sally Leisure’s case.
- My Email to Mr. Spier clearly seeks just to talk to him. The OSB attorney, Mr. Brown, erroneously thought I sought to meet with Mr. Spier.
- The OSB attorney erroneously thinks a former client of mine, Barbara Parmenter, —-is my lawyer!! (See his Email dated 2/3/16.) If he even read a page of these proceedings he would discover that Ms. Parmenter is my former client who owes me $35,000. Meanwhile, that money paid in bankruptcy proceedings has been embezzled by Justin Leonard, the attorney for the trustee. Whew!
- Further, and most important, this OSB lawyer, Mr. Brown, erroneously thinks the Ninth Circuit case I filed is moribund. What I sought to bring to the Bar’s attention is the huge conflict of interest between the Ninth Circuit Judiciary and litigants in the Ninth Circuit on foreclosure matters ultimately including my case against the OSB, et al. More on that matter can be found in my blog bulletinsfromaloha.org. This tsunami of objective judicial conflicts of interest will impact every foreclosure case in Oregon, including mine and every foreclosure case in the Ninth Circuit including mine. Attorney Brown has no clue.
- Finally, the OSB currently seeks input on changes to the Bar’s disciplinary system per OSB President Heysell’s of 1/12/16:
“Special BOG Update from OSB President Ray Heysell
I am sending this special update to invite your participation in the Board of Governors’ consideration of possible changes to our disciplinary system. The board received a report from the Disciplinary System Review Committee at its Nov. 20, 2015 meeting, and subsequently several minority reports and comments. The reports, comments and background information are available online here.
Your comments are welcome and encouraged. To invite broader discussion we have scheduled a series of conference calls by bar region”
- Since, I am somewhat of an expert in that field, I thought surely the OSB would find my input useful. Right Barnes Ellis??
Now, may I have my computer hard drive back? Mr. Brown. Are you there?? May I have the $35,000 Ms. Parmenter owes me? Mediation used to be a good thing. Just ask Mr. Spier. Are you sure mediation is not in order? Oregon law requires its consideration here on behalf of Oregon’s legal profession. Mr. Brown why not read up on things? Thank you.
Very truly yours,
Thursday, February 11, 2016
JUDICIAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES
REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LETTER TO JUDICIAL CONFERENCE……………… 2.
SUPPLEMENTAL LETTER TO J. DUFF…………… 3.
CHAPTER ONE - JUDGE M. MURGUIA…………… 5.
CHAPTER TWO-CONFLICT SCREENING……..… 23.
CHAPTER THREE- 9TH CIRCUIT DYSFUNCTION 46.
EXHIBITS A TO J………………………………………… 62.
December 4, 2015
James C. Duff
Judicial Conference of the United States
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, D.C. 20544
Please accept the following request for an investigation of the Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and how Judicial Misconduct Complaints are being handled in the Ninth Circuit, among other things.
There are three components to this REQUEST FOR AN INVESTIGATION:
1. How can Judge Mary H. Murguia serve on the Judicial Council of a Judicial Misconduct Complaint involving her?
2. Is the Ninth Circuit following the Judicial Conference of the United States Mandatory Conflict Screening procedures?
3. Is there overall dysfunction in the Ninth Circuit including their inability to administer judicial misconduct complaints expeditiously according to The Rule of Law.
Thank you for your interest and consideration in these regards.
Very truly yours,
Lauren /S/ Paulson
December 4, 2015
James C. Duff
Director of Administrative Office
Judicial Conference of the United States
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, D.C. 20544
Today, I have sent you a REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION of certain matters in the Ninth Circuit.
For years I have attempted to ascertain what record a Ninth Circuit judge had when they ruled.
One case in particular is doubly suspicious that the magistrate judge and the Article III judge did not have any record before them when they ruled.
Now, that suspicion has to be satisfied with the investigation I have requested here. It is impossible that the Ninth Circuit’s Judicial Council read anything in connection with their rulings of October 15, 2015 for the reasons expressed in my request for investigation.
Finally, one cannot bifurcate the happenings in the Ninth Circuit as recounted by Ralph Mecham in his 38 page return to the history. What he raised notice about 2001 to 2008 is sadly borne out in the Third Circuit opinion of 2009.
“The pivotal issues worthy of further exploration, however, do not concern what the disqualification rules say, so much as how judges apply those rules in practice”. Charles Gardner Geyh, Preserving Pubic Confidence in the Courts in an Age of Individual Rights and Public Skepticism BENCH PRESS: THE COLLISION OF THE COURTS, POLITICS, AND THE MEDIA, 41-43 (2007).
Very truly yours
Lauren /S/ Paulson
OF THE UNITED STATES
OF THE NINTH CIRCUIT Nos. 11-90185,14-90031 to 14-90050
Trilogy — Chapter One — Judge M. Murguia
Here, Judge M. Murguia is, at the same time:
- A decision-maker member of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council on Paulson’s Petition for Review on Judicial Misconduct there.
- A Defendant in a global predatory lending class action filed by Paulson and on appeal in the Ninth Circuit.
- A judicial decision-maker in a companion Ninth Circuit appellate case by Paulson against his bankruptcy trustee among others.
- A named Judicial Misconduct culprit on Paulson’s sixty-three (63) page complaint filed by Paulson in 2013. But nobody noticed.
The Complainant, Lauren Paulson, moves the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to refer the captioned complaint to the Judicial Conference of the United States for an investigation pursuant to 28 USC Section 354(b), Section 357 and The Rule of Law. [See Appendix below] This extraordinary request is made because the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit has made grievous errors connoting corruption in its decisions dated October 15, 2015 in the above-captioned cases warranting a Judicial Conference investigation into why the Ninth Circuit allowed Judge Murguia’s multiple participation. The concomitant Judicial Misconduct is:
The Complainant will demonstrate here, through objective evidence that NONE of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council members who signed off on the October 15, 2015 decisions captioned above read either Complainant's sixty-three (63) page submission document nor the record.
No one noticed, neither the Judicial Council nor Judge Murguia,
that Judge Mary H. Murguia is a judge whose judicial misconduct is one of those that is a subject of the 2013 sixty-three (63) page judicial misconduct complaint-in-chief AND the very same Judge Murguia is a decision-maker on the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council decisions described here on October 15, 2015 — at the same time. (Exhibit E and H)
In between those two conflicting roles, Judge Murguia also teamed up with Chief Judge Thomas on February 26, 2015 to make multiple rulings on Complainant’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 13-35077 (Paulson v. Arbaugh, et al) which essentially nullifies that lawsuit. This creates a huge conflict of interest in addition to her two roles above because she is ruling on a matter which is pending in the same Circuit where she is accused of Judicial Misconduct. In addition, to ruling as a Judicial Council member here.
And finally, as a fourth demonstration that no one read anything here; Judge Murguia is a named Defendant in Ninth Circuit Court Case No. 15-35195, (Paulson v. Fairview II) a class action against predatory lending filed by the Complainant and on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. (Judicial Notice requested of all cases mentioned.) That case is simultaneously being ruled on, favorably for fellow Ninth Circuit Judge Murguia, by fellow Ninth Circuit Court Judge M. McKeown the Ninth Circuit Court expert on conflict identification for the Judicial Conference of the United States. And also by fellow Ninth Circuit and former Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder in that Case No. 15-35195 on July 28, 2015. (It may be noted that the trio of Chief Judges (Schroeder, Kozinski and Thomas) are on the record as NOT being in favor of computer-related monitoring of their Circuit by the Judicial Conference.
This means that Judge Murguia has three (count ‘em) conflicts of interest here that makes one wonder how she ruled on the Judicial Council matter and didn’t notice that she is involved in the concomitant cases in the three OTHER roles, at the same time. Moreover, why is the automated mandatory conflict screening process not alerting anybody?
SUMMARY OF FACTS
(A detailed chronology and summary of the background to these cases may be found in the sixty-three (63) page judicial misconduct complaint beginning on page 9 and ending at page 19 of that document. You can click on the 63 page tale of Ninth Circuit Judicial Misconduct by clicking on the purple sentence below.)
Prior to the 63 page 2013 judicial misconduct complaint, Paulson had asserted a definitive singular judicial misconduct complaint against Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn on December 7, 2011. (Exhibit A) The Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Alex Kozinski ruled on the Judge Dunn case on June 25, 2012. (Exhibit D) He ruled without considering the supplemental material supplied by the Complainant well before he ruled. Somehow, Paulson’s May 4th, 2012 supplemental material (Exhibit B) on judicial misconduct in the Ninth Circuit and by Judge Dunn got lost. (Exhibit C)
Lauren Paulson brought his global judicial misconduct complaint to the Ninth Circuit on November 7, 2013. Further pertinent background may be found in Paulson’s Motion for Rehearing in Ninth Circuit court case #13-35672/13-71718. (Judicial Notice requested)
The Chief Judges did not get around to the sixty-three (63) page complaints about judicial misconduct for almost two years. (Judge Thomas replaced Judge Kozinski as chief judge of the Ninth Circuit in December 2014.) There is no explanation from the Ninth Circuit regarding these delays from either chief judge.
Judicial discipline in federal court is controlled by:
28 U.S. Code Chapter 16 - COMPLAINTS AGAINST JUDGES AND JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE
Under Section 351, 354, 355 et seq., the Judicial Conference of the United States may investigate the grievous judicial misconduct of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council in these premises: “(a) In General.—
Upon referral or certification of any matter under section 354(b), the Judicial Conference, after consideration of the prior proceedings and such additional investigation as it considers appropriate, shall by majority vote take such action, as described in section 354(a)(1)(C) and (2), as it considers appropriate.”
PETITION FOR REVIEW
The Complainant timely sought his Petition for Review on these matters. (Exhibit G) None of the issues addressed in the Petition for Review was discussed in the abbreviated decisions of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council dated October 15, 2015. (Exhibit H) It is Exhibit H pages 1 and 2 that is the subject of this request for investigation.
There is no evidence that anyone on the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council nor that the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit sought to review any part of the voluminous record from the U.S. District Court of Oregon in Portland nor the Ninth Circuit ( including the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel) even though most of the record is available electronically.
The Issue of Standing
Many debtors/foreclosure litigants took heart in 2010 when U.S. District of Oregon Judge Garr King took the time to really listen to a pro se party and really analyze the facts and the law, including taking judicial notice; in rendering his October 6, 2010 decision in Natache’s case. Natache D. Rinegard-Guirma v. Bank of America in United States District Court in Oregon, Civil Case No. 10-1065-PK.
Many debtors/foreclosure victims saw an end to their malaise because it is abundantly clear that most, if not all lenders had made the fatal mistake of splitting the note from the trust deed without a valid assignment of the note. This means they did not have ‘Standing’
Unfortunately, many debtors were compelled to enter a litigation tsunami as federal judge after federal judge decided, through rampant and persistent judicial misconduct; to ignore the issue of standing. But, it got worse than that. Mimicking Judge Mosman’s decision and ignoring original federal court jurisdiction, local state courts decided they had jurisdiction for the eviction proceedings and to try out their local impromptu unpublished rules of the road on foreclosure.
This tsunami was exacerbated by the subsequent litigation frenzy which brought the U.S. Bankruptcy laws into sharp relief and exacerbated the legions of conflicts with all parties including the bankruptcy system. This fiasco is addressed in the sixty-three (63) page judicial misconduct complaint beginning at page 29 et seq. It is supplemented by the Emanuel Real case that is summarized in Trilogy #2 Appendix. And Paulson brought the Bankruptcy problem to the attention of Attorney General Loretta Lynch without result. (Exhibit I)
Lost Documents in Ninth Circuit
It took six (six) months for Judge Kozinski to get around to Paulson’s judicial misconduct complaint against Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn on a pending case. In the meantime, specifically on May 11, 2012, Deputy Ninth Circuit Clerk Joseph Williams sends back Paulson’s supplemental judicial complaint (to the 63 page judicial misconduct complaint) entitled ‘Barbaric’ filed in the Ninth Circuit on May 07, 2012. (Exhibit B) The Ninth Circuit and U.S. District Court of Oregon case numbers to which this ‘Barbaric’ tome applies can be found on pages 6 and 7 of that Exhibit B document along with reference to each judge complained of.
This supplement should have been considered by Chief Judge Kozinski as it had formally been filed a month BEFORE Judge Kozinski issued his Order dated June 25, 2012. (Exhibit D) (See Paulson’s letters to the Ninth Circuit Clerk dated July 16, 2012 et seq. ) The points raised in the tome yclept ‘Barbaric’ have never been considered by any judge here, not the Chief Judge nor the Judicial Council here; having been lost in the Ninth Circuit clerk’s realm. Lost even though the document is clearly stamped by Ninth Circuit Clerk Molly C. Dwyer, as “RECEIVED” on May 07, 2012. (See Exhibit B and C) One wonders how many other filed documents are subsequently misplaced in the Ninth Circuit and particularly the Ninth Circuit clerk’s office. It is appalling that these lost documents are never noticed to be missing. That never happens because the judges are not reading what is provided to them by consumer litigants. Think of it in juxtaposition to Due Process and The Rule of Law.
(As Paulson has pointed out before; the longer a case pends in the Ninth Circuit, the more likely it will be subject to lost documents. That problem is compounded, as here, when a party’s CM/ECF/PACER privileges are arbitrarily revoked and a case is sandwiched between electronic filings and snail mail filings.)
Notwithstanding the requirements of Section 352 of the United States Code, the matter was not attended to ‘expeditiously’ by the Judicial Council then ( in 2012) nor here (2013 to 2015) now. The first hiatus was from December 7, 2011 to June 25, 2012. The second hiatus was from November 7, 2013 to August 27, 2015. But, there is a further gaffe by the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council that proves conclusively that no-one on the Judicial Council read the detailed sixty-three (63) page Judicial Misconduct complaint submitted by the Complainant nor was the record examined by anyone on the Judicial Council even though Paulson formally requested judicial notice many times.
Judge Mary H. Murguia
Judge Murguia’s has four conflicting roles here: Judicial Council decision-maker, Defendant, Litigation in chief decision-maker, Judicial Misconduct Subject in the original sixty-three (63) page judicial misconduct complaint of 2013.
This entire panoply of judges (Hon. Thomas, Paez, N.R. Smith, Murguia, Collins, King, Winmill, and Illston) are caught red-handed because no one, repeat no-one caught the fact that Judge Murguia had these four roles here. Her multiple roles encompassing a two year period began with her being identified in the original sixty-three (63) page Judicial Misconduct complaint in 2013, but none of the above-identified Judicial Council members noticed. It can be proved that no-one read anything pertinent here because one of the purported members of the pertinent decision-making Judicial Council members here is none other than: Judge Mary H. Murguia. She is listed as a participating member in rendering the October 15, 2015 decision of the Judicial Council. This 10/15/15 decision FALSELY represents to the public that all read the record and the authorities in Chief Judge Thomas’s Order of August 27, 2015. What escaped their attention is the fact that Judge Murguia is one of the subject judges of the complaint of judicial misconduct dated November 7, 2013 and is a subject on the ‘Barbaric’ tome (Exhibit B). (See page 37 and the Table of Contents at page 63) where her judicial misconduct forms part of the sixty-three  page submission. This means Hon. Murguia also could not have read the Judicial Misconduct complaint documents filed by Paulson where she is clearly a Judge complained about, yet also allows herself to represent the Ninth Circuit Court Judicial Council in their decision-making here where she is a putative judicial misconduct violator at the same time.
Also overlooked by all judicial participants is the fact that Judge Murguia is a named Defendant in U. S. District Court of Oregon Case No. 1:14-cv-01544-CL also pending in the Ninth Circuit under Case No. 15-35195 and upon which her fellow Ninth Circuit Court Judges Schroeder and McKeown ruled as recently as July 28, 2015. Likewise, they didn’t notice their fellow Ninth Circuit Court Judge Murguia was a party. So they (Hon. Schroeder/McKeown) could not have read anything either in their 2015 ruling or they would have noticed their fellow Judge Murguia was a named Defendant in the case where they are ruling without noticing. And where is that automatic conflict screening software in action?
Even more startling is that none of the other Judicial Council members could have read the sixty-three (63) page complaint or the record either. If they had they would have noticed that one of their fellow judicial council members (Judge Murguia) is a subject judge being complained about there for judicial misconduct. This means that none of the decision makers on October 15, 2015 could have read either the Complaint submissions by Paulson nor the record. If they had they would have noticed that one of their fellow travelers alleged to have engaged in judicial misconduct is also a Judicial Council decision-maker here. This is Judicial Misconduct ancillary to all the other reported Judicial Misconduct; on a grand scale.
This (NOT reading what is submitted) is judicial misconduct of the highest magnitude. Moreover, it represents the judicial disease that has infected the Ninth Circuit for decades. This judicial dereliction of duty — the duty to read and study what has been submitted by the lonely consumer seeking justice and trying to protect themselves from being homeless (remember the name Cindy Lorenz)—-can not be explained away; this time, by “The Judicial Guild”. The Judicial Guild here has trapped themselves in deceit, sloth, corruption and miscarriage of the lawful and fair administration of justice. Due Process and the Rule of Law is completely missing in action.
This direct evidence of unmistakable and unexplainable judicial misconduct by the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council , inter alia, must be referred to the Judicial Conference of the United States for an investigation by an impartial body. The Complainant and consumers across the waterfront have objectively sought investigation of the most reversed Court in the United States for years.
This sad tale of woe goes back at least fifteen (15) years and involves the identical cast of judicial leadership in the Ninth Circuit; past and present, namely, Judge Schroeder, Judge Kozinski and now, Chief Judge Thomas. The then-Director of the Administrative Office of the Judicial Conference of the United States was Leonidas Ralph Mecham. He reported on the entire antecedent to the current 9th Circuit dysfunction in a thirty-eight (38) page detailed and fascinating report of Judicial Misconduct in the Ninth Circuit from 1997 to 2008. The Complainant here asks that judicial notice be taken of the Mecham report as though it were fully set forth here. That report may be accessed online at the following address:
Dated November 23, 2015
LAUREN PAULSON Pro Se
United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit
The Mission of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit is to support the effective and expeditious administration of justice and the safeguarding of fairness in the administration of the courts within the circuit. To do so, it will promote the fair and prompt resolution of disputes, ensure the effective discharge of court business, prevent any form of invidious discrimination, and enhance public understanding of, and confidence in, the judiciary.
28 USC 354 —
(b) Referral to Judicial Conference.—
In addition to the authority granted under subsection (a), the judicial council may, in its discretion, refer any complaint under section 351, together with the record of any associated proceedings and its recommendations for appropriate action, to the Judicial Conference of the United States.
(2)Special circumstances.—In any case in which the judicial council determines, on the basis of a complaint and an investigation under this chapter, or on the basis of information otherwise available to the judicial council, that a judge appointed to hold office during good behavior may have engaged in conduct—
(A) which might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment under article II of the Constitution, or
(B) which, in the interest of justice, is not amenable to resolution by the judicial council, the judicial council shall promptly certify such determination, together with any complaint and a record of any associated proceedings, to the Judicial Conference of the United States.
28 U.S. Code § 357 - Review of orders and actions
(a)Review of Action of Judicial Council.—
A complainant or judge aggrieved by an action of the judicial council under section 354 may petition the Judicial Conference of the United States for review thereof.
OF THE UNITED STATES
OF THE NINTH CIRCUIT Nos. 11-90185,14-90031 to 14-90050
Trilogy — Chapter Two — Mandatory Conflict Screening
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court of Oregon are not following the Judicial Conference of the United States Policy on Mandatory Conflict Screening (2006). It is mandatory that they do so under Judicial Conference written policy. Here is the requirement that is NOT being followed in the Ninth Circuit:
"Every judge is required to develop a list of personal and financial interests that would require recusal, which courts use with automated conflict-checking software to identify court cases in which a judge may have a disqualifying conflict of interest.” The articulated overarching purpose of this Judicial Conference policy is transparency and accountability.
Upon information and belief, the U.S. District Court of Oregon and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) are ignoring this mandatory conflict screening policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Thereby, the judicial officers of the Ninth Circuit including the Judicial Council for the Ninth Circuit are engaging in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts.
Lauren Paulson hereby files with the Clerk of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit a written complaint containing a brief statement of the facts constituting such judicial misconduct. Paulson asks judicial notice of his pending cases in the Ninth Circuit be taken including his comprehensive complaint of Judicial Misconduct dated November 7, 2013 among others.
This is a request to the Judicial Conference of the United States to investigate whether or not federal judges in the Ninth Circuit and perhaps throughout the United States are following the mandatory conflict screening policy. This request for an investigation is made in order to determine whether or not the judicial officers of the Ninth Circuit are failing to recuse themselves when required to do so under said Judicial Conference Policy on Mandatory Conflict Screening and under The Rule of Law of the United States.
Federal judges are required to recuse themselves if they have a conflict of interest. The foreclosure tsunami creates an unusual chapter in litigation in the U.S. District Courts, the Ninth Circuit and possibly throughout the United States. Since 2008 there are literally always over 500 foreclosure cases pending in the U.S. District Court of Oregon and in the State of Oregon. This means there are over 500 pending cases where the presiding U.S. District Court judge will have a potential conflict of interest because virtually all of america’s judiciary will have a home mortgage or an account with the financial institution before that court. Wells Fargo, Bank of America U.S. Bank are but a few desultory examples.
Consider the collision between the litigants mortgage lenders, servicers, investors, assignees, etc., etc., and the judge’s undisclosed mortgage lender or interest in other financial institutions. How this trap plays out against consumers in a typical Ninth Circuit foreclosure case is fully portrayed and discussed below in the 2011 Sharpe case. The Sharpe case stands for everything that is going wrong in the U.S. District Court of Oregon and in the Ninth Circuit when judges do not comply with the mandatory conflict screening policy.
Noted Oregon real estate scholar Philip Querin wrote a remarkably insightful and detailed analysis of the folly of Senior Judge Owen Panner’s handling of Sharpe’s foreclosure case. That analysis can be found at:
Wells Fargo along with Bank of America (cum Countrywide) are major players in the global foreclosure tsunami. Judge Panner had a bank account with Wells Fargo while the Sharpe matter was pending before him. Undisclosed. Judge Panner ruled against the Sharpe's and in favor of Wells Fargo on November 16, 2011 on questionable facts that should have stopped the Wells Fargo foreclosure because Wells Fargo did not have legal standing. There must be an investigation into whether Judge Panner used the mandatory conflict screening policy or whether anybody in the Ninth Circuit is complying with this mandatory policy in cases such as the Sharpe’s.
Meanwhile, the top federal legal officer in the Ninth Circuit, the Hon. Sidney Thomas’ former law firm in Montana represents Wells Fargo, Bank of America and U.S. Bank along with a plethora of other financial institutions involved in foreclosure litigation throughout the U.S. (Exhibit F)
As Attorney Querin so eloquently points out in his article on the Sharpe case, usually consumer foreclosure victims do not have legal representation, so are not aware of the complicated legal issues upon which their family home depends. Thus, they are not aware of conflict of interest issues that Judge Panner should have identified and recused himself. They may not have fully understood that Wells Fargo did not have legal standing; an issue their attorney Pilar French painfully glossed over at the crucial hearing on a gullible Judge Panner. Consumers caught in the complicated foreclosure web are not aware that no MANDATORY conflict screening was done on their cases by judges like Judge Panner nor even the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit and are thus denied Due Process along with The Rule of Law.
A MANDATORY POLICY
The Judicial Conference of the United States adopted mandatory conflict screening systems in 2006 to make sure mandated recusals due to judicial financial conflicts of interest actually happen. It is a Self-Reporting System:
“In 2006, the Judicial Conference of the United States adopted a mandatory automated conflict screening policy. The policy required courts to adopt automated systems that screen parties to cases, their corporate parents, and judges' investments for conflicts.
The Fourth Circuit, for example, adopted such a plan, but there is a weak link: judges have to self-report their personal and fiduciary financial interests, keep their interests list updated, and have to review flagged conflicts as they arise — if they follow the law.
The Center for Public Integrity reviewed the three most recent years of financial disclosure reports filed by federal judges on the appellate court level. Out of 255 judges who filed reports, over three years, and thirteen circuits, the Center located 24 conflicts involving stock ownership, as well as 2 instances where financial ties to a law firm created a conflict.” (See report on the Fourth Circuit)
CHIEF JUDGE ALEX KOZINSKI
The Washington Post has been reporting the problem of federal appellate judges ruling on matters on which they had a financial interest for decades. (Joe Stephens, “Judges Ruled on Firms in Their Portfolios”, Washington Post (1999) According to their reporting former Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski owned General Motors stock at the same time he led a three-judge panel that made a ruling rejecting a class action favorable to GM. Judge Kozinski explained that midway through the case his wife bought 95 shares of stock. The judge said, “We will try harder from now on, Kozinski told the reporter.” “We do take this very seriously.”
In the age of the foreclosure tsunami, this means that legions of foreclosure cases are being presided over by federal court judges like Judge Kozinski that have real or possible conflicts without being screened for conflicts as required by the mandatory policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
An investigation here by the Judicial Conference is essential to find out why this mandatory policy for conflict screening is being ignored in the Ninth Circuit. Failing to discern judicial conflicts is so pernicious and so omnipresent in foreclosure cases because virtually all judges have a home mortgage and a checking account not to mention their other financial holdings. (See Appendix for an E-mail exchange between Paulson and PACER where the Complainant is referred to ‘…the Court’ for information as to whether the Ninth Circuit or the U.S. District Court of Oregon is following this mandatory policy.) ‘The Court’ would not respond to this question. (Exhibit F)
All of Paulson’s matters involve Wells Fargo in one form or another including his original case against Fairway, his lender, filed in 2008 which forms a crucial part of Paulson’s Judicial Misconduct complaint against Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn in 2011 and after. Continuing to this day. Wells Fargo is involved in every phase of every case that is listed in the three Trilogies. (Exhibit J) U.S. District Court of Oregon Case No. 3:08-cv-00982-PK et al. No conflict screening was done by Judge Dunn nor was his close ties to Paulson’s adversary Trustee, Amy Mitchell. Nor with her attorney who has embezzled Paulson’s funds, Justin Leonard. There is an illegal internecine relationship in the entire Bankruptcy market in Portland, Oregon and elsewhere. Mandatory conflict screening should have disclosed those manifold affiliations. In one recent case, Bankruptcy Judge Trish Brown failed to disclose to Cindy Lorenz that Mr. Maloney, attorney for the bank is her former law partner. These hidden conflicts are legion. (Exhibit I)
As stated, the present Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney Thomas’ former law firm represents Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and Bank of America. See Paulson’s unanswered Motion to Disqualify him. (Exhibit F) Undisclosed conflicts.
Judge Panner has recently dismissed Paulson’s subsequent class action against Wells Fargo among other putative predatory lenders without providing the required disclosures, without providing a hearing, without The Rule of Law and without using the mandatory conflict screening machinery. How brazen the judiciary can be is personified in this case. Neither involved judge will disclose upon what record they ruled on a fact pattern encompassing over seven (7) years. Not unusual in foreclosure litigation. This complaint is over 300 pages, yet no record of the transcendent causes of action is identified by any judge even though the complicated case has passed before four Ninth Circuit Court judges eyes nor the conflicts identified.
Ninth Circuit Court Judge M. McKeown presented testimony before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, on December 10, 2009 on the subject of mandatory conflict screening among other things. She served as the chair of the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States. She specifically represented to the Committee that the Courts are using the mandatory conflict screening policy:
“Under this mandatory policy, each judge must develop a list of financial interests that would trigger recusal. Special conflicts-screening software is used to compare a judge’s recusal lists with information filed in each case.” McKeown Testimony at page 5
At the same time Judge McKeown ruled against Paulson on Ninth Circuit Case No. 15-35195 pertaining to these lenders, including Wells Fargo, without complying with the mandatory conflict screening policy. It is ironic she should have ruled here with fellow Circuit Court Judge Mary Schroeder who would have been responsible for the inauguration of this mandatory conflict screening policy in 2007 had the Ninth Circuit implemented the policy as required. Judge Schroeder also has accounts with Wells Fargo. Not disclosed. (In fairness, it should be pointed out that Judge Schroeder has also ruled against Wells Fargo on important foreclosure cases.) No conflict screening there either.
Note: The 2008, thirty eight (38) page memorandum by former Director of the Judicial Conference of the United States Administrative Office, Ralph Mecham provides a picture of the Ninth Circuit’s abject refusal to follow the Judicial Conference rules. See that Report at: http://howappealing.abovethelaw.com/Mecham-Kozinski-Misconduct-Complaint.pdf
It is a long sad story of life in the Ninth Circuit, but may provide background on why some in the Ninth Circuit judiciary do not like ‘Big Brother’ dictating computer strategy to them in the United States. The ubiquitous Judge Kozinski is here and everywhere. His omnipresence represents the antithesis of thoughtful and fair policy benefiting the public going through the foreclosure maelstrom and the absence of The Rule of Law in the Ninth Circuit.
Third Circuit Court Judge Anthony J. Scirica presented testimony on this subject before the Subcommittee on Courts, et al., Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary on “An examination of the judicial conduct and disability system on April 25, 2013”. There Judge Scirica stated that The Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980:
“…enables the Judicial Conference to establish uniform procedures to adjudicate judicial conduct, to review judicial conduct and disability decisions by the circuit court councils, and to monitor compliance with the Act and the rules of procedure through regular oversight.” (Scirica Statement at Page 2)
Who is watching the store………..?
Once this investigation peeks under the rug, hundreds, even thousands of homeowners subject to foreclosure whose judge was not financially vetted will be uncovered.
“If someone is trying to put you onto something………….you need to listen.”
Dated this 4th day of December, 2015
LAUREN PAULSON PRO SE
From: Lauren Paulson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 08/30/2015 07:10 PM
Subject: Mandatory Conflict Screening
It has come to my attention that the Judicial Conference requires that each Circuit have a Mandatory Conflict Screening policy. 28 USC 332(d)(1) Please send me a copy of the Mandatory Conflict Screening Policy for the Ninth Circuit. If there are any reporting requirements for the use of this mandatory policy please send me a copy of any and all reports for this policy in the Ninth Circuit since the program began in 2006. Thank you,
Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public
access service of the United States Federal Courts that allows users to
obtain case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District and
Bankruptcy courts through the Internet.
Unfortunately PACER is unable to assist you with this. You will have to contact the court.
For contact information, please go to
PACER Service Center
Toll Free: 800-676-6856
For Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.pacer.gov/psc/hfaq.html
For Account Information: https://www.pacer.gov/psco/cgi-bin/psclogin.pl
Federal judge’s rulings favored companies in which he owned stock
Photo by Virginia Lee Hunter
Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles was appointed to the bench in 1966.
A federal judge has issued three key rulings over a four-year period that favored companies in which he owned stock, a California Watch analysis has found.
Measures are in place to prevent judges from violating federal conflict-of-interest laws. But Judge Manuel Real, a 46-year veteran of the bench appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, appears to have skirted those safeguards, records and interviews show.
Judges are supposed to disclose everything from their investments to their attendance at expenses-paid seminars. When a financial conflict arises, no matter how small, they are required to step aside, by federal law and the Code of Conduct for United States Judges.
“This is what we call a ‘bright line’ rule, meaning that it gives clear and unambiguous guidance to judges and the public,” said Steven Lubet, a Northwestern University law professor who specializes in judicial ethics.
But in at least three cases before the federal District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, Real did not recuse himself:
• In 2008, he awarded Microsoft Corp. $746,027 in damages and fees in a copyright infringement case against a computer sales and repair company. At the time, Real held Microsoft stock worth between $15,001 and $50,000, according to his financial disclosures.
• In another 2008 case involving a contract dispute between Atlanta Cancer Care and biotech giant Amgen, Real dismissed the suit against Amgen. Real held between $15,001 and $50,000 of Amgen stock, too, which he transferred to someone else shortly after the case was appealed.
• The following year, Real dismissed a lawsuit against Verizon. After the plaintiff in the case appealed the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Real bought Verizon stock worth $15,001 to $50,000. The appeals court upheld Real’s dismissal, but returned the case to Real for further deliberation. The parties reached an agreement in February 2011, and Real dismissed the case.
In all three cases, the company’s stock rose at least a dollar per share during the two months following Real’s ruling or dismissal.
“When there is money involved, it is human nature to protect your own interests,” said John Schneider, a plaintiff in the Verizon case and a retired electrical contractor. “I would say he looked out for his financial interests before he looked out for mine. Judges should be above reproach.”
Real, previously reprimanded for poor conduct on the bench, did not respond to repeated interview requests made via email or messages left with his courtroom clerk.
There is no indication that Real had a financial incentive in making his decisions, and many factors affect stock prices. But legal experts consulted by California Watch indicated that Real’s rulings were, at a minimum, good news for the companies. California Watch asked law professor Laurie Levenson, who holds the David W. Burcham Chair in Ethical Advocacy at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, to review the cases.
A judge who repeatedly fails to withdraw from cases can face sanctions ranging from a private reprimand to suspension from hearing cases. Beyond that, a judge can be referred to Congress for an impeachment hearing.
“If a judge is willfully disregarding the disqualification rules, there is precedent for saying he should be disciplined,” said Charles Geyh, an expert in judicial ethics who teaches law at Indiana University. “In addition, where judges are not diligent in keeping track of their financial conflicts, where there is a pattern of incompetence, they could also be sanctioned.”
But Geyh acknowledged that such sanctions are rare, typically occurring only in extreme situations. One recent case involved a federal district judge from New Orleans, impeached and removed from office by the U.S. Senate in 2010 for failing to disqualify himself from cases in which he accepted cash and favors from lawyers and a bail bonds company.
Potential ethics violations fall to the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit to investigate. Chief Judge Alex Kozinksi, chairman of the council, did not return calls seeking comment.
Federal judges are required to report not only their financial holdings, but also those of their spouses to the federal court system. Since September 2006, they are supposed to use special conflict-checking software, which cross-references their stock holdings against their courtroom dockets, automatically flagging potential problems.
But technology is no panacea. Courts generally afford judges autonomy in who does the checks and how often. Some judges run checks before every case, while others do so intermittently, according to Central District of California communications specialist Gary Horimoto. The district is the largest of the 94 federal judicial districts, serving a population of more than 18 million people in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
“It is up to each judge to actually run these reports,” said Molly Dwyer, clerk of court of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “We are not policing the judges. … We are accepting them at their word.”
Public scrutiny of the financial disclosures is complicated by logistical hurdles. While anyone can request judges’ annual financial disclosures through the federal courts’ administrative office in Washington, the process of obtaining these documents and cross-checking them against court rulings is cumbersome and expensive. Judges file annual financial disclosures by May 15.
In the courtroom
Real, 88, was first appointed to the bench in 1966. He earns $174,000 a year and like other federal trial court judges enjoys what has effectively become life tenure, a benefit engineered by authors of the Constitution to protect the court’s independence. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Real earned a law degree from Loyola Law School before becoming assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California and, in 1964, the district’s U.S. attorney.
One of Real’s more notable decisions was a 1970 order to use mandatory busing to desegregate Pasadena schools.
Among judicial ethicists as well as attorneys who have argued cases before him, Real is known as an iconoclast.
On a recent day, Real rarely looked up from his desk as a string of lawyers directed their arguments at the top of his head. Dwarfed by his burgundy leather chair, Real commanded the cavernous courtroom with the occasional gruff directive.
Then a mustachioed man in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs appeared. He was there to plead guilty to being caught in the country after being deported.
Real leaned forward and peppered the inmate with questions. Then, when a prosecutor from the Justice Department urged Real to make sure the man understood the facts of the crime before accepting his plea – as required by federal rules – Real lashed out.
“I just went through all that with him,” Real responded. “What do you think that was all about? We went through the elements of the offense.”
The attorney said nothing more.
Real is famous for a courtroom spat with Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt in 1984. Flynt had refused to reveal the source of a video of a sting operation that he had given to a television network. He appeared before Real and after repeated outbursts, Real ordered Flynt gagged and handcuffed to his wheelchair.
Years later, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in which it criticized Real for his accounting of $33.8 million in disputed assets of the Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The assets had been held in a Merrill Lynch account while the courts decided how to divide funds among various claimants, including Filipinos who claimed to have suffered human rights abuses.
Real, the court documents indicated, declined to provide more than a brief accounting “filled with cryptic notations” of the transactions involving the assets or who authorized them.
Real faced a potential impeachment inquiry by Congress in 2006 over misconduct allegations, congressional documents show. He was accused of showing favoritism in a bankruptcy case toward a woman whose probation he supervised.
In the end, Congress did not pursue the impeachment. But shortly after the congressional hearing, the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit publicly reprimanded Real for showing favoritism in the bankruptcy case and making misleading statements to investigators.
The Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability of the Judicial Conference of the United States asked the 9th Circuit to review a complaint in which Real was accused of failing to provide the required reasons for his rulings. In April 2010, the conference reaffirmed the conclusion of the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit, which had reviewed 38 of Real’s cases, that there was no misconduct – but warned Real that his decisions would be closely scrutinized.
Arthur D. Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and leading authority on the federal courts, said few federal judges have received as much scrutiny from the 9th Circuit as Real.
“I doubt that there is any federal judge that has been taken off as many cases as Judge Real,” Hellman said.
Federal trial court judges do not have to detail their reasons for withdrawing from cases, so it is difficult to pinpoint how many avoid financial conflicts of interest. The Central District doesn’t track how often judges withdraw from cases, said Horimoto, the district communications specialist.
However, Real has been taken off at least 20 cases over the past 25 years by the 9th Circuit, which has criticized him for making decisions that ignore precedent, court records show, and creating “an atmosphere in which an objectively fair trial could not be conducted.”
‘A controversial judge’
It is unclear how Real’s multiple conflicts of interest could have escaped notice. His annual financial disclosures list the companies involved in the three cases, a connection the conflict-checking software is designed to catch. At least two of the cases were resolved before Real was required to file his annual disclosures, however, leaving the attorneys involved no means for evaluating his financial interests on their own.
In one of Real’s cases, Microsoft claimed that All-Valley Computer in Cathedral City and its owner, Glenn Somervell, distributed software that infringed on Microsoft’s copyrights and trademarks. All-Valley failed to respond to Microsoft’s complaint by the deadline, and Microsoft’s lawyers urged Real to issue a judgment against All-Valley. Real awarded Microsoft about $746,000 in damages and fees.
Two weeks later, Real added a permanent injunction against All-Valley that prohibited it from distributing software protected by Microsoft trademarks or selling counterfeit Microsoft products.
Somervell, who closed All-Valley before the suit to care for his dying mother, said Real’s decisions damaged his career prospects.
“I probably can’t get a job for the rest of my life; it doesn’t look too good on my résumé,” Somervell said. “If (Real’s) involved with Microsoft, he is going to take their side. It’s totally unfair.”
In the Amgen case, Atlanta Cancer Care – which runs medical practices in and around Atlanta – alleged that the biotechnology company wrongfully recouped $184,625 in rebates owed to the oncology practice for medications it purchased for patients. Real was unmoved. Siding with Amgen’s lawyers, he dismissed the suit. But the 9th Circuit disagreed, reversing Real’s decision and sending the case back to him in late 2009 for further consideration. The parties reached a negotiated settlement in the case at the end of that year.
Leland Wahl, one of the lead attorneys representing Atlanta Cancer Care in the lawsuit, said Real did not disclose his financial interest in Amgen during the case.
“He is a controversial judge,” Wahl said. “If he does something unusual, many people would not be surprised, including me.”
And in the Verizon case, the communications company stood to lose millions. That’s because Schneider, the retired electrical contractor, brought a class-action suit on behalf of Verizon customers challenging the company’s practice of billing each of them up to $149 for canceling their Internet service before the end of their contract.
Schneider’s attorneys argued that the early termination fee was designed to lock in customers and had little bearing on the actual costs of cancellation. Verizon’s attorneys countered that the complaint lacked merit. Real dismissed the suit. On appeal, the 9th Circuit reversed part of Real’s decision and sent the rest back to him. Verizon later settled the case with Schneider, but no money was awarded to its other customers.
Checking for conflicts
Around the nation, attorneys and legal scholars point to judges and judicial districts that are doing things right – examples that differ from some of California’s practices.
One federal judge who pursues conflict checking with vigor is Chief Judge David R. Herndon of the Southern District of Illinois. He believes it is essential, he said, to retain the public’s trust.
A nominee of President Bill Clinton on the bench for 14 years, Herndon does not rely on conflict-checking software alone. He posts a list of his stock holdings online, updating it monthly, in the hope that litigants and lawyers will catch any conflicts he fails to see.
“Software is not infallible; humans are not infallible,” Herndon said.
Herndon and a staff member cross-check his case assignments against his financial holdings daily, he said. In addition, he said, he has instructed his broker not to invest in large companies involved in frequent litigation.
From October 2011 through September, five federal judges in the Southern District of Illinois recused themselves on 14 occasions, Herndon said.
In the Northern District of Iowa, the clerk’s office – rather than judges or their chamber staff – screens for conflicts before assigning cases. The Iowa district also posts judges’ stock holdings and other information on its website, including law firms or businesses affiliated with their family members.
“It helps lawyers sort out whether judges have conflicts,” said Robert Phelps, the district’s clerk of court. “In creating the list and publishing it, it also puts that consideration into the minds of judges.”
In California, Dwyer, the 9th Circuit court clerk, said privacy and security considerations keep California’s disclosures offline. Among the information included in the filings are details such as addresses of rental properties judges own or the name of their spouse’s employer.
“I don’t think judges want their holdings known by everyone and their mother,” Dwyer said.
Geyh, the Indiana law professor, scoffed at those objections, pointing out that the financial disclosure is technically a public record, so the lack of online posting merely makes it harder to get.
“It is the price you pay for being a government employee,” he said.
Obtaining financial filings
Without such Web access, obtaining judges’ financial filings is complicated. A written request must be sent to federal officials in Washington, and judges are warned about who is scrutinizing their disclosures. In some cases, under federal law, judges may black out key information, if it includes “revealing personal and sensitive information (that) could endanger” the judge or a family member.
For example, in mid-2008, Real transferred 19 stocks – most of which were worth between $15,001 and $100,000 each, one worth up to $500,000 – to a recipient whose name has been blacked out. The companies ranged from Adobe Systems to UnitedHealth Group.
Another Southern California federal court judge, Percy Anderson, issued more than two dozen rulings in a 2007 trademark infringement case involving Verizon, including a preliminary injunction and some other rulings in favor of the company.
Eight months into the continuing Los Angeles case, Anderson withdrew, saying “that he should not preside over this case because it was reasonably brought to his attention that he has a financial interest in one of the parties,” court records show.
Verizon was the only publicly traded company involved in the case. Lawyers said Anderson recused himself because he owned Verizon stock. But there is no way to know for sure because Anderson was allowed to black out his financial disclosures before they were released to the public.
Anderson did not respond to messages left with his courtroom clerk.
Once financial documents are obtained, they must be checked against hundreds of cases each judge oversees, making it difficult to determine whether Real is an anomaly or a symbol of a wider problem.
A California Watch analysis of Northern California district judges, for instance, found that they issued at least 20 rulings involving companies in which they owned stock between 2006 and 2010, according to court records and financial disclosures.
OF THE UNITED STATES
OF THE NINTH CIRCUIT Nos. 11-90185,14-90031 to 14-90050
Trilogy — Chapter Three — Judicial Dysfunction
The Judicial Conference may exercise authority provided in chapter 16 of title 28 United States Codes for the review of circuit council conduct orders filed under that chapter.
“…..nearly all of these complaints are frivolous and valueless…”
This is chapter three of a trilogy. There is nothing frivolous about foreclosure and being homeless. A homeless veteran has value. I am a homeless veteran.
- Trilogy Chapter 1 — Circuit Judge Mary H. Murguia: Chapter One of the trilogy is the most damning of all. And the most sad. It proves beyond doubt that Ninth Circuit Court Judges DO NOT read what is given them for decision-making. Nobody noticed that Circuit Court Judge M. Murguia is not only a decision-maker on the Judicial Council, but also, in the same cases, a named judge of allegations of judicial misconduct. Further damning is nobody noticed she also is a decision-maker along with Chief Judge Sidney Thomas in a February 26, 2015 ruling against Paulson on Ninth Circuit Case No. 13-35077. This is AFTER Paulson’s November 7, 2013 complaint of Judicial Misconduct AGAINST HER among others and BEFORE Chief Judge Thomas ruled in August of 2015 on the pertinent Judicial Misconduct complaints.
And also see Chief Judge Sidney Thomas’s additional double trouble below.
- Trilogy Chapter 2 — Mandatory Conflict Screening: Chapter Two demonstrates conclusively that the Ninth Circuit does not follow nor comply with the Judicial Conference of the United States Policy on Mandatory Conflict Screening. In the age of foreclosure.
- Trilogy Chapter 3 — Judicial Misconduct Dysfunction Overall in the Ninth Circuit: Chapter Three is a shocking litany of substantive and grievous Judicial Misconduct in the Ninth Circuit in all phases of litigation. All the assurances provided to policymakers by the judiciary is smoke and mirrors. When is the last time a policymaker has asked a foreclosure victim how they were treated by the judiciary??? The entire legal establishment throughout the United States is aware of the judicial dysfunction in the Ninth Circuit, but nobody acts on this knowledge. Thereby making fools of the Judicial Conference and the U.S. Supreme Court and us all.
TRILOGY CHAPTER THREE
Judicial Misconduct procedures in the Ninth Circuit are in shambles
- The Record — No judge in the Ninth Circuit at any level identifies the record upon which decisions are made. That problem may be found in sharp relief in Paulson v. Arbaugh, Mitchell and Russillo. Case No. 13-35077
A Walk Thru Paulson v. Arbaugh Backwards
It is worthwhile to walk through this case backward to see how dysfunctionally the Ninth Circuit operates to ensure the lonely foreclosure consumer takes a judicially-enforced false off-ramp.
8/27/15 — In a five (5) page opinion Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney Thomas rules in favor of all judges on Paulson ’s sixty-three (63) pages of Judicial Misconduct complaint reports. False off-ramp: This is what is known as ‘The Judicial Guild” in operation. There is no analysis of the actual facts nor an application of The Rule of Law. “A fair trial in a fair tribunal is a basic requirement of due process.” Charles Gardner Geyh, Preserving Pubic Confidence in the Courts in an Age of Individual Rights and Public Skepticism, in BENCH PRESS: THE COLLISION OF THE COURTS, POLITICS, AND THE MEDIA 21, 41-43 (2007).
7/09/15 — The Honorable Judges Leavy, Hawkins and Fletcher dismiss Paulson’s case “….for lack of jurisdiction”. False off-ramp: Paulson filed a Judicial Misconduct complaint against Judge Leavy and Fletcher one and a half year earlier; then unaddressed.
5/06/15 — Paulson reports on the criminal disorder in bankruptcy courts to the U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (Exhibit I) False off-ramp: There are three layers of bankruptcy watchdogs and none of them are doing their jobs. While foreclosure consumers suffer. Homeless. There is criminal disorder in bankruptcy court and nobody cares.
4/13/15 — Clerk’s Order defers Paulson’s Motion for Visiting Judge (Outside of Ninth Circuit) to panel assigned to hear the merits of this appeal. False off-ramp: Paulson fears no local judge can be fair to him since he has authored a blog on local judicial misconduct for eight (8) years. Judge’s Leavy and Fletcher prove him right. See above.
3/09/15 — Paulson writes again to Chief Judge Sidney Thomas about the financial conflicts of interest in the Ninth Circuit judiciary. (Exhibit F) False off-ramp: On the one hand, Ninth Circuit Judge M. McKeown represents to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary that the Ninth Circuit is fully in compliance with Conflict of Interest Policy. On the other hand Chief Judge Thomas does not respond on Paulson’s inquiry about the missing conflict of interest software in the Ninth Circuit. This is also reported to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council which does not respond.
3/09/15 — Paulson files a Motion to Disqualify Chief Judge Thomas (Exhibit F) because Paulson does not think Judge Thomas can be fair because his former law firm represents Bank of America, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. False off-ramp: Judges want to derail pro se litigants. Because they can. So Chief Judge Thomas derails Paulson’s foreclosure case anyway. Paulson requests judicial notice, but never given. The Motion points out that Legal Aid’s website (probono.net) is partially owned and run by Bank of America, his clients!
2/26/15 — Ninth Circuit Court Judges Thomas and Murguia rule against Paulson on five separate pending matters. False off-ramp: Paulson had filed a judicial misconduct complaint against Judge Murguia over a year earlier.
1/29/15 — Judge Clifton recuses himself and withdraws an Order he signed on 9/23/15. False off-ramp: The Clerk refused to calendar Paulson’s 10/15/14 Motion for reconsideration based on Judge Clifton’s 9/23/15 Order and subsequent recusal. It is never heard.
12/17/14 — Paulson sends New Chief Judge Sidney Thomas a letter reminding that no one in the Ninth Circuit has addressed Paulson’s 63 page Judicial Misconduct complaint for over a year now. False off-ramp: Judge Thomas later rules against Paulson on all subsequent and pending matters filed by him without responding to Paulson’s December 17, 2014 inquiry.
11/14/13 — Paulson files a Motion to Redesignate the Record in Case No. 13-35077 so that all prior underlying court proceedings relevant to this case are before the Court. False off-ramp: The Court Clerk refers this Motion “…to the panel that considers the merits of the case.” This Motion is never heard.
11/7/13 — Paulson files a sixty-three (63) page accounting of five (5) years of Judicial Misconduct in the Ninth Circuit. False off-ramp: The Judicial Conference of the United States encouraged all federal courts to have a judicial misconduct webpage with online reporting. The Ninth Circuit has such a web page. Paulson encourages the Judicial Conference to take a good look at the written criteria consumers are forced to comply along with the annual report of the written Orders by the Chief Judge disposing of all (repeat-all) of these lamentable consumer reports of judicial misconduct. Classic FORM over SUBSTANCE.
7/31/13 — Paulson reports the criminal embezzlement of $30,000 of his funds by Attorney Leonard, Mitchell and Bankruptcy Judge Dunn in the bankruptcy proceedings. False off-ramp: There is no one over-looking our bankruptcy proceedings even though there are many public officials being paid to do so. A complete report on this objective corruption and fraud in bankruptcy court can be found at this link. This corruption was reported to Attorney General Loretta Lynch May 6, 2015. (Exhibit I)
4/22/13 — Paulson files his second request for Judicial Notice to ensure that all relevant underlying cases are taken into consideration in this case. False off-ramp: Judicial Notice of the underlying cases is never taken.
A careful look at the sixty-three (63) page Judicial Misconduct complaint here will demonstrate how hydra-headed these foreclosure cases become. Concomitantly, the record also becomes difficult to identify as multifarious judicial panels skim through to their decision which does nothing to address nor resolve these troublesome foreclosure cases; now complicated because of these manifold non sequitur off-ramp rulings.
Moreover, no judge nor court staff will identify the record upon which that court rules. Note for example, neither Magistrate Judge Clarke nor Judge Panner will identify what record they had in their possession when they ruled on U.S. District Court/Ninth cases —(Exhibit F).
1. The Record - Did the seven judicial council persons located in six (6) states here actually have an entire record of these twenty cases in their possession for their read and decision-making? The Clerk sent them the cases on October 2, 2015 and the Judicial Council made their decision two weeks later. Did they have and read the thousands and thousands of pages in these matters.
Judicial Notice requests by the consumer are ignored or denied even though formally requested. Judicial Notice requests by the banks are routinely granted. How do judges decide things without the record??
2. The Judges — Paulson wrote to Judge Thomas on December 17, 2014 when he learned of Judge Thomas’ appointment as Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit to point out that Paulson had filed his 63 page Judicial Misconduct complaint a year earlier. (Exhibit E)
February, 26, 2015 — Chief Judge Thomas along with Judge Mary H. Murguia (of whom Paulson had previously filed a judicial misconduct complaint) ruled against Paulson on all counts in Ninth Circuit Court Case No. 13-35077
March 9, 2015 — Paulson filed a Motion to Disqualify Judge Thomas. (Exhibit F) Paulson asked for Oral Argument, but never heard anything more on this pleading. Paulson asked, for the fourth time, for a Visiting-Out of District/Circuit Judge.
August 27, 2015 — Chief Judge Thomas observes in his August 27, 2015 ruling dispatching these twenty judicial misconduct complaints to oblivion that it names “…ten circuit judges, four district judges, four bankruptcy judges and a magistrate judge.” Why is one simple consumer foreclosure case being reinvented before so many judges in so many forums? When there are multiple proceedings over the same fact pattern why not educate just one panel? Why not allow consolidation? What is the standard? Why is the Chief Judge making rulings after being asked to recuse himself, but doesn’t rule on the latter or act on the Certificate of Necessity or discuss the alleged conflict of interest that are supposed to self-aware if the Chief Judge is complying with mandatory conflict screening processes.
Further, there appears to be no system whatsoever to determine whether there is a pending judicial misconduct complaint against a Ninth Circuit judge before assigning a matter to that judge. Note here there are assignments to:
- Judge Leavy
- Judge Clifton
- Judge McKeown
- Judge Fletcher
- Judge Murguia
- Judge Thomas
- Judge Kozinski
…….when there was a formal judicial misconduct complaint pending against that very judge.
3. Petition for Review — None of the issues in the Petition for Review were addressed by the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council. On facts involving multiple complex Judicial Misconduct issues…………….. the Judicial Council punts. (Exhibit G)
4. Certificate of Necessity — The Breyer Commission recommended in 2006 that each new chief judge should be schooled in: “…the desirability in an appropriate instance to transfer a complaint for handling outside the circuit and the mechanisms for doing so.”
The multiple requests for visiting presiding judges from outside the Circuit have been formally made by the Complainant, but never acted on by either Chief Judge. Accordingly, the Complainant filed multiple Certificates of Necessity with Judge Motz and Judge Lamberth when he could not get a response from former Chief Judge Kozinski. Even with the changes in leadership, Chief Judge Thomas also ignores Paulson’s efforts to get an unbiased judge. Paulson then received instruction from Judge Lamberth as to his options. (Exhibit F)
5. Plagiarism — See Judge Aiken’s ruling and Paulson’s analysis of her plagiarism. (Exhibit E) That shocking plagiarism is specifically sanctioned by new Chief Judge Thomas. Rampant plagiarism without attribution is common in this jurisdiction—usually taken from the memorandum from the downtown law firm before them. Or from stock rulings on the shelf.
6. Pleadings — Pleadings mean what they say. The Ninth Circuit Clerk or Helpers often unilaterally determine that important filings by Pro Se parties that ask for the En Banc process or to Reopen a case or for a Writ of Mandamus do not mean what they say. The panels then reacts to this signal by designating the pleading ‘frivolous’. Nothing about foreclosure is frivolous.
7. CM/ECF/PACER — Chief Judge Ann Aiken here unilaterally decided that Paulson no longer was eligible for electronic filing. This results in a huge burden — financial and otherwise — on a pro se party not to mention a denial of the equal protection of the law.
8. Pro Bono — Here Judge Thomas and Judge Murguia determined (once again) in their ruling on February 26, 2915 in Case No. 13-35077 that a hapless pro se consumer will not have a pro bono counsel which they say is limited in the Ninth Circuit to ‘exceptional circumstances’. Likewise Paulson’s motion to mediate is denied even though the Ninth Circuit has a large and sophisticated pro bono department. A cynic could observe that the Judiciary in the Ninth Circuit simply wants poor people to lose their foreclosure cases. And just go away. Viz.
9. Chief Judge Conflict of Interest — This concept takes on more ballast when one observes that the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit’s former law firm represents Bank of America and Wells Fargo among an extensive list of other financial institutions. (Exhibit F)
It should be noted that Chief Judge Thomas, Judge Schroeder and Judge McKeown DID NOT disclose these conflicts or do their own mandatory conflicts checks in the rulings in these cases when Paulson’s Ninth Circuit matters directly involve these banks. This is the leadership of the Ninth Circuit.
10. Judge Dunn Again — So, Chief Judge Thomas’ rulings would send several of the cases back to Judge Dunn for dispatch and disposition. Here we go again. Judge Dunn is on the Executive Committee AND the Newsletter Committee of the Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section. The attorney for the Trustee (which Judge Thomas used to do) is Justin Leonard. His law partner just became a bankruptcy judge in Oregon. And Justin Leonard is also on the Executive Committee AND the Newsletter Committee of the same Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Committee along with Judge Dunn. None of this was disclosed. Attorney Leonard has embezzled $17,000 of Paulson’s funds. The watchman over Paulson’s funds is Judge Dunn, Justin Leonard’s OSB Debtor-Creditor Section peer.
While Judge Dunn furnished $17, 000 of Paulson’s money to Mr. Leonard in 2012 without notice to Paulson…..he is homeless. And a veteran. Without affording him an opportunity to be heard. Three years ago. And the case still pends. And the Ninth Circuit Court Clerk is still sending Paulson’s mail to the wrong address.
11. Judicial Misconduct Investigations — Under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, chief judges and circuit judicial councils, and the Judicial Conference of the United States when appropriate, investigate and resolve any submitted claim that a judge “…has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts. “
The Judicial Conference should make clear that it possesses the authority to review its Review Committee decisions on appeal by complainants and judges from judicial council orders. Instead the rote process lets consumers know there is no other avenue of appeal after the Petition for Review.
12. Delay — It is hornbook law in Judicial Misconduct cases that chief judges are to act expeditiously. The Breyer Report points out: “Section 352(a) of the Act tells chief judges to review complaints “expeditiously.” The commentary says that “it would be a rare case in which more than sixty days is permitted to elapse from the filing of the complaint to the chief judge’s action on it.” Breyer Report at page 27 It must be noted that no member of the Ninth Circuit judiciary has acknowledged the exorbitant delay of the manifold Judicial Misconduct cases here; nor why. Where is the accountability, the transparency, the fairness?
There are three substantial increments of delay in these matters for the Judicial Conference to investigate:
A. December 7, 2011 to June 5, 2012 — The Judicial Misconduct complaint against Bankruptcy Judge Dunn was filed on or about December 7, 2011 and Ninth Circuit Court Chief Judge’s Order is dated June 5, 2012.
In addition, there is an additional filing made by the Complainant in May of 2012 that was either misfiled or lost by the Ninth Circuit. Regardless, that 22 page document was never greeted by a judicial officer to this day in any forum even though officially filed as demonstrated by the Ninth Circuit stamp ‘Received’.
B. November 7, 2013 to August 27, 2015 — The instant complaint consisting of Sixty-Three (63) pages is dated November 7, 2013. This complaint is never acknowledged by the Ninth Circuit, but the renderings by Chief Judge Thomas on August 27, 2015 by his four (4) page rulings of that date.
During the interim Paulson has multiple rulings by Ninth Circuit judges who do not acknowledge the existence of the November 7, 2013 multipage complaint neither in substance nor in procedure. Multiple judges named in the complaint continue to rule in the instance cases. See Trilogy #1 and #2
C. August 27, 2015 to October 15, 2015 — The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council purports to address the multipage judicial misconduct complaint of four years duration (December, 2011 to October, 2015), but do not address either the substance of the Complaint nor the substance of the Petition on Review.
All the while the litigation pends in state court, in bankruptcy court, in federal court and in appellate court. Paulson learned last month that some of his five buildings have been demolished. The property is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The disposition of his personal property remains a secret. The bankruptcy matters remain open with Paulson’s funds and personal property, including a missing cat in the possession of the bankruptcy trustee Amy Mitchell subject to the Orders of Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn. Both of whom Paulson complained of five years ago. Where oh where is the Judicial Misconduct monitor??
13. Law Knowledge — It is probably a product of dissonance reduction, but judges, including chief judges do not seem to know or understand the fundamentals of judicial disqualification. For example, here Paulson first filed his motion to disqualify Magistrate Judge Paul Papak in 2010 after Judge Papak set the Defendant’s Pleadings for a hearing, but not the Plaintiff’s Pleadings. There is patent bias against consumer parties and patent bias in favor of downtown lawyers. See the Sharpe case for insidious evidence of that fact.
Moreover, there were no magistrate consents. This was a crucial time. Paulson was thrown onto the homeless streets on May 24, 2010 and immediately filed for a TRO among other things. A TRO is an emergency filing. Neither Hon. Papak nor Haggerty saw an emergency. Ever. (Remember Judge Haggerty is from the same law firm representing the lender before him.)
Paulson’s 2010 “Motion to Disqualify” was specifically stated to be under Section 144 of Title 28 of the United States Code. This Motion was supported by a nine (9) page affidavit alleging bias among other things.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 144 (See Appendix below) a party is entitled to secure the disqualification of a judge by submitting an affidavit that the judge has “a personal bias or prejudice” against the affiant or for the opposing party. In Berger v. United States, the Supreme Court interpreted this statute to prohibit a judge from ruling on the truth of matters asserted in such an affidavit, and to require automatic disqualification if the affidavit was facially sufficient. Citing erroneous rules of law requiring an ‘extrajudicial source’, U.S. District Court of Oregon Chief Judge Ann Aiken (who also has affiliations with the Defendant’s law firm) should not have ruled accordingly.
Paulson appealed those erroneous rulings to the Ninth Circuit, but the Ninth Circuit held the failure to recuse was not appealable. All Circuits allow interim appeals of failure to recuse in one spring board or another. Judge Anthony Scirica specifically so testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in 2013. Paulson’s appeal on failure to recuse was erroneously denied by the Ninth Circuit.
The Ninth Circuit has addressed situations where questionable judicial tactics have compromised the appearance of justice. For example, in Living Designs v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours the district court adopted a party’s summary judgment order wholesale with only minor changes; directed publication of the ghost-written order; and reversed a previously entered certification sub silento.
The Ninth Circuit concluded that even though the district judge’s impartiality was arguably still intact, his actions constituted the unusual circumstances necessary to require reassignment on remand.Similarly, in Beckman Instruments, Inc. v. Cincom Systems, Inc., when the district judge displayed blatant disregard for the circuit court’s mandates (as evidenced by the reaffirmation of his prior ruling without addressing or attempting to distinguish the appellate court’s determination), and overt animosity toward a party (as displayed by his denial of the party’s motions without review), the Ninth Circuit ordered reassignment on remand. That is exactly what has occurred here.
Thus, neither the U.S. District Court of Oregon nor the Ninth Circuit understood Hornbook recusal law.
Not to mention the global failure of Ninth Circuit Judges and District Court judges to follow the mandatory policy on conflict screening. Had they followed this mandatory screening requirement OTHER blatant conflicts such as Attorney Russillo’s employment in the same firm as the Article III judge on the case; Hon. Ancer Haggerty and the other conflicts in the Cosgrave law firm would have been disclosed. Cosgrave law firm hired Paulson’s ten(10) year office manager who stole his law office hard drive and still has it. The conflicts of interest are legion. The conflicts of interest are unexamined. Globally in the Ninth Circuit.
“If someone is trying to put you onto something, you need to listen.”
The harm of being a victim of this Judicial Misconduct conflagration is multiplied ten-fold in the face of foreclosure and homelessness of a veteran.
Even more stunning is the imprimatur placed on this Judicial Misconduct by the Chief Judge of the Circuit. None of this Judicial Misconduct would be countenanced by the public. However, the misconduct of Judge Dunn and Judge Aiken along with the other identified members of the judiciary is most grievous and most pernicious. Lying and stealing.
Judge Aiken: Judge Aiken is the Chief Judge and therefore, the example for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. Her bald face plagiarism without attribution cannot be tolerated by this body nor the public in general. Chief Judge Thomas decided a Chief Judge’s plagiarism is O.K. Why?
Judge Dunn: The folly of lying is that one has to remember what one said. The folly of Judicial Misconduct is that one has to remember what one did.
Judge Dunn did not remember in a recorded hearing of November 29, 2011 that he had formally decided that Paulson’s predatory lending lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo agent, Fairway, America in U.S. District Court of Oregon in 2008 had no merit a year earlier. On November 29, 2011 Judge Dunn admitted that he never looked at that district court file. This is a startling admission to Judicial Misconduct. Unexamined by Chief Judge Thomas.
Dated this 4th day of December, 2015
Section 144 of Title 28 states in its entirety:
Whenever a party to any proceeding in a district court makes and files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias or prejudice either against him or in favor of any adverse party, such judge shall proceed no further therein, but another judge shall be assigned to hear such proceeding.
ARE JUDGES MAKING SURE THEY DON'T RULE ON CASES INVOLVING THEIR OWN LENDER??
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Hon. Ann Aiken Chief Judge
United States District Court
5500 East Eighth Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
Re: Paulson v. Fairview et al
Case No. 1:14-cv-01544-CL
Ninth Circuit Case No. 15-35195
Mandatory Conflict Screening
Dear Hon. Aiken:
You have mine of August 21, 2015 and September 10, 2015. I have yours of September 4, 2015.
What I don’t have and which you did not supply is documentation of the mandatory conflict screening policy as implemented in the U.S. District Court of Oregon and in the Ninth Circuit. I would like to get a copy of the actual written policy as promulgated in the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. District Court of Oregon including the interface with the CM/ECF and electronic filing in these jurisdictions. Note that the chief judge was required to report to the respective circuit councils by November 30, 2006 on the status of implementation of this policy and I would like a copy of that report viv-a-vis the Oregon District.
Moreover, yours of 9/4/15 states that…”(A)ll federal judges in the District of Oregon are in full compliance with the financial conflict screening obligations required by the Ninth Circuit plan”. Would you please provide me with the required documentation that proves that representation to be true. A copy of your annual reports on this mandatory screening policy and concomitant reviews for conflicts by you since this program commenced would be appreciated.
The Judicial Conference policy required notification to the judicial officer when a financial conflict is identified. This means you would have a record of any and all cases in the U.S. District Court of Oregon when the software and procedures resulted in the identification of a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest through this mandatory policy. This policy states in pertinent part:
(2) “The clerks’s office shall screen for financial conflicts on a regular schedule, including screening new matters as they are filed, and shall make reports as requested by the chief judge of the court and the respective circuit council.” (Emphasis supplied)
By a copy of this letter to Chief Judge Sidney Thomas of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals I am asking him for a copy of all reports requested by the chief judge of the courts and the respective Ninth Circuit Council since the commencement of the mandatory conflict reporting policy. See the Judicial Conference Mandatory Policy on Mandatory Conflict Screening Approved September 19, 2006.
The mandatory policy required that former Chief Judge Schroeder, former Chief Judge Kozinski and you personally review cases for conflicts and develop a list identifying financial conflicts for use in conflict screening and update that list on a regular basis. The thousands of judicial misconduct complaints filed by consumers in the Ninth Circuit might be fertile ground for cross-checking this process to see the yield of practical results of so many pro se parties claiming bias by Ninth Circuit Judges including those in the U.S. District Court of Oregon.
In light of the foreclosure tsunami that occurred immediately after the implementation of this policy, it would be apparent that utmost attention would be given to these reviews and to the updating of these lists since most, if not all federal judges would have a mortgage. Thus this financial tidal wave created a plentiful supply of potential conflicts requiring recusal on the over 400 foreclosure cases always pending in U.S. District Court of Oregon since this policy came into being. Please provide me with these lists, list updates and the record of your reviews at your earliest convenience.
Finally, it appears that training on this then-new policy was required along with the Clerk’s office and court staff. Documentation that this was done would be appreciated. I am asking for documentation because I have a score of suspected cases in the U.S. District Court of Oregon where I fear said conflicts escaped your attention. And worse.
My sincere appreciation for your professional courtesies in these regards.
Very truly yours,
GOD LOVES MEDIATION, BUT OREGON LAWYER LEADERS LOVE MONEY
GOD Loves Mediation
OREGON’S LEGAL PROFESSION NOT SO MUCH!
OREGON’S LEADERS ARE PLAYING CITIZENS FOR FOOLS
Mary Forst, a mediation guru in Oregon told us in the 1980’s that Mediation would save the world. I was a skeptic, but was open to the idea. But, let’s start with GOD’s concept.
King Solomon tells us how God resolves a dispute between two harlots. The issue was which one was the mother of an infant child. Solomon heard both of their stories and called for a sword. He declared to divide the living child in two; a half for each woman. (1 Book of Kings 3:16-28) One woman beseeched him not to do it and told him to give the living child to the other. That act of compassion allowed the real truth to be instantly discernible. Such is the magic of mediation.
Mediation began in earnest in Oregon in the early 1980’s. Oregon’s Mediation Association (OMA) began in 1986. Oregon’s legislature established the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission (ODRC) in 1989. The Oregon Court of Appeals began a pseudo-mediation program in 1995. This is when politics replaced Oregon’s adventure into meaningful and benign conflict resolution for Oregon’s citizens.
Former Oregon Governor Kitzhaber signed an executive order implementing alternate dispute resolution (ADR) systems including mediation statewide in 2000.
I began as a volunteer mediator for Washington County State Circuit Court in 1988 after being trained by Ms. Forst and her Neighborhood Mediation crew. We became the charter mediation organization in local Oregon Courts. Many state agencies, county courts and municipalities began local mediation programs all over the state in the ensuing years.
Oregon’s statutory mandate on dispute resolution is:
“36.100 Policy for ORS 36.100 to 36.238. It is the policy and purpose of ORS 36.100 to 36.238 that, when two or more persons cannot settle a dispute directly between themselves, it is preferable that the disputants be encouraged and assisted to resolve their dispute with the assistance of a trusted and competent third party mediator, whenever possible, rather than the dispute remaining unresolved or resulting in litigation. [1989 c.718 §1; 2003 c.791 §9]” (Oregon Revised Statutes)
But, mediation was not good for the pocket books of local downtown law firms. It allowed regular citizens to procure regular citizens to help resolve disputes outside of the current legal operating venues: Oregon Courts. Lawyers are not needed in ADR. The downtown law firm chiefs had a better idea.
Oregon Complex Litigation Court
History and Description
The Oregon Complex Litigation Court (OCLC) is part of an ongoing initiative by former Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz and the Oregon Judicial Department to promote efficiency and statewide sharing of judicial resources. It was established by Chief Justice Order No. 10-066, effective December 2, 2010. The order adopted the rules governing the OCLC, which are contained in Chapter 23 of the Uniform Trial Court Rules. The OCLC is available for circuit court civil cases across the state that are complex due to a variety of factors, including subject matter, number of parties, factual issues, legal issues, discovery issues, and length of trial.
The net result was the mediation programs disappeared to be replaced by complex litigation courts. Mediation out. Litigation in.
Leave it to Oregon’s stellar Governor Kitzhaber to confuse things up and complete the circle. Governor Kitzhaber proposed legislation in 2013 that would reduce the number of medical malpractice lawsuits by giving the doctor or patient a chance at mediation first. What was immediately apparent is stated by Chief Financial Officer for St. Charles Health System Karen Shepard said they already use mediation. Why new legislation?
Meanwhile, Governor Kitzhaber is mad as hell against ‘Cover Oregon’ vendors, Oracle, and sued them for fraud following their suit for services rendered. This lawsuit would fit nicely in those Complex Litigation Courts. Alas, Governor Kitzhaber doesn’t want to go to the negotiating table on this one, by gosh. Nor ADR!! No……this taxpayer-paid dispute will be fought out in not one, but two courts, State court AND Federal court. The attorney fees have already topped $3 million with over a third coming from taxpayers to a private Portland, Oregon downtown law firm:
Oregon's Department of Justice hired outside Portland law firm Markowitz Herbold Glade & Mehlhaf PC to litigate against Oracle. The local downtown law firm has a team of lawyers and staff who are paid hourly. Rates range from as low as $75 an hour to as high as $650 an hour for lead litigator, David Markowitz.
Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Justice has more than 1200 dedicated employees, including 300 excellent attorneys looking for something to do. Why are we hiring outside counsel when 300 excellent attorneys work for Oregon and for the Department of Justice; there to protect the legal interests of the citizens of the State of Oregon??
Where is the wisdom of King Solomon when we need him??
By Lauren Paulson
16131 W. Hoffeldt LN #38
Brookings, OR 97415
541 412 1390
Monday, June 15, 2015
Governor Kate Brown
900 Capitol Building NE, 160
Salem, OR 97301
Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
Oregon Department of Justice
1162 Court Street NE
Salem, Oregon 97301-4096
Re: Sunlight and Open Records
Louis Brandeis made his famous statement that "sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants" in a 1913 Harper's Weekly article.
Dear Governor Brown and Attorney General Rosenblum:
This letter has three objectives. One is to bring to your attention the State of Oregon’s doleful record on complying with Open Records requests. The second is to assert several new Open Records requests.
The third objective is to alert you to the pathetic status of the foreclosure issue in Oregon, only partially exemplified by my story. In a word, Oregon’s handling of the issue of foreclosure in the state is barbaric.
OPEN RECORD REQUESTS (PAST)
In the last few years I have made the following enclosed Open Records requests to Oregon officials with the stated results:
- 1/18/10 — Open Records request to the Oregon State Bar.
- 9/6/10 — Open Records request to the Oregon Circuit Court Judges Association
- 5/7/11 — Follow-up request to Hon. Karsten H. Rasmussen on the Open Records request to the Oregon Circuit Court Judges Association. The June 6, 2011 Response by Nori J. McCann Cross yielded no documents.
- 5/19/11 — Open Records request to the Washington County Circuit Court Twentieth Judicial District Oregon, Oregon Judicial Department. The Trial Court Administrator responded without documents.
- 8/17/11 — Open Records request to the Oregon Office of the State Court Administrator.
- 8/2/12 — Open Records request to Legal Aid Services of Oregon
- 12/10/12 — Open Records request to the Oregon Law Foundation/OSB Legal Services Program: They responded with documents.
- 7/8/13 — Open Records request to Oregon’s Commission on Judicial Fitness
- 7/10/13 — Open Records request to Hon. Chief Justice Balmer
- 8/11/13 — Open Records request to Marc Abrams, Oregon Department of Justice
- 8/12/13 — Open Records request to Hon. Thomas Balmer
- 2/28/14 — Open Records request to Scott A Morrill, Assistant General Counsel to the Oregon State Bar.
- 8/1/14 — Open Records request to former Governor Kitzhaber
- 8/14/14 — Open Records request to the Oregon Housing and Community Services
- 2/15/15 — Open Records request to the Oregon Housing and Community Services
- 3/12/15 Oregon Housing and Community Services Open Records Response with one page addressing the Request.
- 6/2/15 — Open Records request to Multnomah County Circuit Court for the State of Oregon regarding their “Consensus” panel on foreclosure matters.
Legal Aid for the Poor in Oregon’s Foreclosure Maelstrom is a Cruel Hoax —
As this Open Request stonewall demonstrates, no Oregon agency nor individual has taken responsibility for tracking how thousands of consumers caught in the predatory lending cycle are doing. Worse, there has been a chaotic breakdown in providing legal services to the poor and the downtrodden who are in foreclosure. This egregious hoax on the public is worthy of your attention. There are three lawyers in Oregon who do actual pro bono work on foreclosures that know what they are doing. Three!
Many pretenders have had their picture taken with Oregon Attorney Ed Harndon without noticing that the legal aid game is rigged by him and Bank of America at every turn, with the blessing of Oregon’s legal Oligarchy. (See Oregonian’s Steve Duin quote below — but first: —)
Consider for a moment that The Lawyers Campaign for Equal Justice Endowment is partially controlled by the Oregon Community Foundation with direct Bank of America affiliation . Further know that Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer’s wife is Mary Louise McClintock, Director of Early Childhood Programs for the Oregon Community Foundation. The Oregon Community Foundation manages the funds of The Lawyer’s Campaign for Equal Justice.
Donors to Oregon’s Campaign for Equal Justice have no control over those funds that go to Oregon’s Community Foundation. But, Oregon’s Chief Justice and his wife are beneficiaries of those funds. (Maybe this is why Chief Justice Balmer doesn’t like me very much………)!
A short walk through the links on foreclosure on the Oregon Department of Justice website takes one to Oregon Law help.org which is funded by and administered by pro bono. net which in turn is funded and administered partially by Bank of America. This is but a small example of how the system is rigged against poor, unsuspecting people.
OPEN RECORD REQUESTS (NEW)
- This New Open Records request is to find out why I, Lauren Paulson was singled out for ‘Special Treatment” by a gaggle of Oregon State Police Officers at the 2009 Oregon Judicial Conference in Salem, Oregon — I sought to attend my first Oregon Judicial Conference; I had the following experience as reported in bulletinsfromaloha.org, my blog:
“As I strode confidently to the door of the Capitol Convention Center this last Tuesday for the State Judicial Conference, I noticed several police cars parked at the covered entrance. Little did I know they were there for me.
Several years ago I became an iconoclast within my State Bar Association (SBA). It was without intention. Having been a lawyer in private practice locally and before that, a corporate lawyer nationally, I had a few ideas. When I brought those few good ideas to the Board of Governors of the SBA I thought they would clap me on the back, hail me as a well-met fellow and honor me with all sorts of distinctions. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
It all started in 2001 when I complained to the SBA, that after fifteen years in private practice, citizen complaints against me as a solo lawyer never went away. None of the complaints had merit; usually it was a client that didn’t want to pay their bill or an opposing lawyer that didn’t like my approach to the case. There were no time constraints on the SBA investigation, so they lingered, like a dark cloud over my professional office, until they were resolved. Twenty two (22) of them all dismissed without merit over those fifteen years.
Finally, I decided to do something about it. I complained to the SBA. As President of the Local Bar Association, I became a delegate to the SBA House of Delegates where we got action. We voted to take intake away from the Disciplinary office and create a Client Assistance Office to triage complaints (handle them right away) and create a positive out of a negative. I attended every meeting of the Disciplinary Task force that fostered mediation, diversion, and other ameliorative changes.
Being part of the process was so enjoyable I ran and won an elected seat on the SBA Board of Governors representing over 1000 local lawyers. Immediately, I began a newsletter to those hard-working lawyers to obtain feedback on what local lawyers thought of their mother ship, the SBA. I also became a whistleblower on some peccadilloes the Executive Director was engaged.
Well, that was the beginning of the end. It was just that I didn’t know it.
These police cars in front of the Convention Center were there for me.
Months before I had written to the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court to see if he was interested in my presentation on Judicial Performance Evaluations for the State Judicial Conference. I had made a presentation on the subject to local bar associations and to the SBA Board of Governors. The ‘Chief’, as he is affectionately known, did not respond. So, I wrote again. Finally, they said I could attend, but that I would be subject to, “…a security check and search…” as an uninvited guest. That seemed odd, but I just wanted to see what this Judicial Conference was all about since the Chief had recently spoke about this being a new era of transparency and accountability for the State Supreme Court.
Inside, I went to the registration desk where I met Kim who seemed prepared for me. She told me that I would not be allowed to attend the Judicial Council meeting, I would not be allowed to attend the educational sessions, nor any other sessions of the two day affair. I would only be allowed to attend the one hour luncheon business meeting. Well, I said to myself, that is all right, at least I will be able to see some of what goes into a State Judicial Conference. Kim led me to the Great Hall that was set up for lunch for 200 people and showed me where I could sit. It was by the server tables where they put the dirty dishes after the judges had eaten. I was not allowed a lunch place table with all the others. That is O.K., I wasn’t hungry anyway.
Laden with handouts in case the judges wanted to hear my 15 minute presentation on Judicial Performance Evaluations, I arranged my materials and sat down next to the dirty dishes.
I had just been to the Judicial Garden Party a few weeks before and had taken several pictures of the group. Again, I brought my camera along here. I took it out to take a picture of the Great Hall when a young man in dark clothes came over to me and said sternly, “Mr. Paulson, you are not allowed to take pictures!”. Stunned, I stammered, “How do you know my name?” He menacingly smiled and said, “The judges do not want you to take their pictures.” I asked who he was. He replied, “The State Police”. I asked him if I was breaking any laws in the picture taking. He said, “No, the judges just don’t want you taking pictures.” Whew! How did he know who I was??
I nervously sat down and watched him walk away to the nearest lunch table to where I was sitting by the dirty dishes. Suddenly, I realized that I had left my checkbook on my front seat of my car in plain view, so I went outside to retrieve it. Upon my return, another officer appeared to tell me he had removed my speech materials from inside The Great Room and put them in the hallway. (Kind of like at the airport where one is advised against leaving unattended bags anywhere). He politely told me not to leave without those materials again. This man turned out to be Sgt. Tim Fox of the Oregon State Police. Returning inside, I found my glasses and notebook had been moved to another Server table even further to the back of the room.
Sitting down with a slight case of hyperventilation, I tried to calm myself with a cup of strong coffee. Trying to look casual, I glanced at the table where my first inquisitor was sitting and soon discerned something even more intimidating. The entire table of eight people, save a kindly looking elderly man and woman, was made up of ninja turtles! There were six (6), count ‘em, six state troopers at the table, all looking alternatively at me, them trying not to be noticed. After all, they were all in civilian clothes. You could not miss the Marine haircuts nor the wires connected to their ears, however.
What have I done to deserve this sort of scrutiny from our State Police? That is the question for which I seek an answer. Kim had pointedly placed me just where these six storm troopers could keep a close eye on me. Thereafter, everywhere I went at the convention center, I was followed by at least two of these ninja turtles.
I found Kim again talking to Sgt. Tim Fox to confirm that I was not allowed to any other State Judicial Conference sessions including the education sessions. She confirmed that all these sessions are secret from the public.
On the hour drive back to my home from the State Capitol, do I have to tell you how many times I looked for their vehicles in my rear view mirror? I have never driven so carefully nor so slowly on a freeway in my life. “
THIS IS A NEW OPEN RECORDS REQUEST FOR ANY AND ALL RECORDS PERTAINING TO WHY I WAS SINGLED OUT LIKE THIS AND TREATED LIKE THIS INCLUDING ANY AND ALL RECORDS BY THE OREGON STATE POLICE AND OFFICER FOX FOR THIS VISIT BY ME TO THE 2009 OREGON JUDICIAL CONFERENCE PRESCRIBED BY OREGON LAW.
NOTE OREGON JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATORS REGARD THESE JUDICIAL CONFERENCES AS ‘SECRET’. I FIND NOTHING IN THE LAW THAT ANOINTS THE ANNUAL JUDICIAL CONFERENCE AS SECRET OR CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. PLEASE ADVISE.
2. Secondly — This is an Open Records request to secure back my personal property that I have been seeking since 2010 when I was unceremoniously and illegally removed from my home AND place of business in 2010.
Please see the chain of events leading to the confiscation of all of my personal property, including 2,000 client files and my office computer hard drive currently in the possession of the Cosgrave law firm’s employee and my former Office Manager Brenda Tiland. (Exhibit A)
Also see Oregon State Bar General Counsel Helen Hierschbiel’s garrulous letters of May of this year to me on the subsequent bizarre scenario. (Exhibit B)
For seven (7) years I have been trying to get my personal property back following an illegal eviction related to an illegal foreclosure. This sort of illegal foreclosure activity, illegal eviction activity and illegal confiscation is happening all over Oregon. Just consider, for a moment, the rampant criminal activity of financial institutions, a steady drumbeat since 2008.
The Oregon State Bar has taken every measure to silence me; the plight of a whistleblower who seeks a small measure of accountability. The Oregon State Bar has hired the well-placed Cosgrave law firm to defend their members. Meanwhile, the Cosgrave law firm has hired my office manager who presently holds the hard drive to my law office computer. (Exhibit C) Or as Oregonian’s Steve Duin advises:
“Nervous? Of course, you are. You believe the game is rigged. You think too much of the power and money in Oregon is leveraged by the usual suspects. You've noticed that the best lawyers rarely champion the essential causes.”
Unfortunately, the Oregon executive branch, the Oregon legislature and Oregon’s judiciary have completely lost their way when it comes to the issue of foreclosure. As can be seen here, once these cases become three feet tall because of all the issues needing to be addressed and the lack of a clear floodlight to point the way, plain people get lost in the shuffle.
3. Barbaric Foreclosures in Oregon — Please see my letter to Hon. Loretta Lynch dated May 11, 2015 with attachments. (Exhibit C) Where is legal aid? Where are the phalanx of Oregon pro bono attorneys riding to poor people’s rescue in this foreclosure tsunami?
Out of eighteen (18) some Open Records Requests, Oregon agencies have responded with documents about twice (2). The Oregon Law Foundation response to my Open Records request was the only full and complete document production except they excluded their most current records. On the other hand, the fulcrum agency for help to the ordinary citizen caught in foreclosure’s clutches, Legal Aid Services of Oregon document production and accountability; is suspiciously absent.
The usual gambit by the state agency when confronted by an Open Records request is to estimate charges far in excess of what any citizen can or would pay. Please “unable” that tactic.
The Oregon Housing and Community Services Open Records request for information strikes at the heart of what is wrong in the foreclosure crisis. They produced one bare page of accountability of what they have done with millions and millions of dollars. These funds of which they are custodian are supposed to go to those that are homeless or have been turned out of their homes due to predatory tactics that we all now know so well.
What about OFLAP?? Where is the accountability of that foreclosure amelioration project. Consumers in Oregon are not being helped by Legal Aid Service of Oregon nor any of these putative well-meaning ‘pro bono’ programs which are absent from the foreclosure field. What a farce. What a dearth of accountability when millions upon millions of dollars and the hearts and plight of consumers are involved.
Neither Governor Kitzhaber nor the Oregon legislature demonstrated any leadership on the foreclosure issue at the state level. Neither President Obama nor Congress has demonstrated leadership on the perils of the victims of foreclosure at the national level. The judiciary is hopelessly lost in the weeds of foreclosure with such fatuous solutions as the above referenced foreclosure ‘consensus’ off-ramp judicial panel which does not follow the law. Will you help lift their vision accordingly? Will you provide responses to an Oregon citizen’s right to know?
Very truly yours
16131 W. Hoffeldt Ln #38 Brookings, Or 97415