-------- Original Message --------
Subject:  Public Trust and Confidence Committee
Date:  Thu, 22 May 2003 12:44:58 -0700
From:  Doug Schafer <schafer@pobox.com>
To:  "Blair, Wayne" <mwblair@mpba.com>,
"Carlson, Sue" <wrong address>,
"Daniels, Pam" <pam.daniels@co.snohomish.wa.us>,
"Durkan, Jenny" <durkan@seanet.com>,
"Fleck, Deborah" <deborah.fleck@metrokc.gov>,
"Gould, Betty" <gouldb@co.thurston.wa.us>,
"Heavey, Mike" <michael.heavey@metrokc.gov>,
"Holcomb, Jean" <Jean.Holcomb@metrokc.gov>,
"Inglesby, Pam" <pami@wsba.org>,
"Lambert, Kathy" <kathy.lambert@metrokc.gov>,
"Long, Jeanine" <long_je@leg.wa.gov>,
"McQueen, Mary C." <mary.mcqueen@courts.wa.gov>,
"Michels, Jan" <janm@wsba.org>,
"Perluss, Deborah" <debip@nwjustice.org>,
"Powers, Ragan" <raganpowers@dwt.com>,
"Ringus, Kevin" <kgrlaw@aol.com>,
"Saint Clair, Wesley" <Wesley.SaintClair@metrokc.gov>,
"Small, T. W." <Chip.Small@co.chelan.wa.us>,
"Stone, Gail" <gails@wsba.org>,
"Walsh McIntyre, Ruth" <drruth@dbug.org>,
"Wechsler, Mary" <mhwechsler@site7000.com>,
"Williams, Yolande" <yolande.williams@ci.seattle.wa.us>
"Annis, Eugene" [no e-mail, so postal mail]
"West, Helen B." [no e-mail, so postal mail]

Members of the Public Trust and Confidence Committee:

Your Committee's website invites public input by saying, "Please share with us your thoughts and comments."  I accept your invitation.

There are two distinct strategies to achieve public trust and confidence in our judicial system. The traditional strategy is to hide from the public any and all facts about the human failings within the judicial fraternity (e.g., an individual judge's corruption, moral turpitude, or incompetency) so the public never learns that the system sometimes is badly "broken."  But the enlightened strategy is to acknowledge the occasional lapses in the judicial system's integrity but convincingly show the public that corrective systems exist to effectively address those lapses and expeditiously restore integrity to every courtroom in our state's judicial system.

No honest person can deny that the judiciary of Washington state -- the 50th state to establish a judicial disciplinary body -- has consistently emphasized the traditional strategy.  For a number of recent examples, see the "dirty laundry list" at http://www.doug4justice.org/Shielding/LaundryList.html .

Last month, our state supreme court held that judicial system integrity is less important than keeping the secrets of a client who conspired with a corrupt superior court judge.  (The justices' opinions used the word corrupt seven times in reference to former Pierce County Superior Court Judge "Cadillac" Anderson, who retained his law license and once again practices law.)  The clear public message is that our high court tolerates corruption within the state's judiciary (and its lawyer fraternity) -- and insists that lawyers must tolerate a judge's known corruption, as well -- if exposing the judge's corruption would reveal a client's dirty secrets.  Corruption within our judicial system is acceptable to the court -- revealing a client's secrets is not (unless a lawyer has good reasons do so, like to facilitate collecting the lawyer's fees!).

I urge you to read my website (http://www.DougSchafer.com) that chronicles my over-seven-year quest to shine the light of integrity into the darkened corridors and hidden passages of the fraternity house that traditionally has sheltered our state's corrupt judges and lawyers.  I broke their fraternal code, say they (the lawyers, including those who wear black). But what the public sees from my saga is a broken system that "ground up" an honest lawyer who wouldn't look the other way and "go along to get along."

If you sincerely seek public trust and confidence in our state's judicial system, please read my website with an open mind and reflect upon the facts (all of which I can document as matters in the record) as the public sees them.  Given the increasing ease with which whistleblowers can widely disseminate the actual facts about the occasional but inevitable human failings within the judicial fraternity, the traditional strategy of hiding the ugly facts from the public no longer will be effective.  So our state's judiciary should begin to pursue the enlightened strategy of effectively addressing such problems, if it sincerely seeks the public's trust and confidence.

Corrupt Judge "Cadillac" Anderson continued to sit on the superior court bench and adjudicate citizens' cases for three and a half years (42 months; 182 weeks; 1,280 days) after I exposed his glaringly documented corruption, and had I not done so he now would still be a corrupt judge (possibly even elevated to the state supreme court, to which he ran in 1994).  And it was seven years and two months from my disclosure of his obvious corruption before his judicial colleagues finally began openly referring to him as corrupt (though they consider him not too corrupt, apparently, to continue practicing law).

You've got a lot of work to do, if you're willing to do it.

Doug Schafer, idealistic lawyer suspended for exposing too much of a corrupt judge.