Oppression of Lawyers

You can see that what’s done in Communist China, is exactly the same thing, unbelievably, that officials do in Pennsylvania. Because I have pointed out failings i.e. I have criticized (in a responsible courteous way) some judges and certain judicial processes I am being threatened and mistreated. So are my clients.

From HRW.org: China: Leading Civil Rights Lawyers Face Threats to Licenses

Government Should Guarantee Independence of the Legal Profession

May 26, 2009

Related Materials:

“A Great Danger for Lawyers”

“Walking on Thin Ice”

Control over the yearly renewal of professional licenses remains one of the main obstacles to the independence of China’s legal profession. Even when law firms that have been pressured decide to stand by their lawyers, this kind of interference has a chilling effect on the legal profession.

Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

(New York) – More than 20 of China’s most prominent civil rights lawyers face the possible loss of their right to practice law as an apparent official reprisal for their rights advocacy efforts, Human Rights Watch said today.

Under Chinese law, lawyers and law firms must get their licenses to practice renewed annually, a process sometimes marred by political considerations. These civil rights lawyers say that in recent weeks the Beijing judicial authorities have been trying to pressure their firms not to endorse their re-licensing applications. The lawyers say that the firms’ heads have been warned by judicial officials in meetings and telephone conversations about possible adverse consequences for their business if they continue to employ lawyers who take up rights cases.

“Control over the yearly renewal of professional licenses remains one of the main obstacles to the independence of China’s legal profession,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Even when law firms that have been pressured decide to stand by their lawyers, this kind of interference has a chilling effect on the legal profession.”

According to an official April 14, 2009, notice from the Beijing Judicial Bureau detailing the registration procedures, lawyers must present their annual applications prior to the end of the registration period on May 31. Lawyers who fail to renew their professional licenses are in effect temporarily disbarred.

A number of the lawyers currently targeted have been involved in some of the most high-profile efforts to date to litigate on behalf of victims of human rights abuses and press for greater accountability from the government. They have represented families of victims of the melamine milk-powder scandal, parents of children killed during the Sichuan earthquake who are pressing for an investigation into the causes of the disproportionately high rate of school collapses, and Tibetans arrested in connection with the massive crackdown in Tibet. Others have been involved in representing HIV/AIDS patients, victims of police abuses, farmers evicted from their land, and Falungong practitioners.

Over the past few years, Human Rights Watch has extensively documented abuses of lawyers, widespread violations of the right of the defense in legal procedures, and a pattern of interference and political control in cases viewed as politically sensitive by the authorities. Although the government vowed to establish new procedural protections for lawyers in June 2008 when it promulgated revisions to the Law on Lawyers, those efforts have been inadequate. No efforts have been made to effectively safeguard the security of lawyers discharging their functions or to allow the government-controlled All-China Lawyers Association – the country’s bar association – to play such role.

Human Rights Watch pointed out that instead of the promised reforms to protect the independence of lawyers, detention and physical abuses against lawyers by law enforcement officials have multiplied. In one such incident on May 13, 2009, lawyers Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu were arrested and beaten in police custody in Chongqing after meeting with the family of a man who had died while in a re-education-through-labor camp. The authorities have so far refused to investigate the incident.

“Interference and retaliation against lawyers are direct attacks on the rule of law,” said Richardson. “Such actions perpetuate injustices, undermine confidence in legal institutions, and negate the government’s own commitment to governing the country according to law.”

Beijing lawyers who have reported concerns over the renewal of their license include

Li Heping, Cheng Hai, Jiang Tianyong, Li Xiongbing, Li Chunfu, Wang Yajun, Tang Jitian, Yang Huimin, Xie Yanyi, Li Dunyong, Wen Haibo, Liu Wei, Zhang Lihui, Peng Jian, Li Jinglin, Lan Zhixue, Zhang Kai and Liu Xiaoyuan. Two lawyers who practice outside of Beijing, Wei Liangyue and Yang Zaixin, have also reported threats over their licenses.


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7 Responses to Oppression of Lawyers

  1. anonymous says:

    “Judge Stearns” is U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns of the District of Massachusetts

    In the May decision, Stearns noted that some of the lawyers who were handling state court Lupron cases, including those in California, Texas and Illinois, had agreed early on to “coordinate discovery efforts” with the lead lawyers appointed in the federal MDL case.

    But Kline & Specter “refused to join in the cooperative effort,” Stearns wrote, and “instead embarked on a pre-emptive strategy to seize control of the litigation by using the state court proceedings to gain leverage over counsel cooperating with the MDL action.”

    Kline represented Victim 5 in the case and said this was all about justice.

    Stearns faulted Kline & Specter for launching a pair of Internet Web sites that, Stearns said, were “intended to mislead potential members of the [federal multi-district litigation] MDL class.”

    He also faulted Kline & Specter for sending a “Dear Client” letter to “every person who had registered” on the firm’s Web sites. The letter, according to Stearns, contained “a number of deliberate misrepresentations and falsehoods.”

    “…Web sites established by Kline & Specter under the domain names http://www.lupronlaw.com and http://www.lupronclass.com that offered to “welcome” potential members to “the class” and invited purchasers of the drug “to register for the Lupron class action.”

    After reviewing the Web sites, Stearns issued an order in which he found that the sites were intended to mislead potential members of the MDL class.

    Stearns said he concluded “the typical registrant on a Kline & Specter Web site would not know that he or she was opting out as a participant in the MDL class by ‘registering’ with Kline & Specter. Moreover, neither of the Web sites explained that a registrant who opted for inclusion in litigation in the state courts’ might (depending on his or her state of residence) be left with no means of recovery.”

    The ruling said that while Kline & Specter was “perfectly free to criticize the proposed settlement agreement … they are not privileged to engage in deceptive conduct manipulating the very consumers they claim to protect.”

    “a number of deliberate misrepresentations and falsehoods.” Deliberate misrepresentations and falsehoods are lies in my book.

    Arlen Specter chose Shanin, his son, and Tom Kline, his law partner, to be co-chairs of the commission which nominates judges for the Eastern District of PA’s Federal Court, where they try cases. A year later, they received a favorable ruling from the same man they recommended to Arlen-he was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee-shortly after he was confirmed.

    This same Judge, Juan Sanchez, awarded William H. Lamb over $500 p/hr in lawyer’s fees in a case over which he presided, in addition to ruling in his favor and granting his motion for sanctions of over $33,000.

    To Specter, Hatch and the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sanchez said, “it is with tremendous honor that I introduce some of my friends and some are the best
    lawyers in Chester County: former Justice of the Supreme Court
    of Pennsylvania, William H. Lamb…My mentor and good friend, Mr. James
    McErlane, a senior partner with the law firm of Lamb and McErlane, who is in the back.”

  2. anonymous says:

    Please don’t publish my name, Mr. Bailey. I guess you understand that I distrust our judicial system.

  3. ashley Curry says:

    Here’s one for the public to read and news sites also court documents are available to anyone who wishes to read for them selves.
    Judge Thomas Kelley is a York County Criminal Judge. In 2011 the dis-honorable judge has a protection from abuse order against him by an assistant district Attorney who he was having sexual relations with. Janon Tallo was her name so in Feb 2011 Dishonorable Judge Kelley is moved from the criminal bench to the civil bench to hear and rule on Protection from abuse cases while having one against himself all for not keeping his hands and pee pee to himself.
    Most people would think that is appalling however the story doesn’t end there.
    Judge Kelley was never punished and was allowed to continue on unaffected. About this same time there was a Lancaster County District Justice Judge named Ballentine. This poor Judge is accused of having dismissed a parking ticket that one could argue was not even valid and she is suspended from the bench and publicly humiliated during that process. This judge did nothing to harm the public yet Judge Kelley as if screwing and beating the ADA was not enough he went to the Civil Bench to further screw people/public out of Justice and Protection From Abuse Orders. I know because I was one of those victims and if I had known the Judge hearing my case had a Protection from Abuse Order against himself I’d have immediately demanded he re-cuse himself. I did not know who would have ever thought a Judge with a Protection From Abuse Order against him could hear and rule on Civil cases involving abuse?
    Who would have ever thought the higher courts and those in charge would turn a blind eye and ignore and allow that? That is Pennsylvania for you though sad and true!

    • ashley Curry says:

      Correction to the above story Janon Tallo was not an ADA she was an assistant public defender…In case that part matters!!!

      • ashley curry says:

        I find it equally disturbing that a Dis-Honorable ex- judge like Kelley (he retired) get’s to go on un-affected after what he did in the above article and faced no punishment he got to conveniently retire but someone like Mr. Bailey who is doing his job and rightfully so (I wish there were more people with guts like Mr. Bailey) get’s dis-bared………………..How come?????
        Is the system that corrupt? Must Be!!!!! Dis-Honorable Kelley and Respectable Mr. Bailey is just one of many examples….. Pennsylvania is in desperate need of change……..and that’s really an understatement!!!!!

  4. Childless Mother says:

    You want to see corruption go to Chester County Courthouse your civil family case, custody is decided who earns the most not that the divorce is a result of a few DV situations and now that the mother picked herself up put herself through school and will be making more than the father on his ss disability claim for bipolar and anti-social personality disorder. The same master also signs and mediates your support order as well and since nothing is done correctly or follows any procedural rule of court their is only on judge that they are in collusion with and yes there are few private firm attorneys that are accepted into the club of criminal behavior that should be brought up on RICO charges. I never had a constitutional right or civil right and neither did either one of my children in which I haven’t seen since September thanks to the family court of Chester County. My ex has finally gotten what he wanted my destruction and the brainwashing and control of my children. I have been in the family court since 2004 and I don’t want to tell anyone the amount of money that has been extorted from me that I had to use to fight to stay in my children’s life which I thought this was one of my fundamental liberties.

  5. Charlotte says:

    We. Need. The. FBI. Nothing is going to change until this state is cleaned up. The corruption is now so blatant no one bothers to hide it any more. They do not have to. It’s insane, out of control and like living in 1870 when Gowan et al cowed the coal regions. Have a filthy bag of dirty, PA laundry the Corleone Family which would repulse the Corleone Family. In our laps. Not a peep from a single person in any position to correct, fix, help, arrest or otherwise DO something.

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