JULY 31, 2012 – I APPLAUD LAWYERS ROLE AS OFFICERS OF THE COURT AND URGE WE NOT LET JUDGES ATTEMPT TO MARGINALIZE US

Lawyers, you are smart enough to know when the system wants to marginalize someone. Before you let them succeed at marginalizing me, you might want to read this letter I prepared  to send to the Washington Bar Association and/or Washington State Association for Justice back in April asking lawyers to consider running to be judges. I never finished the letter, because I decided to jump into the race when none of those lawyers I believed were qualified showed any inclination to do so. I submit this letter to you now, months later,  so you can evaluate the concerns which have caused me to run for Supreme Court, position 2: April 3, 2012  DRAFT Gentlepersons: Several years ago I went to a CLE [Continuing Legal Education class] where Judge Pechman, Judge Lau, and a state district court judge spoke.  The only thing I remember about the CLE is the audience of attorneys was told by the judges that judges “talk about attorneys” and “attorneys should fear judges saying bad things to one another about an attorney.” At first I could not believe what I was hearing. The judges were telling attorneys that they thought the judges’ collective opinion of the lawyer was more important than the merits of a client’s cause.  Last week the Supreme Court decided a case, which tacitly accepted the notion that information shared by judges about their experience with lawyers was a legitimate consideration to take into account when deciding a client’s case.[1] Now I don’t know which judge or … Continue Reading

JULY 30, 2012 – JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE COURT OF APPEALS: THROW THE BUMS OUT!

Last week there were 6 published decisions by the Court of Appeals.  These were dwarfed by the 41 unpublished, non-precedential decisions released by the Court of Appeals during this same time period. The public should look closely at what the Court of Appeals has done.  In light of ongoing criticism that unpublished decisions violate the exercise of judicial power under Art. IV § 1 of the Washington Constitution, the Court of Appeals by issuing this avalanche of unpublished decisions is telling us it can do anything it wants; when it wants.  It is as if the judges on the Court of Appeal are raising their arms (robes falling away) and slowly, collectively, extending their middle fingers to the public and lawyers who must appear before them. Although not stated, the Court of Appeals is telling the public it can and will do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, with regard to those who come before it seeking justice. We ought to throw the bums out and let each Court of Appeals’ judge fight for his/her home against bankers as pro se litigants. We also ought to get rid of all those Supreme Court justices that indulge this judicial abuse by the Court of Appeals. Our Supreme Court knows this is wrong and once overruled it, only to reverse later.  The federal courts did away with unpublished decisions years ago.  So why does the Court of Appeals flaunt the practice now when it is a major campaign issue?  To show us … Continue Reading

SUNDAY JULY 29, 2012 – JUDGING

I remember snippets from college. When I was in college I learned whole text books of histories, philosophies, religions, and languages. (I was not much good at languages, however.) While I don’t remember everything crammed into my young brain back then, there is a core of knowledge that I access in synopsis now.  These snippets of knowledge serve me. Today is Sunday. I remember when I was a sophomore at DePauw I took a theology class.  Some snippets that I recall are the Roman Centurion who wanted to believe praying for faith and being blessed.  I remember Christ’s command to render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and unto God that which belongs to God. Dad had talked about this command.  He said that in comparison, very little is owed to Caesar. I am still a neophyte when it comes to understanding the Bible and turning that part of my life, which does not belong to Caesar, over to Christ. I am studying how the Bible talks about judges.  I am also learning about how other religions and societies bestow those privileges and duties which come with judging. Here is some interesting reading regarding this topic: http://www.openbible.info/topics/only_god_can_judge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_judges Please do not misunderstand my spiritual search for guidance in the performance of the job of judging.  It does not mean that I will waiver in applying existing law to existing fact as I was taught to do in school and my career. I have promised to perform this very task – … Continue Reading

JULY 28, 2012 – THE GATHERING

The Gathering was about the music, Gary’s (different Gary than my campaign photographer) toning, and celebrating the majesty of the mountain’s beauty. I am in debt to the musicians and my friend Lillie, who sounded like Janis Joplin, as she sang a song she prepared for me. I am grateful to those who brought and cooked food.   Thanks Todd, Noah, Jose, Mayumi, Fujiko, Lynn, Peter, etc. I was humbled and blown away by the whole event. I was blessed to be among friends. We will posting videos and pictures from the Gathering on Facebook during the next few days.  

JULY 27, 2012 – COME TO SATURDAY’S GATHERING

I am being energized by this campaign.  I don’t feel 63.  In fact, I don’t feel age at all.  I am on a mission and my mission has become my focus.  Age doesn’t matter when spirit leads.     I am aware that some may think me crazy.  Crazy to believe that people can determine what is in their own best interest.  There is not much evidence that we can do so.  Just look at the presidential candidates we, the people, have decided to pick from. Any sane person must appreciate that everything s/he experiences occurs within his/her own perceptual reality. I don’t see through your eyes. I see through mine. I have no assurance that the “green” I see is the green you see.  All I know is that we agree that certain things are green; like grass, leaves, and money. They say “money talks”.  But I have yet to hear money say a word.  I observe that people with lots of money assume they are entitled to the most say.  I don’t believe they are.  But everyone admits that when it comes to justice in Washington it is mostly available to the rich.  That is because the Courts of Appeal systematically limit access to precedent and the full vitality of the common law to only a few people in Washington. Imagine, more than 50% of their decisions go unpublished.  Let’s base these judges salaries on the amount of common law they produce.  If people want to pay teachers … Continue Reading

JULY 26, 2012 – ROBES

There are similarities between the Catholic Church and U.S. Courts.  One of them is robes.  The Pope wears robes. So do our Supreme Court Justices.   Justices’ robes use to be more colorful.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/traditions.aspx   Now United States Supreme Court Justices wear only black robes. Washington State Judges and Supreme Court Justices also wear black robes.     Tradition is important for institutions like the Catholic Church and U.S. Courts.  The robes suggest continuity between the past and the present.  The legitimacy and authority accumulated in the past by these institutions is intended to be transferred to those who presently wear the robes. I wish there were magic robes that men could put on to divine the word of God and make the correct decisions about the rule of law. Today I got up late.  I was sleeping in my office pod.  My cell phone kept ringing.  I thought it was my alarm letting me know that it was 8:00 AM.  Instead, it was Andrew , one of our lawyers, calling to wake me up for an 11:00 AM conference call. Gary drove up from Seattle to go with me to the National Lawyers Guild judicial forum in Bellingham, Washington.   We got to our location an hour early and looked for a place to eat.  Bellingham is a cool city.  It would be a great place to go college. I had a double cheese burger with grilled onions at a burger place.  Gary was not as hungry.  He ate a burger. Gary … Continue Reading

July 25, 2012 – DOTTIE WAS GONE

  I came back to my office about midnight to pick up Dottie.  She was gone.  I called one of the attorneys who was at the office when I left to go to the Columbia Tower Club.  I woke her up.  She grumbled one of the ladies at the Fogdog Gallery had taken Dottie. I knew it had to be Ellen.  I was happy Dottie had not been lost.  Dottie doesn’t take to everyone, but she definitely likes Ellen.  So now that I know where Dottie is, I will tell you about my day going backwards. Its now 3 minutes to midnight.  July 25 is ending.  Before I left Seattle for Arlington I was with my brother Todd, Mayumi, Jerry, and a Japanese friend of Mayumi, who is visiting from Tokyo and has a Japanese name I don’t presently recall. Mayumi is one of my favorite people in the world.  I think we all know someone like her.  As soon as I see her, my mood brightens.  We hug, moving side to side and laughing. Mayumi cooked a King (Chinook) Salmon, which is the species of salmon I like the most. The conversation at dinner was so good, I stayed much longer than I intended. Jerry is a business man who works in the high tech industry.  We discussed many topics, but one of the most interesting involved the amount of data which could be electronically stored about every individual in the United States. Of course, this can be very beneficial.  One application we discussed was a chip which stored … Continue Reading

JULY 24, 2012 – MORNING FOG

  Fog enveloped the mountain.  Or maybe the clouds were low.  You can’t really tell. Sometimes my house is above the clouds and everything is clear, distinct, and sunny above them.  But the clouds hide my view of the world below. Just as the clouds can hide sunny skies from the people in the cities… Today was not about the campaign. It was about the practice and business of law. Today the business side of law required the firm to turn away potential clients for various reasons. Some were turned away because they waited too long to seek legal advice as to how they could protect their homes at already scheduled court hearings.  Foreclosure cases can be complicated and lawyers need time to evaluate facts and defend rights. Most lawyers are already working on other cases so in order to take a new one, their first consideration will often be:  “Do I have time to take a new case and adequately represent my current clients and this new client?” We referred these potential clients to Property Defense Network.  The Network refers clients to attorneys who have been vetted in foreclosure defense work.  The Network can also perform factual analysis related to the securitization of deeds of trusts.  Its website is http://propertydefensenetwork.com . I fired another potential client, who was a friend of mine; because we had differences about the way his/her case should be handled.  He wanted to pursue his case in a much more aggressive way than I thought … Continue Reading

JULY 23, 2012 – STAFNE IS A BONA FIDE “OUTSIDER”

JULY 23, 2012 – STAFNE IS A BONA FIDE OUTSIDER When I decided to run for the Supreme Court I did not expect to be labeled an “outsider” and branded “unqualified” for the Supreme Court.  This is because I have been practicing law since 1976 in Washington and have appeared in actions before all levels of Washington courts, as well as the Ninth Circuit and United States Supreme Court. I am a member of the Washington Association of Justice and previously was an EAGLE member of WSTLA.  I was a member of the King County Bar when I practiced in King County.  I now practice in Snohomish County and am a member of that bar association.  I have always been a member of the Washington Bar Association. So you can imagine my surprise when I went to http://www.votingforjudges.org/12pri/supreme/2ss.html  and saw that every rating organization determined that I was unqualified to be a Supreme Court justice.  Further, that all Washington newspapers endorsed my incumbent opponent without even considering the substance of my challenges regarding the failings of the judicial system.  The newspapers apparently believe all is well in America and Washington. The newspapers chose not to listen to those who have been disenfranchised by the elites, of which they are a part. Is this what the newspapers and media did in Germany as people were taken from their homes, their possessions stolen, and they were carted off like animals to ovens?  (Oh, and just to be clear, I have no doubts … Continue Reading

JULY 22, 2012 – ALEX AND ST. FRANCIS

Writing my blog is like writing “morning pages”.  Those who have read The Artist’s Way will be familiar with term. Basically, when I wrote “morning pages I would, generally shortly after waking up each day, hand write three pages about what was going on in my life at that time.  This helped me to see how my life was progressing.  To appreciate my growth and be aware of failings  which had become habits. Every now and then I run across some of my morning pages and get to reflect regarding what was going on then and what is going now.  Generally, reading my morning pages suggests I am more content now.  I am grateful for the personal peace which comes from experience. This blog is different than my morning pages, of course.   Morning pages are mostly personal and private.  I am writing this blog for both you (whoever you are) and me.  At some point, I will be able to go back to this blog and read it from start to end to see what, if anything I learned…  How this campaign changed me, if it does. Today is Sunday. One of the best things about this campaign is how it has re-united me with friends.  One of them is Alex.  Alex is now 72.  I am 63.  Alex is born again and studies the Word. I am a neophyte in this, having turned my campaign over to Christ.  Alex explains:  “Anyone can say they turn their life over to God.  That … Continue Reading

JULY 21, 2012 — “PRESS RELEASE AND TALK SHOW”

Jose and several of his friends came from Yakima to help make trails for the Party on the Mountain July 28, 2012.  I returned home as they were finishing up.  Jose gave me an envelope with small donations totalling a little less than $300.00.  I was moved by these contributions because this money was likely harder for them to give than were the much larger donations  my opponent has received.  I showed Jose my home and garden.  When he left he took back some “stafne for Justice” signs to the Yakima Valley.  I only had 12 signs left at home.  I also told Jose he should run for public office because he cares.  Martin Adelson said the same thing about me.  People who care about others should run our government; not persons without empathy. I went back to my office and read the press release for the phone show at 5:50 pm.  Here is part of what it said: !!!!!!PRESS RELEASE!!!!!! Saturday, 07-21-2012, evenings show!!     I’ve got Scott Stafne joining me on this Saturday’s call. This should be a wild show!! Scott has decided to run for the position of Supreme Court Justice, in the state of Washington. Here’s what I know about him so far and I will also say, he comes to me with very HIGH recommendations from someone who knows all to well how I feel about judges and cops! That alone should add or say something about his character!!! I will go on to say, I felt very comfortable talking to him about his positions, and the way he … Continue Reading

JULY 20, 2012 — THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND

When I woke up I was still tired.  So was Dottie, my dog.  She did not even move as I jumped out of bed.  Normally when I move, she follows.  I wondered why Dottie was so tired.  I knew why I was tired. I got back into bed and thought about the King County Bar Association “Meet and Greet” scheduled for 11:00 am.  I didn’t want to go.  It had nothing to do with their judicial committee’s rating, but that reinforced my decision to blow off the event.  The real reason I didn’t go is because I don’t like “Meet and Greets”. Most often I meet other candidates, who are looking for voters, who happen upon a space close to where I am standing.  We shake hands.  Then each moves on.  I think these events are great for extroverts, like my friend Peter.  They are also okay for introvert candidates coupled with extrovert friends; like when Peter got to the GSBA Meet and Greet and introduced me to everyone.  But “Meet and Greets” are not very much fun for an introvert who lives on a mountain with his dog and does not like traffic. So I stayed on the mountain in my bed with Dottie for an extra hour.  Then I got up and went into the office. This other world I lived in before I started campaigning was continuing on.  I was told the Supremes had denied Hapaianu’s motion to modify the Commissioner’s Ruling in Hapaianu v ICC.   That is one … Continue Reading

JULY 19, 2012 — ANNE AMERSON: WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF “TRUTHINESS”

My only interview of the day was a Judicial Evaluation by an Asian law group.  It was to start at 7:00 pm.  Because of a mix-up it started later. There were four interviewers:  Three men and a woman.  All looked young.   Each had attentive eyes.  They made me feel comfortable. I probably made some on my best points about unpublished decisions with them.  As I was about to conclude on this subject, the young lawyer left of me asked:  “So what if they did away with unpublished decisions.  Would you still want to be a judge?” From that question I marched into a discussion of the Briggs appeal. The interviewers listened patiently until we all appeared to arrive at the same conclusion.  I could speak more, but I had talked enough.  They thanked me for coming. I walked out and down the hall with Chris, who appeared to be the chair person of the group. I looked at him and asked if I talked too long.  He responded:  “Well, you could have been a little more concise.   But you were passionate.  That was a good thing.” We said good bye and I took the elevators down to parking. As I drove I-5 home, I wondered if passion was a good quality for a judge.  I know passion is a great quality in an advocate.  But what about in a judge? When I got home I checked my Facebook account.  (Just a few weeks ago I had thought I would never … Continue Reading

JULY 18, 2012 – MY CAMPAIGN MANAGER THINKS THIS SHOULD BE TITLED “GOOD DAYS/BAD DAYS”

My cell phone alarms had been set for 6:00 am.  But they did didn’t wake me. I was sleeping in the pod when all three of my phones (two cell and a land line) began ringing and continued ringing one at a time until they broke my sleep like a sword.  I wandered out into my office and saw that it was 7:15 am. I answered the phone.  “I have to go.”  I picked out a tie and threw on a suit. Then I ransacked my closets to find a pair of brown socks.  I couldn’t find any. There were only white sweat socks.  What was I going to do? I wore the white sweat socks and hurried out of the office in Arlington to meet with King County Council Chair Larry Gossett.  Virginia, my campaign manager, had told me our meeting with Councilman Gossett was at 9:00 am.    I found out later she told me the meeting started earlier so I would not be late.   I was grateful. I had met Councilman Gossett on a couple of other occasions.  First, at the Ranier Beach High School Tour of Champion Event honoring Coach Michael Bethea.  He was there to represent King County at this event designed to show off Ranier Beach High School to potential new students and honor Coach Bathea.  Betty Patu, a school board member was  also there.  Mayor McGinn also attended on behalf of the City of Seattle.  Representative Tomiko Santos was there on behalf of the state legislature. Meeting with … Continue Reading

JULY 17, 2012 — “DID SHE SAY YOU GET BETTER JUSTICE IF YOU HAVE MORE MONEY?”

The cock crowed.  I don’t hear roosters on the mountain or in Arlington.  Then it crowed again.  And again.  Not in any particular rhythm.  Just singular calls into the dawn. My eyes opened.  I remembered where I was.  Yakima.  At Jose’s home. Jose was already up when I went down stairs. The candidate forum at the Herald was at 11:00 am.  Jose and I went out for breakfast.  We arrived at the café about 8:30 am. Jose knew the waitress and told me to give her a card.  I did.  Then I said: “Hi.  I am running for Supreme Court Justice, I hope you will consider voting for me.”  Then I pointed out my web site where she could obtain information about my candidacy. There was a dining room off to the side of the main room.  A group of about ten persons were in the room.  Jose led me in.  Jose said this is my friend Scott.  He is running for the Supreme Court.  I smiled and passed out cards.  Campaigning in Yakima seemed pretty easy. Joe and I then sat down for breakfast. I really like corned beef hash for breakfast.  The waitress assured me this restaurant had some of the best corned beef hash in Washington.  So I ordered the hash.  The waitress was right.  The hash was to die for…  I don’t remember what Jose ordered. When we left we drove around Sunnyside and Jose introduced me to his friends, including another attorney who was helping … Continue Reading

JULY 16, 2012 – “WARNING” – MAY BE CLERICAL ERRORS AND SUBSEQUENT ADDITIONS.

I am scheduled to speak at a judicial forum at Horizon House in Seattle tonight at 7:00 pm.  I am wondering whether my opponent, Susan Owens, will show up there.  I hope so.  If not, I wonder whether she will send another male justice to represent her. Then I have to get on a plane for Yakama.  I’m going to stay at Jose’s, a  client’s home (at least for now unless somne court decides otherwise).  I will have breakfast with some of Jose’s friends and ask them to vote for me.  Then I will go to the Yakima Herald at 11:00 AM for an interview.  The Jose and I will drive to the Tri Cities, for another campaign event, which starts at 2:00 PM. It will be interesting to see if Susan Owens attends either of these forums given she did not show up at the Panarama forum which is 20 minutes away from where she lives. As I scurry across the state I more and more resent the misstatements in the Seattle Time’s and Tacoma Tribune’s editorial that I am not campaigning as much as Susan Owens.  The truth it seems like I am the only one out here campaigning.  WHY DON”T THE NEWSPAPERS TELL THE PEOPLE THE TRUTH? I wonder if this is what it was like in Germany years ago before the war. Anyway, my friend Lynn has agreed to dog-sit Dottie.   Dottie loves Lynn and her three dogs.  Lynn was going to put some “Stafne for Justice” yard … Continue Reading

JULY 15 – “JUDICIAL REVIEW: IT IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE”

We are taught that our nation’s Constitution sets forth a government based on checks and balances. But the United States Supreme Court decided in Marbury v Madison that the judicial department gets the final say over what the Constitution means. Chief Justice Marshall wrote: “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.”  But is it? The Constitution does not specifically say this.  Marbury only decided this as precedent.  Precedent can and should be overruled when it becomes harmful. My judicial and bar association critics appear to believe that any thoughtful discussion of the present legitimacy of judicial review is heresy.  This dogmatic position suggests my critics are not scholars.   Just as the Court overruled its previous limitation on corporate spending in elections by its decision in Citizens United, the Supreme Court can and should overrule Marbury if the evidence shows the judicial department has become a part of the political branches of our government. My views in this regard are not particularly novel.  Alexander Hamilton stated in Federalist Paper No. 78 (http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa78.htm , which is regarded as the central document supporting judicial review:   “I agree, that ‘there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers’.”  It is difficult to see how United States Supreme Court remained separate from the executive branch when it anointed George W. Bush president. In arguing that the judicial department should have the final say with regard to … Continue Reading

JULY 14, 2012 – HOUSE KEEPING

I am at my office today “house keeping” with regard to my campaign. Arlington is having a festival outside on North Olympic Avenue, just outside my office.  Arlington has lots of festivals.  It is an exemplary community.  It is a good place to grow up, to live, and to work. I wandered Olympic Avenue and found a great festival burger, which I devoured.  I then visited my good friends Claire and Ellen at Fogdog Gallery, 233 North Olympic Avenue, which is on the same block as my office. If you want to see some great local art you should visit Fogdog Gallery.  Fogdog also has poetry readings on Thursday nights. I had my own little “universe” installed by one of Fogdog’s local artists named Marvin Lilley on the roof of the Pod, where I seep when I stay at the office. I noticed that we are having trouble with Facebook.  Some how (it is a long story) I have three pages being run by different individuals.  I can easily access only one of them easily.  The other two are more problematic. This problem is compounded by the fact that I am new to Facebook.  (Remember before this campaign I was more introverted than even Steve Gonzales and had made a conscience choice to avoid social media.)  Well, when I decided to run I dived in and apparently hit some rocks.  I’m now conscious again and trying to figure out how to swim in these waters. Although Facebook indicates I have new … Continue Reading

JULY 13, 2012 – ABOUT THE WEATHER

The skies clapped and growled all day long.  It was like the tropics in the Northwest for a day.  There were lightning streaks and rain; but each was on its own schedule. I didn’t notice the weather until the afternoon.   I drove a client back to his home and discovered his oasis of gardens, English bulldogs, cats, llamas, and a horse.  His wife preaches on Comcast.  The trees were unique and well groomed.  That’s when I first noticed the guttural thunder. After staying up last night until 1:30 AM writing my blog, the morning came early as I got up five hours later to work on a petition for review.  I stayed overnight at my office in “the pod”, which is an old “walk in” closet in the back.  I had a single bed installed there because occasional snow falls had prevented return to my mountain home. Now I was using the Pod to stay at the office and work when necessary.  The upstairs portion of the Stafne Law Firm previously was used as an apartment; so it has a kitchen and full bathroom.  In the day four of us work there.  During the night, when I stay there, it is like a second home for Dottie and I.  Dottie is my rat terrier friend and companion, who does not like being left alone and whines. When I climb into bed there is no top sheet .  My mind is not turning off on command.  I pray.  Finally slumber takes … Continue Reading

JULY 12, 2012 — A LONG DAY

Where is Justice Owens?   This morning I got up and drove with Gary, one of my campaign assistants, to Lacey to speak at the candidate forum at the Panorama House.  It is a community of approximately 1,200 elder persons, like me. As luck would have it I was called upon to speak first.  (Actually, it wasn’t luck.  Doug McQuaid and Susan Owens, my opponents, would have had to speak first if they had attended.) Normally, I don’t like to go first.  But this seemed like a great opportunity this morning.  My opponents had not shown up.  Gary and I would be able to leave quickly after I spoke to drive to Port Ludlow for the Washington League of Women Voters’ forum.  But after I spoke and was on my way out I heard a spokesperson announce that Justice Gonzales would be speaking for my opponent, Justice Owens.  So I stopped my exit and waited to hear what he would say. I recall Justice Gonzales praised Susan Owen’s common sense and rural background.  I thought back to my Iowa roots and my Arlington, Washington home and business and wanted to let everyone know “I’m rural too”. When Justice Gonzales began speaking about himself he said “I’m an introvert, so I don’t like talking about myself …”.  I thought: “what a great way to put it” because I also feel like that.  I don’t know if he did talk about himself because Gary and I were out the door right after he said that. We stopped at Abblebys to get lunch.  … Continue Reading

July 12, 2012 — TO THE SEATTLE TIMES: RETRACT YOUR LIES

To: SChan@SeattleTimes.com  Ms. Chan:  I have been directed to contact you regarding my request for a retraction of your editorial supporting Susan Owens over myself.  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2018613884_edit06supremes.html .  Presently my comment is the thirteenth identified on the comment link. The reasons I am asking for a retraction are set forth in my internet comment to your editorial.  Your editorial states: “Owens has two challengers: Douglas McQuaid, a sole practitioner in Seattle, and Scott Stafne, who has a law office in Arlington. Neither has been attending candidate interviews and, the last we checked, neither had raised a nickel, which says something about how seriously they take a statewide campaign for the high court. Owens has raised $41,525.” These statements are false. I have been attending candidate interviews. Owens is the one who has been refusing candidate interviews. Both Justice Owens and Mr. McQuaid refused to be interviewed by the King County Bar and that organization had to solicit comments from their members about them. I am participating in the King County bars interview process and have answered all interview requests I have received. Perhaps you should review my responses. Your editorial also suggests I have not been out campaigning with the people. This is demonstrably untrue. See Stafneforjustice.com at my commercial Facebook link. While I understand why the Times considers judgeships to be all about money since the results of the judicial system seem overwhelmingly affected by litigants wealth, it perturbs me that the Times is trying to use the amount of money a judicial … Continue Reading

JULY 11, 2012 — I NEED MORE HOURS IN THE DAY….

I had a long day.  So I won’t write much now as I am pooped. I have to drive to Lacey and Port Ludlow for campaign events tomorrow.  I need to finish a brief for filing on Friday. I am physically tired, but spiritually energized. I went to a “meet and greet” event at the Seattle Greater Businesses Association.  I saw a long time friend, who introduced me to his friends.  Peter was very supportive of me and my campaign.  It is much easier to campaign when a gifted extrovert is with you.  Thanks Peter for you help. I had a long talk with Martin Andelman after the GSBA .  He, like me, is a foot soldier in the foreclosure wars.  We talked about how our country has changed since the late sixties.  Not for the better. Martin asked if there was hope for the United States to regain its moral compass.  I answered that only the people have the power to bring about that change.  Meaningful change in the moral character of our nation will require the people to speak in a strong voice based on the facts of what is actually going on. I can’t wait to hear the pod cast with Martin. I’m looking forward to learning whether the Seattle Times agreed to an “op-ed” from Betty Patu supporting my candidacy. Tomorrow the membership of Local 19 will vote on whether to endorse my candidacy.

JULY 10, 2012 — LOCAL 19

I had planned on writing a blog titled “Judicial review:  It is a Slippery Slope”, but got too involved in my research to finish it by midnight.  So I’ll just tell you about my day. I understand that someone has submitted an “op-ed” piece to the Seattle Times supporting me.  It will be interesting to see if the Times prints it. I appeared before the Executive Board of Local 19 requesting an endorsement.  We’ll see what happens.  But seems like telling the truth could be more important to these folks than all the money Susan Owens is seeking to raise from lawyers. What is she going to do with all that money?  Can money buy Justice?

JULY 9, 2012 — UNPUBLISHED CASE LAW ON JURY NULLIFICATION COMPLICATES ANSWER

One of the persons I talked with during the interview process for judicial candidates asked me about “jury nullification”.  I looked to the common law and found that the answer was unclear in some regards.   The confusion was magnified by an “unpublished” decision, which speaks to the issue, but cannot be cited as precedent under existing Supreme Court rules.  However, any conscientious lawyer would want to advise someone about this ruling when discussing the status of “jury nullification” in Washington as it relates to selection of a jury.   Washington’s two tiered system of judicial decision-making (published versus unpublished decisions) hurts us all.  It increases the cost of litigation and denigrates the appearance of the impartiality of our courts.  This system eviscerates the meaning of the U. S. Supreme Court’s famous mandate that it is “emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is”.  It does so by taking away the Courts of Appeal duty to say what the law is in difficult cases; and giving judges the discretion not to apply the law in an equal way for all.   Here is a copy of my email to Rick about jury nullification:   Rick, I intend to post this response to your email as my blog for today.  This can be found at scottstafne.com  You can reach my blog directly or through my web page at Stafneforjustice.com .  My web page provides a great deal of information about my judicial philosophy. My personal … Continue Reading

JULY 8, 2012 — SUNDAY

I went to church with my campaign manager and her family in Federal Way this morning. While in Federal Way I met with old friends I had not seen in years.  We shared stories, ate Copper River salmon, and discussed how we prayed.  As we have aged we have learned to pray that God’s will, not our own, be done. As today is Sunday I decided to post a prayer on my blog.  So I asked my friends whether they used any specific prayer.  They do not.  My friends’ communications with God begin and end with words from their hearts… So I thought about my favorite standard prayers.  There are many that move me.  As Sunday was ending I decided to post on my blog the “Serenity Prayer”.  This prayer has served me well since 1984 when I became a friend of Bill. It is a simple, but powerful prayer which relates to those challenges I have undertaken. THE SERENITY PRAYER God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.  

JULY 7, 2012 — SEATTLE TIMES EDITORIAL IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

On my July 5, 2010 blog I chuckled about the Pierce County Bar Association’s conclusions about me because they set forth no reasons for them.  But yesterday the Seattle Times endorsed my opponent and I am hopping mad.  This is because the Seattle Times editorial board flat out lied. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2018613884_edit06supremes.html Newspapers that lie should not be in business. The Seattle Times editorial board wrote: “Owens has two challengers: Douglas McQuaid, a sole practitioner in Seattle, and Scott Stafne, who has a law office in Arlington. Neither has been attending candidate interviews and, the last we checked, neither had raised a nickel, which says something about how seriously they take a statewide campaign for the high court. Owens has raised $41,525.” The statements about me are false.  I have been attending candidate interviews.  Owens is the one who has been refusing candidate interviews.  Both Justice Owens and Mr. McQuaid refused to be interviewed by the King County Bar and that organization had to solicit comments from its members about them.   I am participating in the King County Bar Association’s interview process and have tried to answer all interview requests and questionnaires I have received. The Seattle Times editorial also suggests I have not been out campaigning with the people and spelling out my judicial philosophy.  This is demonstrably untrue.  See my web site: Stafneforjustice.com .  I do not believe either of the other candidates for the Supreme Court Position 2 has attempted to engage the public by campaigning for the primary. … Continue Reading

JUNE 6, 2012 – MY VIEWS ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

The Canons of Judicial Ethics restrict judicial candidates from supporting political parties and candidates.  The United States Constitution restricts the State from denying my political speech regarding presidential candidates.  Therefore, let me point out… Clinton deregulated the banks. Bush started the bail outs of banks. Obama endorsed and continued the bail outs. The Obama administration has allowed the bankers to wage war against homeowners, without taking any effective action to protect the people.  Not one prominent banker grossly enriched at the peoples’ expense has been tried and convicted by the executive branch for well documented fraud. For my money, Romney is just another banker.  If he wins, the people lose. I wish there was someone running for President who I could feel good about voting for.

JULY 5, 2012 – ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS JUDICIAL RATINGS ?

I chuckled when I read the letter from the Pierce County Bar Association stating they had found me “not qualified” to be a Supreme Court Justice.  They apparently didn’t understand their unreasoned letter proved exactly the point I was making about the courts.  The judicial branch of government derives its power only upon the basis of its reasoning and the overall approval of its judgments by the people. The Pierce County Bar Association did not fault my academic credentials, because it could not do so.  Only Justice Gonzales has a similar educational pedigree.  Maybe the Bar Association did not like my gender or my sexual orientation or my blue eyes and bald head.  Who knows?  The Pierce County Bar Association did not say anything about how or why it rated me or any other judicial candidates. My best guess:  The Bar Association did not like my overt criticism of the judiciary and its growing use of judicial review.  My judgment:  The Courts and those lawyers most reliant on the judicial monopoly will move swiftly to disparage others with different opinions. References: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2012/06/29/a-bar-fight-over-judicial-candidate-ratings/ http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/does-his-name-sound-too-mexican/Content?oid=14030223 http://www.pbk.org/infoview/PBK_InfoView.aspx?t=&id=8 http://www.orderofthecoif.org/

JULY 4 — INDEPENDENCE DAY

Had a great Fourth of July.  My friends and I campaigned in my home town of Arlington during the parade.  We put up a campaign booth and watched as  people and the parade passed by.  That was a hoot.  But the most fun was talking to people. I am a quiet person, who learns much from listening to others.  This is because you can’t evaluate what a person says unless you listen.  When you are campaigning, you don’t always have time to listen. “Excuse me.  Are you a voter?  I’m running for Supreme Court, Position 2.  Here’s my brochure.  Please consider voting for me.”  Then you look the people in the eyes.  The eyes tell much.  They share hope, glee, sometimes despair beneath the surface.  But you can’t hold the stare too long, because Independence Day is mostly about celebration of our ancestors’ declaration of the liberty God gave us as people.  It is mostly a day for celebrating our past; not so much contemplating our future. So the parade ends about 6:30 and we consider our party invites.  I use to be more of a partier when I was younger.  So were my friends.  But today most of them elected to go home to privately celebrate our national heritage. But if you are a candidate the campaign sometimes dictates whether you get to watch T.V.  or go to a party.   So I went to a wonderful celebration of America’s birth in downtown Seattle. The host was gracious and supportive … Continue Reading

July 3, 2012 — The day before our Independence Day

July 3, 2012  — I was surface dreaming in the concert of heavy rain drenching the mountain when my phone alarm broke what was left of my slumber at 7:02 a.m.  I was up late studying facts about the fourth of July to share on my blog.  I’m waking up more as I write this.  I’ll go drink my coffee soon. Still, I am in no hurry to get out of bed. Did you know that “[d]uring the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence”?  Founding father John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Adams prediction was both right and wrong.  The celebrations occur each year, but on July 4 the day the Declaration was signed.  Or the day the Declaration was “may have been signed”. Some historians doubt the Declaration of Independence was actually signed on July 4, but think it was signed in … Continue Reading

July 2, 2012 — THE FORECLOSURE WARS

I grew up in the sixties.  We had the Vietnem War and protests in the streets.   The War on Drugs started about this same time.   Next thing I remember Reagan was in Panama and Grenada.  Then Kuwait…  Iraq…  The War on Terror.  Afghanistan. And now the sweep of the Foreclosure Wars…  Banks and investors battle for property leaving encampments of the homeless.  The spoils of war, peoples’ vacated homes, go unoccupied and to seed; needlessly scarring our neighborhoods. There are “lawyers” and there are “lawyers”.  They and their clients spar every day in the Foreclosure Wars taking place in courtrooms and homes throughout our nation. In Minnesota this week foot soldiers on the side of the people were taken prisoners and charged with Riot in the Third Degree.  Decent people who may well be sent to privatized prisons to perform indentured labor for the corporations which now own them. Before lawyers started representing people being foreclosed upon, corporate lawyers representing banks were very successful in persuading federal courts to throw unrepresented people out of their homes.  Heroic lawyers were initially slow to take up state laws in peoples’ defense.  But as they started representing people being foreclosed upon in state courts there were some victories.  For a time the tidal wave of foreclosures slowed as obvious fraud revealed by the media reaped favorable precedent in some states other than Washington.  (Washington Courts of Appeal only addressed these issues in unpublished decisions.) The times I am proudest of being a lawyer is when I am a … Continue Reading

July 1, 2012 – Sometimes you just have to SCREAM!

Sometimes you just have to SCREAM! Paul Revere had to scream, “The British are coming!”.  A whisper or mild voice would not have alerted the people to the danger approaching. There is a similar need for candidates for the Supreme Court to be loud and clear about what is going on in Washington’s judicial branch of government. So please excuse me if you think I am speaking too loud or my message is distasteful.  The obvious fact is our judicial system in Washington is broken. Indeed, the Supreme Court admitted on June 15, 2012 that justice through our courts is not affordable for the poor and much of the middle class.  Further, on that same day the Court ruled it would put off the United States Supreme Court’s mandate in Gideon v Wainwright (1963) that those charged with serious crimes would be provided adequate legal representation before being jailed for years or put to death.  But the court’s plan to reduce the work load on public defenders to 150 felonies per year starting September 1, 2013 does not come close to complying with the Constitution now or in the future. The Courts of Appeal continue to spit out unpublished decisions leaving gaping holes in our common law and interpretation of statutes.  This is one of the reasons Washington citizens continue to lose their homes at the hands of federal courts which fail to consider the exclusionary clause in the definition of term “beneficiary” under the Deed of Trust statute. The adverse effects the judicial … Continue Reading