On April 17, 2003, a 9-judge panel of the Washington State Supreme Court figuratively killed this messenger, then 24-year lawyer Doug Schafer, for having reported too much illuminating information in 1996 about a very corrupt judge. Click here for the court's misguided published ruling. What's more, the court's black-robed lawyers dishonestly and maliciously maligned me with their many fabricated untrue "facts" and suspended my law license for 6 months. Click here for my statement observing that the court's ruling destroys public confidence in our judicial system because it ranks lawyer-client secrecy as more important than judicial system integrity.
The irony is that the author of the majority opinion, Justice Bobbe J. Bridge (who admitted March 26, 2003 to needing treatment for her alcoholism and "mental health issues"), for many years (until after her February 2003 DUI and hit-and-run arrest made international headlines) chaired our state judiciary's Public Trust and Confidence Committee! (Here's my recent message to the members of that committee.) Legal and ethics scholars are now writing about "Schafer's Dilemma" and expressing belated support for my reporting of the corrupt judge notwithstanding client confidentiality issues.
I filed a timely Motion to Reconsider with a Supplement pointing out some of the outrageous ethical, factual, legal, and judgmental mistakes infecting the court's ruling, but those 9 black-robed lawyers simply denied my motion with a one-sentence Order -- "motion denied" -- on June 23, 2003. As sages have long observed, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely!" I also had formally requested public records of certain judges' past vacation schedules to probe the tainting relationship between Justice pro tem Karen Seinfeld (from Pierce County) and corrupt former Pierce County Superior Court judge Grant "Cadillac" Anderson's friends and defenders, but my requests were flatly denied.
News coverage: Associated Press Tacoma's News Tribune New York Lawyer National Law Journal
New York Times (alt) (my correction to NYT) (to ABA Cheek Task Force) (NYT lawyers' malicious motive)
My pleas that NY Times lawyers correct their falsehoods: (e-mails) (faxed documents)
Corrections to take-offs from the NY Times hit piece: Scripps Howard News Service WV Gazette
South Sound Business Examiner (Tacoma-Olympia) 5/12/03 story on me and other "Victims of the System."
Well-wishers: Law Prof. Susan Koniak Law Prof. TonyD'Amato Bus. Ethics Prof. LaRue Hosmer (with link to his law journal article)
Letters to Editors: SeaTimes 4/19 TNT 4/22 TNT 4/27 TNT 5/7
Editorials: News Tribune Boston Herald
My Letter to My Clients and Friends My Press Release of May 8, 2003. My exchanges with Bar officials on the Public Notice of Discipline.
On April 29, 2003, the ABA [Jim Cheek] Task Force on Corporate Responsibility issued its final report (click here for an excerpt) joining the ranks of every other responsible body (e.g., ABA Ethics 2000 Commission, Conference of Chief Justices) that has considered the matter by recommending that the ABA's model ethics rules for lawyers be changed at the ABA convention in early August 2003 (click here for the convention-packet report) to once again allow lawyers to reveal client information in order to prevent a fraud or a crime, or to rectify past fraud or crime in furtherance of which the client used the lawyer's services. This applies to all clients -- corporate and human ones. With strong support by the ABA leadership, the ABA House of Delegates on August 11, 2003, approved this change to the ABA's1983 model ethics rules for lawyers. [Click here for a news report (AP 8/11/03).] The change essentially will restore the traditional public-interest exceptions to client confidentiality that existed in the ABA's 1908 and 1969 ethics codes (and in Washington state's lawyer ethics code until 1985).
On the need for federalization of lawyer ethics rules and enforcement, see http://EvergreenEthics.com/SEC/ with my two comment letters to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on its proposed lawyer ethics rules.
The Washington State Supreme Court in April 2003 ruled against my appeal of the State Bar Disciplinary Board's recommendation that the Court suspend my lawyer license for disclosing a client's secret in Feb.1996 when I reported a corrupt judge who the Court finally removed in Sept.1999. Posted here are the details about the corrupt judge's case and the case against me for reporting him, including my Opening Brief (and its Appendix), the state bar's Answering Brief (that it refused to provide in electronic format), my Reply Brief and some journal articles cited in my briefs. I occasionally supplement the briefs with Statements of Additional Authorities, and here post the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth , Seventh, and Eighth of those statements. The State Supreme Court hearing held May 7, 2002, may be listened to on-line anytime (click here) with RealPlayer thanks to TVW. For news stories on that hearing, click here (Seattle Weekly), here (AP) and here (Tribune). Many documents posted here are in PDF format, that requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, available from www.adobe.com.
Doug Schafer, idealistic lawyer in Tacoma, Washington.
Related websites: http://EvergreenEthics.com http://Doug4Justice.org
Jump-to Links: Click on any of these website headings to jump to its contents:
Introduction. Overview of the "pattern of dishonest behavior" by former Judge Anderson and his colleagues. The Public Judicial Disciplinary Case leading to Judge Anderson's removal; but see Ineffective Bar Discipline. News clippings about Judge Anderson's corrupt conduct. Legislative interest in Constitutionally recalling Judge Anderson; My call for Legislative overhaul of the lawyer and judge disciplinary systems. Financial fraud, insurance fraud, and criminal activities of Anderson and friends that were not publicly exposed. Judge Anderson and law partner David Tuell's "shopping" of Pacific Lanes; Local Bar's Cover-ups. Liquor and Gambling Licensing Law Crimes. The State Bar's disciplinary case against me, lawyer Doug Schafer, the whistle blower. Washington State Supreme Court's Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers. The evolving ethics of the legal profession -- important current developments. My national agenda for reform of lawyer and judicial ethics. My Frequently Asked Questions page. Selected media coverage of these issues.
I, Douglas A. Schafer, a solo lawyer in Tacoma, Washington, have been charged with misconduct by Washington State Bar officials who recommended in May 2001 that the Washington State Supreme Court suspend my law license for a yearfor having disclosed my former client Bill Hamilton's secrets when I reported in Feb.1996 documented evidence of corrupt conduct by Pierce County Superior Court Judge Grant L. Anderson involving my former client. It took 3 1/2 years before Judge Anderson was finally removed by the Washington State Supreme Court in Sept. 1999. The Court concluded that his acts "clearly exhibit a pattern of dishonest behavior unbecoming of a judge." Among other things (discussed below), the Supreme Court found that Judge Anderson secretly accepted from Hamilton $31,000 in payments on his new Cadillac and coincidentally reduced by $92,000 Hamilton's purchase money debt for a bowling center that Anderson had sold to him, on the eve of become a judge, from a deceased client's estate of which Anderson was the executor. The State Bar had found nothing wrong with that for over 4 years -- and on March 15, 2000, the Bar cut a deal with former judge Anderson for merely a 2-year suspension of his license to practice law, which they justify only by covering up the full extent of his fraudulent misconduct! (That is exposed below.)
In Feb. 1996, I reported to disciplinary and law enforcement authorities, among other things, that Hamilton had told me in 1992 that he needed a corporation formed quickly because he was buying a bowling center from an estate that his lawyer-friend (Anderson) had been "milking" for over three years, that the friend was closing the estate quickly to become a judge so there was not time for an appraisal, that the friend was giving him a good deal and he intended to repay the friend later in some way for it. I then told Hamilton that I didn't want to hear about it; I simply formed his one-owner corporation (a routine $300 task). I waited for the three-year statute of limitations to lapse on whatever Hamilton may have done, then investigated that estate myself and reported the obvious and overwhelming evidence of Anderson's self-dealing and other grave misconduct to the authorities. (See Exhibits 1 and 2 to my Answer, below.)
This website is to post links and copies of documents that relate to the Judge's case and to the Bar staff's disciplinary case against me. My hope is that this case will inspire public discussion about the proper role of lawyers within our society and our legal-judicial system: Should lawyers be society's "guardians of our law and justice system" or simply "hired-gun mercenaries" for their clients, even corrupt ones? For example, if a victorious client credibly boasts to his or her lawyer of having bribed the judge, shouldn't the lawyer report the corrupt judge to appropriate authorities? And shouldn't the lawyer report the judge even over the objection of the bribe-paying client? If our society declares that a lawyer must silently tolerate a judge who he or she knows to be corrupt, then the lawyer will only be able to serve future clients before that judge by acquiescing in the tolerated corruption--paying the judge's bribes (or associating the judge's friends as co-counsel). If we acquiese in a corrupt "justice" system, then winning for the client at any cost becomes the only goal. Law and justice? What law and justice?
I contend that I was used as a tool by Mr. Hamilton to achieve his lawless goals, so under the well-established crime-fraud exception his comments to me were not made in a "professional relationship" that the law treats as confidential. (See my letter of 12/7/99 arguing this to Hearing Officer Mills.) Further, I feel that the highest duty of a lawyer as an "officer of the court" is to preserve or restore integrity in our judicial system (it's not owned by judges or lawyers, it belongs to all of us).
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In March 1989, lawyer Grant L. Anderson became court-appointed executor of the estate of his deceased client Charles Hoffman. The estate consisted principally of two wholly-owned corporations that owned and operated a bowling center (Pacific Lanes) in Tacoma, Washington, and a 48-condominium resort (Surfside Inn) in Ocean Beach, in southwestern Washington. Hoffman's will directed that Anderson hold the entire estate in a trust to provide financial assistance, in Anderson's sole discretion, to Hoffman's ex-wife who had emphysema, and upon her death (which occurred in late Jan. 1993) to give 90 percent to Ocean Beach Hospital and 10 percent to Hoffman's estranged son.
Shortly after his appointment as executor, Anderson made himself president of the estate's corporations (and he held those positions through 1993) and he began paying his law firm, Tuell, Anderson, Fisher & Koppe, fixed monthly management fees that eventually totalled $125,000 by the end of 1992. When Anderson presented papers to a court commissioner on Jan. 6, 1993, to get an order closing the estate, appointing his law partner Steve Fisher as successor trustee, and approving Anderson's executor fee of $112,000 (based upon his law firm's billable hours since the estate opened), he did not disclose to the court commissioner (who became Anderson's subordinate when he was sworn in as a judge just two days later) that his firm had already taken $125,000 in fees from the estate. No estate beneficiary was told, either. That was deceptive.
Pacific Lanes (business, building, and land) was appraised in 1989 at $1,334,000, and in mid 1993 at $1,775,000. Anderson sold it in late 1992 to his long time good friend and banker, Bill Hamilton, for a price that initially was $1,000,000 but through a combination of adjustments by Anderson and Fisher, Hamilton eventually ended up paying only about $660,000 for it. Hamilton had contacted lawyer Doug Schafer (webmaster) in August 1992 to form a one-owner corporation that he would use to buy Pacific Lanes, and commented to Schafer about his "good deal" and his intention to pay back Anderson in some way for it.
Anderson bought a new Cadillac in late December 1992, financing it at Sound Banking Company of which Hamilton was the Chief Executive Officer, and the next month Hamilton began making all the car loan payments from Pacific Lanes, which payments totalled about $31,000 by May 1995 when he paid it off. The bargain sale by Anderson to his close friend and his receipt of the Cadillac kickback violated Anderson's duty of loyalty to the estate. In November 1996, Anderson began residing in Hamilton's former home, that Hamilton had just completed refinancing as an owner-occupied residence. This appears to have violated federal banking laws.
Anderson let Hamilton effectively take over ownership and management of Pacific Lanes in September 1992, without permission from state liquor and gambling authorities who had licensed only the estate and Anderson to conduct those regulated activities prior to December 1992. That premature transfer violated state criminal laws regulating liquor and gambling activities. In March 1993, Anderson persuaded Fisher (who was unaware of Anderson's Cadillac payments being made by Hamilton) to apply against Hamilton's purchase debt for Pacific Lanes about $92,000 in revenues it generated for the Hoffman Estate while Hamilton was effectively managing it before the sale transaction closed. This was another fraudulent violation of Anderson's duty of loyalty to the Hoffman Estate.
Anderson struck a deal with a timeshare vacations company to buy the estate's 15 wholly-owned condos in Surfside Inn, charging his billable hours to the estate. Then, still charging his time to the estate, he brokered the sales to that company of 10 Surfside Inn condos for their private owners, demanding and collecting 10 percent commissions from each owner that totalled about $40,000. Those actions violated Anderson's duty of loyalty to the estate.
Shortly before closing the estate, Anderson sold 21 timeshare weeks in Hoffman's old 2-bedroom condo, Surfside Inn Unit 132, at $1,000 per week to his law firm's lawyers and staff, to Surfside Inn staff, and to his personal friends, even though weeks in that same unit had sold about a month earlier for $3,625 to public buyers who bought them directly through Surfside Inn timeshare sales staff at the then listed price. Anderson ended up with four weeks in that unit, Fisher with two weeks, lawyer Robyn L. Koppe (Lindsay) with one week, lawyer David R. Tuell Jr. with one week, and lawyer Sheri J. Fontana (Van Sittert, who became Judge Anderson's bailiff/judicial assistant) with one week. Neither Koppe nor Tuell even paid for their timeshare weeks, and it's doubtful that Anderson or Fisher actually did either. Such weeks can be exchanged through a timeshare network for weeks in other resorts around the world. This blatant self-dealing violated the duty of loyalty that Anderson and the other lawyers in his law firm owed to the estate.
Anderson knew that Pacific Lanes had cracked trusses in its roof structure and later testified in December 1996 that he had informed Hamilton of that condition before selling it to him. Upon taking possession of Pacific Lanes, Hamilton bought for it an all-risks insurance policy. The next summer, he claimed to first discover the broken trusses and claimed coverage of the damage under the policy. The insurance company denied coverage based on it being a pre-existing condition, among other things. Hamilton sued, represented by Sloan Bobrick & Oldfield, and a local judicial colleague of Anderson's ruled in September 1995 in favor of Hamilton. A few months later, Hamilton collected $525,000 from the insurer based on the broken roof trusses. It reasonably appears that Hamilton, with knowledge of Anderson and possible assistance by him and other lawyers, committed insurance fraud.
Ocean Beach Hospital recognized in late 1997 (after the CJC had filed charges against Anderson which prompted the hospital's Seattle lawyers to listen to me) that it should have received far more from the Hoffman estate than the $626,000 that it had been given by Anderson and his successor, Fisher. Following an investigation by its lawyers (they read the evidence I gave them), the hospital served a complaint alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty upon Anderson, Fisher, Hamilton, the other lawyers in Anderson's old firm and their accountants. The defendants settled the hospital's claims for $500,000 at the close of 1998. Click here to download in PDF format (658 KB), the hospital's demand letter, lawsuit complaint, and settlement documents. I don't fault the hospital for settling for only $500,000 (though it deserved more than $1.5 million), for it was apparent by late 1998 that Judge Anderson, helped by his well-connected defense lawyer Kurt Bulmer, had the Washington legal-judicial system "in his back pocket," so going to trial would have been a real gamble.
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1. Discipline of Anderson, 138 Wn.2d 830, 981 P.2d 426, 1999 WL 548581 (7/29/99, amended 8/12/99, motion for reconsideration denied 9/2/99).
2. Posted here is the Hearing Transcript from his Comm'n on Judicial Conduct (CJC) hearing (Jan. 12-16, 1998). Posted here in PDF format are transcripts of the CJC's investigative depositions of Judge Anderson on December 17, 1996, and June 27, 1997, and of William Hamilton on January 21, 1997, and June 30, 1997. The CJC's website includes postings of the Judge Anderson case Statement of Charges filed Aug. 4, 1997, and the Commission Decision filed Apr. 4, 1998 (urging merely his 4-month suspension), under Commission Activity/Public Actions -- 1998 in PDF format. I have attempted, with little success, to urge certain reforms in the CJC's procedures by sending letters and memos to responsible persons.
3. If you have RealPlayer, available via TV-W, you may listen to Oral Arguments on 2/9/99, presented to the Washington State Supreme Court in Judge Anderson's disciplinary case. Slightly beyond the 33-minute point, CJC Disciplinary Counsel Paul Taylor emphasizes his conclusion that "Grant Anderson was for sale!"
4. The CJC filed more charges on Aug. 8, 1999, against Judge Anderson for what the CJC described in its news release as "engaging in a pattern of dishonesty and deception over the last decade," including filing a false police report in 1989. The 1999 Statement of Charges (with its supporting public exhibits) is posted in PDF format at the CJC's website. The CJC closed this second case against Judge Anderson on Oct. 1, 1999, after his removal from judicial office by the Washington Supreme Court was final. (The false police report charge resulted from a citizen informant's tip to me in Oct. 1997 that I investigated, then passed the evidence to a CJC investigator in Jan. 1998.)
5. The State Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) has never charged lawyer Grant L. Anderson for any misconduct [though ODC finally, on March 15, 2000, let him stipulate to an inadequate sanction that was based on only his judicial disciplinary proceedings, as described in paragraph 7, below], nor has ODC charged any of his former law firm colleagues for their misconduct. Due to the overwhelming evidence of their very serious misconduct, I cannot understand ODC's inaction without attributing it to a lack of competency or integrity at some level. Perhaps it is because Judge Anderson has been represented for over four years by Washington's resident "ethics expert" Kurt M. Bulmer, former General Counsel of the State Bar, who appears to be well-connected with most all of the important people within the State Bar and the state judiciary. Perhaps it is because Grant L. Anderson was himself a State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Officer before he became a superior court judge in 1993, and his 25-year law partner, David R. Tuell, remained for many years later of the select few State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Officers and a member of the State Bar's Professionalism Committee.
6. The ODC lawyer, Douglas J. Ende, supposedly investigating Grant L. Anderson since my 1996 grievance of him was finally re-opened in Feb. 1999 by Chief Disciplinary Counsel Barrie Althoff, responded on Jan. 18, 2000, to my e-mailed information request that called his attention formally to this website by writing to me on the Anderson case and saying that, "The grievance remains under investigation. We expect to effect a disposition shortly; we will advise you of it as promptly as possible." I inferred from his choice of words that Anderson's ODC disciplinary matter soon would be "disposed of by a stipulation for discipline" under RLD 4.14 and that the full extent of his unethical conduct (and that of his law firm colleagues) would never be made public -- at least not by the lawyer disciplinary authorities (but who would think that they would, after what they have ignored so far?). RLD 4.14(c) permits an accused lawyer and disciplinary counsel to agree upon the factual record submitted to the Disciplinary Board in support of a stipulated disposition (which negotiated record of "facts" becomes "public information" under RLD 11.1(c)(6) only after the Board approves the stipulation), and all other investigatory information remains forever secret.
The reason I recognized Ende's comment as foretelling a stipulated disposition is that his only other two options were, under RLD 2.6, to dismiss the grievance as unfounded or else to recommend to a Review Committee that the matter be ordered to a hearing or that an admonishment be issued. But, if Ende were to make such a recommendation to a Review Committee, then under RLD 11.1(c)(1), the ODC staff's entire investigation file would become "public information" (except for any information sealed based on "good cause" by secret protective orders issued under RLD 11.1(g) or other information that the Chief Disciplinary Counsel arbitrarily chooses to conceal from the public under RLD 11.1(c)(10).) It seems apparent, after over four years, that the ODC is not going to permit full disclosure to the public of the full extent of the unethical conduct by Grant L. Anderson and his lawyer colleagues.
7. Consistent with the preceeding paragraphs, on March 15, 2000, the State Bar disposed of Anderson's case by a stipulation that calls for a 2-year suspension of his license to practice law (that Anderson had signed on January 24, 2000), subject to approval by the State Supreme Court. I have retyped that Stipulation to Suspension (2 Years) for posting here from the paper copy that Disciplinary Counsel Doug Ende sent to me, telling me that he was not permitted to provide me a computer file copy. I hoped that the Supreme Court would recognized that disbarment is the only fitting sanction for the magnitude of dishonest, greedy behavior that Anderson committed. However, the State Bar submitted his Stipulation to the Supreme Court without any investigative record, pursuant to RLD 4.14(c) and RLD 7.5. I had hoped that the Court would recognize that there is much more to the story, and either consider the voluminous record (deposition and hearing transcripts and exhibits) from the CJC's Supreme Court case or else require that the Bar provide more of an investigative record in its own case against Anderson. Unfortunately, only 3 of the 9 present Supreme Court justices had served on the unanimous panel that disrobed Anderson based on the CJC's record for his "pattern of dishonest behavior."
Sadly (for what it indicates about the integrity of our legal and justice system), the Supreme Court on May 4, 2000, approved Anderson's Stipulation to Suspension (2 Years), so he retains his Bar license and may resume active practice in May 2002. It is sad, for while the unanimous Supreme Court panel last summer declared Anderson's "pattern of dishonest behavior" made him unfit to be a judge, the Court's new ruling shows that his pattern of dishonesty does not make him unfit to be a lawyer. The CJC last August declared that Anderson had been "engaging in a pattern of dishonesty and deception over the last decade" that included filing a false police report in 1989. The State Bar and Supreme Court appear, by their actions, to consider dishonesty to be acceptable behavior for lawyers. Both claim to follow the American Bar Association Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions. Standard 5.11(b) calls for disbarment when a lawyer engages in "intentional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation that seriously adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness to practice." The necessary conclusion from the Supreme Court's two rulings on Anderson is that a lawyer's "pattern of dishonest behavior" does not "seriously adversely reflect on the lawyer's fitness to practice." At least now it's official! Carry on with the lawyer jokes!
Here's the State Bar's published, very sanitized Notice of Discipline of lawyer Grant L. Anderson.
8. The State Bar's disciplinary staff, consistent with Chief Disciplinary Counsel Barrie Althoff's letter to me of Feb. 12, 1999, looked only at the misconduct that the CJC charged against Anderson. But the CJC had declined to file charges against him for all his serious misconduct, presumably because most of it occurred while he was practicing law prior to becoming a full-time judge so it was not clearly within the CJC's disciplinary jurisdiction, but it was clearly within the Bar's disciplinary jurisdiction; namely, Anderson and his law partners (1) selling in a "sweetheart deal" the estate's bowling center worth $1.33 million to $1.78 million to Anderson's good friend Bill Hamilton for $1 million initially, then further reducing the price to $660,000, even though they had spent $130,000 of estate funds to enhance the facility for Mr. Hamilton, (2) secretly taking $125,000 in "management fees" from the Hoffman estate without informing the beneficiaries or the superior court commissioner when they asked him to approve, and he approved, $112,000 more in estate administration fees, (3) misrepresenting to the state gambling and liquor control authorities the persons who effectively owned and managed the regulated activities at the bowling center from September through sometime in December of 1992 (4) collecting approximately $40,000 in improper "commissions" from third parties while administering the Hoffman estate, in breach of their duty of loyalty to the estate's beneficiaries, (5) selling timeshare weeks in the estate's Surfside Inn resort, Condominium No. 132, for less than one-third their fair market value to themselves, to their law firm's support staff, and to Anderson's selected friends, all in breach of their duty of loyalty to the estate's beneficiaries, and (6) aiding and abetting in Hamilton's fraudulent insurance claim for the broken bowling center roof trusses that they knew were broken before Hamilton took possession and purchased the all-risks insurance policy under which he claimed coverage and later recovered $525,000.
I cannot see any honest basis for the Bar Staff's failure to declare that Anderson's misconduct violates RPC 8.4 (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation). Further, Comment 5 to Rule 8.4 of the American Bar Association's Model Rules Professional Conduct (1983) states the obvious, which obviously applies to Anderson:
 Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer's abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyer. The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust such as trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, agent and officer, director or manager of a corporation or other organization. [Emphasis added.]To fully appreciate the significance of Anderson's abuse of the positions of trust that he held, violating well-established fiduciary law, I urge those unfamiliar with the law that applies to trustees, executors, corporate officials, and other fiduciaries to read the Compilation of Readings on the Law Governing Fiduciaries. I submitted it on April 21, 1998, to the CJC while its hearing panel members were considering the motion for reconsideration of their inadequate 4-month suspension decision. I hoped that by reading it they would recognize the enormity of Anderson's misconduct. I assume that my Compilation was never provided to the hearing panel members, but it was later submitted as part of the CJC's record to the Washington State Supreme Court when it took up Judge Anderson's judicial disciplinary case. Perhaps they read it.
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1. The local daily newspaper, The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA), now charges for its archived news stories, but the headlines and abstracts are still free. From http://www.tribnet.com/ , click "Archives," then "Advanced Search" and search for "Cadillac AND Anderson" with "Gillie" as the Author.
2. News stories from Aug. 1997 (the first CJC charges) to Sept. 1999 (removal) can also be found by similarly searching the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer websites. Here's a Seattle P-I editorial criticizing the ineffective judicial disciplinary system and a Seattle Times editorial column by syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin criticizing both the judicial and the lawyer disciplinary systems.
3. Posted here are my article on 1/15/98 in the Tacoma Voice of the facts I could document on Anderson's corruption, my article critical of the CJC's failure to fully expose Anderson's corruption that ran 4/30/98 in the University Place Journal, a local weekly, and 5/18/98 in the Washington Journal, a statewide lawyers' weekly.
4. The bi-monthly magazine Washington Law & Politics printed "The Cadillac Judge," an in-depth story by a writer who attended Anderson's CJC hearing and interviewed me, finishing it in late July 1998. The story ran in its Sept. 1998 issue, and the next issue (Oct.-Nov. 1998) included my Letter to the Editor expressing my agreement with most, but not all, of the story.
5. Though it may seem from the above that journalists have well covered the Judge Anderson case, I have been extremely frustrated ever since my first "press release" in April 1996 at the reluctance of journalists to go beyond pure news reporting and into investigative reporting of it. I have tried repeatedly to motivate journalists from Seattle, Tacoma, and other parts of the state to dig into the case and to use it further to expose the profound deficiencies in the lawyer and judge disciplinary systems, but nobody seems to care. In 1996, a judicial election year in Washington, I had hoped that the press would forward my report of Judge Anderson's obvious misconduct to the highest authority -- the voters -- but the press refused to do so. Thus, nobody dared to file for office against incumbent Judge Anderson, who won the 1996 election unopposed. (Why didn't I run against him? I'm not a trial lawyer, and I recognized by the journalists' disinterest that having proof of a judge's corruption is worthless unless you can find people who care whether or not judges are corrupt. I've learned that most people accept that lawyers and judges are corrupt, so where's the news? When the CJC recommended merely a 4-month suspension for Judge Anderson's acceptance of the Cadillac payments and more, our Tacoma daily newspaper, The News Tribune, published only one letter, besides mine, from a reader upset at the CJC's leniency.)
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1. The 1999 Washington Legislature scrutinized the evidence of Judge Anderson's misconduct, and by April 22, 1999 both chambers had unanimously approved Substitute Senate Concurrent Resolution 8406, that directs both chambers' judiciary committees to begin by 12/99 the process toward removing him if the Supreme Court has not done so before then. The text of SSCR 8406, bill reports, history, etc. is available on-line. I had sent a letter on Jan. 11, 1999, to each member of the Legislature urging them to address the Judge Anderson problem. In that letter and in follow-up e-mail to selected legislators, I was bluntly critical of the gross ineffectiveness of the judges' and lawyers' disciplinary systems, as I had been in a letter the previous year (see two paragraphs below). When the Legislature began to take an interest, the State Bar staff on Feb. 2, 1999 moved to discipline me for Mr. Hamilton's grievance that had been dormant since Oct. 1996.
2. If you have RealPlayer, available via TV-W, you may listen to the Washington House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing on March 18, 1999 on SSCR 8406. At about 26 minutes into it, the Ocean Beach Public Hospital CEO testifies as to her belief (upon advice of counsel and forensic accountants) that about $1.5 million of the intended bequest to the hospital was "robbed" by Judge Anderson. Later, you can hear Seattle Univ. Law Professor John Strait and I arguing opposing views on whether the Legislature should step into the case.
3. At that legislative hearing, I presented a Memo dated March 17, 1999 urging the Legislature to intervene in the Judge Anderson case because events had convinced me that the Judicial Fraternity was more prone to cover-up a member's misconduct than to expose it, and that our state's judicial disciplinary system lacked integrity. The prior year, I had widely distributed among legislative, judicial, and bar leaders a letter urging creation of a SMELS Commission to look into the ineffectiveness of the judge and lawyer disciplinary systems. I renewed that plea recently, urging the Legislature to substantially take over regulation of the legal services business (lawyers) for the Bar has demonstrated its unwillingness to responsibly regulate and police itself.
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1. Judge Anderson was deposed on December 17, 1996 (and was ill-prepared for it). Here's the transcript in HTML and in PDF.
2. In that deposition at page 58 [search for "attic"], Judge Anderson defended his low price by which he sold Pacific Lanes to his friend Bill Hamilton in part by pointing out the broken trusses in the Pacific Lanes roof structure. He testified that he told Hamilton to go up into the attic to inspect them. Promptly upon taking "taking over" Pacific Lanes (but before the 12/4/92 closing and transfer approval by gambling and liquor regulators), Hamilton fully insured the building against all risks, then claimed to discover the broken trusses during the next summer's slack time, in July 1993. [See Hearing Transcript page 256.] The insurer resisted, claiming among other things, that the truss breaks were a pre-existing problem.
Represented by his Tacoma lawyers Sloan, Bobrick & Oldfield, Hamilton won a summary judgment on the issue of coverage in Sept. 1995 from one of Judge Anderson's judicial colleagues, then settled for $525,000 on 1/4/96. [See Hearing Transcript pages 49 and 319.] I provided the Bar staff considerable detail about the truss-related insurance fraud in my letter of March 17, 1998 responding to a grievance from the Dec. 18, 1997 flyer in which I speculated that Judge Anderson may have influenced the judge who granted Hamilton's summary judgment. The Bar staff dismissed that grievance, finding the evidence sufficient to support the statement that I made. On 1/5/00, I subpoenaed the litigation file on that case from Sloan, Bobrick & Oldfield to prepare my defense to Count 3 of the Bar staff's Complaint (alleging that I'd lied in reporting what Hamilton had told me). My position is that the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client and work-product privileges makes their client file discoverable by me. At noon on Jan. 6, 2000, the Bar dismissed Counts 2 and 3 (alleging that I had lied), so I have cancelled that subpoena pending the outcome of my Motion to the Supreme Court of Dec. 24, 1999, on the application of the crime-fraud exception to a lawyer's duty of confidentialty.
3. Somebody told me that the FBI (after I pointed this out to the feds in 1998) subpoenaed the insurance company's file. An FBI agent had called and asked me in early January 1998 if I knew of any criminal acts within the last five years, so they could bootstrap some criminal acts that were otherwise beyond the five-year statute of limitations -- meaning presumably that a RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) charge was contemplated. Two federal special agents took notes throughout Judge Anderson's five-day CJC hearing in January 1998. The federal authorities had requested the CJC's investigative material, but the CJC refused them just like it refuses everybody else. Mr. Hamilton's attorney, Philip R. Sloan, insisted in a recorded CJC telephonic hearing on Dec.19, 1997 [I have a public record audio tape of it.] that Mr. Hamilton would be refusing to testify, upon 5th Amendment grounds, at Judge Anderson's upcoming CJC hearing as a result of the pending grand jury investigation. See Hearing Transcript at pages 659-662 and 750-751. Surprisingly, he did testify at Judge Anderson's hearing, however.
Based on the criminal acts in my knowledge, the feds have until about November 2001 to file RICO charges before the five-year statute of limitations lapses. That last act was Mr. Hamilton apparently violating bank fraud laws by getting a federally-related homeowner's mortgage loan of $240,000 on his claimed primary residence in November 1996, then immediately letting Judge Anderson move into it, as Mr. Hamilton had already bought another primary home. (I believe the FBI subpoenaed the mortgage lender's files, per my tip -- all the result of an anonymous tipster who called TNT reporter John Gillie in August 1997 upon reading of the CJC's Cadillac kickback charges to say that Judge Anderson got an even better deal on his house from Hamilton! )
The feds had been investigating Bill Hamilton since at least August 1996 when they discovered from an informant that he was paying illegal kickbacks to a local lawyer who developed federally subsidized housing projects nationwide and kept his required project reserve accounts at the small banks -- Western Community Bank and later Sound Banking Company -- that Mr. Hamilton controlled as their CEO's. That lawyer, Michael McKean, who was providing false invoices to disguise the $75,000 in interest kickbacks that he received, pleaded guilty in March 1998 to six felony counts and was in federal prison from June 1998 until mid-Jan. 2000. His lawyer license was suspended in June 1998, his Bar disciplinary hearing was held in June 2000, in April 2001 the Bar's Disciplinary Board recommended his disbarment, as the supreme court ordered in May 2001.
4. At pages 47-52 of Judge Anderson's deposition transcript, he admits to taking "a monthly fee continuously through the period of the probate"-- that he began at $2,500 a month and later increased to $3,300 a month, $125,000 in total -- from the Hoffman Estate as claimed "management fees." He testified that the management fees paid were offset from his final court-approved $112,000 personal representative's fee. When the deposition resumed a few months later, he admitted that there really was no such offset -- and that the court commissioner who approved Anderson's requested $112,000 PR fee was not told anything about the $125,000 in management fees that Anderson and his law partners had already taken from the estate. [I don't yet have computer file copies of the other deposition transcripts, just paper copies, but see Hearing Transcript at pages 48-50 and 675-677.]
5. At page 60 of the deposition transcript, Judge Anderson testifies that Pacific Lanes (business, land, and building) was appraised at $1,334,000 as of March 1989, and claims that he sold it to Hamilton for $1 million. (That appraisal was later a public exhibit in his CJC hearing.) In fact, Hamilton ended up paying only $657,000 for his purchase of Pacific Lanes. An MAI appraisal (I have a full copy of it) performed in June 1993 for Key Bank, which then was considering Hamilton's commercial loan request, valued Pacific Lanes at $1,775,000 (land, building/equipment, and business).
Hamilton switched to First Interstate Bank, which loaned him $900,000 secured by Pacific Lanes in October 1993, and Hamilton used about $508,000 of those funds to pay off the Estate for his sweetheart purchase of Pacific Lanes. Of that, $108,000 paid off the balance due on the "adjusted" price ($300,000 adjusted down to $207,000) on the business assets portion of the deal; $400,000 was his "re-negotiated" price to exercise the purchase option (for which he'd paid $50,000) on the rented land and building. So the sum Hamilton paid was: $207,000 + $400.000 + $50,000. Hamilton later paid $15,000 to attorney Stephen Fisher (Judge Anderson's partner who took over as executor and trustee of the Hoffman Estate and Trust) for his time "negotiating" Hamilton's reduced option price, unbeknownst to the directors of beneficiary Ocean Beach Public Hospital, who trustingly assumed Mr. Fisher was being loyal to it. See Hearing Transcript page 122.
6. As a nice gesture of friendship, Anderson spent over $130,000 of what should have been the Hoffman Estate's funds to do deferred maintenance and improvements to Pacific Lanes in mid-1992, after the time that he says he had an informal $1 million deal with Bill Hamilton. The project "consultant," Mr. Larry Capps, reported that he went up into the attic and inspected the broken trusses at Anderson's request in July of 1992, and he confirmed to Anderson that they were indeed broken.
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1. Judge Anderson testified, at page 55 through page 59, that he'd been trying to sell Pacific Lanes for quite a long time, but there appeared to be no interested buyers, so he presented the so-called $1 million deal to his friend Hamilton in April 1992, which they documented in a 3-page agreement on Sept. 19, 1992, four days after he won his judicial election. Judge Anderson's attorney, Kurt M. Bulmer, emphasized that story of "no interested buyers" in his closing arguments at the hearing. Hearing Transcript page 783. But quite the opposite story was told Nov. 30, 1999 in a deposition by another bowling center owner, Jerry Williams, M.D., to whom Anderson's law partner David R. Tuell "shopped" Pacific Lanes for $1.2 to $1.3 million in September 1992. Tuell's overture caused a major blow-up between law partners Anderson and Tuell (both of whom wanted to "park" the "cash cow" bowling/gambling/liquor business with their own trusted friend), and a "very upset" Tuell then abruptly took back the bowling center's financial papers from Dr.Williams, indicating that Anderson wasn't interested in any other offers, though Tuell knew that "this was wrong." (As noted above, lawyers Anderson and Tuell both were State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Officers at that time! Tuell died in 2003.) Dr. Williams' deposition describes the manner in which bowling centers generally are shopped by word of mouth, which travels quickly in the tight-knit bowling community, but in 1992 "there was no talk of Pacific Lanes being up for sale." Hamilton later testified that Anderson "is as good a male friend as I have." Hearing Transcript, foot of page 260. I'm sure Anderson would say the same thing about Hamilton, particularly after the latter bestowed a Cadillac and nice home on the former.
2. Corroborating Dr. Williams' observation, I was contacted in January 1998 by the owners of another local bowling center who had sought to buy Pacific Lanes from Mr. Anderson. Their attorney had spoken and corresponded with Anderson in March 1989 asking to be informed when Pacific Lanes was going to be offered for sale. Their attorney (from the prominent Tacoma firm of Gordon Thomas Honeywell) advised them in 1998 not to share his letter with me, but they did so anyway in November 1999 to assist me in my Bar discipline defense. I had received no cooperation from two other Gordon Thomas Honeywell lawyers in 1996 as I sought information (that I'm sure their client willingly would have given had they approved) about Anderson's shady dealings with the Surfside Inn condo owners. Similarly, the potential Pacific Lanes buyer Dr. Williams' prominent Tacoma attorney (George Christnacht, a former President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association ) advised Dr. Williams not to step forward in 1998 during Judge Anderson's judicial discipline hearing with the information about Tuell's abruptly withrawn offer for Pacific Lanes. [Prominent Tacoma lawyers stand to win more than they lose with a corrupt judge who looks out for his friends, and Anderson's lawyer friends gave him (beyond just their generous campaign contributions) 341 votes to his opponent's 110 in the local bar's 1992 judicial election popularity poll .(TNT article of 9/6/92.)
Most local lawyers still lament Judge Anderson's disrobing, their test of a "good" judge being simply whether he's ever made a "bad" ruling against them or their own clients. Most local lawyers blame foolishly arrogant Kurt Bulmer for Judge Anderson's removal, confident that they could have prevented that consequence simply by advising the Judge to contritely accept his 4-month CJC suspension rather than fight it through the Supreme Court appeal. Ah, hindsight is so clear. I've never heard a local lawyer reflect upon whether the Judge truly deserved to be removed (because most lawyers through law school lose any concept of right or wrong, and can only grasp the concepts of winning or losing; and it's easier to win if the judge is your friend).
3. When Grant L. Anderson took the bench in 1993, his partner of 25 years, David R. Tuell Jr., joined with Larry J. Couture (the candidate who lost to Anderson in the 1992 election) to form Tuell & Couture, P.S. Within days after the CJC in 1997 charged Judge Anderson with the Cadillac and other Hoffman Estate-related misconduct, Mr. Couture wrote a strongly worded Letter to the Editor of The News Tribune, printed 8/18/97, accusing the CJC of wasting taxpayers' money [apparently leaving less available for the likes of Anderson to steal] investigating Judge Anderson after the State Bar disciplinary office, the county Prosecutor's office, and the state Attorney General's office each had "found that Judge Anderson did nothing wrong." I believe that Mr. Courture himself knew that Judge Anderson and his partner had done many very wrong things, but he was doing his lawyerly best to cover them up. Mr. Couture was President of the Family Law Section of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association in 1995, probably elected in recognition of his win-loss record before friendly judges rather than for his ethics or leadership.
4. Ocean Beach Hospital's attorneys in July 1998 served it's Complaint for fraud and other misconduct against lawyers Grant L. Anderson, David R. Tuell Jr., Stephen W. Fisher, Robyn Lindsay (aka Robyn Koppe and Robyn Hoefel), and Richard L Hoefel, plus William Hamilton and accountants Gary Frind and Kevin Iverson, and then many more lawyers became involved. The $500,000 Settlement Agreement reflects that David Tuell was represented by F. Ross Burgess of Burgess Fitzer Leighton & Phillips, P.S. (Tacoma); Anderson was represented by Jerry Kindinger of Ryan Swanson & Cleveland (Seattle); and Fisher, Lindsay & Hoefel were represented by Doug Rasmussen of Bullivant Houser Bailey (Seattle). Accountant Iverson was represented by Peter Deming of Inslee Best Dozie & Ryder (Seattle). It appears that the settlement was mediated by attorney Frederick Rasmussen of Stokes Lawrence, P.S. (Seattle).
5. During Judge Anderson's CJC hearing in January 1998, a former estate planning client phoned me to report that he had been cautioned some years earlier by prominent Tacoma criminal defense lawyer Monte E. Hester that then lawyer Grant L. Anderson is not an honest person. I've often wondered just what stories Mr. Hester could have told if he'd chosen to "do the right thing," but I'm sure he recognized that doing so would have risked his win-loss record or possibly even his career. No law or ethics rule in Washington required Mr. Hester to report to authorities any dishonest or other unethical conduct by Anderson as a lawyer or a judge, so why would he? To most lawyers, "right" is what the law requires, "wrong" is what the law forbids, and anything in between is left to personal choice, usually driven by personal gain. Better to have a corrupt judge who knows you and you, him, than to face the uncertainty of an unknown judge who just might mete out "blind justice," right? Mr. Hester is very active in many, many judicial election campaigns.
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Bill Hamilton's deposition transcript colorfully describes how Mr. Anderson and he flouted the liquor and gambling licensing laws, administered by, Hamilton says, "little people with little problems at some regulatory agency." (Hamilton's 1/27/97 deposition, page 44.) They both testified at the hearing that de facto full ownership and control of Pacific Lanes passed from Anderson to Hamilton on Sept. 1, 1992, though he lacked the requisite liquor and gambling licenses until early December 1992. Hearing Transcript at pages 51-54 (Anderson testifying) and 138-157 (Hamilton testifying). Liquor and gambling operations accounted for about 70% of the revenues of Pacific Lanes. See Hearing Transcript page 88. Violations of the liquor licensing laws (RCW Ch 66.24) and the gambling licensing laws (RCW Ch. 9.46) are crimes, but perhaps those laws are selectively enforced -- and Anderson and Hamilton were both prominent people! I learned on 1/7/00 that Hamilton has been represented in criminal defense matters since January 1998 by lawyer C. James Frush of (you guessed it) Gordon Thomas Honeywell.
[Keep in mind as you read all this that by August 1996, the State Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel (click here its closure letter), the Pierce County Prosecutor (click here to see his "cover-up"), and the State Attorney General's Office (same "cover-up") had each closed their investigations, if any, that resulted from me giving them in or before February 1996 the very same information that I gave to the CJC. The State Bar claimed to re-open (just a little bit) its investigation of Anderson in February 1999, since the much-feared legislature, with my prodding, was then taking an interest in the Anderson case. At the same time, and I believe for that same reason, the State Bar's disciplinary staff began to formally charge me as unethical in order to discredit me in the eyes of the legislature and the public. Their false charges that I lied (Formal Complaint counts II and III) were maliciously made in bad faith and without credible evidence, and when I began to gather evidence to prove that the State Bar staff dropped them on Jan. 6, 2000 (but the allegations had by then served the State Bar staff's intended purpose of maligning me in the eyes of some.)
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(Note: The Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel refuses to provide me any of its document in digital form.The Hearing Officer, lawyer Larry Mills, likewise refused. I have re-typed or scanned some of their documents.)
1. Formal Complaint dated May 26, 1999 (I re-typed it; the Bar staff refused me a computer file copy of it).
2. My Answer dated July 6, 1999, including--
Exhibit 1, my Perjury Declaration of 2/16/96 of facts known to me (see especially its 1st and its 4th-to-last paragraphs);
Exhibit 2, my Memo of 2/29/96 to Appropriate Public Officials giving my analysis of the public records;
Exhibit 3, hospital attorney Steve Reisler's demand letter of 6/22/98 to Judge Anderson, etc., claiming ~$1 million.
3. My Motion for Discretionary Review of Interlocutory Decisions that I filed Aug. 6, 1999, with the Washington Supreme Court, which denied it by a one-sentence Order on Nov. 4, 1999.
4. My Legal Arguments by letter of 12/7/99 to Hearing Officer Mills seeking to engage in discovery through depositions and subpoenas of the criminal, fraudulent, or other serious misconduct of Judge Anderson, Mr. Hamilton, and their co-conspirators. On Dec. 15, 1999, Hearing Officer Mills ruled against me, and refused to provide me his ruling in computer file form for posting here. Here, in PDF format, is his Order Regarding Scope of Discovery, Respondent's Motion for Continuance, and Other Matters.
5. My Motion for Discretionary Review of Prehearing Rulings that I filed Dec. 24, 1999, with the Washington Supreme Court, seeking reversal of Hearing Officer Mills' ruling essentially barring my crime-fraud defense by denying me the right to discover and present more evidence of the crime, fraud, or other lawlessness that Hamilton furthered when he used me in 1992.
6. On Jan. 6, 2000, Disciplinary Counsel Christine Gray wrote to Hearing Officer Mills to say that the Bar Association "will not be introducing evidence to prove Counts II and III of the Formal Complaint, and will not object to the dismissal of those counts." [Thank-you for finally investigating them!] See my letter of April 16, 1999 to the Review Committee protesting the Bar's strategic decision to make those unsupportable allegations to begin with, and the unwillingness of the Disciplinary Board's assigned Review Committee, the State Bar Board of Governors or the State Supreme Court to even require that they be supported by any investigation.
7. On Jan. 21, 2000, Hearing Officer Mills formally dismissed Counts II and III of the State Bar's Formal Complaint, based upon Disciplinary Counsel Gray's letter of Jan. 6, 2000 stating that she would be presenting no evidence to prove those counts. Here, in PDF format, is Mr. Mills' January 23, 2000 Order Dismissing Counts II and III, Denying Motion to Bifurcate, and Granting Stay.
8. On Feb. 5, 2000, Disciplinary Counsel Gray filed with the State Supreme Court an "Answer to Motion for Discretionary Review" that included 3 pages of argument opposing my Motion, claiming that Hearing Officer Mills' ruling had not impaired my ability to make a record and present arguments in the disciplinary proceeding that my actions were permitted under the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client confidentiality. Gray further argued against my request for electronic-format documents for posting on this website, which website she presumed was not neutral. She said that my giving the URL to my website in my Motion appeared to be an invitation to the Court to review it, which she told the Court would be improper because it was not part of the record in the case.
9. On Feb. 9, 2000, Disciplinary Counsel Gray filed with the State Supreme Court a copy of the Ruling of Feb. 2, 2000, by the Disciplinary Board Chair, attorney Richard B. Kilpatrick, denying my request that the Board review Hearing Officer Mills' ruling under RLD 2.3(f)(5).
10. On Feb. 18, 2000, I filed with the State Supreme Court a "Supplementation of Appendix to Motion for Discetionary Review" that included (1) a copy of Hearing Officer Mills' written ruling of Jan. 24, 2000, dismissing Counts II and III, and (2) a paper print-out (124 pages) of this website (excluding papers previously filed and the voluminous transcripts). I urged the State Supreme Court to review this website, saying "because of the Court's inherent and exclusive jurisdiction over the lawyer discipline system, the Rule of Necessity supports the Court taking cognizance of the evidence before the general public of that system's failure, more evidence of which will be discovered if the Court reverses the Hearing Officer's rulings barring my discovery of such evidence."
11. On March 1, 2000, Disciplinary Counsel Gray filed with the State Supreme Court a "Motion to Strike Respondent's Supplementation of Appendix," urging the Court to reject and not to consider the printout of this website because Hearing Officer Mills had not considered it in making his ruling in December 1999.
12. On March. 1, 2000, attorneys Donald H. Mullins and Diana P. Danzberger of Badgley~Mullins Law Group filed on my behalf in the State Supreme Court a "Request for Leave to File Reply, and Reply in Support of Petitioner's Motion for Discretionary Review." They also filed papers in the State Bar office declaring that Mr. Mullins and his firm were associating with me as additional counsel in the disciplinary proceeding. Their Supreme Court Reply brief argued that the Court should exercise its inherent power over the lawyer discipline system to review the important issues in this disciplinary proceeding. [I greatly appreciate the volunteered help of Badgley Mullins as well as the volunteered help of Shawn T. Newman, a lawyer associated with the citizens' watchdog group CLEAN.]
13. On Mar. 1, 2000, the Supreme Court Clerk reported that my Motion had been re-docketed to the Supreme Court's April 6, 2000, En Banc Administrative Conference, and that I should file by March 13, 2000, any response I might have to the State Bar's Motion to Strike.
14. On Mar. 13, 2000, I filed a "Petitioner's Reply to Motion to Strike Website Printout," stressing that if the Supreme Court seeks to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the legal-judicial system, the Court's decisions on the issues raised in this case and on this website should take into account the information that is readily available to the general public, including the information posted on this website.
15. On Mar. 31, 2000, I filed a "Second Supplement to Appendix to Motion for Discretionary Review," to add to the appendix to the motion before the Supreme Court two items showing that the State Bar disciplinary authorities declined to even investigate lawyer Grant L. Anderson's misconduct and also four recent newspaper articles illustrating the public interest in the case.
16. On April 6, 2000, Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard P. Guy signed an Order stating that after their administrative conference, the Court unanimously agreed to entry of the order, which read:
"Douglas A. Schafer's Motion for Discretionary Review is denied. The Motion for Reconsideration of Clerk's Determination on Filing Fee is denied. The Motion for Leave to File Reply in Support of Petitioner's Motion for Discretionary Review is granted. The WSBA Motion to Strike Supplementation of Appendix is denied."So the State Bar and the Supreme Court will not permit me to defend myself by exposing, through subpoenas and compelled testimony, the full extent of the crime, fraud, and other misconduct that my former client Bill Hamilton, former judge Grant L. Anderson and other lawyers in his law firm planned and committed in the 1992 era when Hamilton asked me to form his corporation to further the scheme. I always thought this kind of injustice only happened in countries with corrupt governments! Was I right? What does this mean? At the least, it means that my plea for moral leadership from the Court fell on deaf ears. The Court's very clear message is that any lawyer who dares to report a corrupt judge or fellow lawyer had better expect to go through Hell and see his or her career and life destroyed! It's a close-knit fraternity, you see.
17. On April 20, 2000, Hearing Officer Larry Mills scheduled my disciplinary hearing to start Monday, July 17, 2000, and run through Monday, July 25, 2000, with any additional time, if needed, to be scheduled at a later time. It will be at the State Bar offices in downtown Seattle, and will be open to the public.
18. On June 7, 2000, I served a Subpoena upon Hamilton's lawyer Philip R. Sloan to depose him and obtain his records relating to Hamilton. He immediately objected, as did Disciplinary Counsel Gray. On June 16, 2000, I filed my Reply to Motion to Quash and to Deponent's Objection to Subpoena for Deposition and Documents [PDF format], asserting that the crime-fraud exception applies to defeat Sloan's claims of attorney-client and work-product privilege. My Reply includes many exhibits, Exhibits A-I, Ex. J-L, Ex. M-Q [PDF format], that illustrate the "crime-fraud" activities of Hamilton and Sloan and others. Hearing Officer Larry Mills scheduled a telephone hearing for June 20 to rule on the issue.
19. On June 20, 2000, Mr. Mills heard oral arguments on the objections to my subpoena of lawyer Sloan. Sloan's new personal criminal defense lawyer, Gary Clower, argued that the "crime-fraud exception" was applicable in this disciplinary case only based upon activities surrounding Hamilton's 1992 communications to me, not based upon activities surrounding Hamilton's 1996 communications with lawyer Sloan. Mr. Mills appeared to agree, for he then ruled that I was barred from learning any "confidential communications" between Hamilton and Sloan in 1996, without apparently even considering the applicability of the crime-fraud exception to their 1996 relationship and communications. Here's Mr. Mills' Order Granting Motion to Quash and Sustaining Deponent's Objections to Subpoena for Deposition and Documents[PDF], which refers to his December 15, 1999 Order Regarding Scope of Discovery, (etc.) [PDF]. Ironically, as the Order from last December shows, Mr. Mills then had accepted the argument that only 1996 activities -- not 1992 activities -- were relevant to my discipinary case. Perhaps the deck is stacked against me.
20. My State Bar disciplinary hearing began July 17, 2000, with testimony (mainly mine) being given over four days, then closing arguments the morning of July 24, 2000. Here is the hearing transcript in pdf format. The State Bar argued at closing that my license should be suspended for 18 months--because I showed no remorse for reporting the corrupt judge!! The Washington public affairs broadcast network, TVW (a state version of C-SPAN), videotaped the entire hearing, then broadcast it statewide (replaying each of its nine half-day sessions two to four times) to its 2 million cable TV subscribers. Internet users may listen to the audio portion of all nine segments, using Real Player software, by clicking here.
21. Lawyer/Hearing Officer Larry Mills signed on August 18, 2000, his Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Hearing Officer's Recommendation. He says, "Schafer should be commended for his extraordinary efforts" that resulted in Judge Anderson's removal (Conclusion of Law ¶11), but nonetheless he recommends that my license to practice law be suspended for six (6) months and that I should be ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding.
Mills said that the information I provided authorities in 1996 "would have been more than sufficient to allow Schafer to carry out his primary objective of seeing that a corrupt judge was removed from the bench, without the disclosure of confidences and secrets communicated to him by Hamilton," (Conclusion of Law ¶12) and that "his primary objective most likely could have been achieved without violating his duties to Hamilton." [my emphasis] (Aggravating Factor (g)). Considering that it took 3½ years for Anderson's removal, with the State Bar never to this day having charged him with any violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, I dispute what Mills claims would "most likely" have happened if I had provided even less information. I still believe that lawyers have a duty to protect citizens from a lawless judge, just as the state supreme court declared it a lawyer's duty to protect judges from lawless citizens. And that duty is more important than keeping secrets of a lawless client. (State v. Hansen, 122 Wn.2d 712, 721 (1993)).
22. In the Fall of 2000, I filed with the Washington State Bar Association Disciplinary Board a Statement in Opposition to Hearing Officer's Decision. Disciplinary Counsel Gray filed a 26-page Counterstatement in Support of Hearing Officer's Decision (refusing me a computer-file copy of it). I then filed a Response to Bar's Counterstatement.
23. On January 12, 2001, both sides presented half-hour arguments to10 members of the Disciplinary Board (3 other members recused, and one vacancy existed). Here is the transcript from that presentation. In the days and weeks following that, I filed letters of January 16, January 25, March 1, and March 22, 2001. (The March 22 item included transcript excerpts concerning the ongoing federal criminal investigation of Hamilton and others.) Then, on May 2, 2001, the Disciplinary Board issued its Order of a seven-member majority (of 5 lawyers, 2 non-lawyers), along with one Dissent by lawyers Weatherhead and Hayton, and another Dissent by lawyer Sturwold. I was disappointed at the decisions and at the lack of analysis of the legal issues (balancing of public policies, crime-fraud exception, Rule 8.3, etc.), with the exception of the Dissent by Sturwold (who at least appeared to have read and considered the material). I thought that some would agree with me that protecting the integrity of the judicial system was more important than protecting secrets of a client who conspired with a corrupt judge.
24. Shortly after the Disciplinary Board's ruling, I filed a Notice of Appeal with the Washington State Supreme Court (though its review is automatic whenever a license suspension or disbarment is recommended). In due time, I designated what papers from the Bar's files I wished to be transmitted to the state supreme court. The Disciplinary Board Chairman signed an order directing me to pay, at some point, about $9,000 in "costs" that the Bar claimed to have incurred in persecuting me (though the State Supreme Court could quash that). On September 6, 2001, I filed with the State Supreme Court my Opening Brief, presenting why my actions in reporting the corrupt judge do not warrant discipline. I invite the Supreme Court--
(1) to look closely at the inner workings of the state bar disciplinary system, which appears corrupt;
(2) declare that maintaining integrity in the judicial and legal system is the highest priority of every lawyer and judge functioning within it, in order to serve the public and to deserve the public's confidence in that system;
(3) to look at the 117-year case-law history of the crime-fraud exception to the confidentiality principle, and to the wise policies underlying it, all indicating that a client using a lawyer to further a crime or fraud is not using the lawyer in his/her "professional capacity," so they lack a "professional relationship" from which a lawyer's duty of confidentiality would arise;
(4) to recognize that a lawyer has a right under the federal and state consititutions to report a corrupt judge to law enforcement and professional disciplinary officials and to the press.
Because my Opening Brief exceeded by 20 pages the normal 50-page limit, I filed a Motion to Accept Overlength Brief giving my arguments as to why the state supreme court should accept my longer brief. With my Brief, I separately filed an Appendix: Legislative History of RPC 1.6(c), that gives background concerning the issued identified in the Brief as Issue No. 7. The Court accepted my overlength opening brief over the bar disciplinary lawyer's objections.
25. In mid-October, the state bar filed its Answering Brief, to which I was permitted 20 days to reply. The state bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") provided me a paper copy but refused to provide me a copy in any electronic format. (The ODC has consistently refused my requests for their documents in any electronic format.)
26. On November 8, 2001, I filed my Reply Brief in the State Supreme Court. The 25-page limit required that I disregard much that was worthy of reply, and to focus on the two major issues: that judicial integrity should trump client confidentiality, and that the crime-fraud exception should apply to a lawyer's normal duty of confidentiality.
On Tuesday, February 26, 2002, the nine justices of the State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments, 30 minutes per side, on this as the second case on their 9:00 a.m docket. They likely will announce their decision from four to twelve months after the oral arguments. After that process, I will either be disciplined or be exonerated. My present attitude--that I express in the conclusion of my Opening Brief-- is that I will abandon the "profession" of law if the Court is unwilling to recognize that protecting the integrity of the judicial system is the highest priority for lawyers. If a lawyer may not disclose clear evidence of a judge's corruption, I decline to be a lawyer. I don't choose to play in a rigged game--or to quietly and passively observe it as most lawyers, it seems, are comfortable doing.
27. On February 1, 2002, I filed a Motion for a Ruling on Issues of Disqualification. For months I have been wondering when Chief Justice Alexander would recuse from the case due to his personal friendship with former Judge Grant L. Anderson, and when Justice Richard Sanders would recuse because of his attorney-client relationship with Anderson's lawyer Kurt Bulmer and Sanders' personal role in the landmark 1979 Hawkins case that held lawyers could disregard public safety in favor of fulfilling their client's stated objectives.
28. On February 5, 2002, I mailed to the state Supreme Court for filing a Motion for Court to Consider Written Views of Nonlawyer Citizens to which I attached as exhibits the carefully prepared letters by two nonlawyer citizens that the Court's Clerk, by direction of its Chief Justice, recently rejected. It strikes me that since the Court repeatedly states the chief purpose of lawyer discipline is to preserve public confidence in the legal profession and the judical system, the Court should consider the expressed views of members of the public in a case such as the Bar's prosecution of me for reporting a corrupt lawyer-judge.
29. On February 11, 2002, I received from Supreme Court Clerk Merritt a faxed letter stating: "Chief Justice Alexander and Justice Sanders have recused from futher consideration of this matter. Due to the scheduling difficulties associated with obtaining pro tem justices for the oral arguments of this case, the date for oral argument has been stricken and the case will be reset in the Spring Term."
30. On March 1, 2002, I received from the Supreme Court Clerk's office a letter advising that my case will be heard on May 7, 2002, at 1:30 pm, and that Justices Pro Tempore Faye Kennedy (from Court of Appeals, Div. I) and Karen G. Seinfeld (from Court of Appeals, Div. II) have replaced recused Justices Alexander and Sanders on the panel for my case. Justice Pro Tempore Robert Winsor (retired from Court of Appeals, Div. I) was designated the replacement for recused Justice Johnson some time ago.
31. On March 1, 2002, I received from State Bar Managing Disciplinary Counsel Christine Gray the "Bar Assocation's Response to Respondent Schafer's Motion for Court to Consider Written Views of Nonlawyer Citizens" urging the Court not to accept for filing or to consider the letters from interested members of the public.
32. On about March 1, 2002, an Amicus Curiae Brief was filed by Spokane elder law lawyer Cheryl Mitchell arguing that my actions were consistent with the duty of a lawyer, in matters relating to trusts and estates, to report fraud upon the court. Ms. Mitchell's credentials are described in her Motion to File Amicus Brief, which the Court granted.
33. On April 3, 2002, the Court denied without explanation the Motion for Court to Consider Written Views of Nonlawyer Citizens .
34. On May 6, 2002, I filed a Respondent Lawyer's Statement of Additional Authorities. On May 7, 2002, the Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in this case. All arguments before that Court are videotaped by TVW, the Washington Public Affairs Network, which broadcasts them to its viewers (potentially 2 million) within the next few days or weeks, and which posts on its website the audio files of the hearings. For the direct link to the RealPlayer audio file of my hearing, click here. Newspaper reports of my State Supreme Court hearing may be viewed on-line: click here (Seattle Weekly), here (AP) and here (Tribune).
35. On June 27, 2002, I filed a Respondent Lawyer's Second Statement of Additional Authorities. Rule of Appellate Procedure 10.8 permits parties to file such statements, without argument, any time prior to the filing of the Court's decision. So, as I learn of additional opinions or other authorities that are relevant to the issues in my case, I will file additional such statements.
36. On July 17, 2002, I filed a Respondent Lawyer's Third Statement of Additional Authorities to call to the Court's attention several relevant law journal articles and two recent books that are critical of the Organized Bar's self-serving 1983 strict confidentiality rules: Deborah L. Rhode, In the Interests of Justice: Reforming the Legal Profession (2000), and William H. Simon, The Practice of Justice: A Theory of Lawyer’s Ethics (1998).
37. On August 14, 2002, I filed a Respondent Lawyer's Fourth Statement of Additional Authorities to call the Court's attention to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002's Congressional mandate that the SEC write Rules of Professional Responsibility for lawyers that serve the public interests. I also noted a 1994 article about the prospect of federal agencies and Congress taking over from the state courts the responsibility of regulating lawyers, plus several other very timely items. There is an intriguing item about new SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt. His 1981 article in The Business Lawyer suggests that, immediately upon his departure form the SEC in 1978 (where he'd been general counsel for three years, and employed for ten) he had joined with other corporate-securities lawyers to "bury" from further SEC consideration a particular public-interest rules proposal. A group at Georgetown University in 1978 had proposed that the SEC adopt a rule to require that lawyer's report corporate fraud to the corporation's board of directors. The Enron and Worldcom scandals in 2002 effectively exhumed that 1978 "Georgetown Proposal" and it became section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
38. On August 14, 2002, I learned that the Conference of Chief Justices, on August 1, 2002, had adopted a formal resolution supporting the ABA Ethics 2000 Commission's proposal that the ABA Model Rules of Professsional Conduct should be amended to permit lawyers to disclose client information to prevent or to rectify a client's crime crime or fraud in which the lawyer's services had been used. The CCJ's Resolution 35 is posted at the CCJ's website page of Policy Statements & Resolutions . This is a very good sign. Perhaps the state courts will begin to assume leadership roles over the organized bars of their respective states. The history has been that state courts mostly have deferred to the "wisdom" of their organized bars on matters of lawyer ethics, but the bars have consistently placed their own self-interests ahead of public interests. See Professor Koniak's excellent journal article listed among many others on this website.
39. On September 17, 2002, I filed a Respondent Lawyer's Fifth Statement of Additional Authorities to call to the attention of the nine-justice panel considering my disciplinary case the resolution of the Conference of Chief Justices, as discussed in Paragraph 38, as well as other national developments indicating that law professors are beginning to take a more statesman-like role in shaping responsible public policy in matters of lawyer ethics. Included in the materials that I filed is correspondence from Illinois Law Professor Richard W. Painter agreeing with me that the strict confidentiality provisions in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct directly resulted from corporate law firms and lawyers re-writing the ethics rules in the 1970s to shield themselves from liability for aiding and abetting their clients' frauds.
40. On December 4, 2002, I filed a Respondent Lawyer's Sixth Statement of Additional Authorities to call to the Court's attention various new authorities, the most significant of which is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's ("SEC") proposed lawyer ethics rules that provide public policy exceptions to lawyer-client confidentiality, including permitting disclosures to rectify past client fraud or other illegality that the client advanced through the lawyer's services.
41. On December 16, 2002, in response to the SEC's invitation for public comments on its proposed lawyer ethics rules that provide for lawyer whistleblowing in certain circumstances (posted in HTML on the SEC's website, and in PDF on the Federal Register website), I filed a brief supportive comment letter (click here). Legal ethics law professors Koniak, Cramton, and Cohen, with 48 other law professors, submitted a lengthy supportive comment letter (click here), noting at page 21 that the ABA's current strict confidentiality position initially was "motivated by resistance to the SEC's [enforcement] actions in the  National Student Marketing case" (as I had asserted in my Reply Brief). The ABA's own lengthy opposition comment letter expressing its position is posted on its lobbying office's website (click here). I have posted several other significant public comment letters at: http://www.evergreenethics.com/SEC/ . Eventually, those and all other comment letters e-mailed to the SEC should be posted at its website: http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s74502.shtml
42. On January 8, 2003, I filed a Respondent Lawyer's Seventh Statement of Additional Authorities to call to the Court's attention various new authorities, including public comments to the SEC on its proposed lawyer ethics rules. I thought it noteworthy that 54 law professors now were on-record as sharing my conclusion (pages 5 - 12 in my Reply Brief) that the Organized Bar's shift toward very strict confidentiality beginning in the 1970s was a defensive response to the SEC's enforcement, against prominent law firms, of the prior ethics rules that required lawyers to report and rectify their clients' frauds. I also thought it noteworthy to contrast Barrie Althoff's view that lawyers are simply mercenaries having no duty to the public with my view that lawyers have responsibilities to society as well as to their clients. That difference of opinion on the role of lawyers is central to this disciplinary case.
43. On February 17, 2003, I mailed to the Court a Respondent Lawyer's Eighth Statement of Additional Authorities to call to the Court's attention to several new authorities, including the SEC's final lawyer ethics rules that preempt state rules and considerable newly published historical material that confirms the ABA's corruptly self-serving reversal in 1975 of its "ethics" rule that previously had required lawyers to reveal their discoveries of clients' fraud and crime. The historical record reveals that the ABA reversed that rule in 1975 when the SEC began suing elite white-shoe law firms that systematically ignored it while enabling their corporate clients' rampant corruption. And a new article from California confirms that Bar's obsession with absolute confidentiality is driven by fears of Tarasoff liability if their "ethics" rules become interpreted or amended to permit lawyers to act like decent, moral human beings and warn folks about to get murdered or otherwise harmed by their clients. Their fears indicate either that (1) they won't act like decent, moral human beings, or (2) they don't trust the legal system to exculpate them from a client's crime/fraud that they could not reasonably prevent. On the morality of California lawyers, see San Diego County Bar advisory ethics opinion 1990-1 (click here).
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1. In June 1985, the Washington State Supreme Court replaced its prior lawyer ethics code by adopting a set of Rules of Professional Conduct that closely followed the ABA's 1983 Model Rules of Professional Conduct, but with many, many variations from that national model (which itself has changed many times since 1983). The state supreme court has amended its version of the RPC almost every year since then, responding to new issues and concerns that arise.
2. The Washington Supreme Court's RPCs are posted as text at Washington Courts website, and as a Folio database at Cornell's Legal Info. Institute.
3. A significant departure from the Model Rules was WA's RPC 1.6(c), added in 1990, permitting voluntary disclosure of a client's misconduct as a court-appointed fiduciary (e.g., executor, guardian). Another departure is that Washington retained, in its Rule 1.6 (Confidentiality), the terms "confidences" and "secrets," as defined in an introductory "Terminology" section, from the earlier Code of Professional Responsibility DR 4-101, whereas the ABA Model Rule 1.6, in its present form, applies to "information relating to representation of a client." That difference may affect the application of the crime-fraud exception, as discussed in my letter of 12/7/99 to the Hearing Officer, noted above.
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1. A matter of national debate for the last 25 or so years is under what circumstances a lawyer may reveal his client's secrets. The American Bar Association's Ethics 2000 Commission has recommended the adoption of changes to the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Responsibility (rule 1.6(b)(3)) that would permit a lawyer who's been used by a client to further a client's fraud upon others to reveal the client's secrets to enable the victims to recover or reduce their damages. Available on-line are the Commission's May 2001 Final Report, including its recommended changes to Model Rule 1.6, with Comments and Reporter's Notes, and strongly supportive written testimony, particularly that of Law Professor Roger C. Cramton (Cornell Law School) and Mr. Robert E. O'Malley (from ALAS, the captive malpractice insurer of major law firms) (see his Proposal 1). Scholarly arguments for such changes to the Model Rules are presented in a recent law review article by R. Cramton & L. Knowles, "Professional Secrecy and Its Exceptions: Spaulding v. Zimmerman Revisited," 83 Minn. L. Rev. 63 (1998) that is posted on this website with the kind permission of the authors and the Minnesota Law Review. Note especially the following two quotes from the start of Part II of that article, the first at page 101, the second at pages 106-07:
"If the threatened harm is as serious and as likely to occur as that in Spaulding, we would like to think that most lawyers, including ourselves, would take the path of conscientious disobedience. But professional rules should not require lawyers in the everyday practice of law to act heroically. Ordinary humans, including lawyers, should not be put in the position of risking their livelihood or careers by doing the right thing.""The very policies and purposes that justify the professional duty of confidentiality in the first place argue strongly for a permissive exception to that duty corresponding to the client-fraud exception of the attorney-client privilege. If a lawyer is required to testify to a client communication, otherwise privileged, when the client has sought the lawyer's advice and services to perpetrate or continue a fraud, a concomitant discretion to disclose without testimonial compulsion should be recognized under the professional duty of confidentiality. Neither the legal profession nor society as a whole should tolerate a regime in which lawyers may be used by clients as a means of carrying out a crime or fraud."2. The American Law Institute, a scholarly body of judges, law professors, and lawyers, in 1998 approved for publication its Restatement of the Law Third, The Law Governing Lawyers, which after considerable editing was published in August, 2000. It includes, as Section 67 (which had been numbered section 117B in the drafts), a provision substantially identical to the Ethics 2000 Commission's draft rule 1.6(b)(3) stating that lawyers may disclose their clients' frauds in order to aid the defrauded victims. The new text may be found in most law libraries.
3. The argument for permitting a lawyer to disclose a client's fraud to aid the defrauded victims applies whenever a client has used the lawyer for such a purpose. It's force is amplified by an order of magnitude when one of the co-conspirators in the fraud is a sitting judge in a trial court with general unlimited jurisdiction, for consider the harm that a corrupt sitting judge can do (e.g., he's empowered to pronounce death sentences, and every lesser sanction).
4. Nearly everybody, it seems, jokes and complains about the lack of moral character among lawyers. A recent book by two practicing lawyers who also teach law school ethics courses has been very favorably reviewed, both for exposing the profession's problems and for proposing some reforms to address those problems. Published in May 1999, available soon in a paperback edition, and likely now available at your nearest bookstore, as well as through the link here to Amazon.com (read its posted reviews), it is:
"The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer: Truth, Justice, Power, and Greed,"Those two also authored an article posted on The American Lawyer's website that includes passages from their book about the apparent ethical vacuum in the 1990s at Bogle & Gates, Seattle's second largest law firm that abruptly folded in early 1999. I note that Bogle's managing partner/CEO from 1993, Richard J. Wallis, chaired the Washington State Bar's Discipinary Board in 1996-97, was its vice-chair in 1995-96, and was a member of it in 1994-95. It is not surprising the no Bogle lawyer was ever disciplined for the misconduct detailed by Zitrin and Langford.
by Richard A. Zitrin & Carol M. Langford.
5. Even though I am a lawyer, I still believe some acts plainly are "right" and some plainly are "wrong," and that failing to report a patently corrupt judge who has defrauded a rural public hospital of roughly $1.5 million would be in the latter category. As I told a writer who quoted me in her story entitled "The Cadillac Judge," mentioned and linked to above, "I'm going to do what I think is right. If it violates some rule, I don't give a shit." I submit that any rule that bars whistleblowing of such judicial corruption is a "wrong" rule--that must be amended or interpreted so as to make it "right."
A justice system that fails to regard judicial integrity as an indispensable ingredient will not long be a system of justice, but will mutate into a system of graft and corruption. I believe, and I will argue vigorously, that my actions were permitted under various judicially recognized policies and rules, properly interpreted or expanded.
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I hope that this case will help to focus national attention on these issues:
1. May lawyers (I'd say they must) report judicial misconduct whenever they see evidence of it. I believe that judicial integrity is so critical that even a lawyer who is representing a judge should have a duty (as an officer of the judicial system) to share all evidence acquired of the judge's misconduct with appropriate authorities. The lawyer could still make legal or procedural arguments for the judge facing discipline but simply could not withhold the facts. They would be required to report all evidence of the judge's misconduct or unfitness.
Otherwise, we are elevating the judge's claim (not a right) to the judicial position over the Constitutional right of all litigants to have an honest and fit judge preside over their cases. Judges face no loss of liberty or property by having the truth be told of their judicial misconduct, but stand merely to lose the privilege of judging others. If the evidence would expose a judge to criminal or civil liability, the judge could prevent its disclosure in the disciplinary setting by permanently resigning from judicial office. Judges who wish to keep their misconduct concealed would have to either resign, represent themselves, or hide their misconduct from their lawyers, as well. They do not deserve assistance in covering up the facts by an "officer of the court."
2. May lawyers (I'd say they should) who discover they have been used by their clients to defraud others then disclose the clients' confidential information so as to enable the victims to recover their damages? The reasons for this are discussed in the preceeding section on the evolving ethics of the legal profession.
3. Should lawyers be required, under the threat of real sanctions, to report to appropriate authorities all significant evidence of lawyer or judge misconduct? I believe several states (e.g., Illinois) do have mandatory reporting. How else will we effectively self-police this profession? Voluntarily reporting a peer's misconduct now is a "no win" situation, for it nearly always profoundly harms the reporting professional's standing and career. I believe that a lawyer who fails to report evidence of another's misconduct should face the same sanctions that the misbehaving lawyer faces based upon the seriousness of the misconduct that was committed by the one and concealed by the other.
Illinois lawyer disciplinary authorities recognized the need to impose and enforce mandatory peer reporting after FBI Operation Greylord and another investigation in Chicago in the 1980's resulted in over 100 criminal convictions of judges (19 convicted), lawyers, and court employees. After Operation Greylord, a special commission tasked by the Illinois Supreme Court to analyze the corrupt judicial system, chaired by lawyer Jerold S. Solovy (Chairman of the law firm Jenner & Block), in late 1988 recommended 195 changes in the system. An editorial on January 16, 1989, in The National Law Journal entitled "Conspiracy of Silence" praised that commission's efforts to improve the Cook County judicial system, and noted that the key reason corruption flourished was the unwillingness of lawyers and judges for years and years to report it:
"[T]here is one unsettling aspect of the Greylord investigation from which other judicial systems can learn. One of the key reasons corruption was able to grow and prosper in the city, according to Mr. Solovy, was a "conspiracy of silence" -- the unwillingness of judges and lawyers alike to report wrongdoing.In Washinington State, the "conspiracy of silence" among lawyers and judges is evident not just from the case of former Pierce County Judge Grant Anderson, but also from --
"Lawers and judges are accountable for many of the actions of their peers. Those who report corruption in the system should not be described in derogatory terms such as "whistle-blower." Instead, as Mr. Solovy noted, "It is the highest tenet of a lawyer's professional responsibility to report wrongdoing."
-- the 1988 case of the late King County Superior Court Judge Gary Little (documented in "The Judges' Dark Secret; Judicial Conduct", 75 A.B.A. Journal 78 (May, 1989), and in "Social Watchdogs Shielded a Judge's Troubling Secret; Suicide Spurs Debate Over System's Failure," Washington Post, October 30, 1988) [professionals knew of but didn't report his misconduct for over 8 years] and --
-- the 2000 case of the late King County Superior Court Judge James Bates (documented in the public files of the Commission on Judicial Conduct and in Seattle Times articles of Oct. 27 and 28, 1998, and Feb. 5, 2000) [professionals knew of but didn't report his misconduct for over 7 years].
In a post-Greylord article entitled "Chicago Courts Reel From Corruption Probe" in The National Law Journal on March 2, 1987, reporting that skeptics doubted the special commission's power to address the moral decay that permeated the Chicago-area legal community without the state supreme court granting it subpoena power and the power to grant immunity, Mr. Solvoy's sage response, as reported in that article, was:"'Instead of a commission with the power to issue subpoenas and grant immunity' he says, 'What we need from the Illinois Supreme Court ... is leadership, moral leadership."I suggest that some public interest organization fund Mr. Solovy taking a national tour to call on the highest court in each state capital, starting with Olympia, Washington. His 1987 message needs to be heard over and over and over again.
"Lawyers need a 'consistent message from this jurisdiction's highest court that this is what we expect and demand,' says Mr. Solovy, who adds that direction from the court has been 'sporatic and faltering.'"
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1. To those critics who assume that I only recently acquired the "religion of morality" upon finding myself in the sights of the lawyer disciplinary system, I offer my short commentary on "Professionalism" published in 1991.
2. Comments by e-mail are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org (click here to e-mail comments)
3. I waive copyright and approve re-publication of any work posted here that is authored by me, Doug Schafer.
4. Don't be confused by my addresses on old letters posted on this website. In November, 1999, I moved from the Washington Bldg to the Rust Bldg in Tacoma, but my mailing address remains unchanged: P.O. Box 1134, Tacoma, WA 98401-1134. I have no staff, so please forgive me if I cannot respond to everything.