Circumstantial evidence proved judge targeting of a whistleblower attorney in Supreme Court case, Leon Koziol v Chief Judge DiFiore

Leon R. Koziol, J.D.

Former Civil Rights Attorney

Founder, Parenting Rights Institute

Citizen Commission Against Corruption, Inc.

Unless caught red-handed, a judge is unlikely to admit ethical misconduct. Accordingly, courts are preferring circumstantial proof as a more reliable mode of truth-seeking given the advances made in forensic science, recording devices and a growing propensity of witnesses to lie without fear, shame or moral fiber. To hold perjurers liable today would be to fill our jails beyond capacity.

When jurists are the subject of misconduct, however, two species of rules invariably emerge, one for judge defendants and the other for the rest of us. It is an unwritten practice designed to protect the reputation of our judiciary more than it is to achieve justice, see i.e. United States v Cossey, 632 F. 3d 82 (2nd Cir, 2010). We need go no further than this case to prove its existence, again circumstantially.

The DiFiore filing featured a demand for attorney whistleblower protection whenever judges are the government actors retaliating against exercises of critical speech outside the courtroom, see i.e. Garrison v Louisiana, 379 US 64 (1964). This is typically carried out through concocted disciplinary violations which our courts control exclusive of our other branches. In this victim’s case, the actors went to the extreme of sabotaging parent-child relationships in family court.

There has been no official protection for this category of reporters most qualified to expose misconduct at the very core of a properly functioning justice system. In any non-judge case, such a right would be readily acknowledged even if relief was ultimately denied. But here it was met with silence including the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her ensuing denial of an interim stay motion.

This sort of clandestine activity is more prevalent than what is publicized. Witnessed first-hand over a stellar 23-year career in chambers, public venues and country clubs, this attorney finally went public due to the growing harm to countless unsuspecting victims. And as a whistleblower inching closer to conspiratorial activity, I was widely targeted, thereby undermining accountability, discouraging competent investigations, and scaring off news agents.

The record in my civil rights litigation proves this, and it remains unprecedented. On August 14, 2018, the Supreme Court docketed Leon R. Koziol v Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, No. 18-278. Ahead of its time, it sought, among other things, a declaratory judgment granting whistleblower protection. Given the escalating misconduct among jurists, an absolute immunity from civil liability, and the dearth of complaints investigated by authorities, this proved to be a watershed case ripe for review.

But alas, like the other 99% of petitions dismissed, this one fell victim, in part, due to its potential of igniting reputational harm to our judicial branch of government. The following excerpt taken from page six of my petition adds to the rampant nature of circumstantial evidence showing serious misconduct over and beyond that documented in my 12-year record:

An unblemished civil rights attorney (and model dad) was persecuted for exposing corruption and seeking reforms to child custody and support laws, 13-a. 

It all began on January 9, 2008 when a judge in Syracuse heard argument during an appeal of four decisions arising from three trial courts regarding his family matters.[1] Petitioner exposed the corrupting of parents and children by domestic courts for fee and revenue purposes. This included an opposing divorce lawyer who was later learned to be a member of the district ethics committee appointed by the same judge’s appeals court, 18-a. On the same day, a first-time ethics prosecution was opened against petitioner under circumstances of illicit directive by that judge. 

It featured ten grievances over eight years, six of which were later dismissed on their face but only when a license suspension could be orchestrated through false statements made by the committee’s attorney. That Committee was disqualified in 2010. Replacement lawyers in Albany finished the job using anonymous complaints and solicited ex-clients, 86-a. Three resigned in 2013 for falsifying time sheets. 

All discovery requested as early as March 2009 by motion was denied. Over the next several years, it was confirmed through third parties and court records that petitioner’s secretary was solicited in 2008 to tamper with office mail, court calendars and bank accounts to cause ethics violations while concealing file material needed for a proper defense, 70-a. Circumstantial proof strongly suggested that she was granted prosecutorial immunity, 21-a. 

Examples include petitioner’s internal report and criminal complaints neglected by county prosecutors and city police until all relevant limitations periods had expired. This secretary was ultimately indicted for crimes committed on later law office employers and sent to jail on multiple felony convictions in 2016, 21-a. Both law enforcement agencies were the subject of successful client cases and civil rights forums, i.e. Patterson v City of Utica, 370 F.3d 322 (2nd Cir. 2004).

I was resoundingly vindicated, albeit belatedly, when circumstantial evidence showed again how judges were perfectly willing to misuse their positions to punish critics behind the scenes. While in office, New York’s top jurist, Janet DiFiore, sent a letter to a disciplinary judge seeking the harshest outcome against the head of the court officer’s union. She did so in retaliation for his criticisms of her safety practices.

But before she could be exposed by inquiring media, Chief Judge DiFiore resigned, as she had to, faced with an indefensible position that would assure protracted ethics deliberations harmful to the reputation of the same court system she swore to administer. Appointed by disgraced ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo, DiFiore evinced no shame as she was exposed again for her misuse of security after leaving office.

The audacity of this high-level judge, exercised contrary to additional principles of ethics, was not isolated. A predecessor chief judge, Sol Wachtler, may have mentored such elitism with brazen crimes committed 30 years earlier. Appointed by Andrew’s father, Mario Cuomo, Wachtler served a mere seven years in a medium security facility after being arrested for extortion, racketeering and blackmail.

Like DiFiore, Wachtler used high office to interfere with a licensing process of the attorney exposing his misconduct. It featured Wachtler’s debutante mistress who ended their affair. He made false reports to the FBI and threatened to kidnap her child under a pseudonym. Ironically, Wachtler was renowned for an opinion wherein he criticized prosecutors who could “indict a ham sandwich” if they so targeted.

Wachtler was reinstated after his disbarment, hired as a law school professor, and rewarded with book royalties from his prison memoir, After the Madness. In it, he defended his misconduct because judges are supposedly trained to think of themselves as gods. This was a man being groomed for a possible run for president and Supreme Court Justice.

From the top down, our nation’s most esteemed public servants are committing misconduct at unprecedented levels. An appeals court judge in Rochester, New York, Nancy Smith, earned the dubious distinction as the first jurist above trial level to be publicly disciplined by a state commission for submitting a glowing reference to benefit a prisoner convicted of vehicular manslaughter resulting in the death of two people. Not long after, Judge Smith was elevated to presiding justice of that court.

These are jurists who have upheld an absolute immunity for themselves that finds no authority in our Constitution. It is routinely applied to civil actions raising the most reprehensible conduct. I sought to limit such immunities in my precedent-seeking case, Parent v State, 786 Supp. 2d 516 (NDNY 2011). However, this valiant effort was derailed by retributions carried out by the very subjects of litigation.

Given the vast number of state agents effectively substituting as parents in our nation’s family courts, I raised a collective violation of our parenting right which the Supreme Court has declared to be “the oldest liberty interest protected by our Constitution,” Troxel v Granville, 530 US 57 (2000). It has become a highly lucrative industry yielding widespread collateral damage which has yet to be exposed.

Conscientious attorneys are justifiably reticent to assume the risk of incurring retributions especially with no financial rewards. That fear has not subsided much since 1980 when attorneys raising advertising rights hid behind a consumers group to achieve some success and then only to advance their profit interests, see Supreme Court of Virginia v Consumers Union, 446 US 719 (1980).

The question then emerges: how many DiFiores, Wachtlers and Smiths are lurking among us?

That number may prove to be staggering. Systemic bias and unconstitutional targeting are only a matter of what a violator can get away with. In Dobbs v Jackson, No. 19-1392, 597 US ____ (2022), the abortion rights case, Roe v Wade was overturned. A version of this opinion was leaked followed by commitments to expose the wrongdoer. Months later, the insider remains at large with the apparent hope that this will blow over. Instead, it has only bred more distrust.

The late Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was more public in her violation of judicial ethics. She launched attacks from chambers disparaging a private businessman’s run for president in 2016. Donald Trump was ultimately successful. Yet she betrayed no guilt or shame until pressured by media criticism. Justice Brett Kavanaugh drew similar criticism by attending a 2022 holiday party hosted by Trump supporters.

Such egotism sets a poor example for lower judges, attorneys and litigants. It calls for an overhaul of our justice system beginning with hearings in Congress. This is not a gender, race or political issue. It is a crevice in the foundations set by the framers of our Constitution. We must all join in a demand for that overhaul with the same kind of chastising dispensed by these same jurists from the bench.

[1] In a June 27, 2017 report of the New York Bar Association, the state’s 11-court trial structure was condemned as chaotic and antiquated particularly when compared to our nation’s largest state of California which features one trial court. The bar overwhelmingly supported a constitutional convention, but voters turned it down the same year.

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About the Author

Leon R. Koziol, J.D. is a human rights advocate who practiced law for more than two decades in federal and state courts. He appeared on the CBS program 60 Minutes for his defense of landowners targeted for eviction by Indian tribes alleging violations of ancient treaties. In 2004, he secured a judgement in New York Supreme Court invalidating the 1993 Turning Stone casino gaming compact.

His recoveries feature substantial jury verdicts for victims of government abuse. Case citations include, Koziol v Hanna, 107 F.2d 170 (NDNY 2000); Patterson v City of Utica, 370 F.3d 322 (2nd Cir.2004); Oneida Indian Nation v County of Oneida, 132 F. Supp. 2d 71 (NDNY); Peterman v Pataki, 2004 NY Slip Op 51092(U) and Parent v State, 786 F. Supp. 2d 516 (NDNY 2011).

The latter was a consolidated case intended as a class action on behalf of parents defrauded in divorce and family courts. It was part of a bold challenge to judicial and sovereign immunity which yielded severe retributions upon the author’s licenses and parent-child relations. The horrific ordeal which led to a near death climax was captured in his book, Whistleblower in Paris, published in 2021.

Leon Koziol can be reached at (315) 796-4000 and

Family Court Corruption: This Short Video Will Shock You And Support A Federal Investigation In Washington!

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The Parenting Rights Institute has been lobbying Congress, the Justice Department and FBI to open a comprehensive investigation of our nation’s family courts. It is needed to address horrific and widespread corruption which is being censored on social media, ignored by mainstream news organizations, and suppressed by special interests or bar associations.

While victims everywhere continue to waste their time and resources complaining to therapists and the choir on-line, the abuses of our children, careers and earnings escalate in these courts with an ominous impact on future generations. Sources close to key congressional leaders have recognized this epidemic but without any public noise, they have have advised us that there is no problem to address.

Only a few parental advocates, court reformists and government groups are truly acting to obtain change and accountability for the misconduct of judges and lawyers documented in our video series. It was produced by an NBC production crew, and the first segment subtitled “The Lawyer Epidemic” was released in December (highly acclaimed 6 minutes).

The Parenting Rights Institute is one of the few entities doing something about this growing epidemic, and our track record over ten years proves it. If a federal investigation or congressional hearing is granted, you will finally be heard, whatever your concern, wherever your location. Local federal offices will be engaged as opposed to ignoring your complaints. Just imagine the possibilities, the hope that will be generated.

But you must do your part! Stop assuming that others will protest for you. History has shown, including my own experience as a successful, citizen group litigator, that change can occur if you get involved in a united and meaningful way. Instead, only a feeble number (4 to 300) show up in our nation’s capital (or anywhere for that matter) to voice concerns in a divided manner.

We are a Democracy. That means doing something here and now, instead of scrolling away for more sympathy or distracting entertainment. Call us, make a donation, share this video, expose the trolls who are planted to undermine our efforts, counter the pessimists who do more harm than good, and make plans today to join our Parent March and Lobby on Washington.

If you are still apathetic, learn the seriousness of a parent monitoring process explained at the 3:30 mark of this 10 minute video. Still unmoved? Then keep viewing to the 8 minute mark for a sampling of the serial convictions, imprisonments or removals of family judges ranging from a pedophile to a national disgrace. If you are outraged as all Americans should be, finish up the last two minutes for a plan of action.

Federal Title IV-D funding is being abused to commit these crimes with you and your children as victims. In past lobbying trips, we have headquartered at the Harrington Hotel, a long respected and remarkably low cost lodging facility between the White House and Congress. Maybe we can take over the whole building if we make plans now. No matter the turn-out, we will endeavor to visit all congressional offices.

We predict that impeachment proceedings will be underway by then, and we can exploit the moment with an ideal message against both adversarial parties. They continue to be focused more on political posturing than the people they were elected to serve. If you ignore this call to action and its vital message, you will pay for it tremendously. You will need a second or third job to pay your first, second or third attorney hired to date.

P.S.: Make sure one of your attorneys has a specialty in Bankruptcy Law, because as long as you stay in the comfort of your homes keyboarding to no one who can help, this is what your apathy and excuse-making will earn for you, your children and your society.

Call the PRI Office at (315) 380-3420, our Director, Dr. Leon Koziol at (315) 796-4000 or e-mail him personally at And keep up-to- date on our March and Lobbying Event in Washington on May 3, 2019 here at

New York High Court: Parents Protect Children at their Peril



As our faithful followers know, we are a blog site dedicated to safeguarding parental rights even when our courts refuse to do their duty of enforcing them, see i.e.Troxel v Granville, 530 US 57 (2000)(parental right is the “oldest liberty interest protected by our Constitution”); Parham v J.R., 442 US 584 (1979)(parents presumed to act in their children’s best interests).

However we rely on much more than a 200 year old blueprint to defend ourselves from ever intrusive encroachments upon the privacy of family life. We at Leon go further to base our crusade on an inalienable human right to raise our offspring since the beginning of civilization itself.

Simply because two parents reside apart does not provide sufficient cause for family judges to scrutinize every aspect of a parent’s decision making authority, whether custodial or non-custodial. It does not offer fertile ground to incite needless custody wars that enrich lawyers at the expense of our children’s sustenance and college funds.

And now, just when we thought it was safe to come out, along comes a decision from New York’s high court which pretends to respect parental rights to eavesdrop on their children’s conversations but with the reservation that you do so at risk of incurring a criminal prosecution. Wow! Did this really happen?

Writing for a 4-3 majority, Judge Eugene Fahey ruled that a father’s recording of a threat to beat up a five year old boy was protected from criminal eavesdropping laws. But he added, if it was done in “bad faith,” a criminal conviction would be warranted. Seriously? Who’s going to make that judgment call on the spot?  Eugene? Some lawyer?

By the time “good faith”parents get a judgment call from the state, numerous participants of a court process will weigh in until it reaches Eugene at this same court after a period of years. Will any of them take responsibility for a seriously injured child when a parent decides not to risk commitment to a prison cell next to the real criminals we are monitoring?

We know they will simply punt with an excuse that it’s “the law” even though they created this law along with another one known as absolute judicial immunity. That’s “the law” which protects them from liability unlike the rest of us when we violate the public trust. As our precedent seeking litigation has proven, they’re all protected, and now they’re protecting the criminals.

Who are these people that they can substitute their judgments for those truly concerned about our children on an hourly basis? How much more scrutiny can we withstand before we finally wake up to a reality that our families are controlled by New York lawyers and judges. This is 2016, we live in a dangerous world where our children are exposed to all sorts of predators.

Take for example judges and lawyers. Attorney Steven Lever was convicted of using his employer’s law office computer to have sex with a thirteen year old girl. An attorney disciplinary judge recommended a six month law license suspension with favorable references for his return to employment.

Yes this really happened, look it up yourself at In re Lever, 869 NYS2d 523 (1st Dept. 2008). Attorney Lever served no time and his suspension was converted to three years despite public pressure and a dissenting opinion for disbarment. Leon is still suspended after six years without any criminal charge due to his public criticisms of these courts.

If you think it gets better with judges, one was removed from family court for admitting to sexual misconduct on his handicapped five year old niece. He was Leon’s custody judge, Bryan Hedges. Look him up too along with his chief judge, James Tormey, at Morin v Tormey, 626 F.3d 40 (2nd Cir. 2011)($600,000 liability against both for “political espionage”).

Against this backdrop, the three dissenters in today’s eavesdropping case, led by newly installed Leslie Stein, went off the deep end. They would have us all litigating such issues in divorce and family court. Translation: more cash for lawyers, less for our children. So that’s our report for today and a powerful warning to our sister 49 states: New York is coming for you, it’s called Hillary’s Village where the state owns your children.

Now for those of you who missed our highly important censorship post of the past week, we are reproducing it for you here. It is crucial that you share it and help us get the staff and financial resources to fight this ever-encroaching system of government:

Courts Extinguishing Parental Rights Through Censorship


Okay so we’re not Breitbart or Infowars, we’re just an expanding blog site known as Leon dedicated to parental rights. That puts us with mainstream social media. As Chief Justice John Roberts declared in Snyder v Phelps, speech and press must be “robust” in any self-governing nation.

But we weren’t picketing against gay military as they were in that case. We were promoting all military who return from foreign wars only to experience more oppression in divorce and family courts. That made our third branch of government the subject of our public criticisms.

It’s an epidemic captured by Second Class Citizen.Org in Purple Heart’s Final Beat. We’re part of a loose network of advocates seeking vital reforms. That makes all of us bloggers important to our nation’s politics because the divorce epidemic has received sparse coverage by other media.

Today more than ever, we are victims of a powerful bureaucracy seeking to control every facet of our liberties. Families are the last bastion. Accordingly the people rely on secondary media for information and protection. It may be our final frontier before the machines take over.

When major media is censored, they resort to our courts for protection as they should. These forums were created by the people to be the primary guardians of our constitutional rights. But what if the courts are the ones doing the censoring? Where do those victims go for protection?

Welcome to Leon, the most court-censored blog site in America. It started innocently enough, a loving dad and attorney seeking to spend more time with his daughters. He went against his profession for turning our children into a trillion dollar industry.

And boy did they retaliate. This site was offered to fight back, and since its inception, we’ve exposed court corruption like toxic spills from a chemical plant. With each post, public forum or court filing, judges and spineless lawyers acted to extinguish our protected activity.

The Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN are some of the major media seeking relief in our courts whenever they are censored. Their publishers, editors and reporters are never seized of their children, livelihoods and homes as a punishment.

Secondary media are not so fortunate. They lack real influence. But what we do have is an army of free service providers so the big guys can have something worth reporting. Here, because the courts were targeted, we became the most censored news site in America. Now for some proof:

On November 25, 2015, a state court gag order was issued against this site. It was so expansive that its details here could implicate a contempt citation and imprisonment;

In June, 2015, a disciplinary hearing was opened to the public for the first time on Leon’s request to address a law license suspension caused by an insider fired from his office in 2009. That insider was not convicted for her crimes until 2016 after damage was done. Hence it could not be used sooner to defend against a 2010 suspension;

The ethics lawyers in the witch hunt against Leon were fired for falsifying their time sheets by the same court which suspended Leon. That fact was used to resist charges of inadequate insider supervision which Leon then applied to the judges before him regarding their own ethics staff. No public charges were ever brought against them;

The 2015 hearing was video recorded by Divorce Corp because of a You-Tube interview with Leon which it publicized in June, 2015 on the subject of child support corruption. This publication caused Leon to be censored at a family law reform convention at our nation’s capital in November, 2014 sponsored by the same entity;

On April 8, 2014, the state’s Committee on Professional Standards issued a report opposing reinstatement of Leon’s law license. It cited and attached seven blog posts out of more than 200 as offensive in content with no ethics charges ever brought;

One of the cited blog posts consisted of Leon’s 2013 testimony before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption regarding fabricated college degrees found by judges. It cannot be detailed here due to the gag order. Another post was merely a dedication to Leon’s recently departed mother, adding a sadistic flavor to it all;

• On May 22, 2013 at a closed hearing, ethics lawyers for the Committee on Professional Standards declared to a court panel that they would oppose reinstatement of Leon’s law license as long as he continued his public criticisms of judges. None was specified or prosecuted while “anonymous” complaints on other subjects were;

The criticisms included a civil rights forum sponsored by Leon on January 19, 2010 featuring parent testimony for a report to the Justice Department. It was monitored by divorce lawyers. The later fired ethics lawyers asked Leon to explain why he did not introduce himself as a “suspended lawyer” prior to his first ever suspension.

• On January 9, 2008, Leon argued his first appeal challenging a lucrative system of custody classifications which forced parents to fight over their offspring. It was before a court which also appointed ethics committees. One member was his ex-spouse’s divorce lawyer. On the same day, an ethics prosecution was opened for the very first time against Leon after more than two decades of unblemished practice;

• On October 8, 2008, a divorce judge ruled that Leon’s support obligations under that challenged custody law were proper under Title IV-D (Child Support Standards Act). That meant that the judges and lawyers who disrupted the parents’ 2006 agreements did so for no good reason other than lucrative parental conflict. A violation was nonetheless filed to cause another basis for suspending Leon’s law license. Those details are also omitted here due to the gag order.

This is only a small sampling of Leon’s ordeal and punishments for protecting fellow parents (and others who cannot be mentioned here due to the gag order). None of it has ever been disproved or even denied, and this is not the first time Leon sacrificed himself for the people and their rights under the First Amendment.

As chief (corporation) counsel for an upstate New York city, he gave up his post and successfully sued a mayor in federal court for a gag order on public employees. You can look it up at Koziol v Hanna, 107 F. Supp.2d 170 (NDNY 2000)(supported by federal appeals court in Manhattan). On October 9, 2015, the same federal court issued an anti-filing order against Leon.

We continue to fight this battle on principle and for those who cannot be mentioned here. Leon is also fighting for parents, families and children everywhere. But he has been deprived his livelihood for more than six years while a local lawyer convicted of tax fraud on $2 million in client income was never denied his law license even while serving time in prison. We therefore ask you to support us with a donation and anything else you can do.