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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 28, 2011

Is Judge Baratta Trying to Discourage Gracedale Appeal?

On February 16, I appealed Judge Baratta's denial of my Election Code challenge to the Gracedale Initiative Petition. As expected, the Commonwealth Court is fast tracking the matter. I've been excused from assembling a record, and both sides have been told to get their briefs in by March 15.

What puzzles me are two Orders of Court from Baratta on February 17, the day after my appeal. One of them orders me to supply him with a "concise statement of the matters complained of on appeal," and by March 10. I am ominously warned that "failure to comply" could be considered a waiver of all complaints on appeal.

Now this might make sense in an ordinary appeal, especially if there was no opinion from Judge Baratta. His opinion could address my concerns. But here, it's just a hoop to jump through. For one thing, Judge Baratta has already issued his opinion. On top of that, the Commonwealth Court has ordered him to transmit the entire record, including his opinion, by March 7, three days before my "concise statement" to him is due. So basically, he has directed me to file something that won't help him or the Commonwealth Court a bit, but could hurt me if I forget.

The second February 17 Order of Court that puzzles me is one scheduling a Friday hearing on Larry Otter's claim for $24,000 in attorney's fees. I'm not even sure that Judge Baratta has jurisdiction at this point. If he does, isn't it a tad premature to decide attorney's fees on a matter under appeal? On the merits, I am certain that Baratta knows as well as I do that Otter's motion is frivolous. But of course, the time I spend researching and briefing that matter is time I won't be spending researching and briefing my appeal to Commonwealth Court.

Judge Baratta must have known that he would be appealed. But the two Orders he filed on February 17 certainly seem designed to discourage me from moving forward. If that was the plan, it failed.


Anonymous said...

Citizens of the World,

Of course the sitting judge is wrong. The disbarred, disgraced fornmer lawyer is right. How long will people actyally believe this maniac.

O'Hare is a mental case. Any action that he disagrees with is some sort of massive mistake or a conspiracy against him. O'Hare is a walking case study in delusional paranoia.

He will be dismissed by the higher court and should be committed for observation along with Angle.

This is going to a vote and by the time it is over, O'Hare will claim a worldwide conspiracy that makes crazy Glen Beck look like the sanist man in the world.

Sad times for Northampton county that peolle like this are controlling our destinies with offical sanction from county leaders.

SOS to the World

Bernie O'Hare said...

Explain why a judge would want a concise statement of matters complained of on appeal when (a) he has already rendered his opinion, and (b) my statement would not be given to him until 3 days after he transmits the record to Commonwealth Court.

Explain why he would schedule a hearing on att'y fees when (a) he knows the matter is under appeal, (b) he may not even have jurisdiction, and (c) the claim is frivolous.

Rather than the usual catcalls or attempts to politicize everything with goofy references to Glenn Beck, do you ever have answers?

Anonymous said...

He is a learned jurist and you are the exact opposite. Pretty simple really.

Anonymous said...

He's a combination of a left-leaning union lapdog and a guy with personal baggage that makes dealing with the likes of you, a recovering, admitted flawed human, very uncomfortable to deal with. You'll have this with small town legal systems. Baratta's mindset is the same one that keeps the ilk of Morganelli, Cunningham, and others from ever getting out this area, despite their desparate attempts to do so. Good luck, Bernie. You'll be in front of a far more learned and professional bunch from this point. The hacks are in your rear view mirror, now.

brenda said...

A judge is elected to Commonwealth Court by whom? I dont remember seeing anything on any ballot

Anonymous said...

Brenda try reading the screen on the voting machine we would not want you miss the vote for the referendum when it goes on the ballot!

The Battle Cry of Freedom said...

I had the opportunity to watch judge, then lawyer, Baratta in a case in County Court. He is a nasty man to say the least. I believe that he is displaying his association with the union. He damn well knows that there are a ton of names that should be tossed out because the folks confirmed what they did and did not do. The fact of the matter is that as a circulator of a petition for office you absolutely must witness the signing of said petition. Source of my statement; an official at Northampton County Voter Registration Office.
If we allow these illegal acts by the circulators to stand we are on the way to disassembling a part of the voting process. The same can be said of his decision on the Home Charter. If his decision stands we might as well toss out said Charter and start again. This is what happens when you have a judge who is a political activist interested in helping his buddies.

Anonymous said...

I hope they give otter his attorney fees maybe that will shut you up for a while.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brenda, Yes, we still elected Commonwealth Court judges and other appellate judges. Most people have no idea who they are voting for. Locally we have Judge Panella on the Superior Court and Judge Simpson on the Commonwealth Ct.

Anonymous said...

Well then maybe they should fire the people in the voter registration office for not doing their job?

Anonymous said...

bernie 10:28

Now that bernie has established himself as the only authority on law, he is now also a mind reader as he knows what "most people" know or don't know when they vote.

I'm sure "brenda" is impressed.

Anonymous said...

HAY BERNIE IS THERE A COUNCIL MEETIMG ON MARCH 3 AT EASTON AT630?oh can you tell me on march 4 th whats going on they say on the web page on saving private gracedale that theres going to be a showdown with you and angel everyone should be there what are they talking about

Bernie O'Hare said...

There is a Council meeting this Thursday at 6:30 PM. They are now claiming, anonymously, that Stoffa and Angle are in it "for their own gain." Every two weeks, they demagogue and try to catcall every person with a view that differs from theirs. Not one of these persons has himself or herself been elected to anything.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Well then maybe they should fire the people in the voter registration office for not doing their job?'

I do not even understand this comment.

Brenda said...

SInce Simpson is up for re-election this year are you going to request that he recuse? How many judges of the 13 total will hear the case?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I suspect this will go to one judge, and it won't be Judge Simpson.

Anonymous said...

You are too kind to Brenda


also to comment on your comments

you appear to be





I don't know, you really are stretching with this one

the judge is doing something called

competent work

you might remember

competent by definition is

legally qualified

Bernie O'Hare said...

You have not answered my questions. Until you do, I will wonder whether Baratta is acting like a judge or a litigant.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it juust the usual response of a Common Pleas Court to Order a 1925(b) statement to be filed? That Concise Statement is normally used by the Court to write its opinon.

Anonymous said...

The Judge may have rendered an Opinion in Common Ples Court. It may end up being basically the same as what he submits to the Appellate Court. It may not be as he will write an Opinion answering the specific items you outline in your 1925(b) statement. Supreme Court decisions make it clear the failure to file a 1925(b) statement is a Waiver of all issues.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, it is the standard with 2 differences: 1) My concise statement is not due until 3 days after he transmits the record and his opinion to Commonwealth Court; 2) He already filed an opinion. It is of no benefit to him or the Commonwealth Court, but could be used to hurt me.

Anonymous said...

u have probably done enough to hurt yourself. u don't need a judge

Union Goon said...

My only question on this matter is whether or not the Judge has followed the procedure for his request?

If he has followed procedure, anything else is pure speculation and personal opinion.

We all have are right to opinion, but if the procedure was followed there isn't much of an argument.

However we all know the system does have its flaws.

Anonymous said...

We all know what opinions are like
with some being more opiniony than others

Anonymous said...

With you the verdict is already in. You love the publicity even when you're wrong and you guys are completely misreading the feeling of the general public on this issue which is truly sad. People like R. A. are elected to do the will of the people. let the issue appear on the ballot, let the people vote, and majority rules.
Have a nice day

Anonymous said...

If the question and signatures are valid there will be a vote. Sounds like AFSCME is worried about the appeal.

Union Goon said...

"If the question and signatures are valid there will be a vote. Sounds like AFSCME is worried about the appeal."

I thought AFSCME wanted a vote? Your comment doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Anonymous said...


Gotta follow the rules.

A Friend

Anonymous said...

You know Bernie has successfully muddied the water. The COAF is first and foremost about the patients. The union hitched itself to the COAF bandwagon after they saw the enormous success of the signature drive. Please be aware that the COAF and union are two different entities. The union will benefit by the COAF actions if they prevail. I hope the worker union members remember who did what when this is over. I think the union should be shown the door.

Anonymous said...

hey bernie you know the Bethlehem latest lawsuit by a former janitor? you should write a story about it and how it was the mayor who got him the job in the first place and he is now suing the city. there is a lot more to that story that they're not telling the public


Bernie O'Hare said...

Very interesting.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Gotta follow the rules."

Well, I'll follow them.

Anonymous said...