David Dodge, Tom Dunn, and the Missing 13th Amendment

Moderators: Prof, Judge Roy Bean

User avatar
morrand
Admiral of the Quatloosian Seas
Admiral of the Quatloosian Seas
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:42 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

David Dodge, Tom Dunn, and the Missing 13th Amendment

Postby morrand » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:27 am

In the winter of 1983, archival research expert David Dodge, and former Baltimore police investigator Tom Dunn, were searching for evidence of government corruption in public records stored in the Belfast Library on the coast of Maine.

Over in the Canada section, Donald Netolitzky, who wrote a comprehensive paper about OPCA and pseudolaw, had complained in part about the lack of history regarding the OPCA movement and its forebears:
DNetolitzky wrote:A third issue is permanence and stability. ... Loss of information is a big issue for those who study pseudolaw. I know there's a history going back decades, as Judge Roy Bean observed, into the modemland era, and earlier, but there's very little of that which is accessible to present day investigators, let alone persons within the pseudolaw community. Because no one (that I know of) documented all that we're left with guesswork after a certain point.

It is a fair point. But it's also best to remember that, in the "modemland" era, while there really wasn't one contiguous Internet in the way we have it now, that opened certain opportunities.

See, most of the bulletin board systems (BBSes) that flourished from the late 1980s through to the late 90's (and a little beyond in some places) were independently owned and operated. In most cases, they featured at least a message board, email service, and file upload/download. While there were some networks in place, the degree of homogeneity that we enjoy now didn't exist. Each system was hungry to get files uploaded to it, so that there'd be something there for their callers to download. It was pretty common for BBSes to offer credit (extra time online, online games credit, or other perks) in exchange for new uploads, and the result was a thriving traffic in files being transferred from board to board. Because of the heterogeneity of the 'net in general, there wound up being many, many copies of files out there, one to a board, and when one board shut down, all the other copies remained out there—and by the nature of the system, tended to get copied to new BBSes as they opened up.

So it is with the story of David Dodge, Tom Dunn, and the missing 13th Amendment. This particular story ultimately wound up getting archived at textfiles.com, a resource I highly recommend to anyone interested in researching BBS Lore in general. While it doesn't have everything that was out there, it has a lot of things, at least enough to indicate how old some of these stories really are.

This particular story is only mentioned once on Quatloos!, as far as I can tell from searching, and then only parenthetically in the middle of a Dinar/NESARA posting by John MacHaffie. I don't think it adds anything to copy and paste the whole thing here, even though it is a fairly succinct description of the conspiracy in question. The general premise is that there was a secret 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive, or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.

It connects this with conspiracies initiated by the British monarchy, in cooperation with the bankers, to overthrow the nascent United States. And this is where we get to the meme, seen even today, about the corrupt "BAR" association.
The only organization that certified lawyers was the International Bar Association (IBA), chartered by the King of England, headquartered in London, and closely associated with the international banking system. Lawyers admitted to the IBA received the rank "Esquire" -- a "title of nobility". "Esquire" was the principle title of nobility which the 13th Amendment sought to prohibit from the United States. Why? Because the loyalty of "Esquire" lawyers was suspect. Bankers and lawyers with an "Esquire" behind their names were agents of the monarchy, members of an organization whose principle purposes were political, not economic, and regarded with the same wariness that some people today reserve for members of the KGB or the CIA.


The document goes on further to explain:
According to David Dodge, Tom Dunn, and Webster's Dictionary, the archaic definition of "honor" (as used when the 13th Amendment was ratified) meant anyone "obtaining or having an advantage or privilege over another". A contemporary example of an "honor" granted to only a few Americans is the privilege of being a judge: Lawyers can be judges and exercise the attendant privileges and powers; non-lawyers cannot.

By prohibiting "honors", the missing Amendment prohibits any advantage or privilege that would grant some citizens an unequal opportunity to achieve or exercise political power. Therefore, the second meaning (intent) of the 13th Amendment was to ensure political equality among all American citizens, by prohibiting anyone, even government officials, from claiming or exercising a special privilege or power (an "honor") over other citizens.

....

For example, anyone who had a specific "immunity" from lawsuits which were not afforded to all citizens, would be enjoying a separate privilege, an "honor", and would therefore forfeit his right to vote or hold public office. Think of the "immunities" from lawsuits that our judges, lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats currently enjoy. As another example, think of all the "special interest" legislation our government passes: "special interests" are simply euphemisms for "special privileges" (honors).


It's not hard to make the leap from this idea to the more familiar ones about how judges, etc., don't actually have authority over people, and so Dodge does, saying that if the amendment had been ratified:
The prohibition against "honors" (privileges) would compel the entire government to operate under the same laws as the citizens of this nation. Without their current personal immunities (honors), our judges and I.R.S. agents would be unable to abuse common citizens without fear of legal liability. If this 13th Amendment were restored, our entire government would have to conduct itself according to the same standards of decency, respect, law, and liability as the rest of the nation. If this Amendment and the term "honor" were applied today, our government's ability to systematically coerce and abuse the public would be all but eliminated.


Naturally he then goes on to explain how the amendment was ratified, and subsequently suppressed by TPTB, but of course Dodge was clever enough to see through the ruse, and so forth. You can read the original for that whole story. The more interesting point is how stable and long-lived the "BAR Lawyers" myth has been: the form of it in this document from 1991 is practically the same as what was claimed in a Dinar/NESARA post in 2013. And inside the text file it mentions that Dodge was doing this research as far back as 1983, meaning this thread of sovcit theory has been knocking around for 30 years at least (and I'm not ready to give Dodge credit for originating it).

And this is just one file out of hundreds posted there. I really do recommend it (or its mirrors, of which there are a few) to anyone interested in this sort of thing who hasn't already browsed around it.
---
Morrand

fortinbras
Princeps Wooloosia
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: David Dodge, Tom Dunn, and the Missing 13th Amendment

Postby fortinbras » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:09 am

From my compilation:

That there is a mysterious Original Thirteenth Amendment which revokes the citizenship of anyone using a title of nobility and that this refers to lawyers, and thereby the judges, prosecutors, and even the Congressmen and legislators who enacted the law are not citizens and can’t do anything to the nitwit. D.A. Anderson v. US (ND Ill 4/27/98)(“These arguments may be amusing to some but are meritless and must be rejected”); similarly Snyder v. US (ND Ill 1/9/99)(tried to argue that “all criminal statutes enacted in violation of the ‘Original Thirteenth Amendment’ are null and void.... [and] that the ‘original’ Thirteenth Amendment invalidates much of the current federal criminal justice system. These allegations are frivolous and without merit.”); similarly (tried to sue a multitude of judges, district attorneys and others, for RICO offenses under the ‘original’ amendment) Diaz v. Alverez (WD Tex 4/25/08); similarly Sibley v. Culliver (11th Cir 2004) 377 F3d 1196 (admitted cop killer tried to use this argument to invalidate all court proceedings leading to his death sentence); similarly US v. Tariq L. Belt (D Md 7/26/11); similarly US v. Barker (SD Ga 1998) 182 FRD 661 at n.3 (perp cited the “Original 13th Amendment of 1819” as part of his semi-coherent pleadings about his bogus liens against nearly everyone involved in sending him to prison and additionally alleging that he was abducted by a flying saucer); suing to “restore the ‘missing’ Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution”, and have copies of this revised Constitution sent “to all homes, prisons, hospitals and churches nationwide” and for $385 Million in damages; suit dismissed and an appeal in forma pauperis would not be taken in good faith because meritless. Smith v. US President (D. Conn 11/6/96) in Conn. Law Tribune, 12/2/96.
{This is a very widespread myth among the militia movement, evidently dating from around 1980, and begun by David Dodge (apparently of Miami) who calls himself an “archival research expert” and seems otherwise to be unknown, and Alfred Adask (of Dallas) who then published amateurish quasi-legal advice in a magazine warmly titled “Anti-Shyster”. They have “discovered” that in 1810 the Congress proposed a Thirteenth Amendment (the Twelfth having been adopted in 1804) to the effect that “If any citizen ... shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor ... from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen ... and shall be incapable of holding any office ... or either of them”. This proposal is appended to some editions of the Constitution as an unratified proposal. The nitwits, however, insist that it was adopted ... and to do so they insist on very dubious evidence, the very opposite of the methodology some of the same nitwits use to argue that the 16th Amendment (income tax) was not adopted. This 1810 proposal was inspired by the instance of Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson, a Baltimore socialite who, in December 1803, married Jerome Bonaparte, the brother of the Emperor Napoleon (this doomed romance was dramatized in the 1928 silent movie, Glorious Betsy, starry Dolores Costello and Conrad Nagel, and again in the 1936 movie, Hearts Divided, starring Dick Powell and Marion Davies), and wished to be identified as a duchess (the bona fides of her alleged marriage were promptly denied by Napoleon, who - despite the opposition of the Pope and the fact that Betsy was pregnant - invalidated the marriage in March 1805 on the grounds that, because Jerome was only 19 at the time he needed the Emperor’s consent to the marriage - even though Napoleon was not Emperor at the time of the wedding. Betsy gave birth to Jerome Bonaparte II in July 1805. To try to placate Betsy, she was granted a very substantial annuity and some valuable property. Napoleon placated his brother by making him a prince of France the next year, and the year after that making him the King (the only one) of Westphalia. Jerome kept writing love letters to Betsy until shortly before he married, in August 1807, Katherina II von Rukland, Princess of Wurtemburg. After that, Betsy refused his offer to make her a princess and returned to Baltimore. This much had happened before the phantom amendment was proposed in Congress. Betsy persisted in saying she was still married until 1815, when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, at which point she got the Maryland Legislature to issue a divorce decree for her, so Jerome - now demoted - could not claim any of her assets, and she promptly returned to using her maiden name although her son continued the surname of Bonaparte. In 1855 the Emperor Napoleon III offered her son, his cousin, a dukedom, which he refused. Her former husband, Jerome, died in 1860. Betsy died at age 94, enormously wealthy but living in a boarding house in Baltimore, in April 1879. Her grandson, Charles Joseph Bonaparte (1851-1921) was, under President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General of the United States, and created the agency which later became the FBI. The story is told in “The Phantom Amendment & the Duchess of Baltimore” by W.H. Earle, American History Illustrated, November 1987, and the books A Family Lawsuit: The romantic story of Elisabeth Patterson & Jerome Bonaparte, by Sidney Mitchell (NY: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1958, 210 pages), and Wondrous Beauty: The Life & Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, by Carol Berkin (NY: Knopf, 2014, 237 pages), and Famous American Belles of the Nineteenth Century, by Virginia T. Peacock (Philadelphia: Lippencott, 1901) page 39-60, and The Life and Letters of Madame Bonaparte by Euege L. Didier (NY: Scribners, 1879, 276 pages), and Memoires et Correspondence du Roi Jerome et la Reine Catherine, edited by E. Dentu (Paris, 1861) vol. 1, chapter 4 (in which, even for the period of her marriage, she is consistently called mademoiselle Paterson - with only one T), and The Bonaparte-Patterson Marriage in 1803 and the Secret Correspondence on the Subject edited by W.T.R. Saffell (Philadelphia, 1873, 254 page), and the Supreme Court decision in Bonaparte v. Tax Court (1882) 104 US 592, 26 L.Ed 845.

The Constitution, Article V, requires that 3/4 of the states in the Union must ratify a proposed amendment for it to be adopted into the Constitution, and this number is applied to the number of states existing at the end, rather than the beginning, of the rarification process. The proposed amendment accumulated only 12 state ratifications, the last in December 1812 by which time it would have required 14 to be adopted (and, in the same vein, it would have required even more ratifications to adopt as additional states joined the Union, 15 by the end of 1816, 16 by the end of 1818, 17 a year later, 18 by 16 March 1820, etc.). Betsy Patterson’s marriage to royalty had effectively ceased to exist even before the amendment was proposed, and the popular interest in Betsy Patterson had dissipated, so motivation for adopting the amendment was very limited. Oddly enough, some of the people promoting this notion - who are willing to presuppose the ratification and adoption of the Phantom Amendment despite a total lack of proper paperwork, are also promoting the notion espoused in “The Law that Never Was” that, somehow, the 16th Amendment was not adopted because of even the most microscopic defects in its paperwork, and they don’t seem to notice the inconsistency in these positions. However, in 1815 there was published by Bioren & Duane of Philadelphia, under a government contract, a five volume set titled “Laws of the United States”, which printed the proposed amendment as “Article 13” immediately following the authentic 11th and 12th Amendments on page 74 of the first volume; however more than 76 pages earlier, in the volume’s introduction, the editors had cautioned (on page ix), “There has been some difficulty in ascertaining whether the amendment proposed, which is stated as the thirteenth, has or has not been adopted by a sufficient number of the state legislatures.... It has been considered best, however, to publish the proposed amendment in its proper place, as if it had been adopted, with this explanation, to prevent misconception.” It thereafter appears that several editors or publishers of other books (including some early compilations of state and territorial laws) containing the text of the US Constitution relied on the Bioren & Duane edition as their source (sometimes mentioning the Bioren & Duane edition by name) but missed this editorial caution and thereby were misled into including this 1810 proposal as if it had been adopted. (A general criticism of the sloppy editing of the Bioren & Duane edition is in 9 Law Reporter 281-283 [1847].) The story is told in The Case of the Phantom Thirteenth Amendment: A historical and bibliographic nightmare by Curt E. Conklin, 88 Law Library Journal 121 (winter 1996) and in The” Missing Thirteenth Amendment”: Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility by Jol A. Silversmith, 8 Southern Calif. Interdisciplinary Law Jrnl 577 (spring 1999)[this currently can be found on the internet at: www.thirdamendment.com/missing.html], and in The ‘Original’ Thirteenth Amendment: The Misunderstood Titles of Nobility Amendment by Gideon M. Hart, 94 Marquette L.Rev. 311 (fall 2011) [currently can be found at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol94/iss1/5 ] ; also M.E. DeForrest & J.M. Vache, Truth or Consequences, Part Two: More Jurisprudential Errors of the Militant Far-Right, 25 Gonzaga Law Rev. 319 at 338 et seq [2000]. The inclusion of this phantom 13th Amendment is, in fact, virtually the only noteworthy characteristic of the Bioren & Duane edition, as shown in its lengthy description in the Checklist of United States Public Documents (1911) p. 964.

Of course, the mere fact that a typographic error occurs in an officially published lawbook does not elevate that error to the status of a valid law; Pease v. Peck (1856) 59 US (18 How.) 595 at 596-597, 15 L.Ed 518 at 519; City of Atlanta v. Gate City Gas Light Co. (1883) 71 Ga 106 at 119; the erroneous inclusion in a compilation of laws of a proposal which was not properly promulgated does not serve to make that proposal effective as if it were valid law. State ex rel Mercier v. Judge of Superior District Court (La. Suprm. 1877) 29 La.Ann 223 similarly the erroneous omission of a properly enacted statute from a compilation does not invalidate the statute. Hancock County v. Hawkins County (1885) 83 Tenn (15 Lea) 266. And the proposal and ratification of an amendment to the US Constitution is not conventional legislation and goes through different procedural steps; Hollingsworth v. Virginia (1798) 3 US (3 Dallas) 378, 1 L.Ed 644; Hawke v. Smith (1920) 253 US 221, 64 L.Ed 871, 40 S.Ct 495.

Returning to the so-called Titles of Nobility Amendment: In 1813, the Secretary of State, James Monroe, sent a circular letter to all the governors inquiring about further ratifications of this proposed amendment, without result. However, in 1817, the House of Representatives arranged to have a pocket edition of the Constitution printed up for distribution and when these copies arrived containing the so-called Thirteenth Amendment, the House on the last day of 1817 formally asked the President for verification of whether this was validly part of the Constitution. The President, James Monroe, presented the House with two reports of his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, which confirmed that there had been only twelve state ratifications, an insufficient number for adoption (by this time 15 states would have had to ratify it), and these were published as Messages from the President on February 6, and March 2, 1818. The Congress was apparently satisfied with these reports and thereafter this 1810 proposal never again appears as part of the Constitution in any edition published by any part of the federal government. On April 20, 1818 Congress enacted a law making the Secretary of State responsible for accumulating the state ratifications of proposed amendments and announcing when these are sufficient for adoption (in 1951 this responsibility was shifted to the head of the National Archives).

Incidentally, Betsy Patterson’s grandson, Charles Joseph Bonaparte (1851-1921), graduated from Harvard Law School, and became, first, Secretary of the Navy, and then US Attorney-General, under Theodore Roosevelt. As Attorney-General, he created the FBI. He was also a founder and early president of the National Municipal League.

Dodge, Adask, and others allege some great but vague conspiracy caused this “original” 13th amendment to vanish from the books by the time the genuine 13th Amendment (the abolition of slavery) was proposed in 1865, but they are very vague about the date this occurred. Of course, it would require more than just the appearance of new editions omitting the 1810 proposal to accomplish this if the 1810 proposal had ever been a genuine part of the Constitution, since too many adults would have remembered it despite new editions. Yet the silence is deafening; no one protested the 1865 anti-slavery amendment on the grounds that there already was a 13th Amendment dating from 1810. Working backwards, in 1861 Congress had proposed an entirely different amendment (known as the “Corwin Amendment”, which was not adopted) with the title of “Thirteenth” and nobody protested the numbering then; e.g., Mark E. Brandon, “The ‘Original’ Thirteenth Amendment and the Limits to Formal Constitutional Change”, published as chapter 10 in Sanford Levinson, ed., Responding to Imperfection: The Theory and Practice of Constitutional Amendment (1995, NJ, Princeton Univ. Press) pages 215-236; also Jon Bradley King, Constitutional Amendments that Never Were, 11 Colonial Lawyer (Marshall-Wythe School of Law) 11 (spring 1981). In 1847, Supreme Court Associate Justice Levi Woodbury wrote there were “only twelve amendments ever made to” the Constitution, and nobody quibbled with his numbers; Waring v. Clarke (1847) 46 US (5 How.) 441 at 493, 12 L.Ed. 226 at 251 (dissent). It may also be significant that the Constitution of the Confederate States, adopted in 1861, reproduced, sometimes with some rearrangement, nearly all the provisions of the US Constitution of the time but did not include anything resembling the Phantom Amendment. In 1845 Congress authorized the Boston publishing house of Little & Brown to publish a collection of federal laws to replace the 1815 Bioren & Duane edition, this was the Statutes at Large, whose printing has been continued to this day by the government; in this 1845 edition the Constitution stops at 12 amendments and the 1810 proposal is several volumes away as merely a Congressional resolution. The inclusion of the phantom amendment in the Bioren & Duane edition was recognized as an error by a number of early publications, including the North American Review, July 1823, page 70; The American Almanac & Repository of Useful Knowledge for 1831, page 125; and The North American Reader by Lyman Cobb, 1835, page 471. In 1833, Associate Justice Joseph Story of the US Supreme Court published his Commentaries on the Constitution, which included a text of the Constitution with only 12 amendments and the clear statement that there have been only twelve amendments (sec. 959) and further that the 1810 proposal had not been adopted “probably from a growing sense that it is wholly unnecessary” (sec. 1346). In April 1836, Senator Benjamin W. Leigh, of Virginia, who had been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and had helped compile the Virginia Revised Code of 1810, entered into the Congressional Globe a lengthy legal argument, related to a complex legislative procedural issue, which included this: “In Bioren’s edition of the Constitution and law of the United States, published by authority, and daily resorted to for evidence of the law in all our courts of justice, there is found a 13th Amendment [namely the Titles of Nobility phantom amendment] ... But we all know this is not a part of the Constitution, that it has not been ratified by a sufficient number of States to make it so. And I see in the copies of the Constitution printed under the superintendence of our Secretary [of the Senate], and furnished to the members of the Senate, it has been very properly wholly omitted.” (Cong. Globe, 24th Cong., 1st session, vol. 3, Appendix page 612). There is no known state or federal court decision treating the 1810 proposal as a bona fide part of the Constitution, nor did Congress ever enact any enabling legislation for it (which would have been necessary, for example, to instruct how a proceeding to enforce the provision would begin, what would constitute sufficient evidence of a violation, and which of the three penalties to impose). [It is imagined by TONA believers that Virginia ratified it without telling anyone - but in fact the Senate Journal for the Commonwealth of Virginia session beginning in December 1810, page 83, shows that on February 11, 1811 the Virginia Senate explicitly rejected the proposed amendment. http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=n ... 1up;seq=89], and this was reported in the Alexandria Gazette for March 11, 1811 (from the Gideon Hart article, p. 328 fn 98).

The phantom amendment appeared in only a few dozen books, out of literally thousands, that purport to reprint the Constitution, and these dropped off sharply after 1845 when the Statutes at Large first appeared. Since then, the US Supreme Court very explicitly described the 1810 proposal as unadopted, in Dillon v. Gloss (1921) 256 US 368 at 375, 65 L.Ed 994 at 997, 41 S.Ct 510 at 512, and in a dissenting opinion of two justices in Coleman v. Miller (1939) 307 US 433 at 472, 83 L.Ed 1385 at 1406, 59 S.Ct 972 at 990, and in some detail in both the majority and dissenting opinions in Afroyim v. Rusk (1967) 387 US 253 at 258-259 and 277-278, 18 L.Ed.2d 757 at 762 and 772, 87 S.Ct 1660 at 1663 and 1673. It appears that the Congress determined (or at least opined) in 1992, when the 27th Amendment (on Congressional pay raises) was declared adopted (having been pending since 1789), that the 1810 proposal had lapsed and was no longer capable of being ratified (cf. speech of Sen. Terry Sanford, D-NC, in Cong.Rec., May 20, 1992, daily ed. p. S-6949 col.3, perm. ed. p. 11870 col.3).

On the other hand, Dodge, Adask, and other propagandists claim that the mere fact that this 1810 text, derived from Bioren & Duane (and duplicating Bioren & Duane’s punctuation and Americanized spelling, even though the engrossed original circulated directly to the states apparently used British spelling, and duplicating Bioren & Duane’s total lack of any ratification dates or states), appeared in collections of laws that had been issued by various state governments constituted that state’s formal ratification of the proposed amendment (even though the legislature’s appropriation to authorize and subsidize a collection of state laws never mentioned this “titles of nobility” proposal). This is clearly contrary to the Pease and City of Atlanta decisions already mentioned. And this proposed amendment appeared in the compilations published for some states that had explicitly rejected the amendment; e.g., Virginia, in Hart, op.cit., 94 Marquette Law Rev. 311 at pages 328-329 (including footnotes) and 370.

Why do they go to all this trouble? Because they then argue that lawyers cannot be US citizens because esquire is a title of nobility from a foreign power -- Adask goes further and includes bankers in this disenfranchising altho he does not explain what title is involved in banking -- and they provide strange and absurd explanations for the significance of esquire and how lawyers could get it from a foreign king. Of course, all along the real Constitution has forbidden the federal and state governments from issuing titles of nobility, and since law schools and court systems are subsidized and supervised by federal and state governments you’d think these nitwits would have tried to make a fuss about a domestic title of nobility, but no, they have to stretch for something that’s not part of the Constitution. More recently, in Alabama, a militia-movement couple who shot a policeman to death have been claiming that this Phantom Amendment makes it impossible for a judge and prosecutor to put them on trial; cf. Associated Press report, “Death row couple take aim at system” by Michael Pearson, 2 Sept 1996, and printed in the Houston Chronicle, 1 Sept 96; L.A. Times, 8 Sept 96; Ft Worth Star Telegram, 8 Sept 96, et al.; Sibley v. Culliver (11th Cir 2004) 377 F3d 1196 rehearing denied en banc 120 Fed.Appx 787 (it didn’t save them from the death penalty); claiming that a lawyer’s use of “esquire” is somehow a title of nobility: US v. Frech (10th Cir 6/16/98) 149 F3d 1192(t), 1998 Colo.J. Colo.App.Rpts 3226; Wright v. Leasecomm Corp. (MD Fla 1993) 817 F.Supp 106; State v. Eytcheson (Ohio App 12/4/98); State v. Goble (Ind.App 1999) 717 NE2d 1268; US v. D.E. Petersen (D.Minn 9/18/09) and US v. D.E. Petersen (D. Minn 10/13/09); Hayes v. Burns (MD Tenn. 8/22/13); or that lawyers (and judges) are, by virtue of their law degree or admission to the bar, “enfranchised creatures of the law” and thereby “are without standing in this court or any court of this land!” R.E. Goode v. Sumner County Commissioners (D.Kan 2/17/95); similarly Minkin v. US (NDNY 5/3/06); similarly Hudson v. Caruso (WD Mich 6/24/05); similarly (brought a lawsuit to require, among other things, that every man or woman who was “a bar esquire” in public office must resign that office “never to hold another office again.”) M.A. Wells v. Trustees (ND Tex 7/25/2016); -- this overlooks the explicit statements in Blackstone’s Commentaries (ca. 1766) & Stephen’s Commentaries (1841) that Esquire is a title of commonalty and not of nobility and carries none of the characteristics or privileges of nobility, and the statement in Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary that “In the United States, the title ... is bestowed on any person at pleasure, and contains no definite description. It is merely an expression of respect.” See also the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary for its entries on “esquire” and especially “esquiress”. In 1945, H.L. Mencken, in his Supplement I to The American Language (Page 549) quoted from ‘the chief English authority’, Titles and Forms of Address: A Guide to Their Correct Use (in print since 1918, with revisions), that there is “almost universal use of this title [‘Esquire’] for every man who cannot claim a higher one....” and went on to say, “There is, so far as I know, no Federal or State statute which confers it upon anyone, and appending it to the name of a lawyer, or even a judge, is a mere courtesy.” For the past three centuries (at least) there is no instance of the British monarch “bestowing” an Esquire on anyone, and the British courts have held that, notwithstanding whatever rules applied to the title in the Middle Ages, now the title is altogether unregulated and anyone - specifically ordinary tradesmen with no aristocratic pretensions - can adopt it at whim; Fairman v. Ives (1819) 1 Chitty’s Cases on KB Practice 85; Re Doughty’s Estate (Irish Landed Estates Ct. 1868) 2 Ire.R.Eq. 235, 18 L.T.n.s. 188, 2 Irish Law Times 138. Stephen’s Commentaries on the Laws of England ranks it, emulating Blackstone’s editors, between “gentleman” and “doctor”, neither of those being either nobility nor bestowed by royalty. Apparently it became a mark of distinction for lawyers at a time when, and because, the lawyers had no academic titles or degrees to put either in front or after their names, and the Oxford English Dictionary notes that it is used only with the full name and without any other embellishments (e.g., Mr., Dr., Hon., Rev., M.D., LL.B., J.D., Ph.D.). In late 17th century in England it was taken up by “outer barristers”, those trial lawyers who, being junior grade, were not entitled to put KC (Kings Counsel) or QC after their names, but there are a couple of 18th century British court decisions indicating that the use of ‘Esquire” is expected or required of all grades of barristers, and evidently QCs still use “Esq.” Altho there is no law regulating the use of Esquire in the US, in several prosecutions for unauthorized practice of law the fact that the defendant was attaching “esq.” to his name while doing whatever he was not supposed to do is treated as further evidence of holding himself out as a lawyer; e.g. In re contempt of Mittower (Ind.Supm 1998) 693 NE2d 555; Florida Bar v. Gordon (Fla.Supm 1995) 661 So.2d 295; In re Wm. Patton (ED Penn 11/6/98); Patton v. Scholl (ED Penn 6/28/99); altho one defendant argued, and the court appeared willing to concede, that “esq.” related to his graduation from law school and did not necessarily imply passing the bar exam or practicing law. In re Apollon (1997) 233 App.Div.2d 95, 662 NYS2d 815; and in allowing prison officials to examine letters from unknown persons whose return addresses include “esq” the court evidently conceded that the use of “esq” was unregulated. Deutsch v. US Dept of Justice (DDC 1995) 881 F.Supp 49 affd 320 US App DC 323, 93 F3d 986. In 1863 the Arkansas Supreme Court said that Esquire was applied “not infrequently to officers of all grades, to attorneys at law, and sometimes bestowed upon persons at pleasure as an expression of respect.” Christian v. Ashley County (1863) 24 Ark 142 at 151, and quoted in the definition of Esquire in the old (1920) Corpus Juris; similarly US v. D.E. Petersen (D.Minn 9/18/09). Bouvier’s Law Dictionary says, “No one is entitled to it by law, and therefore it confers no distinction in law.” -- and Bouvier’s adds that the proposed 1810 amendment was never adopted.

Adask and other have suggested, without the slightest evidence, that the founders of the Republic distrusted and detested the use of “esquire” and regarded it as indicative of ties to the British monarch, but in fact the Articles of Confederation of 1781 contained (Art. VI) a prohibition of titles of nobility, and while it was in force various of the founding fathers addressed each other in official documents and letters as “esquire”. Instead of despising trained lawyers, the founders enacted laws requiring trained lawyers -- such as requiring the Attorney General to be “learned in the law”, in the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat 93.

In attempting to relate the American lawyer’s use of “esquire” to a monarch, Adask and Dodge have concocted a fantasy that all American lawyers are members of the International Bar Association, which they claim was established by King George III at an unspecified date before the American Revolution, but it is an undeniable fact that the International Bar Assn was not established until 1947 and that it consists of fewer than 18000 members, only a small portion of them American [cf. IBA v. Tax Appeals Tribunal of NY (1994) 210 App.Div.2d 819, 620 NYS2d 582 app.denied 85 NY2d 806, 627 NYS2d 323, 650 NE2d 1325]. They also assume that an individual’s admission to the bar is controlled by the American Bar Association and that somehow each new lawyer gets a document or goes through a ceremony which confers the “esquire” on him. [They have also tried to pretend that lawyers are somehow not citizens of whatever “sovereign” state they are in by arguing that all lawyers are members of the American Bar Assn, and that the ABA is incorporated in Washington, DC, thereby making all its members citizens of DC only. In fact, there are slightly more than 1.2 million lawyers with active licenses in the US (according to the National Law Journal, 5/6/02 p.A23), and more than half of them do not belong to the ABA, and incorporation has no effect on the citizenship of the shareholders or members of the corporation (if it did, there’d be serious questions about people who belong to more than one club or own shares in more than one corporation and what happens to their citizenship when they drop their membership) ... and the ABA, founded in 1878, was an unincorporated association until late 1992, when it was incorporated in Illinois, not DC; Plechner v. Widener College (3d Cir 1977) 569 F2d 1250, 42 ALR-Fed 313; Mass. School of Law v. ABA (D Mass 1996) 914 F.Supp 688; Rohan v. ABA (EDNY 5/31/95) summarized in NY Law Journal, 14 July 1995 p.3, affd 100 F3d 945(t) cert.den 519 US 929.]. An attempt to sue the ABA in a flimsy civil rights suit, arising from an undisturbed criminal conviction, was dismissed on the grounds that the ABA is incorporated in another state (Illinois) and is not a state agency nor responsible for setting the standards for admission to the NY bar. J.A. Muhammad v. Judge M.E. Smith (NDNY 7/23/14).

Some other cranks (many in Michigan prisons) have slightly varying stories that all US lawyers are somehow really members of a British organization, but the name of the organization differs from myth to myth. Sometimes is supposed to be the “British Accreditation Registry” (or something with the same initials, such as “British Accrediting Regency”) or sometimes “the Lawyers Guild of England” -- but there is no evidence that any organization with a name similar to either of those even exists. In a smattering of cases prison inmates in Michigan appealed with the argument that, altho Michigan constitution speaks of lawyers being “licensed” the only licensing authority was “the British Accredited Registry ... established in Boston in 1761”, and therefore, because they had not gotten licenses from this mythical B.A.R., the judge and lawyers in their trials were not properly licensed to practice law and they wanted to be released from prison immediately and awarded huge sums of money. E.W. Taylor v. Berghuis (WD Mich 12/21/07); D.L. Brown v. Berghuis (WD Mich 10/28/08); Lowe v. US Attorney General (WD Mich 3/17/08); ditto Ruttan v. Lambros (WD Mich 1/14/09); Mackool v. Clayton Homes Inc. (D.Nev. 11/5/08); Hittle v. Teeple (WD Mich 3/9/10)(and several other unpublished decisions from the same W.D. Michigan district court); Cabbagestalk v. South Carolina Bar Head Person of Establishment (D.S.C. 1/2/14) app.dism 604 Fed.Appx 285; -- on the other hand (arguing his conviction invalid because the judge and lawyers - because they had supposedly been licensed by this mythical British agency - were all “foreign agents”, with the added detail that the Vatican secretly controls this B.A.R.) US v. A.J. Martin (ND Fla 11/9/07); ditto Mackool v. Clayton Homes Inc. (D.Nev 11/5/08); ditto Discover Bank v. Cornish-Bey (ED Mich 8/14/07); ditto Hayes v. Burns (MD Tenn. 8/22/13); similarly Benten v. Whitney (WD NC 9/19/12); similarly US v. Goodrich (WD Mo 2/20/12); similarly In re Marriage of Joella and Russell H. Sargent (Cal.App 10/21/10); similarly (claiming the judge and prosecutor had a title of nobility bestowed by this B.A.R.) US v. E. Robinson, Jr. (SDNY 12/4/15); ditto Treacy v. State (Ind.App 9/8/10) 933 NE2d 586(t) (tried to bring in a nonlawyer advocate rather than a “B.A.R. lawyer”); (also foreign agents but this time the B.A.R. is composed of Jews and Masons) M. Griffin v. US (MD Penn 8/7/08); similarly Lang v. Dieleuterio (D.NJ 2/17/99) affd 225 F3d 649. {In other Michigan cases, the courts held that, altho the state constitution spoke of lawyers being “licensed” and there was nothing in the statutes that created something called a lawyer’s license, the establishment of the Michigan court system included provisions for the state supreme court to regulate the membership of the state bar and that this was the “licensing system” notwithstanding the change in nomenclature. Sharp v. Ingham County (6th Cir 12/4/01) 23 Fed.Appx 496; Conley v. Aggeler (WD Mich 1/25/06); Lowe v. US Attorney-General (W.D. Mich 3/17/08). Note: Examination of UK legal directories, court cases, telephone books, texts on the history of the legal profession, etc. reveal no mention whatever of such a B.A.R. organization or office. Similar examination of American directories and books, including the histories of the legal profession, including in Boston, similarly show no mention of such a B.A.R.}


You're welcome.


Return to “US”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Common Crawl [Bot] and 0 guests