I sent a letter to Judge Mihm of the Central District of Illinois, which is reproduced below.

Some three weeks letter I received a show cause order.  Instead of the 30 days to respond, I got 10 days, and 4 of those were used up because I was notified by snail mail instead of the electronic CM/ECF system ordinarily used.  I had to pay 16 cents to download the electronic version, a copy of which is reproduced below the letter.

I had asked for a statement that a good faith request for consideration of a claim of a due process violation would not be considered a waste of judicial resources.  This request was not acknowledged.

I had asked for the appointment of an opposing attorney.  This request was not addressed either.

I asked that the letter to Mihm be made a part of the record.  The notice of suspension I sent in was an attachment to the show cause order, but the cover letter I sent to Judge Mihm was not attached or even acknowledged.

Furthermore, as you can see, Judge McClusky said in his order that membership in a state bar is required as a condition of membership in the bar of Illinois, but failed to say anything about the fact that a suspension taken in violation of the due process clause is not sufficient to allow a federal court to impose a reciprocal suspension.  One can hardly say he was not aware of the law, in light of the fact that I supplied a citation to In Re Ruffalo, which makes that point unequivocally.

Curiously, Judge McClusky mentioned the 6 month suspension but not the other suspension pending disbarment.  I am facing disbarment, basically for having criticized judges (in other words, the government), or (more centrally to the point) for having allegedly agitated for other persons to criticize the government.

Oscar Stilley

os

………………………………………..

July 8, 2008

Hon. Michael M. Mihm
United States District Judge
204 U.S. Courthouse
100 N.E. Monroe Street
Peoria IL 61602

Re:    Suspensions in Arkansas Via fax and hard copy

Dear Judge Mihm:

I am writing this letter to you because I have a current 6 month suspension, and a suspension pending disbarment proceedings, both concerning my Arkansas license.  Copies of these orders of suspension are attached.   Ordinarily I would just send this to the clerk, for the reasons set out in this letter I am asking that certain language be included in your show cause order.

It was brought to my attention by a magistrate in Tennessee that I might have a need to supply these suspensions directly.  The rules in this jurisdiction say that I should send a list of my jurisdictions to the Arkansas Supreme Court Clerk and the Committee on Professional Conduct, and that they would distribute the suspensions to the jurisdictions in which I am admitted.   I called your clerk, and was informed that for whatever reason the Central District of Illinois has not received copies of these suspensions.

I have been denied the opportunity to practice pro hac vice in a number of jurisdictions, and in others I have been allowed to practice despite the unpleasantness in Arkansas.  No court yet has seen fit to consider and issue a reasoned opinion deciding the question concerning whether or not the Arkansas suspensions were taken and had in compliance with due process.

I stand suspended and facing disbarment for having in essence criticized the government.  There is not even an allegation that the criticism was false.  The Arkansas proceedings and rulings would in practical effect roll back the clock to a time before the trial of John Peter Zenger in 1735, some 273 years ago and long before the US Constitution.  Until a courageous lawyer named Andrew Hamilton risked disbarment (a fate suffered by 2 previous lawyers for Zenger) to argue that libel laws that considered truth no defense should be disregarded by the jury, it was the established law that one who criticized the government could be imprisoned for libel.  Truth was no defense, and in fact truth was considered an aggravating factor, since false criticism is easier to rebut than truthful criticism.  See http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/zenger/zengeraccount.html for an account of this trial.

Furthermore, I was denied disinterested tribunals willing to hear and determine my constitutional arguments on the merits.  My accusers usurped the power of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, in order to enter orders prejudicial to my defense.  Another court has observed that this might well violate due process, but that not all violations of due process reach constitutional dimensions.  However, the constitution prohibits violations of due process.  It is the position of undersigned counsel that the constitution does not countenance the deprivation of any process so long as it is “due” to the citizen.

Stark Ligon, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, has decided that the mere attempt to get a reasoned decision is a violation of lawyer ethics.  Apparently on his own initiative, without any panel vote, he included the following count.

Count 32 – Arkansas Rule 8.4(d)
1. By his repeated attempts to relitigate his Arkansas state license and discipline issues and charges in federal courts in Michigan, Arizona, Hawaii, Tennessee, Washington, Nevada, and Mississippi, Mr. Stilley has wasted the time and resources of those courts that could otherwise be put to use on other cases and business of those courts, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in those courts.
2. Arkansas Rule 8.4(d) provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Surely this Court can see the “Catch 22″ situation in which undersigned counsel finds himself.  If no response to your show cause is made, you and others will presume that there I have waived my legal rights, and that there was no good cause to disregard the Arkansas suspensions.  On the other hand I face sanctions for merely claiming my constitutional due process right to be heard concerning the validity of state proceedings.   I am therefore requesting that you state in your show cause order that you would not consider a good faith response to the show cause order to be a waste of your time or resources.   Your local rule states that:

RULE 83.6 ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE
This court, in furtherance of its inherent power and responsibility to supervise the conduct of attorneys who are admitted to practice before it, promulgates the following rule superseding all of its other rules pertaining to disciplinary enforcement heretofore promulgated.
(A) Discipline.
When it is shown to a judge of this court that any member of the bar of this court has
been suspended or disbarred from practice in any other court of record, or has been
guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the bar of this court, the member will be
subject to suspension, disbarment, or other appropriate disciplinary action by the court.
The member shall be afforded an opportunity to show good cause, within such time as
the court shall prescribe, why the member should not be suspended, disbarred or
otherwise disciplined. Upon the member’s response to the rule to show cause, and after
hearing, if requested, or upon expiration of the time prescribed for a response if no
response is made, the court shall enter an appropriate order.
(B) Appointment of Counsel.
The court shall appoint an attorney from its pro bono panel to prosecute its interests
under this rule.
(Emphases added)

In addition to the statement that a good faith response would not be deemed a waste of resources, I further request that you appoint an attorney to prosecute the Court’s interests under the rule.  In such a serious matter as this, in which an attorney’s livelihood is at stake, I prefer and request that the matter be handled through the adversarial process contemplated by your local rules.  I request 30 days for my response to the show cause order, 30 days for a reply to the response, and 15 days for a sur-reply, unless the times are extended by the Court for good cause shown.   I don’t intend to use more time than is reasonably necessary and presume that your counsel would likewise act with reasonable dispatch.  Nevertheless I consider this schedule to be prima facie reasonable for both sides.

There is one other issue that I would request you to address in your show cause order.  I have received a recent order [docket # 40] by Judge Thomas W. Phillips in US v. Dirr,  No. 3:08-CR-42, from the Eastern District of Tennessee, in which Judge Phillips opines:
.
The defendants next take issue with the magistrate judge’s finding that
because Mr. Stilley’s law license has been suspended by the State of Arkansas, he does not meet the requirements of LR 83.5 for admission pro hac vice. As explained by Magistrate Judge Shirley in his memorandum and order, the certificate of good standing from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois is premised upon Mr. Stilley having a valid law license and being in good standing in the State of Arkansas.  Neither of these requirements is true at this time, and the court cannot allow an attorney with a suspended license to represent the defendants in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
(Emphasis added)

Under the local rules of the Eastern District of Tennessee, non resident lawyers are entitled to pro hac vice admission by submitting a certificate of good standing from some other US District Court.  This is why I recently requested such a certificate from your clerk.

The language of Judge Phillips’ order, in the context of other statements during those proceedings, suggests that Judge Phillips holds the belief that this Court would immediately and certainly revoke the license of Oscar Stilley if it became aware of the Arkansas suspensions, thus rendering the certificate of good standing a nullity.  I believe that my certificate of good standing is actually premised not merely upon a valid license in Arkansas, but rather upon the absence of any suspension taken and had in compliance with due process.  I therefore request that you state in the show cause order that I will remain in good standing until my due process claims have been heard and decided.

The case law is in accord with your local rules.  For example, see the case of In re Crow, 283 F.2d 685, 686 (6th Cir. 1960) where the Court said:

It has been held by the Supreme Court of the United States that disbarment from practice in a state is not alone sufficient to disbar one from practice in a Federal Court once he has been admitted to practice there. Selling v. Radford, 243 U.S. 46, 37 S.Ct. 377, 378, 61 L.Ed. 585; Theard v. United States, 354 U.S. 278, 77 S.Ct. 1274, 1 L.Ed.2d 1342.

Furthermore, the Honorable Judge Phillips’ order contravenes In re Ruffalo, 390 U.S. 544, 550 (1968), where the Court said:

Disbarment, designed to protect the public, is a punishment or penalty imposed on the lawyer. Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333, 380; Spevack v. Klein, 385 U.S. 511, 515. He is accordingly entitled to procedural due process, which includes fair notice of the charge. See In re Oliver, 333 U.S. 257, 273. It was said in Randall v. Brigham, 7 Wall. 523, 540, that when proceedings for disbarment are “not taken for matters occurring in open court, in the presence of the judges, notice should be given to the attorney of the charges made and opportunity afforded him for explanation and defence.” Therefore, one of the conditions this Court considers in determining whether disbarment by a State should be followed by disbarment here is whether “the state procedure from want of notice or opportunity to be heard was wanting in due process.” Selling v. Radford, 243 U.S. 46, 51.

In the present case petitioner had no notice that his employment of Orlando would be considered a disbarment offense until after both he and Orlando had testified at length on all the material facts pertaining to this phase of the case. As Judge Edwards, dissenting below, said, “Such procedural violation of due process would never pass muster in any normal civil or criminal litigation.”[fn3] 370 F.2d, at 462.
(Emphasis added)

I am simply asking that you state in your show cause order that you consider Oscar Stilley to be a member of the bar of the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois, in good standing, at least until Oscar Stilley’s due process claims have been heard and decided.   Please further state that if my claim that I was denied due process in Arkansas are upheld, then I will not suffer any loss of license, unless an independent disciplinary in the Central District of Illinois results in suspension of my license.

Of course, it is recognized that if my due process claims are analyzed and rejected by this Honorable Court, then punishment (presumably a suspension) could start upon the date specified in the pertinent order.

I would request that a copy of this letter to be made an exhibit to your order, or otherwise made part of the official record.  I prefer that a miscellaneous case be opened, from which your show cause order may be issued.  If it is customary practice I will pay the filing fee for the opening of such a case.

Thank you very much for your kind consideration of these requests.

Kindest personal regards,

[signed in the original]

Oscar Stilley
os
c:     Clerk
enclosures: notices of suspension in CPC 2002-077, CPC 2006-067

……………………………………………………………………

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
In re: )) Case No. 08-MC-2043
OSCAR AMOS STILLEY )
O R D E R

This Court has been advised by the Supreme Court of Arkansas that OSCAR AMOS STILLEY has
been suspended from the practice of law in the courts of Arkansas. A copy of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s
Notice of Suspension of Attorney’s Privilege to Practice Law dated February 26, 2008, to this effect is
attached hereto.

In this regard, MR. STILLEY is advised that, pursuant to Local Rule 83.6(A), an attorney must be
licensed to practice law in any state or the District of Columbia in order to be eligible to practice in this
District. This raises the question of whether MR. STILLEY should be suspended from practice in this
District. Local Rule 83.6(A) provides:

(A) Discipline.
When it is shown to a judge of this court that any member of the bar of this
court has been suspended or disbarred from practice in any other court of
record, or has been guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the bar of
this court, the member will be subject to suspension, disbarment, or other
appropriate disciplinary action by the court. The member shall be afforded
an opportunity to show good cause, within such time as the court shall
prescribe, why the member should not be suspended, disbarred or otherwise
disciplined. Upon the member’s response to the rule to show cause, and
after hearing, if requested, or upon expiration of the time prescribed for a
response if no response is made, the court shall enter an appropriate order.

Accordingly, this Court grants MR. STILLEY ten (10) days from the date of this Order within which
to show cause, in writing, why this Court should not suspend him from practice in this District.

ENTERED this 31st day of July, 2008
s/ Michael P. McCuskey
MICHAEL P. McCUSKEY
CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
E-FILED
Thursday, 31 July, 2008 03:53:06 PM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

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