Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

Paycheck and Pension

Longtime Stearns judge Landwehr to retire in September

Retirement in the judicial branch is really not retirement. There are currently 91 “retired” judges in MN that are practicing statewide as “senior judges”.

What are senior judges? Retired judges who are temporarily serving as judges.  Judges can retire, receive their pension and continue to get paid by taxpayers.

Double dippers: Senior judges’ combined compensation costs taxpayers millions

Click to see MN Senior Judges:→ Judicial Officer Directory    

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Image result for courthouse news serviceRetired Judges Fight for Right to Double Dip

ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) – New York is cracking down on double-dipping — the practice by which state judges collect both pensions and salaries after they hit retirement age — but the Court of Appeals focused Tuesday on whether putting retirees to work is actually cost-effective.

Arguing for the retired judges challenging the scheme, attorney Robert Spolzino noted that the state faces a new cost in trying to avoid paying his clients a salary.

Every time the state takes a judge off a case because they start collecting a pension, he said, the state begins paying into the pension of a new judge earning the same salary.

Meanwhile retired judges are “not getting anything extra by what they’re doing,” said Spolzino, of the firm Wilson Elser Modkowitz Edelman & Dicker.

“They are being paid for work they’re doing going forward,” he added.

Lee Adlerstein, an attorney for New York’s Administrative Board of the Courts, countered this position. Some retired judges pull in more than $250,000 a year between their fill-in salaries and their retirement pensions, he noted.

One of the jurists presiding over this afternoon’s appeal emphasized that the case will have far-reaching effects.

“It is relatively common,” Judge Eugene Fahey said of double dipping, noting  that he himself has heard of a number of judges fit the bill.

“So the question is then,” Fahey added, “it’s not the legality of the action but the criteria [used to limit it].”

New York judges must retire at age 70, but a provision in state judicial law allows retirees of the Supreme Court system to fill in as needed until age 76. In most states, a supreme court represents the highest tribunal, but the name is used in New York to designate trial courts for each of the 62 counties.

According to data from the fiscally conservative Empire Center for Public Policy, more than 500 people in New York sought and received permission to collect public pensions between 2015 and May 2016 while working for state or local government positions.

“These waivers are supposed to be used as temporary solutions for the rare instances when a retiree is the only person available and qualified to do a job,” Empire Center Executive Director Tim Hoefer said in a statement.

Taxpayers “have a good reason to question why they’re paying someone twice,” he added.

Retired justices who want to continue must seek recertification every two years from New York’s Administrative Board of the Courts, which evaluates for mental and physical fitness. When the state changed the rules in 2013, however, judges learned that they had to choose between staying on the bench of collecting pensions.

After the new policy went into effect, retired Judges Gerald Loehr, J. Emmett Murphy and William Miller filed suit. Case documents show that Loehr is entitled to a $66,000 annual pension, while Murphy and Miller receive a $91,300 and $89,000 yearly pension, respectively.

Their case hit the state’s highest court this afternoon after a three-judge panel in the Appellate Division found the new rules against double-dipping unconstitutional.

Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera suggested today the rule might be overbroad.

“In this case, you just have a blanket rule that is ignoring the qualifications of the individual,” she said.

Rivera questioned Adlerstein why the state failed to define what was necessary in the board’s stated goal of “expediting the business of the court system.”

“Is there no line in the sand?” she asked. “Is it whatever the board says is necessary?”

Adlerstein argued that judges have no constitutional right to both a judge’s salary and a judge’s pension simultaneously.

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore did not appear to take part in this afternoon’s hearing with the other six judges on the Court of Appeals. How the  court will rule is still unclear. Some of the judges noted that the rule change costs the retired justices nothing: While retired judges serve on the bench, their pensions are merely suspended not revoked.

“No one is taking your pension away,” Judge Michael Garcia said.

Another key issue is whether judges have a right to be certificated. Spolzino said that there is no right to certification but that judges have a right to be considered for certification. “That is what this case is about,” he said.

MN Pera Logo

Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota

Retirement Benefits
What is Combined Service?

Combined service can provide you with benefits for public service under more than one retirement program. However, you must have at least six months of service with each fund to qualify. For many PERA members, this is service under the Police & Fire, Coordinated, Basic, or Correctional plans, as well as the Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund division of the Association. In addition to PERA’s defined benefit plans, it can also be public service covered by any of the retirement funds listed below:

  • Minnesota State Retirement System:
    – General Plan
    – Correctional Employees Retirement Plan
    – State Patrol Retirement Fund
    – Unclassified Employees Retirement Plan
    – Judges’ Retirement Fund
    – Legislators’ Retirement Plan
    – Elective State Officers’ Retirement Plan
  • Teachers Retirement Association
  • St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association
  • Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association (recently consolidated with Teachers Retirement Association)


Minnesota’s DWI Test Refusal

Just Saying No: The Limits of Warrantless Searches

A case involving Minnesota’s DWI test refusal statute could yield a major 4th Amendment decision from the United States Supreme Court

0216-Police-DWIMinnesota is one of a handful of U.S. states that have criminalized the refusal to submit to a warrantless search in suspected DUI cases. This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will review a Minnesota case as it determines whether states can make refusing to submit to a warrantless search a criminal act.

Minnesota is in the national spotlight, and in a very big way. This term we expect the United States Supreme Court to issue a major decision regarding the scope of the 4th Amendment warrant requirement, and the Court is using a Minnesota case to reach its decision: Bernard v. Minnesota.

It was the signed confession from a suspected rapist in Arizona that led the Court to issue its watershed decision regarding coerced confessions in Miranda v. Arizona.1 It was Illinois’ decision to relentlessly interrogate a suspected murderer for over 14 hours, while repeatedly denying his attorney’s demands to be present, that led the Court to issue its watershed decision regarding the right to counsel in Escobedo v. Illinois.2 When North Carolina went looking for a weapon used in a reported rape, and claimed that they found it during a “consensual” search despite the fact that the homeowner had been told that she had no right to refuse the search, the Court took the opportunity to reject “consensual” searches in the face of bald claims of lawful authority. That one was Bumper v. North Carolina.3

Why is a Minnesota case drawing such scrutiny from the Supreme Court? Bernard is a case about a drunk driver who refused to submit to an in-custody, warrantless search of his breath. Minnesota, not content to use the fact of his refusal against him as “consciousness of guilt” evidence at trial (something permitted since South Dakota v. Neville4), went one step further and criminalized the very act of refusing to submit to a warrantless search. This term, the Supreme Court is going to answer one broad question and one narrow one. The broad one is simply “can the states make refusing to submit to a warrantless search a criminal act?” The narrow question is closely tied to Minnesota’s (latest) rationale for claiming our test refusal crime is constitutional, and involves treating a breath alcohol concentration test as a “search incident to arrest” and therefore a search that is unprotected by the 4th Amendment.

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Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs

One Percenter Convicted Of Raping Child Dodges Jail Because He ‘Will Not Fare Well’

Ashley Alman
The Huffington Post
March 31, 2014

A Delaware man convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter only faced probation after a state Superior Court judge ruled he “will not fare well” in prison.

Image: Robert H. Richards IV.

In her decision, Judge Jan Jurden suggested Robert H. Richards IV would benefit more from treatment. Richards, who was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009, is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund. The light sentence has only became public as the result of a subsequent lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, which charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently assaulted his son as well.

Richards is the great grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, a chemical baron.

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Let’s Get Honest! Blog

Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family –and “Conciliation” — Courts’ Operations, Practices, and History

Excerpts fromEllen Pence and Casey Gwinn — Will the real Minnesota Program Development Inc. please stand up?

The Nonprofit Preventing Family Violence and Dispensing Family Justice world can be a very friendly set of associates.  In getting to know these individuals, besides hearing what they say & write (including positively about each other), I think it’s also helpful to look at who is paying how much for the time and the talents.

Getting to know each other …On a  recent post and here (currently), there is a graphic of Ellen Pence — well-known in Domestic Violence circles — interviewing Casey Gwinn, well known in San Diego and for his work on the National Family Justice Center Alliance, i.e., for starting it.

Interview of Ellen Pence by Casey Gwinn

On March 29, 2010, Casey Gwinn interviewed Ellen Pence in St. Paul, Minnesota for three hours. Ellen and Casey focused on the recent release of the Blueprint for Safety by Praxis International and on the work and future of the Family Justice Center movement in America. This video is a 41 minute edited version of the interview. It was played at the International Family Justice Center Conference on April 28, 2010. The National Family Justice Center Alliance, in partnership with the Verizon Foundation, will be making available the entire interview in the next 60 days. Please remember Ellen in your thoughts and prayers as she battles cancer. She has played a powerful leadership role in the domestic violence movement for over 30 years. The impact of her vision, work, and leadership is profound and will help shape the struggle to stop domestic violence for many years to come in the United States and around the world.

(Telling amy’s story comes out of Pennsylvania, and I’m starting to wonder who paid for that one, too.  The Amy in question ended up being shot by her stalker/abuser and probably just fortune/luck/God (etc.) that her parents and her child wasn’t also shot — as all were foolish enough to drive her back to the house for some diapers (etc.) RIGHT after a strong confrontation with the man.  Amy now being dead, others, heads of domestic violence prevention groups, are telling her story — and they are telling HALF her story.  They didn’t even notice that it wasn’t too bright to lose one’s life over some nonfoods that could be purchased cheap at a local store.)  But doesn’t it look official and appropriate — “Telling amy’s story.” )

Personally, what inspired me much more (while in or shortly after leaving the abusive relationship) was stories of women who were NOT shot to death, and how they recovered, went on to succeed in their new lives, and these stories were told in their own words — which could happen because they lived.  They did not die!)

Wikipedia on “Ellen Pence”:   Background

Born in MinneapolisMinnesota, Pence graduated from St. Scholastica in Duluth with a B.A.(in ???_______)   She has been active in institutional change work for battered women since 1975, and helped found the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in 1980. She is credited with creating the Duluth Model of intervention in domestic violence cases, Coordinated Community Response (CCR), which uses an interagency collaborative approach involving police, probation, courts and human services in response to domestic abuse. The primary goal of CCR is to protect victims from ongoing abuse. Pence received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 1996. She has used institutional ethnography as a method of organizing community groups to analyze problems created by institutional intervention in families. She founded Praxis International in 1998(?? see bottom of my pos) and is the chief author and architect of the Praxis Institutional Audit, a method of identifying, analyzing and correcting institutional failures to protect people drawn into legal and human service systems because of violence and poverty.

(incidentally, St. Scholastica ain’t your average private liberal arts college.  See the 27-member Board of Trustees, for one.  Catholic/ Benedictine Order influence)

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Excerpts from same blog above

Here is a reference to who created the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, and when:

Welcome to Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs offers domestic violence training and resources based on The Duluth Model to help community activists, domestic violence workers, practitioners in the criminal and civil justice systems, human service providers, and community leaders make a direct impact on domestic violence.

The Duluth Model is recognized nationally and internationally as the leading tool to help communities eliminate violence in the lives of women and children. The model seeks to eliminate domestic violence through written procedures, policies, and protocols governing intervention and prosecution of criminal domestic assault cases.*** The Duluth Model was the first to outline multi-disciplinary procedures to protect and advocate for victims.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs was founded in 1980 by Minnesota Program Development, Inc. 

** as we see, it makes no mention of domestic violence that comes up through or is “handled” through the Family Law system (in which criminal activity gets reclassified as domestic disputes, and downgraded to a family, or civil, matter).  Don’t be fooled easily though, recently a subsidiary of DAIP (see site), called “Battered Women’s Justice Project” has collaborated with the (in)famous AFCC on Explicating what is (and, more to the point, is NOT) domestic violence in custody venue.  More on that another time

Who IS Minnesota Program Development, Inc., then?  I mean, what is their organizational status — who owns them, who runs them, if they are a nonprofit, where are their annual tax fillings, etc.?   What do they DO?


(I figure $18 million to one organization might get our attention.  From HHS):


Note: One EIN can be associated with several different organizations. Also, one DUNS number can be associated with multiple EINs. This occurs in cases where Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) has assigned more than one EIN to a recipient organization.
(Note, this database only goes back to 1995, i.e., there are 14 previous organizational years unrecorded on the database).

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards

Showing: 1 – 1 of 1 Recipients

DULUTH, MN 55802-2152
Country Name: United States of America
County Name: ST. LOUIS
HHS Region: 5
Type: Other Social Services Organization
Class: Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations

This organization obviously has a budget, and must have a payroll.  Though pretty hard to find by a Google search, and it being a private nonprofit (registered in MN?) NGO, it has to process these funds somehow.  A woman lists it in her resume, as an accountant on LinkedIn.  The question I have is, would it exist without federal funds?

Staff Accountant


Nonprofit Organization Management industry

June 1996 – December 2000 (4 years 7 months)

Accomplishments – Financial Leadership
– Developed annual budgets ($5 million) and financial statements presenting them to management and Board of Directors.
– Partnered with Management Team, defined/executed software conversion, created new chart of accounts, and streamlined individual funding, program and organizational reporting processes.
– Managed annual fiscal audit and all audits by State and Federal regulatory agencies.
Integrated in-house payroll system, processed payroll in multiple states, and eliminated outsourcing costs.
– Recruited, hired, trained, and mentored staff accountants and support staff.
– Wrote, produced, and disseminated organization-wide policy and procedural handbook and administered employee benefits program.
– Managed all employee benefit plans.

Until recently, I figured, then that this Minnesota Program Development, Inc. — which I knew to be receiving millions  (larger than average grants, at least outside the healthy marriage movement) from the Department of HHS, so I figured that probably they were some workforce development group.  Particularly as it showed up looking for staff; they were hiring.  However, now I am not so sure.

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Gimme A Break!

Former Anoka County District Judge Alan Pendleton suspended from practicing law for 90 days

Alan Pendleton lied to voters about his residence. 


Alan Pendleton

A former Anoka County district judge who was removed from the bench because he was living outside his district has now been suspended from practicing law.

In a petition for disciplinary action filed against Alan Pendleton in December, the director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to suspend Pendleton’s law license for 90 days. The court agreed in an order filed last week.

Pendleton was removed from office in October after he lied to voters about his residence on his affidavit of candidacy. He was living in his wife’s house in Minnetonka, which is in Hennepin County, for eight months starting in December 2013.

In its 39-page decision for removal, the court agreed to the harshest penalty. The majority’s decision said, “In order for the public to have confidence in the integrity of the judicial system, the public must believe that there is an effective system in place to ensure judges abide by our Constitution and follow their ethical obligations.”

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I find it interesting that the court agreed to the harshest penalty for a fairly benign offense. In the Bench & Bar of MN article Summary of private discipline, Timothy Burke states, “Most complaints involving what appear to be allegations of isolated and nonserious misconduct are investigated by a district ethics committee (DEC). The DEC, after investigation, will recommend whether the Director’s Office should find a violation of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) has been committed and, if so, the appropriate form of discipline.”

Many matters in which a lawyer violated the MRPC are resolved through private discipline. In calendar year 2015, 124 admonitions were issued to Minnesota attorneys. Admonitions are a private form of discipline, issued for isolated and nonserious misconduct.

Ok, so the harshest penalty was recommended by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility and agreed to by the MN Supreme Court for living outside the district, but the complaints below were dismissed? GO FIGURE! I would like to know the real story behind this disciplinary action as most of the time when a judge or attorney is targeted, they are seen as a threat to the status quo of the corrupt system.

Complaint Against Dakota County Judge David Knutson (Click to view)

Complaint Against Members of “the firm” Pennington, Lies & Cherne, P.A. St. Cloud, MN (See Below-Click to Enlarge)


The Client Security Board is one part of the comprehensive system of lawyer regulation and public protection. The unique role of the Client Security Board is to help the victims overcome their financial losses caused by dishonest lawyers. The fund may reimburse up to $150,000 for dishonest conduct committed by a Minnesota lawyer. It covers the loss of money or property resulting from lawyer dishonesty, but not because the lawyer acted incompetently, committed malpractice or failed to take certain actions. Financially, the fund remains healthy and able to pay claims promptly should a major defalcation be uncovered. In short, the public remains protected and well-served by the Minnesota Client Security Board. NOT!!!

What do we know for sure?

Excerpt from: Legal Evil? In Their Own Words-Don Mashak

We know that “The Minnesota Legislature just set up “figure head” enforcement agencies to give the “illusion of oversight, law and order” (Simulated Justice) to the general public. The Minnesota Legislature rendered the agencies powerless to do anything about Citizen Complaints and Minnesota Governmental unit transgressions. Our Tyrannical Government counted on most citizens not having the financial resources nor knowledge to follow through on forcing their complaints and/or issues from being addressed and resolved. And for anyone who would dare press the complaints and issues beyond the initial “status quo guardians”, demonization, discrediting and economic retaliation are used to neutralize these voices of discontent and dissent.

Where are the Government agencies that are supposed to be the checks and balances on our Government?
Where is the Justice Department? Where is the FBI? Where are the County Sheriffs? Where are the County Attorneys? Where are the State Attorney Generals? Where are the people and agencies that are supposed to police the police, the lawyers and the judges? Why didn’t the Minnesota State Auditors Department do more?

All of this money is being spent for these people’s salaries for what? Aren’t these aforementioned Government Agencies supposed to protect WE THE PEOPLE from crime, corruption and the trespasses of our Government?”


By Guest Writer Angela M. Young

The statement “Where Law Ends, Tyranny Begins” is carved in stone on the Stearns County Court house in Minnesota, Seventh Judicial District.

John Locke states in Section 202 of Chap. XVIII “Of Tyranny” in Book II of the Two Treatises of Government that even magistrates must abide by the law:
Stearns Co.3

Image by Angie Young

Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject, which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate; and, acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who by force invades the right of another. This is acknowledged in subordinate magistrates. He that hath authority to seize my person in the street, may be opposed as a thief and a robber, if he endeavors to break into my house to execute a writ, notwithstanding that I know he has such a warrant, and such a legal authority, as will empower him to arrest me abroad. And why this should not hold in the highest, as well as in the most inferior magistrate, I would gladly be informed.”

Where law ends, tyranny begins. Let us talk a bit about judicial immunity. There is an argument that judges must be free from liability in order to allow them to make controversial decisions in the spirit of justice without fear of retribution- Even if said judges are acting corruptly or in bad faith. Think about that! Not only are judges human and subject to human error, and in order to preserve justice and uphold the law, they should be accountable to “fix” their mistakes, but even if they act in bad faith they are completely immune  no matter what damage is done.

According to the book Judicial Misconduct A Cross-National Comparison, by Mary L. Volcansek with Elisabetta de Franciscis and Jacqueline Lucienne Lafon, Complete judicial immunity was never intended, while it is our country’s current reality. Simply put, our district court judges have more authority and less “checks and balances” than the president of the United States of America. The word democracy comes from the roots power (kratos) and people (demos). In theory, US citizens have the power to regulate their leaders to a certain degree- to hold them accountable. This is not reality with judges.

Volcansek stated, “The issues of judicial accountability in democracies is a critical, though often neglected, force in achieving or maintaining democracy.” A judge’s role is to interpret and enforce the law, not to create law. However, Volcansek asserts that in the United States, “…at the national level the emphasis is on judicial independence, and accountability is clearly secondary.” Judicial accountability is beyond secondary, it is overwhelmingly non-existent.

The Minnesota Board of Professional Responsibility (that supposedly addresses complaints against attorneys) is privately regulated (verses state regulated) and funded by attorneys and judges. Doesn’t this seem like a conflict of interest? Or, at very least a lack of “checks and balances” that our country’s fore fathers found to be an imperative component of a government that is fair and just.   ANY other profession that requires a license is state regulated in an attempt to protect consumers. Think about that- ANY other profession: teachers, mental health therapists, doctors, dentists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, foster providers, and the list could go on and on. But not attorneys or judges. The Board of Judicial Standards in Minnesota (that supposedly addresses complaints against judges) is supposedly a state regulated board, but if one files a complaint against  judge, one will likely find no relief,  blaming the consumer for not having the money for an appeal, or if one does, the board itself acknowledges the appellate court has “many inadequacies.” The executive secretary, Thomas C. Vasaly acknowledged to this writer, ““I do not want to imply that your situation is not serious, I don’t want to imply that you have a remedy when you don’t”. This leaves me perplexed! WHAT, IF ANYTHING DOES THIS “BOARD” DO? WHAT ARE OUR TAX PAYER DOLLARS PAYING FOR???????

In Criminal Court, defendants are at risk of losing certain freedoms: the right to vote, to own/possess fire arms, to avoid unlawful incarceration. Therefore, in theory, more rights afforded to such individuals being charged with crimes: the right to a public defender, and more attention and focus of the court of appeals and the Supreme Court to assure such fundamental constitutional rights are protected. The Constitution supposedly affords us the right to a trial by a jury of our peers. Why is that not the case in family court?

What about parental rights? What about the rights of children? Are they not at least as important as the rights of (alleged) criminals? Their rights fall under the blanket of the constitution. Parents wanting to protect their children and act in their children’s best interest- and more importantly- the children they attempt to parent and protect- are vulnerable in family court. If one looks up any appellate court decisions regarding statute violations they will see the Courts basically cutting and pasting case law giving district court judges unilateral discretion. You will find arguments such as “District Courts have broad discretion in determining custody matters,) Goldman v. Greenwood, 748 N.W. 2d 279, 281-82, and that the Appellate Court is directed to “view the record in the light most favorable to the trial courts finds” In re the Custody of N.A.K. 649 N.W. 2d 166, 174 (Minn 2002). Finally, the appellate court asserts, “We cannot reweigh evidence presented to the trial court” Vangsness 607 N.W. 2d at 475. Let us also not forget that justice is not free.  Many people are financially devastated by attempting to protect their children in family court. Often times the parent who “wins” is the one with more money for attorneys, bought and paid for custody evaluators, Guardians Ad Litem, and on and on.

Judicial immunity is unconstitutional. It allows judges to make human mistakes without rectifying them to uphold the law, and in worse case scenarios, allows them to make decisions in bad faith and perhaps, criminally without accountability. “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” –John Emerich Edward Dahlberg-Action

Just Another Day in the Life of Domestic Violence

Plymouth police chief: Gunman shot woman who fled their car

The suspect died in gunfire exchange with officers after killing woman in Plymouth.

Systemic Corruption


Image courtesy of Stuart

Proposed Caucus Resolutions for Judicial Reform

February 11, 2012 By: Don Mashak

The following are a list of resolutions presented at various Minnesota Caucuses recently. We encourage you to reprint these and take them to your upcoming caucus and/or conventions.
If you are in a different state, please review each to make sure they are applicable to your state. The progress of judicial corruption in your state may not have reached the systemic corruption in Minnesota, and therefore certain of these judicial reform platform resolutions may not be applicable to your state.



1) Judicial decisions should be based on the Rule of Law based on the facts in evidence

Instead, justice in Minnesota is more a matter of “How much justice can you afford?” who you know, who you can influence, exchange of political favors, punishment of lawful political dissent, reward for political loyalty and the whim of Judges. Citizens should be able to come to before the Courts and have a full, fair, impartial and just adjudication of their cases.


2) Judicial Bribes

In Minnesota, Judges are legally allowed to accept “bribes”. As long as the bribe is not more than $150.00 from any one person in a day, they don’t have to report it. And they can accept up to $150.00 per person per day from as many people willing to do so. The allegation is that large law firms often quite skilled at making this work to their advantage.

Of course the rules that permit these “bribes” refer to them as “gifts” and “gratuities”. The author argues that what the mafia calls a “hit” is still an assassination or as the Bard would say, “A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”.

The author asserts that the rank and file of WE THE PEOPLE, regardless of political leanings, agree that judges taking bribes is wrong. Yet for six or more years, both Democrats and Republicans in the State of Minnesota have let this matter go unaddressed. How does that represent the best interests of WE THE PEOPLE?


3) Code of Ethics

The Bar and judges in Minnesota found the title “Code of Ethics” for lawyers too restrictive. Therefore they call it the Minnesota Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct. However, in a recent ruling (Fabian v Volkommer) the Minnesota District, Appellate and Supreme Court have ruled that the MN Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct is not an implied covenant of a contract between a Citizen and a Minnesota Lawyer.

The author presumes that Citizens, especially those not learned in the law, rely upon the lawyer they pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to treat them ethically. Why would you hire any Minnesota attorney who objected to being bound by the Professional Code of Conduct? What is the purpose of the Code of Professional Conduct if lawyers don’t have to follow it? If the legal system in Minnesota were a private company, wouldn’t that be false advertising and fraud? If lawyers have no intention of being bound to the Code of Professional Conduct, does that not demonstrate malice of forethought to defraud WE THE PEOPLE?

How fair is it that the innocent accused of a crime when their Minnesota Public Defender is not bound to the Lawyers’ Code of Professional Conduct? How many innocent persons are in jail because their own attorney betrayed them through the Simulated Litigation process?

There is no acceptable reason for Republicans and Democrats not holding Minnesota Lawyers accountable to the Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct. The author asserts and alleges that this ruling was made to aid and abet the practice of “Simulated Litigation”. In Simulated Litigation, the court “telegraphs” to both litigants attorneys the outcome they desire. The attorneys, including your own that you paid, then only put on the record the evidence that allows the judge to reach the verdict the Judge desires. We have all been told that your attorney has a duty to “represent their client to the best of their ability”. But obviously, if your own attorney participates in Simulated Litigation in which the Judge has indicated they want to rule adversely for you, your attorney has not represented you to the best of their ability.

As it stands, anyone who hires a Minnesota Attorney with this ruling not being overturned is a fool. Your attorney has no obligation to treat you ethically. If Minnesota Attorneys were concerned about treating their clients ethically, there would have been loud, boisterous objection to this ruling. Since there was not, it is obvious that Minnesota Attorneys all want to be able to treat their clients unethically.


4) Discreet voice recording devices should be allowed in the Court room

Minnesota judges have a rule that there can be no electronic recording devices in their courtrooms nor at the Court teller windows without permission. If you ask permission, it will likely be denied. What can be the purpose of this rule? It is antithetical to the sentiments of the Founding Fathers who believed openness, transparency and accountability were necessary to keep people in positions of power honest.

The author asserts that the Judges specifically made this rule to allow them to fix cases by altering transcripts. There have been instances where allegations of Court Reporter transcripts were deliberately or accidently altered leading to the facts on the record not being accurate. And the very judges accused of such actions are the most oppressive in imposing the rule.

In this day and age, there is no reason why all court room proceedings cannot be video and audio recorded to assure accuracy and guard against injustice.

I submit that the overwhelming majority of WE THE PEOPLE agree with this position.


5) Constitutional Right to Vote for Judges

The Judges of Minnesota want to take away our right to vote. They contend that the Minnesota judicial System is not corrupt and that recent US Supreme Court Rulings allowing Judicial Candidates the right to affiliate with political parties and to accept campaign contributions will corrupt a nearly pristine Judicial System.

Yet for six years, the Minnesota house and Senate Judicial Committees have refused to accept testimony and evidence of corruption in the Minnesota Judiciary from 100s of Minnesota Citizens. Meanwhile, as has been pointed out, the Judges press to take away our right to vote on the wrongful pretext that the allegedly pristine Minnesota judicial system will be corrupted if Minnesota Citizens continue to be allowed to vote for judges.


6) Direct Access of Citizens to the Grand Jury

The original Minnesota Constitution provides for direct access by citizens to grand juries. However, Republicans and Democrats alike have put in place rules to prevent citizen access to grand juries. Minnesota Government attorneys, judges and the legal system now act as gatekeepers for grand juries, to prevent citizens from bring complaints of Government corruption to citizen grand juries.


7) What’s more important? WE THE PEOPLE or Corrupt Judges

The original Minnesota Constitution provided for the Minnesota Legislature to oversee and discipline Minnesota Judges. Instead, Democrats and Republicans have delegated the fox to guard the hen house.

The Minnesota Legislature put the Minnesota Supreme Court in charge of overseeing and disciplining itself, lower Judges and Minnesota lawyers. The Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) and the Minnesota Board of judicial Standards (BJS) are supposed to receive, investigate and recommend disposition of these complaints.

The Problem is that LBRP and BJS are “black holes”. Unless the Judge is disciplined, there is no way to know what if any investigation was done. The Supreme Court has designated that the evidential standard for the wrong doing of Judges and Lawyers is “Clear and Convincing”.

WE THE PEOPLE, the rank and file having no formal understanding of Court Rules and the standards of evidence, it is unlikely that most rank and file citizens could put together a complaint that meets the standard of “Clear and Convincing”. Worse, the lawyers and judges know the rules and know how not to provide “Clear and Convincing” of their wrong doing to their clients. Most of WE THE PEOPLE do not even ever recognize we have been betrayed by our own lawyers… or if we do, it is too late to document it in such a way to provide “Clear and Convincing” evidence.

Why have the Minnesota Legislators written or allowed to be written rules that protect corrupt judges and lawyers more than WE THE PEOPLE.


8) The legal profession may have been necessary at the beginning of the Country, but literacy rates have improved such that most high school graduates could represent themselves in most matters if the laws, court rules and case law were written plainly and in simple English. Further, as demonstrated by the Minnesota Findings that Minnesota Lawyers are not required to treat their clients ethically, Lawyers current use the laws and rules to the disadvantage of their own clients. Finally, lawyers are so expensive as to prohibit many people from hiring one. Straight forward, simple English laws and court rules would allow them to better represent themselves.


1) Judicial Decisions should be based on the Rule of Law applied to the facts in evidence;

2) Judges should not be able to accept bribes;

3) The Lawyer’s Code of Professional Conduct (formerly known as a Code of ethics) should be an implied covenant of every contract between a citizen and a Minnesota Lawyer;

4) Discreet voice recording devices should be allowed in the Court room;

5) WE THE PEOPLE’s constitutional right to vote for judges should not be taken away;

6) Citizens should have direct access to Grand Juries;

7) Government should be more concerned about protecting WE THE PEOPLE from corrupt judges than they are in protecting judges from WE THE PEOPLE. (clear and convincing)

8) That the entire legal code, court rules and case law be written in simple English so that Citizens with a high school degree that can represent themselves. That the Legislature of the State be required to undertake this task immediately and resolve all conflicts in cases law in so doing. That thereafter, every 10 years, the Legislature will meet to incorporate all interim case law in the code and resolve all conflicting case law rulings.

In closing,

Thank you, my fellow citizens, for taking your valuable time to read and reflect upon what is written here.

Please join with me in mutually pledging to each other and our fellow citizens our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to our mutual endeavors of restoring liberty and economic opportunity to WE THE PEOPLE as our Founding Fathers envisioned and intended. [Last sentence, US Declaration of Independence

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This article is written with the same intentions as Thomas Paine I seek no leadership role. I seek only to help the American People find their own way using their own “Common Sense”

Keep Fighting the Good Fight!

In Liberty,

Don Mashak The Cynical Patriot

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