If FBI investigated CJP, would this happen?

This is a spoof based on the absurd idea that the CA Constitution gives the California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) final authority to decide who may investigate them and their files.  The below comments and actions have not been made by those who they are attributed to.

(Scene: 455 Golden Gate Ave, Office of the Comm on Judicial Performance. FBI agents walk in and the lead agent addresses CJP’s receptionist)

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LEAD AGENT:
We’re from the FBI. We’re here to confiscate your files. We’d also like to talk with your Director, Victoria Henley. Is she here?

RECEPTIONIST:
Ms. Henley is here, but she’s not in the building. She’s preparing to retire and is clearing out her desk. She’s downstairs loading her belongings into her vehicle.

LEAD AGENT:
You mean that semi trailer in the parking lot that three guys have just about finished filling with legal document boxes?

RECEPTIONIST:
Yes, that’s Ms. Henley’s vehicle. I believe she’s just about finished clearing out her desk.

LEAD AGENT:
Whose here right now whose in charge?

RECEPTIONIST:
Commissioner Erica Yew is here. Let me find her for you. I think I just saw her with the repairman whose here to fix the ten over-heated shredding machines.

(Judge Erica Yew walks into the reception area and introduces herself to the lead FBI agent)

COMMISSIONER YEW:
Hello, Mr. FBI man. Golly gee-willikers, how are you today?

LEAD AGENT:
I’m fine. We’re here to confiscate all CJP records and files and we’d appreciate your cooperation as we do it.

COMMISSIONER YEW:
(bats eyelids and smiles) We’d love to cooperate with your investigation of us. But gosh, the California Constitution says we alone make up rules about how judges are investigated and we made one up that says no one can have all our files of how we investigate judges, unless we decide they may.

LEAD AGENT:
Lady, are you f**king nuts? The California Constitution says the CJP can make up rules of how judges are investigated, not how the CJP is investigated.

COMMISSIONER YEW:
Oh my, I’m so confused. I don’t know what to do. According to the rules that I helped to make up, I may or may not decide to give you the files. Our Rule 102(g) states: (Disclosure of information to prosecuting authorities) The commission may release to prosecuting authorities at any time information which reveals possible criminal conduct by the judge or former judge or by any other individual or entity.

LEAD AGENT:
So let me get this straight. You think the California Constitution says that you can make up rules that lets you decide if you may or may not let the FBI confiscate all your files in a criminal investigation?

COMMISSIONER YEW:
Yes..I think..I don’t know. Maybe it would help if you said “Mother may I“? No wait, then I would have to say “Yes, you may” or “No, you may not“. Oh, my poor little confused brain. I am truly a lady in distress, Mr. FBI man. I am feeling stuck. Whatever should I do?

LEAD AGENT:
Show me where the files are and then step aside. I’m confiscating them to investigate the CJP covering up many judicial crimes occurring in the California court going back for years.

(Commissioner Yew’s demeanor completely changes from sweet, confused and innocent to a tough as nails criminal defense attorney)

COMMISSIONER YEW:
(in a guttural growl) You forgot to say “Mother may I“, A**hole.  Now I’m going to sue you in a court where we decide if the judge’s actions are ethical or not; and if that judge deserves to stay in office.

LEAD AGENT:
Get out of my way. We’re taking your files. Where are they?

COMMISSIONER YEW:
The two boxes are around the corner. Bwah, ha ha, ha ha! We made up a rule yesterday that the CJP may shred and discard confidential files upon perceived threat of any government agency demanding to see them. Sorry, there was nothing written that explicitly exempts the FBI from that rule.

We’re lawyers, you idiot! And we’re going to argue that the California Constitution gives us the right to make up rules that may obstruct any and all investigations of files we’ve deemed confidential. The two boxes around the corner are all that are left after our self-determined, lawful-shredding under our new rule — and we’ll sue you if you take them.

LEAD AGENT:
What???? Ummmm, I guess we’ll have to hire a law firm to defend us in the lawsuit.

(Yew switches back into sweet demeanor)

COMMISSIONER YEW:
Yes. I agree with you, Mr. FBI man. I would so love for you not to have to waste tax-dollars with us in litigation, but I just can’t figure out any way on our own for you to be able to investigate us and see what we really do behind closed doors.  Gosh, I wish we had written a rule that say you can investigate us without us telling you that you may. But we didn’t, so you can’t.  Oh my. This is so stressful and confusing for me. Do you think you could just go away so I don’t have to think about this perplexing problem anymore?

LEAD AGENT:
Yea, that’s not gonna happen.

COMMISSIONER YEW:
Okay, I guess I’ll see you in court and that makes my poor little heart so sad.  So like, you have a nice day, Mr. FBI man. And please let us know if there is anything, anything at all, that we can do to help you.

By the way, do you know anything about how we can get the Legislative Budget Committee to give us more money — without being able to audit our files to see how we’ve used the money they’ve been giving us for fifty years?

End of Spoof
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VIDEO of Ca Budget Committee hearing May 2017.  Judge Yew & Ms. Henley were asking for more money while discussing the money the legislature had already given them being spent on suing the State Auditor — to obstruct the legislature’s investigation so they could know what to budget.  (This may seem like a spoof, but it’s real!)

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CJP v. State Auditor hearing Nov 3rd @10am in San Francisco Superior Court, Dept 504, Honorable Suzanne Bolanos presiding.

Donuts in the park across the street starting at 8:30am.

Sharon Kramer

Posted in Health - Medical - Science | 3 Comments

California Commission on Judicial Performance Reiterates Its Circular Argument In Lawsuit Against State Auditor

          The California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) is the state agency charged with overseeing the ethics of nearly eighteen hundred California judges and justices. In August of 2016, the California legislature directed State Auditor Elaine Howle to audit the CJP. In October of 2016, the CJP filed a lawsuit against the Auditor to obstruct her ability to investigate their performance.

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          The purpose of audits is to provide guidance to government agencies, including commissions, so they may perform better in the future.  But litigious-time-and-money-wasting CJP wants no guidance of their performance. The amount tax dollars being put to poor use by CJP’s attempt to stop the long overdue  investigation of their questioned-performance is well into the six figures.

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          Not only has the CJP hired a private law firm to represent them, they have forced the State Auditor to have to do the same. Public-funded money and man-hours that should be used by the CJP and the Auditor to do their jobs, are instead being applied to the stonewalling lawsuit brought by the misguided state agency, CJP.

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          The Auditor’s latest brief was submitted on September 22nd.  It and its exhibits tell the tale of the CJP being dysfunctional for decades and in dire need of overhaul and guidance. The CJP has existed since 1960 and has never been audited. (Above link may take a few seconds to open. It’s a 200+ pg pdf)

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          CJP’s latest brief was submitted on September 29th.  It is essentially a rehash of their prior briefs’ and oral argument’s reiteration of the same circular logic.

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          Basically, their argument is that they cannot be comprehensively audited because they made up a rule which they claim forbids it. They argue that there can be no exception that they are the exception to the rules which govern auditing the conduct of agencies  — because they wrote rules which govern auditing the conduct of judges.

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          In this latest brief, the CJP has dropped a prior alleged reason that the Auditor cannot see their confidential case files.  In prior briefs they were arguing that she might share them with the public, and they could not enable that to happen. When that feigned-fear to stop the audit proved unrealistic and not based on any facts; they continued on with misleading statements that the California Constitution will not allow an audit of their performance.

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          CJP’s illogical logic is based on twisting the meaning of California’s Constitution by redefining words to fit their agenda. As I understand it, their argument hinges upon misrepresenting the word “by” to mean “of” for the purpose of overstepping their constitutionally mandated authority.

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          They write that the California Constitution provides them power that “The Commission shall make rules for the investigation of judges. The Commission may [not shall] provide for the confidentiality of complaints to and investigations by the commission.”  Yet, nowhere does the Constitution state that the CJP shall (or even may) make rules for investigations of the commission.

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          There is a reason that Abraham Lincoln’s words “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” are still frequently quoted today.  It’s because the words “by“, “of“, and “for” have important different meanings and should not be permitted to be misrepresented as meaning the same when describing roles of government.

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           It’s a crime in California to obstruct a state audit.  Yet the agency whose charge includes punishment for judges who commit crimes, is trying to obstruct a state audit.

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          It is not even close to plausible that the Constitution and its amendments ever had the intent that a state agency could write rules which say their performance cannot be investigated by audit, unless they say it can.

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          It’s outrageous that a state agency with “performance” its in name, filed a lawsuit to derail evaluation of its performance.

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          Even more outrageous, that same state agency that is charged with investigating California judges so they do not obstruct justice in courts, filed a lawsuit in a California court seeking that a California judge obstruct investigation how CJP investigates California judges.

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          One can’t help but wonder if CJP filed this suit hoping that California judges would surely rule the performance of their watchdog could not be audited, so that the pattern of ignoring valid citizen complaints against judges could not be seen by the Auditor’s eyes.

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          I’ve read all the briefs and declarations in this case. They are online at the San Francisco Superior Court website civil case number CPF16515308.

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          I have not found even one sentence which supports the concept that the Constitution’s intent could honestly be interpreted to mean that the CJP was given authority to obstruct an investigation of their performance. Their constitutional mandate allows them to make rules of how judges are to be investigated — not to make rules of how they are to be investigated.

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THE UPCOMING HEARING

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          November 3, 2017 at 10 am is the date and time of the upcoming hearing in the matter of the Commission on Judicial Performance v. State Auditor Elaine Howle, et.al.  It is calendared to take place in Department 504 of the San Francisco Superior Court. The Honorable Judge Suzanne Bolanos is scheduled to preside.

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          Beginning at around 8:30 or so, some of us will be having donuts and o.j. in the park across from the courthouse. Anyone is welcome to come join us and have a donut (til they run out). It’s not a rally with speeches or anything like that.

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          It’s just an oppotune time to chat with others who will be at the courthouse to help Judge Bolanos see that the long-overdue-audit of CJP’s less-than-stellar-performance is a matter of great public interest.

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Hope to see you there!

Sharon Noonan Kramer   snk1955@aol.com

Posted in Civil Justice, Environmental Health Threats, Fourth District Division One Appellate Court | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

CA Comm on Judicial Performance wants no audit of its performance

On August 17th at 9:30 am in San Francisco Superior Court Department 302, an important public-interest hearing will take place. The case is the California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) v. the Bureau of the State Auditor (BSA) Elaine M. Howle. The hearing is scheduled to be presided over by Judge Suzanne Bolanos.

Several people have asked me to explain to them why this hearing is so important.  The following is not a comprehensive explanation.  It’s a broad overview explaining just the gist of the matter.

CJP is the state agency charged with overseeing the conduct of California’s nearly 1800 judges and justices.  The CJP has been in existence since 1961 and has never been audited. For years people have reported that their performance is less than stellar, and as a result is causing much hardship for people who can find no relief from unethical conduct in the courts.

The CJP has sued State Auditor Howle to stop her office from being able to audit their questionable performance.

In August of 2016, the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) issued the order for Ms. Howle and the BSA to audit the CJP’s performance and financials.  They asked Ms. Howle to examine more than two dozen questions broadly covering the agency’s “policies and practices for handling and resolving complaints against judges.

The audit request came about because of public outcry, various reports and testimonies to the California Legislature that indicate the CJP is shielding and enabling judicial misconduct in legal proceedings (suborning of perjury, concealment of fraudulent court documents, bias causing wrongful outcomes of litigations, “case-fixing”, etc). 

There are judges who have also complained. Their complaints have been that the CJP allows itself to be misused to retaliate against judges who have spoken against insider politics, ethics problems and financial mismanagement in California’s judicial branch.  There is strong evidence that the CJP is not forthright nor consistent in its performance.

The citizen effort which caused the audit to come to fruition was led by Joseph Sweeney of Court Reform LLC, Kathleen Russell of the Center for Judicial Excellence, Political Science Professor Tamir Sukkary, and California Attorney Barbara Kaufman. 

Many other organizations and citizens sent letters and called their legislators in support of the need for the audit once Mr. Sweeney, Ms. Russell, Mr. Sukkary, and Ms. Kaufman opened the door. The judges’ trade organization, the California Judges Association, also sent a letter in support of the need for the audit of the CJP.

The scope of the proposed audit was prepared by the BSA last year. There are approximately eighteen areas in need of investigation. The CJP has primarily balked to having those areas audited which address their performance-failures to consistently adhere to CJP Rule 111.4. The Rule states,

“Discipline, including an advisory letter, shall not be imposed for mere legal error without more. However, a judge who commits legal error which, in addition, clearly and convincingly reflects bad faith, bias, abuse of authority, disregard for fundamental rights, intentional disregard of the law, or any purpose other than the faithful discharge of judicial duty is subject to investigation and discipline.”

In October of 2016, the CJP filed their lawsuit against State Auditor Howle in the San Francisco Superior Court seeking to limit the scope of the proposed audit to their financials — but not their performance. They claim that one of the rules (which they wrote for themselves) Rule 102 prevents audit of their confidential case-files; and thus prevents audit of their performance when handling the cases.   

 News reports indicate that “the controversial lawsuit against the auditor was ordered by CJP Director Victoria Henley and reportedly will cost the public north of six figures. Henley is paid $194,000 per year by California taxpayers.”

Ms. Henley has served as CJP’s Director-Chief Counsel since 1991.  In May of 2017 she announced her plans to retire at the end of this year.

(Correction. Ms. Henley’s annual income is reported to be just shy of $270,000.00.) IMG_5136

The purpose of audits of government agencies is not to cause punishment for past misdeeds (including those by recent retirees). It is to investigate past and current problem areas so that suggestions for improvements may be made to cause better stewardship of government agencies in the future. 

The State Auditor’s stance is that Judge Bolanos must ultimately decide “whether the Legislature has the legal authority to require state agencies to provide confidential materials to the Auditor during an audit directed by the Legislature”.

Under the direction of Auditor Howle, the BSA has conducted numerous audits of many state agencies. These have led to performance reforms and improved financial efficiency in the public’s best interest. 

To our knowledge, no one has ever accused State Auditor Howle or her staff of being reckless with their handling of sensitive and confidential material. Multiple unfounded inferences within the CJP’s briefs that the State Auditor would somehow be less than professional when handling their confidential files, strongly appears to be a desperate attempt to paint a false light portrait to derail the comprehensive auditing of the CJP.

One may read all the briefs and declarations that have been filed in the matter of COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE VS. ELAINE M. HOWLE ET AL Case Number: CPF16515308 at the San Francisco Superior Court website: http://sfsuperiorcourt.org/

The private-sector government-watchdog, Judicial Watch, Inc., has submitted a friend of the court brief in support of the California State Auditor’s and her staff’s ability to perform the much needed and long overdue comprehensive audit of the CJP.  They are also requesting to appear at the August 17th hearing.

Judicial Watch’s recent Press Release provides an additional overview of the importance of the matter.  To quote:

“The case sheds much-needed light on the unbelievable history of a taxpayer-funded agency that’s conducted its business in private—and with no oversight—for 56 years, even though protecting the public is among its key duties. The agency is known as Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) and it’s charged with enforcing rigorous standards of judicial conduct and disciplining judges in the nation’s largest court system.”

Sharon Noonan Kramer

Posted in Health - Medical - Science | 3 Comments

In Remembrance of Mold Advocate Mary Mulvey Jacobson

Dear All,

It is with great sadness that I report that Mary Mulvey Jacobson passed away on May 20th. It is easy to understand what a wonderful person she was by reading the local Boston area reports of her passing.

5/22/17 Wicked Local Parkway remembers, honors Mary Mulvey Jacobson

On May 12, the Parkway Community YMCA dedicated the “Mary Mulvey Jacobson Community Room” in her honor. Although she wasn’t well enough to attend the ceremony, organizers Skyped her in so she could see all who had gathered in her honor, including representatives from West Roxbury Main Streets, Ethos, the Irish Social Club, West Roxbury Business and Professional Association, Kiwanis Club and the Rotary Club, as well as local politicians including state Sen. Mike Rush, Congressman Stephen Lynch, District Attorney Dan Conley, and City Councilor Matt O’Malley.

“We decided that because she was so dedicated that it was fitting to have that room dedicated to her,” said Marion Kelley, Parkway Community YMCA executive director. “We brought the laptop around so she could wave to folks. … She really enjoyed it.”

5/23/17 Boston Globe Obituary

Mary was the President of the West Roxbury Business and Professional Association, Chairperson on the boards of the Parkway YMCA and Ethos, President of the Irish Social Club. She was a member of the Ward 19 Democratic Committee for 20 years. Mary was also involved in numerous other community organizations. There are far too many to mention.

5/24/17 Bulletin Newspaper “Remembering Mary Mulvey

Anyone who ever set foot in the Irish Social Club at some point would have run into Mary Mulvey Jacobson. She was a consummate advocate for the Parkway community, and helped to share her love of the neighborhood by giving back as much as she could, whether it was helping out over at the YMCA or her bi-annual turkey delivery in the form of Family in Need, Jacobson was always on a mission….Residents knew her to be a powerful force over the years, almost always working for others, and she helped to bring back the Irish Social Club after it had fallen into disuse and disrepair.

Her Family in Need program not only fed more than 200 residents and families in the Parkway, but also helped two or three families directly with whatever they needed, whether it was help with home repairs, children’s clothing or almost anything they needed, when Jacobson was on the job, residents knew they would be taken care of.

“Mary was an easy organizer. Life just came together around her. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. A force of nature,”..“She did things because she truly cared about her community and because doing the right thing mattered… She was kind, generous of her time, and always with a smile and a good laugh”

In the community, Jacobson will always be remembered as a kind soul who did whatever she could to help those around her. Jacobson’s like will not be seen again…she was the type of person you would go to and ask for help and she was there to say yes every single time. She had a way about her, she would go in and talk to people and even if it was difficult for them they would usually go along with Mary and she had a really nice way of working with people and getting things done.’

“The passing of Mary is a huge loss….Not only did Mary dedicate her life to the families and businesses of West Roxbury, but she also inspired so many of us to get more involved in improving where we live, work and play,”

 

This is what I want the world to know of Mary Mulvey Jacobson and what she did that has helped thousands of people:

In her professional career, Mary was Chief of Staff for a Boston City Councilor. Her ability to work full time ended around 2000 after being made gravely ill from exposure to mold in a water damaged building.

True to form, instead of sitting back feeling sorry for herself, Mary worked as much as she could to change policies on a national level. She didn’t want anyone to experience the same thing that she had.   She was especially concerned for the welfare of economically disadvantaged children living in substandard housing.

I first met Mary in Washington DC in September of 2004. She was attending U.S. Congressman John Conyers’ caucus over the mold issue that had been primarily organized by Dr. Simone Sommer and her son, Josh.

Bianca Jagger was the keynote speaker. Like Simone, Josh, Mary and countless others who packed the hearing room, Bianca was also injured by mold and was having difficulty finding help from mislead U.S. physicians.

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[Photo: September 2004 Josh Sommer, Simone Sommer, Bianca Jagger, Congressman Conyers, Katrine Stevens, Mary Mulvey Jacobson, and Nancy Davis ]

It quickly became obvious to me that Mary has special talents and skills. She was a delightful person who spoke her mind directly without being offensive.

She and I developed a fast friendship.  We met in D.C. several times in the coming years. We knocked on so many legislators’ doors together that I can’t even count them all.

As I recall, I would explain how a widely marketed scientific fraud was occurring in the mold issue and what needed to be done to stop it.  But Mary was the closer!

She could truthfully and passionately articulate the vast harm from the problem and why the legislators needed to act to make it stop.  Although the subject matter was not a pleasant one, it always warmed my heart to watch Mary artfully articulate her heartfelt pleas for help.

We were seeking legislative help to remove the scientifically void concept from physician educational materials, policies, and toxic torts — that it had been proven mycotoxins in water damaged buildings can never reach a level to harm.

For a greater understanding of the widely-marketed science fraud by U.S. policy-setting medical associations, et. al. please read the January 2007 Wall Street Journal article “COURT OF OPINION Amid Suits Over Mold, Experts Wear Two Hats Authors of Science Paper Often Cited by Defense Also Help in Litigation

The 2007 WSJ article was written by David Armstrong of WSJ Boston office.  It came about in large part because of a D.C. door which Mary was key in causing to crack open.

It was the door of the late Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Mary’s home state. Senator Kennedy was the minority chair of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (HELP) when we first began calling on that office.

A long story short, in October of 2006 via HELP, Senator Kennedy ordered a federal GAO audit of the mold issue. The audit report was titled “INDOOR MOLD: Better Coordination of Research on Health Effects and More Consistent Guidance Would Improve Federal Efforts” It was released for publication in October of 2008.

Contrary to what the medical associations were falsely marketing as proven science, the audit found that it was indeed plausible that mycotoxins in water damaged buildings were physically harming people.

Best said in Mary’s own words, July 2007:

“A short time after that we communicated our concerns and offered this documentation to you, we also offered them to the Wall Street Journal who believed that we had merit in our suspicions. After a 6 month investigation, the Journal published this past January a front page, top of the fold article exposing the conflicts of interest that surrounded the publishing of the ACOEM’s Guidelines on mold illnesses. Of note, one doctor mentioned in the WSJ article and the key sponsor of the ACOEM Evidence Based Guidelines had been recruited for membership by ACOEM to write the paper. This former Deputy Surgeon General had his membership compted so he could submit the paper.

We also offered our information to elected officials on the Federal level. Especially in light of Katrina and Rita, we were very pleased that Senator Kennedy submitted to the GAO this past October a request for study of our government’s efforts to “minimize and mitigate illnesses associated with human exposure to mold in housing and other indoor environments.” He notes that there is growing evidence that otherwise healthy individuals who are exposed to most experience persistent health problems.”

Like the WSJ article of 2007 (of which Mary was a behind the scenes contributor) the 2008 GAO Report lent rightfully-due credibility to the words of those being disabled by mold, their advocates, their treating physicians, and their attorneys. It became more widely known as scientifically plausible that people are being disabled by the microbial contaminants found in water damaged buildings.

In subsequent years, much has been written of the scientific fraud in policies which Mary was instrumental in exposing. Although it still lingers in some physician educational materials, government funded policies, insurer claims handling practices and toxic torts – it has been widely discredited and is much easier to fight in courts and claims handling practices all across the United States, in large part because of Mary.

Today there are many younger advocates, physicians and attorneys in the mold issue who still fight for justice for those being environmentally disabled.  I want them to know who Mary was and what she did to give them a fighting chance to be heard.

Mary Mulvey Jacobson was a rare and great lady.  Like many others who knew Mary, I feel fortunate to have known her, to have learned from her, and to have called her my friend.

Sharon Noonan Kramer

Posted in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health - Medical - Science, Mold and Politics, Toxic Mold | Tagged | Leave a comment

Request for a meeting to discuss proposed CaDoJ policy implementation purposed to thwart crime in California legal proceedings.

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Meeting request and attachment in pdf

Posted in Civil Justice, Fourth District Division One Appellate Court | Leave a comment