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By Subodh Chandra
I filed a complaint today against "birther" attorney Orly Taitz with the State Bar of California.
Here is the text of the complaint. If you want a copy of the complete complaint with exhibits, please email me at Subodh.Chandra AT ChandraLaw.com. I realized after I sent it that I got President G. W. Bush's birthplace wrong--it was New Haven, CT.
September 17, 2009
Office of Chief Trial Counsel
The State Bar of California
1149 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-2299
Re: Complaint regarding conduct of Orly Taitz, State Bar No. 223433.
Dear Sirs and Madams:
I am a member of the State Bar of California (inactive) and an attorney in active law practice in Ohio. Among my practice areas is legal ethics, a subject I have taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Out of concern for the profession and justice system's reputation, I am writing to file a formal complaint against Orly Taitz of Mission Viejo, California, State Bar Number 223433.
The factual basis for this complaint arises from Ms. Taitz's handling of the case Rhodes v. MacDonald, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. M.D. Ga Case No. 4:09-cv-106 and prior cases of a similar nature. In the Rhodes case, Ms. Taitz filed claims by an army captain claiming that President Barack Obama is not a native-born United States citizen as constitutionally required, and that the captain thus need not follow President Obama's orders as commander in chief.
The allegations here regarding Ms. Taitz's conduct are summarized as follows:
(1)Ms. Taitz apparently made comments to the media making baseless "treason" and "corruption" accusations against a federal judge before whom she appeared, in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 6068(b).
(2)Ms. Taitz brought and maintained a frivolous complaint in Rhodes v. MacDonald, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. M.D. Ga Case No. 4:09-cv-106 and possibly other cases, in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 6068(c) and (d).
(3)By bringing such frivolous cases based on race and perceived national-origin animus against the President of the United States, Ms. Taitz has engaged in discriminatory conduct in violation of Rule 2-400(B)(2) of the California Rules of Professional Conduct.
(4)With her actions, Ms. Taitz encouraged the commencement and continuance of an action or proceeding from corrupt motive of passion or interest, namely, discriminatory and political motives, in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 6068(g).
The allegations are explained below.
(1)Ms. Taitz's violated her duty to maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 6068(b).
Section 6068(b) of the California Business and Professions Code provides in relevant part that "It is the duty of an attorney to do the following: ... (b) To maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers."
On September 16, 2009, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued an order in the Rhodes case (copy enclosed as Exhibit 1) finding the underlying claims "frivolous"-and warning Ms. Taitz against similarly frivolous actions.
In reaction to the court's order, Ms. Taitz is quoted in the September 16, 2009 news site www.talkingpointsmemo.com ("Talking Points Memo") (copy enclosed as Exhibit 2) as saying "somebody should consider trying [the judge] for treason and aiding and abetting this massive fraud known as Barack Hussein Obama." She further stated, "Not every judge is as corrupt as Judge Land."
Ms. Taitz's public statements do not "maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers" required of California lawyers.
(2)Ms. Taitz brought and maintained a frivolous complaint in Rhodes v. MacDonald, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. M.D. Ga Case No. 4:09-cv-106 and possibly other cases claiming that President Obama is not a native-born citizen in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Sections 6068(c) and (d).
Other relevant parts of Section 6068 of the California Business and Professions Code provide that "It is the duty of an attorney to do the following:"
* * *
(c) To counsel or maintain those actions, proceedings, or defenses only as
appear to ... her legal or just...
(d)To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to ...
her those means only as are consistent with truth, and never to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.
As more fully explained in U.S. District Court's opinion, Ms. Taitz's claims on behalf of her client were "frivolous." The court noted that there are "no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as President of the United States. Instead, she uses her Complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the President is an 'illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] and unqualified imposter.'"
The Court noted Ms. Taitz's inability and unwillingness to explain the existence of a document showing that the President was born in the American state of Hawaii, instead claiming the document should be "'presumed fraudulent." Ms. Taitz apparently cited as evidence "'general opinion in the rest of the world' that 'Barack Hussen Obama has slipped through the guardrails to become President.'" She further cited an America Online self-selecting "poll" as fact evidence regarding the President's citizenship. Finally, the Court noted that Ms. Taitz shifted all traditional burdens of evidence demanding that the President "'prove his innocence.'"
The Court's opinion also catalogues other, prior frivolous claims by Ms. Taitz.
If the record indeed reflects the arguments that the court reported in its opinion, Ms. Taitz's approach to litigation cannot reasonably appear to be legal or just given the pleading and evidence standards in federal court. Nor are her means consistent with the truth. She sought to mislead the judge with false statements of fact and law.
(3)Ms. Taitz is using her law practice to engage in discriminatory conduct based on race or perceived national origin, in violation of California Rules of Professional Conduct 2-400(B)(2).
Rule 2-400 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits "Discriminatory Conduct in a Law Practice" including in accepting a representation.
The Order makes it evident that Ms. Taitz's pattern behavior is driven by racial or perceived national-origin animus toward the President of the United States. There is no other explanation for her behavior or "political rhetoric," as the court put it. She presumably would feel no inclination to bring similar actions against the prior President, George W. Bush, a Caucasian born in Midland, TX.
(4)Ms. Taitz encouraged the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding from corrupt motive of passion or interest, namely, discriminatory and political motives, in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 6068(g).
Similarly, California Business and Professional Code Section 6068(g) makes it illegal for an attorney to "encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding from any corrupt motive of passion or interest."
Discriminatory animus and behavior is a corrupt motive prohibited since the Civil War by statutes and jurisprudence. Furthermore, as the court's order recognizes, Ms. Taitz's Complaint on behalf of Rhodes was simply an excuse to spew forth "political rhetoric," not law. This, too, is a corrupt motive or interest.
For these reasons, I respectfully request that you investigate Ms. Taitz's conduct and impose an appropriate sanction. She is an embarrassment to the profession.