And not all courts are just.
In the United States, our governmental structure attempts to reduce corruption, errors, and abuse of power by dividing governmental functions into three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. There are extremely few governmental actions that one branch of the government can take without some oversight by at least one other branch of the government.
One of the exceptions is granting licenses to practice law. I lived in the state of Illinois, and the Supreme Court of Illinois has the exclusive power to grant law licenses. The Supreme Court is the leader of the judicial branch of government in the state of Illinois. The Supreme Court delegates most of the day-to-day operations of licensing lawyers to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC). It is important to remember that the ARDC is completely within the judicial branch of government and reports directly to the Supreme Court.
Who makes the laws governing lawyers? Most laws in the United States are made by the legislative branch, but the laws governing lawyers are made by the judicial branch.
Who enforces the laws governing lawyers? Most laws in the United States are enforced by the executive, people such as police and prosecutors, but the laws governing lawyers are enforced by employees of the judicial branch.
Who adjudicates allegations that a lawyer has violated the laws governing lawyers? In the United States, the executive branch has many adjudicative bodies, but all of them are at least partially limited by the judicial branch, therefore, the overwhelming majority of adjudications are ultimately controlled by the judicial branch. Normally, this is an excellent division of power among the three branches. The legislative makes the law, the executive alleges a violation of the law, and the judiciary decides if there is sufficient evidence of a violation to punish the defendant. When regulating lawyers, however, the judicial branch makes the laws, makes the allegations of violations, and then adjudicates its own allegations of violations of the laws it created. All of the power of government is concentrated in one branch of government.
In the above video about judicial corruption, we see that in the normal system of government it is difficult for the other two branches of government to prevent corruption. When it comes to the laws regulating lawyers, the other two branches of government have no role in the process and no power over the judiciary: it is nearly impossible for the other two branches of government to prevent corruption.
Furthermore, corruption is not the only problem. The government is run by humans, and all humans make mistakes. By dividing power among three branches, the risk of mistakes and errors is dramatically reduced. And as humans, some governmental employees abuse their power, not for corruption, but simply because they want to abuse their power. Dividing power among three branches makes it more difficult for any one employee to abuse her power. When it comes to the laws regulating lawyers, however, all of the governmental power is concentrated in the judicial branch. The risk of corruption is high. The risk of mistakes and errors are high. The risk of abuse of power is high.
In my Motion to Dismiss, I called the concentration of all governmental power, “monolithic.” I explain in detail, with numerous citations to authoritative sources why the monolithic power of the ARDC had a profound impact on the legal proceedings. My motion was 31 pages of well-supported arguments. The ARDC replied with five pages that did not address any of the issues in my Motion to Dismiss. The adjudicator, who is not a judge, issued an order that was only four pages long: it alleged that it covered my Motion to Dismiss and a second, unrelated 11-page motion I filed. It did not address any of the issues raised in either motion and it contained factual errors that made it obvious the adjudicator did not even read the second motion.
The lawyers working for the Supreme Court of Illinois did not even pretend to follow the law, be fair, or seek justice in these legal proceedings. Why should they? As the video above shows, under normal circumstances, the other branches of government can do little to stop the judiciary from doing bad things. Because these legal proceedings were monolithic, the other two branches had no power, the lawyers working for the ARDC of the Supreme Court of Illinois had nothing to fear.