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“Weighing these factors against the standards set forth by the decisions of the Court of Appeals, we do not see a sufficient basis to remove an otherwise qualified, capable judge. See, Matter of Kiley, supra; Matter of Hart, 7 NY3d 1,10-11 (2006) (accepting the sanction of censure, the Court cited “several instances of conflicting testimony,” among other “troubling” factors); see also,Matter of Skinner, 91 NY2d 142, 144 (1997) (sanction reduced from removal to censure notwithstanding “discrepancies” in the judge’s testimony and a finding by the Commission that the testimony was “disingenuous and evasive”); Matter of Edwards, 67 NY2d 153 (1986) (reducing the sanction from removal to censure, the Court rejected the Commission’s conclusion that the judge’s testimony showed “lack of candor”).”
When we learned of her involvement and the findings of the Commission, we demanded that she be removed from our case and she was replaced by Joseph C. Teresi. Read the couple of snippets below and decide whether Teresi is any better: Where’d all the money come from???
Justice MoneybagsBy Jason Boog 3-30-07 –The U.S. Supreme Court’s grant of review in the New York judicial selection reform case gave Albany an excuse to stop working to change the state’s antiquated system. This year was supposed to see the same empty exercises is ceremonial electioneering as years past. So why is Justice Joseph Teresi sitting on a cool one hundred thou? . . . Judicial candidates around the state rejoiced in early March when federal judge John Gleeson, reacting to a U.S. Supreme Court decision to review, stayed his judgment that overturned New York’s judicial convention system and mandated open primaries until the state legislature could find a better solution. . . . It appeared that 2007 would see another ceremonial election cycle with party bosses essentially picking members of the bench. . . . So why have two Supreme Court candidates from the Third Judicial district raised over $151,000 for the 2007 race? (Source: “Justice Moneybags” at http://www.victimsoflaw.net/NewYork1.htm)
THE POWERS & SANTOLA THAT BE
At the top of the list is Powers & Santola, a plaintiff’s firm that specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Its five partners and one associate frequently appear in the Supreme Court venues that surround Albany, including the Appellate Division’s Third Department, where Carpinello sits. And the firm is extraordinarily active on the campaign front, having given five-figure contributions to nine sitting Supreme Court justices, as well as Carpinello’s opponent.
Since 2004, Powers & Santola has doled out $157,725 in campaign cash to Supreme Court candidates in the firm’s primary area of practice, Judicial Reports found in an analysis of campaign filings. Those gifts included:
• $25,000 in 2004 to Presiding Appellate Justice Anthony V. Cardona of the Third Department;
• $20,125 last year to Albany County Supreme Court Justice Joseph C. Teresi;
• $15,000 in 2006 to Appellate Justice Karen K. Peters of the Third Department;
• $15,000 in 2005 to Appellate Justice Edward O. Spain of the Third Department;
• $10,000 last year to Saratoga County Supreme Court Justice Frank B. Williams (who is also Supervising Judge of the Third Judicial District); and
• $10,000 last year to Rensselaer County Supreme Court Justice George B. Ceresia, Jr. (who is also Administrative Judge of the Third District.)
Justices Teresi, Peters, Spain, Williams, Ceresia and McGrath did not respond to calls from Judicial Reports.(Source: http://exposecorruptcourts.blogspot.com/2008/10/worst-judges-money-can-buy.html)
Where’s the competition in judicial elections? So much for voters’ choice!
“On Friday, three incumbent judges received cross-endorsements from Republicans as well as their own Democratic nomination.
State Supreme Court Judge Joseph C. Teresi of Albany County, George B. Ceresia of Rensselaer County and Christopher Cahill of Ulster County, seeking new 14-years terms to the bench, will appear on both the Republican and Democratic line, virtually assuring them of election and essentially prohibiting
voters from making the choice.
The trio was nominated at the judicial convention held Friday by Democratic and GOP delegates from Albany, Rensselaer, Ulster, Columbia, Greene, Schoharie and Sullivan Counties.
Teresi has been twice censured by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, most recently in December 2004 for engaging in ex parte communications. In February, 2001, Teresi was censured for failing to “respect and comply with the law” and “to be faithful to the law”. The commission found that Teresi’s actions constituted an abuse of his judicial power and suggested that he was biased against an unrepresented litigant.
In two other cases, it was found that Teresi was injudicious, impatient and discourteous during discussions in which he attempted to achieve a settlement. 9-29-07 (Source: http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2007/09/29/supreme-court-to-review-ny-judicial-selection/)
Another was Ron Loeber, an Albany-area man whose complaint led to the censure of Supreme Court Justice Joseph C. Teresi for abusing his judicial power. Mr. Loeber maintains a Web site that [www.nyjail4judges.org] advocates enhanced judicial accountability. (Source: http://www.moderncourts.org/News/Forums/1202b.html)
“Respondent’s [Teresi’s] handling of the Robert Marini Builders, Inc. case repeatedly violated the rights of a third-party defendant, Mr. Loeber, and conveyed an appearance of bias. He granted a default judgment against Mr. Loeber, who was appearing pro se, although the litigant was not in fact in default; he ordered Mr. Loeber to sign a corrective deed before the issues had been sufficiently clarified and before any finding had been made as to the defendant’s liability; and he held Mr. Loeber in contempt and sentenced him to six months in jail for refusing to sign the deed, without any provision for his release during that period if he purged himself of the contempt. Mr. Loeber remained in jail for 45 days pursuant to respondent’s order. Respondent’s actions constitute an abuse of his judicial power and suggest that he was biased against the unrepresented litigant.
“In two other cases, respondent [Teresi] was injudicious, impatient and discourteous during discussions in which he attempted to achieve a settlement. In Anglin, after pointedly excluding a female attorney from a conference in chambers, respondent [Teresi] used “colorful” language and exerted pressure in an “injudicious and indiscriminate manner” in order to force a settlement. In Diorio, while exerting pressure to achieve a settlement, respondent stated that the parties were wasting the court’s time on matters that should have been settled, and he disparaged the attorneys, in the presence of their clients, by asserting that they were being overly litigious and that this was characteristic of Ulster County attorneys. Then, after stating that he would hold a trial within the next few days (notwithstanding that a later date had been scheduled) and being advised that one of the parties would be unavailable, respondent [Teresi] suggested that therefore the client should settle. While a judge may play an active role in attempting to settle cases, the judge’s conduct toward litigants and their attorneys at all times should be “patient, dignified and courteous” (Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, 22NYCRR 100.3[B]).
“By reason of the foregoing, the Commission determines that the appropriate sanction is censure.”
“In imposing sanction, we note that respondent [Teresi] had previously been warned of the impropriety of ex parte activity. In a determination dated February 8, 2001, respondent [Teresi] was censured, in part, for engaging in ex parte communications in a pending case and was specifically advised that such conduct is prohibited by Section 100.3(B)(6). Matter of Teresi, 2002 Annual Report 163 (Comm. on Judicial Conduct). In view of his prior discipline, respondent should have been especially sensitive to the high standards of conduct expected of judges and, in particular, the prohibition against improper ex parte discussions. By reason of the foregoing, the
Commission determines that the appropriate disposition is censure.”
“The New York Commission found that [Teresi’s] handling of a case repeatedly violated a third-party defendant’s rights, constituted an abuse of his judicial power, and suggested that he was biased against the unrepresented litigant.” (citing the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s findings in Fn 226)
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