Remember when New York Dutchess County Judge Amodeo threw the poor pregnant mom, Genia Shockome, in jail for 30 days because she called him a liar during a Family Court custody proceeding. She was defending herself from losing custody of her child. Unfortunately, she was defending herself while pregnant. I can only imagine her hormones raging, a baby kicking inside of her and a Judge having no idea what she was going through as a pregnant mom in Family Court defending her unborn child.
Granted, she may have acted badly for calling Judge Amodeo a liar too many times; however, there were better options than throwing a pregnant mom in jail. He could have simply stopped the proceedings and told her to take a break in the hallway and sit and think. He didn't have to throw her in jail. And yet, this bad decision making happens all the time
So where does the law fit in? There is alot of solid law out there but it's the bad attorneys who distort it to confuse some poor judge or there is a judge who just won't apply the law-both problems lead to bad decisions. Sometimes lawyers are so distorted themselves that they make up law just because they think they can get away with it. I have one case in Federal District Court where the attorney actually made up a decision that never exists and argued that supported his position that blanket strip searching in Jails is allowed in New Jersey. Yet the case is not published nor is there a decision filed anywhere in the case the attorney cited. The Federal Judge wrote an opinion in my favor and in a footnote stated it was "disturbing" that the lawyer made up the case, but he did not sanction the lawyer. That Federal Judge is a fantastic Judge but he should have held the attorney accountable for fictionalizing a decision. In fact, any real attorney knows that we do not argue decisions that are not published because only published decisions are binding.
Then there are the few sitting in robes who will distort the law themselves for their own selfish purposes. Like former Judge Gerald Garson of the Brooklyn Supreme Court who took a lousy $9,000 bribe from an attorney so Freida Hanimov could keep custody of her children in her divorce case. Ms. Hanimov was stellar enough to wear a wire to expose the corrupt Judge and the schmuck divorce lawyer, Paul Siminovsky. Siminovsky told her if she wanted to win she would have to give the Judge $9,000, which he would deliver. What a disgrace! Giving gifts to Judge Garson in exchange for favors on his divorce cases. It's called "case fixing" and for a lousy few bucks, cigars and some dinners, this Judge and lawyer were willing to ruin people's lives, take children from them by ignoring the truth so they could both smoke a cigar in a fancy restaurant. Two cowards. And of course, the coward Siminovsky scared real easy and turned a witness against his ciga smoking buddy, the judge, when criminal charges were filed against him. They were both jailed in 2007, and thank god Siminovsky lost his license and that Judge can't get back on the bench. But it left the public reeling that this former Judge and former schmuck lawyer ruined thousands of lives because there was never any law and never any justice in that courtroom--just bribes and case fixing. So many parents lost custody of their children because of two greedy, unintelligent fools. One who used his license to practice law as a license to lie and steal, and a Judge that encouraged it.
Too bad Garson is getting out of jail soon only because his crime is not considered "violent". In my opinion, it was an act of violence by him to abuse his power and position for abandoning the confidence of the public, justice and his oath to uphold our Constitution. Don't people get thrown in jail for turning against our country and providing spy information to other countries? Then what's the difference when a Judge deliberately defies our constitution and takes bribes from a lawyer--isn't that turning on our country?
I actually spoke to Ms. Hanimov a few years ago. I respect her for what she did. Maybe we should all be wired.
Our system is not perfect and never will be. We can only hold the system accountable, and if it takes a wire, than so be it. It would help if Judges stay judicious and impartial and lawyers stop lying.
I am not saying all lawyers and judges are bad, but the bad ones exist like in every profession, and they are a liability to people's lives.