Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal, Spring 2017, Volume 43, No. 1 - Page 48

BOOK REVIEWS

Bad Minds , High Places America ’ s Archipelago
of Legal Failure by Robert Grundstein
Reviewed by Ken Ditkowsky , Esq .
I persistently call for honest investigations of defective state legal systems . The prevailing question remains : what state actor or agency will conduct them ? Mr . Grundstein ’ s book provides an answer : None of them . In his experience , Ohio and Washington proved that it is possible for a region to deteriorate into a criminal enterprise from the smallest municipal court to the local Federal District . He believes that without a federal intervention , Cleveland , Ohio would have continued to operate like a benign version of Albania . The “ soggy white people ” of Washington State , as Mr . Grundstein refers to them , have established the courts as a private means of income distribution .
Mr . Grundstein has written an entertaining first-person account of how he believes he was persistently prosecuted , pursued and jailed for exercising his First Amendment rights to expose this happenstance . He was extradited from Vermont to Ohio on what he calls falsified charges to a Grand Jury after being exonerated by the same panel . It took an allegedly illegal representment in Cleveland for the County sheriff to get desired results after the author published an editorial about a Cleveland suburban judge . The author has not been wrong yet . In his account , which reads like a crime drama , the FBI confirmed his claims by conducting a huge corruption investigation using 125 agents over 10 years . Arrests are still being made . Not only was the judge about whom Mr . Grundstein wrote subject to investigation and removal , the law director and associate judge in that court were convicted of bribery and activities related to prostitution . The County Sheriff was put
in jail as was the docket clerk who he claims falsified the Mr . Grundstein ’ s court record . The prosecutor was forced to resign and another prosecutor related to his Ohio case was put in jail .
From Grunstein ’ s perspective , the state made sure he had no voice . An order was entered ruling that he was not allowed to file in any Ohio court . The appellate courts would not review his exclusion from their state courts ; all of them . When he went to Federal Court , the local federal court immediately imposed a permanent filing ban against him .
His book is an important book for several reasons ; first , it shows the grass root character failure of America ’ s ethical consensus . Organized failures of this scale aren ’ t likely to occur without the acquiescence of entire administrations and their constituents . Second , Mr . Grundstein shows how the benefits and protection of legal systems and the police power is extended on a selective basis . There is a tiered system and those without the status of personhood get legal behaviors as a lower-tiered member . Personhood is often assigned on the basis of partisan affiliation , income , power and preferential association . Third , the book shows how politicized judicial systems make legal failure possible . Collective failure is not necessarily conspiracy . It can start with illegal agreements , but it is not likely to involve 20 judges , prosecutors and police sitting in a room planning an illegal agenda .
Grundstein argues that there is a different model for how elected judiciaries and unified bar systems fail . Collective failure can occur when parties downstream to an event are faced with the consequences of contradicting or not cooperating with the people who started an event . This is very common in elected judiciaries . Judges , prosecutors and attorneys don ’ t like to offend powerful people by exposing improper agendas and failures . It ’ s not necessarily conspiracy but rather the prudential behavior of a failed system . Fourth , Grundstein shows the irony of how corrupt people love ethical systems and rely on them . Finally , it warns of a national decline and cites alleged failures similar to Cleveland ’ s in Pennsylvania , Arizona and Washington . Mr . Grunstein warns that the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution is being used to export regional ethical failure and because of this notes that we ’ re in trouble .
The book is entertaining and filled with mordant humor , surreal unreality and irony . Most people finish it in one or two sittings . Ironically , it is fun to read even though the story of destroyed virtue and trust in the very system paid to protect this virtue and trust is quite the opposite . However , it needs to be told . Mr . Grundstein made sure the medicine tastes good . We should all take it . ____________________ Ken Ditkowsky has practiced law for over 50 yes , trying cases in state and federal courts , including trying the case of Terrazas vs . Vance before the US Supreme Court . His office is in Chicago . www . ditkowskylawoffice . com .
Your Honor , as My Next Witness , I Call The Parrott : A Review of The
Irving Younger Collection ( ABA Litigation Section , 2010 )
Reviewed by Michael Palmer , Esq .
Shortly after recently placing my order for a used copy of The Irving Younger Collection , I wondered : “ What sort of lawyer sells her copy of this marvelous book to a used book store ? Probably a dead one ,” I thought . “ For only the estate of such a lawyer — and one who has no lawyer heirs — would willingly relinquish this book .”
Among lawyers , Younger was a legend . Not only did he know the law of evidence like few others . He could explain it . Explain it so that you understood it . Explain it so that you could apply that understanding . And thoroughly entertain you throughout .
Younger may never have known that he was the godfather of a company that made great teaching available to millions of people . For it was the video tapes of Younger on Evidence that first helped Tom Rollins pass his evidence course at Harvard ( he had neglected to attend classes ) and then later inspired him to found The Teaching Company .
In law school , I had an experience similar to that of Rollins , though I went to class . Walking past a small room with dimmed lights one afternoon , I heard sounds ,
48 THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL • SPRING 2017 www . vtbar . org
BOOK REVIEWS B ad M inds , H igh P laces A merica ’ s A rchipelago of L egal F ailure by Robert Grundstein Reviewed by Ken Ditkowsky, Esq. I persistently call for honest investiga- tions of defective state legal systems. The prevailing question remains: what state ac- tor or agency will conduct them? Mr. Gr- undstein’s book provides an answer: None of them. In his experience, Ohio and Wash- ington proved that it is possible for a re- gion to deteriorate into a criminal enter- prise from the smallest municipal court to the local Federal District. He believes that without a federal intervention, Cleveland, Ohio would have continued to operate like a benign version of Albania. The “sog- gy white people” of Washington State, as Mr. Grundstein refers to them, have estab- lished the courts as a private means of in- come distribution. Mr. Grundstein has written an entertain- ing first-person account of how he believes he was persistently prosecuted, pursued and jailed for exercising his First Amend- ment rights to expose this happenstance. He was extradited from Vermont to Ohio on what he calls falsified charges to a Grand Jury after being exonerated by the same panel. It took an allegedly illegal represent- ment in Cleveland for the County sheriff to get desired results after the author pub- lished an editorial about a Cleveland subur- ban judge. The author has not been wrong yet. In his account, which reads like a crime drama, the FBI confirmed his claims by con- ducting a huge corruption investigation us- ing 125 agents over 10 years. Arrests are still being made. Not only was the judge about whom Mr. Grundstein wrote subject to investigation and removal, the law direc- tor and associate judge in that court were convicted of bribery and activities related to prostitution. The County Sheriff was put 48 in jail as was the docket clerk who he claims falsified the Mr. Grundstein’s court record. The prosecutor was forced to resign and another prosecutor related to his Ohio case was put in jail. From Grunstein’s perspective, the state made sure he had no voice. ɑȁ݅)ѕɕձѡЁ݅́ЁݕѼ)=иQє)ݽձЁɕ٥܁́፱ͥɽѡ)хє쁅ѡ]ݕЁѼ)Ʌ аѡɅЁ)ѕ䁥͕ɵЁ)Ё)!́́хЁȁ͕ٕɅ)ɕͽ쁙аЁ́͡ѡɅ́ɽЁȴ)ѕȁɔɥéѡ̸͕)=ɝ镐ɕ́ѡ͍́ɕeЁ)ѼȁݥѡЁѡե͍ѥɔ)Ʌѥ́ѡȁѥՕ̸M)5ȸչѕ́͡܁ѡ)́ɽѕѥѕ́ѡ)ݕȁ́ѕ͕ѥٔ)̸ͥQɔ́ѥɕѕѡ͔ݥѠ)Ёѡх́ͽЁ)٥́́ݕȵѥɕȸAͽ)́ѕͥѡͥ́ȴ)ѥͅѥݕȁɕȴ)ѥͽѥQɐѡ͡)܁ѥ镐Ցѕ́)ɔͥ ѥٔɔ́)ͅɥ䁍Ʌ丁%ЁхЁݥѠ)ɕ̰ЁЁ́ЁѼ)ٽٔՑ̰ɽ͕ѽ́ͥд)ѥɽ)չѕɝՕ́ѡЁѡɔ́ȴ)Ёȁ܁ѕՑɥ́)չȁѕ́ ѥٔɔ)ȁݡѥ́ݹɕѼ)ٕЁɔݥѠѡ͕Օ́)ɅѥȁЁɅѥݥѠѡ)ݡхѕٕиQٕ́́)ѕՑɥ̸)Ց̰)ɽ͕ѽ́ѽɹ́eЁѼ)ݕəհ䁕ͥɽ)ȁ́ɕ̸%ӊéЁͅȴ)䁍Ʌ䁉ЁɅѡȁѡՑѥ)٥ȁѕѠչ)ѕ́͡ѡɽ䁽܁Ё)ٔѡѕ́ɕ䁽ѡ)䰁Ё݅ɹ́ѥ)ѕ́ɕ́ͥȁѼ ٕe)Aمɥ齹]͡ѽ)5ȸչѕ݅ɹ́ѡЁѡձѠ) ɕЁ͔ѡ ѥѥ́)͕ѼЁɕѡɔ)͔ѡ́ѕ́ѡЁݗeɔɽՉ)Q́ѕхݥѠ)ɑЁյȰɕչɕ䁅ɽ)5Ё͠Ёȁݼͥѥ̸)%ɽ䰁Ё́ոѼɕٕѡ՝)ѡѽ䁽ɽ啐٥ՔЁ)ѡٕѕѼɽѕЁѡ́٥Ք)Q!YI5=9P H)=UI90MAI%9)Ё́եєѡͥє!ݕٕȰ)Ё́Ѽѽ5ȸչѕ)ɔѡхѕ́]͡ձ)хи)}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|)-ѭͭ䁡́Ʌѥ܁)ٕȀ̰她͕́хє)Ʌ̰Ց她ѡ͔Qȴ)Ʌ̸́YɔѡULMɕ) и!́́ ܹд)ͭ居ݽ)dȁ Ȁ́48Ё\ѹ̀$) P@ɽЀH٥܁P)$٥dչȁ ѥ( 1ѥѥMѥ)I٥ݕ5AȰĸ)Mѱ䁅ѕȁɕѱ䁽ɑ)ȁ͕䁽Q%٥eչȁ )ѥ$ݽɕ胊q]ЁͽЁ)͕́ȁ䁽ѡٕ́́Ѽ)͕ѽɔAɽ䁄t$)ѡ՝иqȁѡхєՍܴ)ˊQݡ́ȁϊP)ݽձݥɕե͠ѡ́t)̰eչȁ݅́)9Ё䁑܁ѡ܁٥)܁ѡ̸!ձи)ЁͼѡЁԁչѽиЁͼ)ѡЁԁձѡЁչх)ѡɽ՝䁕ѕхԁѡɽ՝и)eչȁ䁹ٕȁٔݸѡЁ)݅́ѡѡȁѡЁ)ɕЁѕمѼ́)ȁЁ݅́ѡ٥х́eչ)ȁ٥ѡЁЁQI)́́́٥͔Ё!مɐ)ѕѼѕ͕̤ѡ)ѕȁɕѼչQQ) )%܁͍$ɥͥ)ȁѼѡЁḬѡ՝$ݕЁѼ̸)]Ё͵ɽݥѠ)́ѕɹ$ɐͽչ̰)ܹщȹ