1. Constitutional Limitations and Prohibitions on the Supreme Court of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson wrote that the violation of the limitation and prohibitions defining separation of power would create a “despotic government.”  Notes on the State of Virginia 196 (1787).  Also, James Madison explained, “[t]he accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether one, a few, or many, whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced as the very definition of tyranny.” Federalist No. 47, Washington Square Press, page 103 (Emphasis added).  They both understood that the clear lessons from history show that,

Once certain checks and balances are destroyed, and once certain institutions have been intimidated, the pressure that can turn an open society into a closed one-turn into direct assaults; at that point events tend to occur very rapidly, and a point comes at which there is no easy turning back to the way it used to be.  Naomi Wolf, The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot, p. 14, Chelsea Green Publishing, Vermont, 2007.

Therefore, to protect the people, both the Virginia Constitution, as well as the United States Constitution, confirmed that all government power was derived from the consent of the govern–We the People.

As to the need of constitutional checks on the Judicial Branch, Patrick Henry, wrote,

Power is the great evil with which we are contending. We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. However, where is the check on the power of the judiciary? If we fail to check the power of the judiciary, I predict that we will eventually live under judicial tyranny.

Consequently, it is safe to argue that these constitutional draftsmen openly advocated a deep distrust of the motive of individuals in government generally and the Judicial Branch specifically.

Therefore, they mandated that separation of power to serve as “distribution grids, apportioning authority. . . .” D. Arthur Kelsey, The Architecture of Judicial Power: Appellate review & Stare Decisis, Virginia State Bar, Virginia Lawyer October 2004, 13.[1]  In short, separation of power between and among entities in government fractures power in innumerable ways to assure independent review of any violation of either the constitution.

VA Const. VI §§ 1,[i] and 7,[ii] diffused the power of the Judicial Branch thereby limiting the risk of creating dangerous nodes of power within it by mandating compliance with the VA Const. and VA Code.  To this end, VA Const. VI § 5,[iii] and VA Code § 54-1-3915,[iv] prohibit the Judicial Branch from the promulgation of court rules in conflict with both substantive rights and statutory rights (in short the courts cannot enact legislation).   Also, VA Code §§ 18.2‑481 and 482, confirm no judicial immunity for acts outside of authority or jurisdiction by making it a Class 2 felony for, “[r]esisting the execution of the laws under color of authority.”  Finally, there is an absolute right to civil jury trial for malfeasance.[2] See Ames E. Pfander, Federal Courts, Jurisdiction-Stripping and the Supreme Court’s Power to Supervise Inferior Tribunals, 78 Tex. L. Rev. 1433 (2000).  Confirming this, Chief Justice Marshall wrote,

“[We judges] have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the Constitution. Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat, 264, 404 (1816) (Emphasis added)

  1. VA General Assembly Established Decentralize Attorney Disciplinary System

The General Assembly enacted the Acts of Assembly 1932. p. 139, by use of its exclusive constitutional power to create the jurisdiction of courts and to appoint judges, to establish a decentralize attorney disciplinary system, so to give statewide effect to each court’s inherent authority to discipline an attorney before that particular court.[3]

The General Assembly granted only limited delegated authority for the Supreme Court of Virginia to prescribe, adopt, promulgate and amend rules and regulations of unprofessional conduct, not inconsistent with rights under either VA Const and/or VA Code.  Under these Rules the Virginia State Bar was formed, with powers of investigating complaints against attorneys, to be exercised by a Council and Investigating Committee in each county. The function of the Investigating Committee was comparable to that of a grand jury, as a fact-finding board.  It had no power to suspend, reprimand, or disbar an attorney.  Only after the issuance of a rule against an attorney, filed with the county clerk’s office of the county court having jurisdiction, was,

the court issuing the same shall certify the fact of such issuance and the time and place of the hearing thereon, to the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, who shall designate two judges, other than the judge of the court issuing the rule, of circuit courts or courts of record of cities of the first class to hear and decide the case in conjunction with the judge issuing the rule . . . . (Emphasis added)

The constitutionality of the decentralized attorney disciplinary system was upheld in Campbell v. Third District Committee of Virginia State Bar, 179 Va. 244, 18 S.B.2d 883 (1942).  There it was held evident from the provisions of the statute that the General Assembly merely intended to create a new tribunal with general jurisdiction to hear and determine disbarment proceedings and did not intend to delegate to the tribunal any legislative powers.   Appeal from the judgment of the three-judge court was a matter of right to the Supreme Court of Virginia.  Also the attorney who had been disbarred had the right to apply to the Governor for reinstatement, if at the time of application for such relief, “there is no other adequate remedy for obtaining it at law.” See VA Code of 1950, 12-45.

Later VA Code ‘ 54.1‑3935 (A) and (B), was enacted to reconfirm the decentralized attorney disciplinary system’s use of the jurisdiction of each county’s Court of Appeals, and circuit courts to discipline an attorney.  VA Code §54.1-3935(B), confirmed that Supreme Court of Virginia has no power to discipline attorneys statewide, by requiring it to use a three-judge panel formed in the City of Richmond, and rejected creating a centralized attorney disciplinary system under the direct control of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

  • Evidence of Malfeasance by the Supreme Court of Virginia Establishing a Centralized Attorney Disciplinary System Under its Rules

In flagrant disregard of the General Assembly’s mandated decentralized attorney disciplinary system established under VA Code § 54.1‑3935, and in violation of the limitation and prohibitions under VA Const. Article VI, § 1, 5, and 7, and VA Code § 54.1‑3915, the Supreme Court of Virginia promulgated Rule Part 6, ‘ IV, &13, to establish a centralized attorney disciplinary system under its control by creating the VSBDB as “court” and appointing its members as “judges,” with jurisdiction to discipline attorneys.  Thus, the VSBDB was established as a “kangaroo court,” by the issuance of court rules usurping the legislative power of the General Assembly to obfuscate and assume away the exclusive jurisdiction of each county Court of Appeals and circuit court to discipline attorneys with statewide effect.

  1. Malfeasance by Violation of the Void Ab Initio Order Doctrine to affirm the VSBDB void ab initio order issued without authority or jurisdiction

Pursuant to Collins v. Shepherd, 274 Va. 390, 402,(2007); Singh v. Mooney, 261 Va. 48, 51‑52(2001); Barnes v. Am. Fertilizer Co., 144 Va. 692, 705 (1925); Rook v. Rook, 233 Va. 92, 95(1987), the Void Ab Initio Order Doctrine mandates that when an entity did not have the constitutional authority, legal power, or jurisdiction to render any order, said order is void ab initio–as a complete nullity from its issuance and may be impeached directly or collaterally by all persons, at any time, or in any manner.  A void ab initio order or judgment is invalid at the moment of issuance, to be entirely disregarded, or declared inoperative by any tribunal in which effect is sought to be given to it.  A void ab initio order may be attacked in any court at any time, “directly or collaterally.” A void ab initio order has none of the consequences of a valid adjudication, i.e. stare decisis and res judicata. “It has no legal or binding force or efficacy for any purpose or at any place. … It is not entitled to enforcement … All proceedings founded on the void judgment are themselves regarded as invalid. 30A Am Jur. Judgments ” 44 and 45.

Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 US 714, 733 (1877), established the benchmark as to the challenge of any void ab initio order.  There the court stated,

“Since the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, the validity of such judgments may be directly questioned, and their enforcement in the State resisted, on the ground that proceedings in a court of justice to determine the personal rights and obligations of parties over whom that court has no jurisdiction do not constitute due process of law. . . . To give such proceedings any validity, there must be a tribunal competent by its constitution‑‑that is, by the law of its creation‑‑to pass upon the subject‑matter of the suit.” (Emphasis added).

 Therefore, a void ab initio order cannot be affirmed by the use of either stare decisis or res judicata.

  1. Business Conspiracy to Systematically Deny Access to an Impartial Jury Trial

It is a fundamental doctrine of due process and the common law that a party to be affected by a void personal judgment must have his day in court, and an opportunity to be heard. Renaud v. Abbott, 116 US 277, 29 L Ed 629, 6 S Ct 1194.  Every person is entitled to an opportunity to be heard in an impartial court of law upon every question involving his rights or interests, before he is affected by any judicial decision on the question. Earle v McVeigh, 91 US 503, 23 L Ed 398.

However, the evidence confirms that the VSBDB issued a void ab initio order by being a “kangaroo court” that disbarred me for litigating to enforce my statutory rights.  The evidence confirms that on appeal, the Supreme Court of Virginia “[resisted] the execution of the laws under color of authority,”[4] by affirming the VSBDB’s void ab initio order.  Finally, the evidence confirms a conspiracy to conceal illegal acts by systematically denying access to an impartial trial by jury of the evidence of malfeasance and the business conspiracy to injure my business, profession and right to employment.  But, “[c]rime is contagious.  If the Government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy,”  Olmstad v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 451 (1928).

Under the common law right to fair trial on the issue of scope of employment, as well as VA Const., and VA Code, the question is to be resolved by an evidentiary hearing before an impartial jury under 5th, 7th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  This is because as pointed out by Jefferson, the jury trial is the most important safeguards against arbitrary and oppressive governmental policies. As explained in a case I argued and won before the United States Supreme Court in 1995,[5] impartial review is a mainstay of our system of government, as Madison wrote,

“No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time…. ” The Federalist No. 10, p. 79 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961).


The petition is filed with the General Assembly to investigate and impeach government attorneys and employees, including judges, acting outside of their authority and jurisdiction in violation of VA Const., VA Code, and the Void Ad Initio Order Doctrine, based on the evidence of willful violations of the rule of law in Virginia by abuse the misuse of stare decisis/res judicata to affirm the VSBDB void ab initio order.

The General Assembly must take action because “there is no other adequate remedy for obtaining it at law,” due to the systematic denial to me of access to an impartial trial by jury of the evidence of malfeasance and business conspiracy to injure my statutory property interest, reputation, business, profession, and right to employment.

Isidoro Rodriguez

[1]Fed. 47 p 109, states that, “[the VA Const.],declares, . . .‘that the legislative, executive, and judicial departments shall be separate and distinct; so that neither exercise powers properly belonging to the other. . . .”

[2] As Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Thomas Paine in 1789: “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by men, by which the government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” (Emphasis added)

[3]In Legal Club of Lynchburg v. A.H. Light, 13249, 430, 119 S.E. 55 (1923), citing Fisher=s Case, 6 Leigh (33 Va.) 619 (1835),  the Supreme Court of Virginia held that although in a proper case a court does have inherent power to suspend or annul the license of an attorney practicing only in that particular court, for a court to have, A[t]he power to go further and make suspension or revocation of license effective in all other court of the Commonwealth [this] must be conferred by statute. (Emphases added).See When Has the Supreme Court of Appeals Original Jurisdiction of Disbarment Proceedings,? R.H.C. Virginia Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Jan. 1924), pp. 246‑248; see also David Oscar Williams, Jr., The Disciplining of Attorneys in Virginia 2 Wm. & Mary Rev. Va. L. 3 (1954) http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmrval/vol2/iss1/2.

[4] Misprision of treason is defined pursuant to VA Code §§ 18.2‑481 and 482.

[5] See Gutierrez de Martinez v. Lamagno and Drug Enforcement Administration, 515 U.S. 417 (1995).

[i] Article VI, § 1. Judicial power; jurisdiction. — The judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Supreme Court and in such other courts of original or appellate jurisdiction subordinate to the Supreme Court as the General Assembly may from time to time establish.

[ii] Article VI, § 7. Selection and qualification of judges–The justices of the Supreme Court shall be chosen by the vote of a majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly . . . . The judges of all other courts of record shall be chosen by . . .  members elected to each house of the General Assembly. . . .

[iii] Article VI, § 5. Rules of practice and procedure. — The Supreme Court shall have the authority to make rules governing the course of appeals and the practice and procedures to be used in the courts of the Commonwealth, but such rules shall not be in conflict with the general law as the same shall, from time to time, be established by the General Assembly….

[iv] VA Code § 54.1‑3915. Restrictions as to rules and regulations.  Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, the Supreme Court shall not promulgate rules or regulations prescribing a code of ethics governing the professional conduct of attorneys which are inconsistent with any statute; nor shall it promulgate any rule or regulation or method of procedure which eliminates the jurisdiction of the courts to deal with the discipline of attorneys. In no case shall an attorney who demands to be tried by a court of competent jurisdiction for the violation of any rule or regulation adopted under this article be tried in any other manner.