Legal Question in Appeals and Writs in California

Mr. Hoffman I know I stated that my previous posting would be the last, but I have to do this one. You should send your last response to the legal system of Italy who is retrying Amanda Knox. Also to Anita Hill who came along 20 years after the fact of her non quid pro quo sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas. This dingbat with virgin ears was offended by the comment "there's a pubic hair in my coke". She successfully castrated the congress of late 1991 or early 1992 and they changed the law for the worse. Women were already protected from quid pro quo sexual harassment by a 1964 federal law. This is but one of the federal issues that should be the basis of the removal of my case to federal court. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is very serious! It's the mountain. Thanks to Anita Hill most of the rest was just a molehill until she and congress made it a mountain. I maintain that serious defamation (as in my lawsuit) is also a mountain. It will take either me or somebody like me to straighten it all out by federal appellate case law. I agree with you that keeping after someone in court is an injustice in and of itself if the the injustice is minor. What happened to me was major and I could have lost my job and got my whole life destroyed. If no one straightens out the non quid pro quo sexual harassment B.S. we will just have to live with it until God novas the sun and incinerates this outcast planet called earth.

Asked on 9/02/13, 9:46 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Kelvin Green The Law Office of Kelvin Green
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Wow

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9/02/13, 10:03 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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[A note to other readers: This user has posted several related questions in the past couple of days. His latest question builds on what came before. You can see the prior questions and answers at http://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-appeals-writs/calif-appellate-judges-affirm-trial-389914368/, http://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-appeals-writs/past-small-claims-court-municipal-307581789/, http://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-general-civil-litigation/-sued-small-claims-court-377144058/, http://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-appeals-writs/mr-anthony-roach-esq-correct-243397054/, http://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-appeals-writs/mr-hoffman-esq-respect-reply-785236324/ and http://www.lawguru.com/legal-questions/california-appeals-writs/mr-hoffman-response-final-posting-753327301/. I point this out because, in the future, other LawGuru users reading this answer might feel as strongly about their cases as this user does about his. Our dialog may be helpful to some of them. It may even be helpful to the user who posted these questions, though I fear it will not. I have spent a great deal of time trying to offer that help, and I hope it will help somebody.]

Though you supposedly came here looking for guidance, you're clearly only looking for affirmation. Answers that aren't what you hoped for just make you angry. But the problem isn't with the answers. It's with the person who won't listen to them. That's why you lash out at me personally instead of considering that maybe, just maybe, I know what I'm talking about.

If this really isn't about the judgment but rather about changing the law, then you should go to the Legislature. That's what it's there for. Its job is to make the law for everyone to follow going forward. The courts' job is to resolve particular disputes that have already arisen. Part of that job involves spelling out the law, resolving ambiguities and filling in gaps left by the Legislature. But setting policy is not their job. It's the job of our elected officials.

You liken yourself to Anita Hill, but Prof. Hill testified in Congress and did not seek remedies in court. (She also appeared only because she had to; she didn't set out to take any action involving Justice Thomas.)

Your insistence on straightening out what you consider problems in California law "by federal appellate case law" is misguided. The federal courts will never pass judgment on any state's laws unless those laws conflict with federal law or the federal constitution. And even then, they will only do so in a case that is procedurally proper. Since yours was a civil case that was decided in a state court, the only procedure available to you was to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case. You had a limited opportunity to do that, and you didn't do it. Your time ran out years ago. To lash out at me for telling you this is to shoot the messenger instead of heeding the message.

There are laws which limit the jurisdiction of the state and federal courts. You act as if those laws don't matter, but they do. The courts are not free to ignore them under any circumstances. Even if judges on either a state or federal court agree that you were the victim of an injustice, and even if they share your outrage, they will be powerless to intervene.

As I said in response to one of your earlier questions, our system of justice has its flaws. It was designed by humans, it is operated by humans, and humans make mistakes. The system should be better than it is, so that it would make fewer mistakes than it does. But it will never be perfect. Some injustices will always occur. The appeals process exists to reduce the number of injustices, but sometimes it does not succeed. Even so, every case has to come to an end. Yours ended long ago.

Let me offer an analogy: We have extensive criminal laws and a vast law-enforcement system in this country, but sometimes crimes go unpunished. We could pass more laws, and we could hire more police, but society has settled on the current system for now even though it means some criminals will escape justice. We can only approximate perfect justice, and our society has decided that the way we approximate it now is acceptable -- even though some injustices will slip through the cracks.

The same principal applies in civil lawsuits. Our courts are just a rough approximation of what they ideally should be. Some cases yield unjust results, even after the appeals process has ended. That's not a good thing, but it is reality. The people who suffer from that reality must come to grips with it, or else it will consume them the way your situation seems to be consuming you.

I don't know whether the result in your case was as unfair as you claim, but I assume for present purposes that it was. You have my empathy. I have seen serious injustices before, and they make my blood boil. But at some point every litigant runs out of options. You reached that point long ago. The best thing you can do for yourself is to find a way to accept this reality. The best thing I can do for you is to help you accept it.

If you want to lash out at me some more for doing the best I can to help you, then that is your privilege. It would not be just, but justice rendered by humans is imperfect. All we can expect is that those who dole it out do their best.

Good luck.

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9/03/13, 9:48 am
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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My prior response glossed over your angry discussion of Anita Hill. I don't want anyone to think I agree with what you said about her just because I didn't address it. She's not relevant to your situation, but you seem to feel she is. And you misunderstand why she testified.

Prof. Hill had worked for Clarence Thomas at the Department of Education and the EEOC. When he was being considered for the Supreme Court, the FBI interviewed her (and many other people who knew him) as part of its normal background investigation. She told them about her experiences with him, including the incident you mentioned. Her comments went into the FBI's file. She did not try to make a bigger deal of it than that. She just answered the questions that were put to her.

She did not initially appear at Thomas's Senate confirmation hearings, and nobody asked her to. Then, when the vote was approaching, someone leaked the FBI's report about her interview to the press. It was all over the news, so the Judiciary Committee reopened the hearings and called her to testify. That was their idea, not hers.

She was not there to advocate for any changes in the law. But there was already a bill pending which would expand the relief available in federal sexual harassment cases. The first President Bush had opposed this change, but he dropped his opposition after Hill's testimony focused attention on the issue. Congress passed the law, and the President signed it. Prof. Hill didn't write the bill, she didn't lobby for it, and she didn't testify about it. She was just a catalyst. And at least from where I sit, the legal system became more just as a result.

Thomas's (alleged) conduct was at least highly inappropriate. But it was especially noteworthy because, when it (allegedly) happened, he held very important jobs where he was responsible for enforcing civil rights laws. The incidents would have drawn less attention if he'd been in a different type of job.

As for calling Prof. Hill a "dingbat": She's an honors graduate of Yale Law School, a tenured professor at Brandeis University, an accomplished lawyer, and a respected scholar. Your disdain for her -- and for the laws against harassment -- is hard to understand.

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9/03/13, 7:55 pm

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