Several recent blogs have dealt with cases of clients suing their former counsel. Now, we have a case of a federal judge suing government lawyers, alleging that his Fifth Amendment rights have been violated. Porteous v. Baron et al. (For those readers who don’t watch LAW & ORDER on television, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established the right against self-incrimination.)
Previously, an FBI fraud investigator testified before the House (Of Representatives) Judiciary Committee judicial impeachment task force, that the judge, U.S. District Judge Porteous of the Eastern District of Louisiana, had spent $149,400 on casino markers while in the midst of Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings and had omitted other casino debt from his bankruptcy petition in order to prevent the casinos from denying him future credit. He also allegedly took out a new credit card and misstated his income in order to conceal funds from his creditors.
Further, two attorneys testified before the Committee that the judge had pressured them to give him $20,000 in cash. The judge said he thought the payments were loans.
The judge has now filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the House inquiry, alleging that they are violating his right against self-incrimination by using testimony he gave, under a grant of immunity, during a previous misconduct investigation.
Past blogs have dealt with alleged misconduct of corporations, lawyers, and now a federal judge. So far, however, no one has cast any aspersions on the USPTO.
THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED: What happens in Vegas apparently does not stay in Vegas.
Looks like this judge learned the hard way that the way things are done in Louisiana is not necessarily the way things are done in other parts of the world ... not even in Las Vegas! Maybe what happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans.