Vermont's J.A.I.L. Rally
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California March 10, 2002
Vermont's J.A.I.L. RallyDear Ron:Here is the meeting report for the Vermont Chapter of JAIL4judges held on March 1, 2002. We all decided to join with Vermont Citizens for Constitutional Government in a rally at the state capital in Montpelier.This started around 11 a.m. in front of Washington County Superior Court on State Street, just a block from the State House and Vermont State Supreme Court.Some in the group took the initiative of making hand outs by cutting and pasting information from the State's page of the National J4J web site providing basic information along with the website address. The time
and place of our meeting scheduled for 4:30 pm later that afternoon was included to notify passers-by they were welcome to attend. When we ran low on these notices we all chipped in and had more copies made.One reporter for the Vermont Times interviewed a couple of the
participants and agreed that the courts do not ensure the "general welfare" so much as the business interests of the Vermont Bar Association. This is not idle rhetoric, it is empirically verifiable
documentable FACT as all too many newspaper articles indicting Vermont's Judiciary can attest.Vermont's Supreme Court (In)justice Jeffrey Amestoy walked past, but
declined to accept any handouts or notices (one way to maintain plausible deniability, act like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand) he did give us a sardonic smile though when he saw the JAIL4judges
banner. His reaction reminded me of a newspaper article, "Why Palmissano Smirks" which informs of how a once reputable bankruptcy attorney (considered Vermont's best) was able to embezzle millions of
dollars even while there were complaints pending with the Professional Conduct board about his embezzlements.Another article, "Amestoy's Inaction Questioned" published in the Burlington Free Press (B.F.P.) on May 12, 1995 informs that as Attorney
General, Amestoy was informed by one of his former assistant attorneys that, "simply based on the vast sums of money stolen and the numerous victims, there appears to be no reason why this criminal's (Palmissano's) violation of state statutes should not give rise to state charges,...." The attorney, Eric Parker, also questioned the obvious impropriety of
Amestoy hiring (as a deputy A.G.) a law partner from Palmissano's firm, one Mike Zimmerman, while Palmissano's firm was being investigated by the federal courts. Amestoy's reaction was to berate and disparage the complaining attorney for having the gall to state the obvious.Everyone said Att. Joe Palmissano had been embezzling from clients for years through complaints to the Board, which went unheeded until Joe was sued civilly in federal court and subsequently indicted and convicted
for criminal offenses in federal court.Even then the Professional Conduct Board took its time in relieving him of his license to steal. Palmissano saw prison before he saw license revocation, little comfort to the many retired folks that lost their life savings to the miscreant.As the reporter noted in the article, "Amestoy's performance has hardly been reassuring." If one were to read the various reports and articles
about Vermont's judiciary it would not take long to realize the Board's policing (protecting) the legal profession, and being more concerned with protecting the image of the profession than the Constitutionally mandated "general welfare."Many of us feel the basic criterion for positions on the boards and courts in Vermont is an allegiance to the Fraternity first and foremost above any oaths to client, Constitution, or Country.Associate Justice Dooley also happened by our demonstration with a scowl that could have turned milk sour. One of our crowd gave him copies of the JAIL4judges Legislation, so you know they are aware of it.After making our message known to the public in front of the court house, we went up to the State House where several of us went in and handed out copies of the legislation to various Senators and Representatives.Every time we were able to get the attention of a legislator and discuss
Vermont's judiciary, the Chair of the House Judicial Committee Margaret Flory (D), a lawyer, would come over and ask the legislator if she could speak with them. We of course realized she was "rehabilitating" them and asserting the "separation of powers" argument along with whatever propaganda, threats and intimidations they do to keep the sheep in line.This was done time and again after which the legislator would come over and excuse him or herself. One Legislator, Kevin Goodridge (R), was never dissuaded by her. He always remained at the table we were all at. I
asked him, "You know what she's doing, right? Discouraging the Legislators from talking with us. Why hasn't she done that to you yet?" "Oh they used to, but they know it doesn't do any good."At that point, I gave him copies of the Judicial Accountability Legislation along with copies of the Massachusetts Law Review article, "Without Merit: The Empty Promise of Judicial Discipline" from VOL.4, NO.1: Summer 1997, pp.90-97.I like to provide legislators with this article, as it is written by an attorney and it details how the judiciary frustrates every attempt to create
accountability. Also, they seem to place an inordinate amount of trust in lawyers, and the few in Vermont that would speak out on behalf of the "general welfare" are retaliated against and threatened with license
suspension.There is a B.F.P. article of May 3, 2000 entitled,"The Judges Error"
about Vermont JAILer Scott Huminski's case. It quotes a Vermont Deputy Attorney General stating, "When there's speech that impugns the integrity of the judicial system, that speech can be regulated," as contrary to the intent of the First Amendment. That is the prevailing attitude of Vermont's judiciary.At 4:30 pm a few blocks away, our third meeting of the Vermont Chapter of JAIL4judges attracted a lot of new people from every walk of life; businessmen, doctors, former law enforcement officers, activists, etc .... Two people showed up with their kids. One man brought his whole family and was so charged, I let him go off like a teapot as I know the feeling, and saw that many others could relate, while the uninitiated wagged their heads in shame and disbelief that our halls of justice are really nothing more than money mills and business ventures dealing in man-made misery.It is incredulous what happens in court, often as repugnant to the sensibilities as it is to the Constitution. This one man was still in shell shock at how the truth can be so misconstrued and distorted in a court of law.We appointed "Wardens" for the counties of Washington, Franklin and
At each meeting we reiterate the importance of using the tools provided us all by the www.jail4judges.org website such as downloading the Legislation and providing copies to other potential advocates and
legislators. It is noted that the library stacks and information on the site is useful for persuasive reasoning. There are articles exposing the corruption in every venue from family courts to probate courts, and we should utilize them to promote public awareness and support our position that the complete lack of accountability for the courts allows the many "legal abuses" occurring every day.Additionally, I advocate two websites, http://www.cpswatch.com/stats/, and http://www.nccpr.org/about/index.html. They provide good articles that inform how child protective services is more concerned with protecting the bureaucracy than children.
We concluded our meeting with the resolve that we will have our next meeting in Rutland Vermont at the end of the month.Financing and recruitment are of course a priority, though I am
concerned with finding a web master willing to take on the project as a labor of love. We have been contacted by a first-year law student motivated by the distressing loss of his home at the hands of the
Vermont State Supreme Court. I am sure we will have much to discuss and formulate. He is raring to go, as are many, many others.
David A. Donley,JAILer-In-ChiefVermont JAIL4judges
J.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
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