FULL DISCLOSURE COVERAGE OF THE RICHARD I. FINE CASE
Great work. You may be on the way to another Emmy. I could say that what you reveal is shocking, but I am getting used to it after 44 years of practice. From your story I am not clear what the 9th Circuit did. There is apparently no case number there and no formal order. If the District Court is doing nothing, what will make them act?
ATTORNEYS LIVE IN FEAR
We attorneys live in an atmosphere of fear. There seems to be more interest in maintaining the appearance that our legal institutions are just, than in allowing a critical examination of cases, where they appear not to be. The California Supreme Court in Fine’s Bar case is an example. The California Supreme Court failed to review his case and issued no opinion much less a well reasoned one. What this does is lead to arbitrary action.
PLIGHT OF RICHARD FINE
Fine appears to be in a legal no man’s land, where he has been judged by Judges, whose partiality is questioned, under laws which are not defined, under opinions which are not published, and with reasoning which is not disclosed, in a system where decent persons are afraid to speak out.
What appears to be the case here as in many others, is if those in authority can’t get a person for the legal action the person did, they will spend millions to uncover something to get him or her for something else. Fine’s case appears to be a simple one where he has failed to answer questions at a debtor examination, based on a judgment, which either has not been appealed or for which there is no stay pending appeal.
COERCIVE CONFINEMENT TILL SUBMISSION
Ordinarily a judgment creditor has a right to collect a judgment and the debtor examination is part of the process. I am sympathetic to Fine. He has some interesting constitutional issues to address, but my question is whether he is addressing them in a proper manner. What is wrong here, is that he is jailed during a protracted process to wear him down, to restrict him from preparing his case, and by isolating him from the tools by which he needs to prepare his case.
DUE PROCESS DENIED---COURT ORDER BY CLERK PHONE CALL?
Why can’t he get a stay from the District Court? Why can’t the District Court stay proceedings in Superior Court and release Fine pending its review? If the District Court won’t grant a stay but won’t rule, it might be appropriate to seek a mandate in the Court of Appeals for it to rule one way or the other. What appears strange is that apparently this is what the Court did by a phone call rather than a formal order. Why?