More good news–Cir. 7th Federal Appellate Brief filed AND accepted!

Dear Readers;

As many of you might know, Ken and I have been working on our appellate brief to the 7th circuit court of appeals.  Ken and I filed a civil rights suit independent of our ARDC disciplinary proceedings complaining about the fact 1) all we did was engage in political speech and wrote the authorities and our friends and other probate victims to complain what is going on in the court system is not fair and not right; 2)  I started a blog (this blog) which posted communicated from myself, Ken, Gloria and others to protest the probate court abuses where the court was regularly not following the law, was ignoring Powers of Attorney, and was paying big bucks to favored attorneys and tied in case managers and such and depleting estates leaving seniors worse off than if they had never gone into the probate system.

I readily admit that I and this blog are not perfect.  I don’t have all the solutions, but when I see that Mary Sykes’ estate went $250k+ to attorneys, $1 million in gold coins fell off the inventory (please send me ideas of how to investigate this) and cash in the mattress of $40k is gone, I start to see red.  I have many, many complaints from alleged “wards” that their estates are gone, they were told to live in a nursing home when they did not want to, they escaped and lived on the lamb for a couple of years but their estates were billed $20k or more, they had a house and bank account but were told they had to live in a nursing home, families were isolated from the seniors, seniors drugged against their will–wrongfully, it just brings me to tears.  I don’t get it.  No one warned me about this in law school.

Getting back to the subject at hand (boy, this truly is a blog, stream of consciousness) the brief, Ken says, just wrote itself.  And that’s the way it should be when the majority of the cases are on your side.

My favorite case quotes?

This court has recognized that the Supreme Court “indicates that the First
Amendment does not authorize restrictions on “pure speech” merely for the purpose of protecting judges from criticism. E.g., Bridges v. California, 314 U.S. 252, 273, 62 S.Ct. 190, 86 L.Ed. 192 (1941), Chicago Council of Lawyers v. Bauer, 522 F. 2d 242, 257 (7 Cir. 1975). Emphasis added

An appellate Court must independently examine the entire record in First
Amendment cases to ensure that ‘a forbidden intrusion on the *496 field of free
expression’ has not occurred.”

“At the very least, [the] cases recognize that disciplinary rules governing the
legal profession cannot punish activity protected by the First Amendment,
and that First Amendment protection survives even when the attorney
violates a disciplinary rule he swore to obey when admitted to the practice of
law.” Gentile.

The First Amendment reflects ‘a profound national commitment to the
principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and
wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270, 84 S.Ct. 710,
11 L.Ed.2d 686 (1964). That is because “speech concerning public affairs is
more than self-expression; it is the essence of self-government.” Garrison v.
Louisiana, 379 U.S. 64, 74–75, 85 S.Ct. 209, 13 L.Ed.2d 125 (1964).
Accordingly, “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the
hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection.”
Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138

The First Amendment was “designed and intended to remove governmental restraints from the arena of public discussion, putting the decision as to what views shall be voiced largely into the hands of each of us, .. . in the belief that no other approach would comport with the premise of individual dignity and choice
upon which our political system rests.” Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15, 24,
91 S.Ct. 1780, 29 L.Ed.2d 284 (1971). As relevant here, the First
Amendment safeguards an individual’s right to participate in the public
debate through political expression and political association. See, Buckley,
424 U.S. at 15. McCutcheon v. F.E.C., 12-536, 2014 WL 1301866 (U.S. Apr.
2, 2014) (Emphasis added).

It is, however, a basic First Amendment principle that freedom of
speech prohibits the government from telling people what they must say.”
Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc., 547 U.S. 47,
61, 126 S.Ct. 1297, 164 L.Ed.2d 156 (2006) (citing West Virginia State Bd. of
Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642, 63 S.Ct. 1178, 87 L.Ed. 1628 (1943), and
Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705, 717, 97 S.Ct. 1428, 51 L.Ed.2d 752 (1977)).
“At the heart of the First Amendment lies the principle that each person
should decide for himself or herself the ideas and beliefs deserving of
expression, consideration, and adherence.” Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

(“The government may not … compel the endorsement of
ideas that it approves.”). Were it enacted as a direct regulation of speech, the
Policy Requirement would plainly violate the First Amendment. The question
is whether the Government may nonetheless impose that requirement as a
condition on the receipt of federal funds”. Agency for Int’l Dev. v. Alliance for
Open Soc’y Int’l, Inc.,

“[A]s a general matter, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.” Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union, 535 U.S. 564, 573, 122 S.Ct. 1700, 152 L.Ed.2d 771 (2002) (internal quotation marks omitted). As a result, *2544 the Constitution “demands that content based restrictions on speech be presumed invalid … and that the Government bear the burden of showing their constitutionality.” Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union, 542 U.S. 656, 660, 124 S.Ct. 2783, 159 L.Ed.2d 690 (2004)”. United States v. Alvarez,

T]he concept that government may restrict the speech of some elements of our
society in order to enhance *350 the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment”; Automobile Workers,

The First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not extend only to
categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and
benefits. The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American
people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government outweigh the
costs. Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply
on the basis that some speech is not worth it. The Constitution is not a document
“prescribing limits, and declaring that those limits may be passed at pleasure.”
Marbury v. Madison (US 1803)

It hardly needs elaboration to make it clear that the question of the total
insufficiency of the evidence to sustain a serious charge of professional
misconduct, against a backdrop of the claimed constitutional rights of an
attorney to speak as freely as another citizen, is not one which can be
subsumed under the headings of local practice, customs or law.” In re
Sawyer, 360 U.S. 622, 640 (1955)

The point is not that there is no such thing as truth or falsity in these areas or
that the truth is always impossible to ascertain, but rather that it is perilous
to permit the state to be the arbiter of truth. United States v. Alvarez

“A federal court need not abstain, however, if the plaintiff shows that the
proceedings were instituted in bad faith or as harassment, or if there are
other “extraordinary circumstances” justifying federal judicial intervention.
See, e.g., Id. at 435, 437, 102 S.Ct. 2515; Younger, 401 U.S. at 53, 91 S.Ct. 746.
As noted above, *1273 where a federal plaintiff alleges bad faith, harassment,
or extraordinary circumstances, a court may consider evidence outside the
four corners of the complaint. See, e.g., Stein, 272 F.Supp.2d at 1263 n. 3.”
Thompson v. Florida Bar, 526 F. Supp. 2d 1264

Now, watch, if the miscreants (defendants) file any case law quotes, you can bet they will not be of the same quality.  The ARDC has consistently cited case law against my self and Ken that either consists of trial court or lower level decisions (which are not supposed to be cited), or they will mis-cite decisions which normally would be a major issue for an attorney.  So let’s see what they will cite.

they now have 30 days to file a responsive brief.

The most interesting thing about federal appellate court?  If you don’t file your brief on time, they consider it grounds for disciplinary action!  That’s pretty amazing.  I don’t know if I agree but it certainly would help to provide therapy for those that have a completion issue.

Here is the brief:


4 thoughts on “More good news–Cir. 7th Federal Appellate Brief filed AND accepted!

  1. My next question is, “Who is paying for all of the ARDC’s legal fees?” If it is the taxpayer, then taxpayers are paying for their own doom. And if it is coming out of Mary Sykes’ estate, that’s just wrong. But either way, the ARDC is gonna have to come up with big bucks to defend itself against such a well-written brief. Good job, Joanne and Ken.

    • Dear Jane
      Glad you liked the brief. And the ARDC fees come from $345 per year approx. from each attorney.
      It’s fairly incredible that 90,000+ Illinois attorneys pay into a fund to do these things and go after honest attorneys trying to speak out against corruption. While it’s not taxpayer money, it is still funds entrusted to the public and I believe that if the authorities were to go after those powers that be at the ARDC, they would have to be charged with violations of the Hobbs Act which says that public funds cannot be diverted from legit uses in interstate commerce. That’s the provision they use to go after bribsters during Greylord. While the corrupt judges, attorneys and police did not in fact steal any public money, they nonetheless diverted money entrusted to the public into their own coffers.
      Thanks for the vote of confidence. There are a ton of the best First Amendment quotes in this brief, and I have to thank Ken Ditkowsky for that and he’s 78!
      take care

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