How Appealing Extra

How Appealing Extra

Friday, September 22, 2006

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September 22, 2006

Judge Tells Congress He Did Nothing Wrong
House Panel Will Wait for Findings By 9th Circuit Before Deciding Anything

By Lawrence Hurley
Daily Journal Staff Writer

WASHINGTON - Los Angeles federal judge Manuel L. Real forcefully defended himself before Congress Thursday against a Republican-led investigation that could lead to his impeachment.

The 82-year-old, who has been on the bench for 40 years, insisted he did nothing wrong when he took control of a bankruptcy case involving a woman whose probation he was overseeing.

But even as the House Judiciary Committee opened its investigation, members from both sides of aisle hinted that Congress is unlikely to take further action until after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals completes its own investigation into the allegations.

Real opened his remarks by refuting the allegations against him made by Venice-based civil rights attorney, Stephen Yagman, who claimed in his 2003 complaint that the judge "acted inappropriately to benefit an attractive female."

Yagman said he bears no ill will toward Real, but the judge testified to the congressional panel that Yagman has a personal vendetta against him.

"I'm here to tell you: I categorically deny committing any misconduct in that case," Real told the committee.

During his testimony he consulted with his lawyer, Donald C. Smaltz, on several occasions.

At times the hearing resembled a court proceeding, particularly when Smaltz leapt to his feet to object to a question posed by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who asked Real whether he should have recused himself from Canter's case.

Smaltz withdrew his objection when Smith re-phrased his query.

Smith presided over the hearing as chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. House Judiciary chairman R. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., had ordered Smith's subcommittee to take up the case two months ago as a prelude to a possible impeachment proceeding.

Congress last impeached a judge in 1989.

Sensenbrenner has repeatedly voiced frustration that the 9th Circuit didn't act fast enough to thoroughly investigate claims of misconduct against Real. The 9th Circuit's current inquiry, which is confidential, marks the third time it has reviewed Yagman's complaint.

The central allegation in the case, which dates back to 1999, is that Real had ex parte communications from a woman whose criminal probation he supervised, Deborah Canter, in which she asked for his help while she was facing bankruptcy.

Canter did not attend Thursday's hearing, but her current attorney, Michael Proctor, watched from the audience.

Real has denied ever receiving any letter from Canter. He outlined Thursday why he removed the bankruptcy case from the jurisdiction of a bankruptcy judge.

The judge explained that it came to his attention that a confidential pre-sentence report from Canter's earlier fraud case had been, in his view, wrongly introduced into the record of the bankruptcy case.

Real decided that, rather than asking the bankruptcy judge to deal with it, he would take the case himself, as he is allowed to do so through his authority as a district judge.

"I took the bankruptcy case because I wanted to know if the pre-sentence report had been misused," Real told the committee. "I did not do so to benefit Ms. Canter ... or because I had any personal relationship with her."

Several Republican members of the committee probed Real as to the nature of his relationship with Canter.

Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, bluntly asked: "Was Ms. Canter attractive?"

Real paused before replying.

"She was not attractive to me," he said.

He also stressed that he had met Canter only on five occasions, three in open court and two in his chambers with a probation officer present.

The subcommittee chairman, Smith, asked another witness, Canter's former lawyer, Andrew Smyth, for his views on Real's judicial temperament.

Smyth responded that Real was "autocratic ... arrogant, and rude in the way he talks."

This prompted Cannon to observe that judges need strong personalities, but should be careful of crossing the line.

"On the one hand, we want tough judges," he said. "But we don't want autocratic judges who abuse their position."

Under questioning from lawmakers, Smyth also described Yagman as a "self-promoter," who was sometimes "almost reckless" in the way he pursued cases against the police.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said she was concerned that the complaint Yagman made against Real was motivated by a desire for revenge.

Real fined Yagman $250,000 in 1984 after the attorney said the judge was suffering from a mental disorder.

"Yagman seems to have put a lot of time into going after Judge Real," Waters said.

Yagman, who is under indictment for tax evasion and fraud in an unrelated case, said in an interview Thursday that he does not have a vendetta against Real.

"I don't presently have any beef with him," he said.

Responding to Smyth's comments about him, Yagman said he didn't know how Smyth could have reached his conclusions.

"I don't know him and he doesn't know me," he said.

The 9th Circuit now has a special committee investigating the case.

Chief Judge Mary Schroeder had previously dismissed the case against Real on two occasions, as did the 9th Circuit's judicial council.

A national panel of judges also reviewed the case but concluded it could not reach the merits because Schroeder had not ordered the full investigation.

Earlier this week, a committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer criticized the 9th Circuit's handling of the complaint in a report on judicial discipline.

Members of Congress from both parties said Thursday that the committee would likely wait until after the special committee makes its findings before taking any further action.

"I hope we can wait for the report," said Cannon. "The problem here is complex."

Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., agreed that the committee should back off while the 9th Circuit investigates.

"That's the obvious thing to do," he said after the hearing. "That's what I think will happen."

Two law professors who testified at the hearing also urged the committee to wait. They are Charles Geyh, of the University of Indiana at Bloomington, and Arthur Hellman, of the University of Pittsburgh.

Hellman, speaking afterward, said the recent criticism of the judiciary, led by Sensenbrenner, might have already served its purpose.

The publication of Breyer's report and the vote this week by the U.S. Judicial Council to tighten its regulations on financial disclosures and attendance at privately funded seminars shows that the judiciary has responded to the criticism, he added.

"Sometimes the judiciary needs to be pushed," Hellman said.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

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September 21, 2006

Former Governor Wilson Testifies Against Splitting 9th Circuit

By Lawrence Hurley
Daily Journal Staff Writer

WASHINGTON - California political heavyweight Pete Wilson, the former Republican governor and U.S. senator, has joined the fight against splitting the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in two.

He testified at a Wednesday Senate hearing against legislation that would create a new 12th Circuit comprising seven western states and leave California in the 9th Circuit along with Hawaii and the Pacific island territories.

Trying a new tactic in a long-running battle, Wilson challenged the notion that a new circuit would be more philosophically attuned to the area it covers than the California-dominated 9th Circuit is.

He observed that the new court would be bound by 9th Circuit precedent for years while it builds its own case law, meaning little change in the substance of its decisions for some time.

"Nothing Congress does will enable a new 12th Circuit to create precedents anew as if on a blank canvas," Wilson told judiciary committee members. "To the contrary, any new circuit will be bound to all the 9th Circuit's precedents."

Any change, he added, "will be so gradual and time-consuming as to not likely be noticed much in our own lifetime."

Wilson cited the two previous circuit splits to bolster his argument.

The 10th Circuit (created out of the 8th Circuit in 1929) and the 11th Circuit (created out of the 5th Circuit in 1981) each follow precedents set by the original court.

The former governor also warned that, if any future legislation sought to force a new 12th Circuit to follow the precedent of any other circuit apart from the 9th, it "would face the gravest of challenges under the Separation of Powers doctrine and other constitutional mandates."

The current legislation before the Senate does not contain such a provision.

Supporters of a split, including 9th Circuit Judges Diarmuid O'Scannlain and Richard Tallman, also appeared at Wednesday's hearing in Washington, as did Chief Judge Mary Schroeder, who opposes the measure.

It was the latest in a number of hearings on proposals to split the circuit in recent years, with most of the witnesses repeating points they have made before.

O'Scannlain, who is based in Portland, Ore., said in an interview before the hearing that the need for the split is even more pressing now than it was in the fall of 2005, the last time the Senate debated the issue.

That's because the backlog of cases in the 9th Circuit is now 17,000, O'Scannlain said.

"The backlog is increasing," he said. "That's the highest it's ever been."

The bill that would split the 9th Circuit has failed to progress in part because of the staunch opposition of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who sits on the Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein reaffirmed her position at the hearing, saying in her opening statement that she believes efforts to split the circuit "are part of an assault on the judiciary by those who disagree with some courts' rulings."

Testifying against the split at Wednesday's hearing were Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Testifying in support of the split were Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.

Murkowski complimented the court on its use of technology to manage its large caseload, but she said a split is still necessary.

"We are treading water, but I see a tidal wave coming that technology will not help us get around," Murkowski said.

She also stressed that, although the configuration of each circuit "is not set in stone, ... any changes to the 9th Circuit should be guided by concerns of efficiency and administration, not ideology."

Wilson is a long-standing opponent of splitting the court who testified against a similar proposal in 1990, when he was a senator.

On that occasion, he argued that the proposal was "environmental gerrymandering" by those upset with some decisions by California-based judges.

Also testifying against the split at Wednesday was William Neukom, the Seattle-based former general counsel of Microsoft, who argued that the split would be bad for the business community.

The Bush administration, represented by Assistant Attorney General Rachel L. Brand, offered its support of the split legislation.

Brand highlighted the delays in the hearing of cases.

"This inefficiency impacts negatively on both the Department of Justice, as a frequent litigator in the 9th Circuit, and other parties waiting for their cases to be resolved," Brand said.

Under the current proposal in Congress, the new Phoenix-based 12th Circuit would comprise Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The new 9th Circuit would comprise California, Guam, Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Los Angeles lawyer Harvey Saferstein, who is helping to coordinate the anti-split efforts, said he believes committee members will come to realize what he perceives as the widespread opposition to the split in the legal community.

Wilson's presence helps make the point that it is a bipartisan effort, he added.

"Conservatives and liberals think this is a bad idea," Saferstein said.

Most Congress watchers don't expect the Senate to take any action on the 9th Circuit proposal because of a lack of time.

Only two weeks remain until the Senate is expected to adjourn for election season.

"It's hard to see how they can do anything this year," said University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman, an expert on the 9th Circuit.

After the hearing, Wilson said he doesn't anticipate the legislation passing this year.

"There seems to be a substantial amount of opposition," Wilson said.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

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September 20, 2006

Panel Likes Handling of Most Misconduct Cases
But Federal Judiciary Doesn't Do Well With High-Profile Complaints, It Says

By Brent Kendall
Daily Journal Staff Writer

WASHINGTON - A special committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer concluded Tuesday that the federal judiciary has done well in addressing the vast majority of misconduct complaints against judges but has come up short in a number of recent high-profile cases.

Breyer's committee found that, overall, the judiciary appropriately handled between 97 percent and 98 percent of judicial misconduct complaints filed from 2001 to 2003.

However, Breyer's committee also found that the judiciary mishandled five of 17 high-profile misconduct cases that arose between 2001 and 2005, an error rate of 29 percent.

The committee described the misconduct case against U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real of Los Angeles as one of those five high-profile missteps, though the committee did not identify Real by name in its report.

Also Tuesday, the Judicial Conference of the United States, the policymaking body for the federal courts, announced that it had adopted two new policies designed to ensure that judges comply with their ethical obligations.

The conference voted to require private organizations that sponsor judicial-education seminars to disclose all of their financial supporters. The conference also approved a measure requiring all federal courts to use computer software that flags cases in which a judge has a financial conflict of interest.

Breyer, appearing with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. at a press briefing to discuss the committee report, said the judiciary's error rate for processing high-profile misconduct complaints was "unacceptably high," especially because the public paid attention to those cases.

"The public tends to judge the judiciary based on what they read about," Breyer said.

Breyer also worried that the visible mishandling of complaints might discourage others from filing complaints.

For his part, Roberts focused on the judiciary's overall handing of complaints.

"By and large, the judiciary does an excellent job," Roberts said.

But he added, "Improvement is needed in how those [high-profile] cases are handled."

Breyer's committee offered a dozen recommendations for courts to better handle misconduct charges. Those include:

Urging the Judicial Conference to play a more active role in advising chief judges and judicial councils on how to handle complaints appropriately.

Encouraging courts, in certain circumstances, to consider stepping aside and letting another judicial circuit resolve misconduct charges.

Requiring courts to post easily available information on their Web sites explaining how individuals can file misconduct complaints.

Breyer's committee has been studying the issue since 2004, when Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist formed the special investigative panel in response to complaints from Congress.

Lawmakers, most notably House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., have criticized the federal courts for not taking appropriate steps to investigate and discipline judges accused of misconduct.

Earlier this year, Sensenbrenner proposed that Congress create an inspector general to exercise independent oversight of judges' actions, a proposal that has come under fire for raising separation-of-powers concerns.

Tuesday's report appeared to reject Sensenbrenner's criticism on a general level, while at the same time validating the congressman's concerns with respect to certain specific cases.

In addition to the Real complaint, another case the committee singled out was one involving Judge Richard D. Cudahy of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who in 2000 had leaked sealed grand-jury material related to the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the Associated Press.

Sensenbrenner filed a complaint against Cudahy, but Judge Richard Posner, then the 7th Circuit's chief judge, dismissed it after deciding that no further investigation was necessary.

The Breyer committee said Posner should have appointed a special committee to investigate the incident.

Cudahy apologized for the leak, saying it was inadvertent.

Sensenbrenner and other House Republicans also were critical of U.S. District Judge James M. Rosenbaum of Minnesota, alleging that he issued illegally lenient sentences in drug cases and misled a House Judiciary subcommittee in testimony about his sentencing practices.

Sensenbrenner filed no formal complaint in the case, but the Breyer committee's report said that the 8th Circuit's chief judge, aware of the House criticism, should have initiated his own limited inquiry into Rosenbaum's actions, even if he believed no corrective measures were necessary.

Sensenbrenner said late Tuesday that he had not had an opportunity to fully review the committee's report but was encouraged that "the committee acknowledges there have been problems with the enforcement of the judicial discipline construct in recent years, particularly in high-profile cases."

"Today's report finds the judicial branch bungled all of the matters in which the House Judiciary Committee conducted extensive oversight," he said.

The Breyer report's discussion of specific cases did not identify any judge, court or complaining party by name.

Breyer said the committee was required by law to "maintain maximum anonymity." In each of the cases the committee studied, all names were first redacted out of the complaints, he said.

Breyer stressed that, while the committee found that certain complaints were mishandled, its report did not speak to whether the judges in those cases were guilty of misconduct.

He speculated that the error rate in the handling of prominent misconduct complaints might have been higher because the cases posed more difficult questions.

In undertaking its investigation, Breyer's committee examined a subset of the 2,000 complaints filed from 2001 to 2003, including all complaints filed by attorneys. In all, the committee reviewed 700 cases.

It reviewed the high-profile cases separately, looking back over a five-year time frame.

The overwhelming majority of misconduct complaints are dismissed by the chief judges of the federal judicial circuits. On rare occasions, chief judges appoint special committees to investigate misconduct charges.

On the committee with Breyer were 8th Circuit Senior Judge Pasco M. Bowman, 4th Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, U.S. District Judges Sarah Evans Barker of Indiana and D. Brock Hornby of Maine and Sally M. Rider, Rehnquist's longtime administrative assistant.

Breyer said that, while the committee was aware of public concerns related to judges' attendance at private judicial seminars, the issue was outside of the committee's area of study.

The issue, however, was a prime focus of the Judicial Conference's biannual meeting in Washington Tuesday.

Just an hour after the release of the Breyer committee report, the conference announced its new rules related to seminars and to the mandatory use of computer software to detect financial conflicts of interest.

"It's a very strong statement by the Judicial Conference," said Chief District Judge Thomas F. Hogan of Washington, D.C., who chairs the conference's executive committee.

Under the conference's new policy on seminars, a judge cannot accept travel, food, lodging or any reimbursement for a privately sponsored event unless the organization hosting the event has disclosed publicly all its sources of financial support.

"We're going to know who these donors are," Hogan said.

Once judges attend such events, the new policy requires them to file disclosure reports on their trips within 30 days.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who has pushed legislation that would bar judges from accepting privately funded trips, praised Tuesday's action.

"The conference's new travel policy governing the many private judicial seminars held around the world is another wise reform that provides much-needed transparency that will benefit both the public and judges themselves," Leahy said.

On the issue of software screening, the conference said its new policy would supplement each judge's individual review of his or her recusal obligations related to financial conflicts.

© 2006 The Daily Journal Corporation.
All rights reserved.

Posted with permission. This file cannot be downloaded from this page. The Daily Journal's definition of reprint and posting permission does not include the downloading, copying by third parties or any other type of transmission of any posted articles.

September 20, 2006

Breyer's Committee Criticizes Dismissal of Judge Real Ethics Problem

By Lawrence Hurley
Daily Journal Staff Writer

WASHINGTON - A high-powered judicial committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer says the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals failed to respond properly to an ethics complaint against Los Angeles U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real.

The committee's report concluded that the 9th Circuit's actions were "inconsistent with our standards," as outlined in federal law governing judicial conduct investigations, in that the circuit twice dismissed the complaint and never brought disciplinary charges against Real.

Dissatisfaction on Capitol Hill with the 9th Circuit's handling of the Real case prompted the House Judiciary Committee to launch its own investigation into whether the federal judge should be impeached.

Real, who was appointed to the federal bench in 1966, is scheduled Thursday to testify before a subcommittee assigned to investigate an incident from seven years ago in which he is accused of personally helping a woman in bankruptcy proceedings after overseeing her probation in an unrelated case.

At a media briefing Tuesday, Breyer declined to comment on whether Congress is acting too hastily.

"That's for others to say," he said.

University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman, who is slated to testify at Thursday's hearing, said the commission's report was more blunt regarding the 9th Circuit's handling of the case than most experts anticipated.

"I regard that as a pretty severe criticism," he added. "You expect judges to be somewhat circumspect when they write about other judges, but they don't pull their punches here."

Breyer's report does not name Real or anyone else associated with the complaint against him, but his case is easy to identify in an anecdotal summary of badly handled misconduct cases based on the report's narrative description of what happened.

9th Circuit Chief Judge Mary Schroeder presided over two reviews of the Real complaint, but dismissed it each time. Schroeder eventually ordered a special committee to investigate the case earlier this year. But that was only after a national panel of judges reviewed the case and concluded in a 3-2 decision that they could not evaluate whether or not Real should be sanctioned because the 9th Circuit had not gathered enough information.

The two dissenting judges stated their belief that Schroeder had erred in initially failing to appoint a special committee to investigate Real.

Breyer's committee agreed, faulting Schroeder and the judicial council for dismissing the Real complaint too quickly.

The report released Tuesday points to a letter written to Real by a woman he had supervised while she was on criminal probation, Deborah Canter.

Real always has maintained that he never saw Cantor's letter seeking his assistance while her bankruptcy case was before him.

The judge has said he intervened in the bankruptcy proceeding because he believed it was part of his role as the judge overseeing Canter's probation stemming from an unrelated fraud case.

When Schroeder investigated, she determined that Real had, indeed, not read Cantor's letter.

But Breyer's committee noted that under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980, a chief judge should not make findings of fact about any issue that is in dispute.

"Whether there was ex parte communication appears to have been reasonably in dispute," the report says.

The report also quotes at length 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski's dissent to the Judicial Council's September 2005 decision not to pursue sanctions against Real. Kozinski stressed that there were, indeed, a number of facts that were in dispute.

Real has attributed the complaint to misunderstanding and has never acknowledged any misconduct.

Breyer's committee concluded that Real should have been required to "acknowledge and redress the harm," as is required under federal law, an action that could take the form of an apology, a recusal or "pledge to refrain from similar conduct."

Schroeder was traveling Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

Rep. R. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who has proposed impeaching Real, has publicly criticized the 9th Circuit's handling of the matter.

He said in July that Schroeder "effectively blew off the evidence" when she dismissed the case against Real, adding that the 9th Circuit "disappointingly, if not surprisingly, has refused to discipline him."

The 9th Circuit's special committee is due to report its findings on Real next month.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

© 2006 The Daily Journal Corporation.
All rights reserved.

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September 19, 2006

Judge Real Is Set to Testify in Washington
Federal Jurist, 81, Faces GOP Calls for Impeachment

By Lawrence Hurley
and Drew Combs
Daily Journal Staff Writers

WASHINGTON - Los Angeles-based federal judge Manuel L. Real has decided to testify at a congressional hearing in Washington this week in response to Republican-led efforts to impeach him.

The 81-year-old jurist will defend his actions in a case seven years ago in which he allegedly helped a woman in bankruptcy proceedings after overseeing her probation in an unrelated case.

Delving Into the Merits
A House Judiciary subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is leading the investigation into whether Real should be impeached for assisting Deborah Canter when she faced eviction from her house following her divorce.

Smith's spokeswoman, Beth Frigola, confirmed members of the committee will delve into the merits of the case against Real at Thursday's hearing.

"Our goal at the hearing is two-fold: determine with accuracy what actually occurred when Judge Real presided over the Canter case in 2000 and 2001; and learn more about existing impeachment precedents and whether they have any application to Judge Real's behavior," she said.

The ranking member on that subcommittee, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., who represents parts of Los Angeles, said in an interview that the Republicans are acting too quickly. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to decide soon whether to sanction Real for his conduct, Berman pointed out.

Action Is Unlikely
In any case, Berman predicted that Congress is unlikely to take any action before recessing for the November mid-term elections.

"I'm not convinced at this point that even the Republican majority is going to pursue impeachment," he said. "It seems so reckless."

Real and his attorney, Donald C. Smaltz, did not respond to telephone calls Monday seeking comment.

The 9th Circuit already reviewed the matter twice but Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder initially decided not to launch a full investigation.

A national federal panel that reviewed the case earlier this year said it could not sufficiently examine the merits of the case because the 9th Circuit had not sufficiently looked at the issue.

The negative publicity led Schroeder to order a full investigation.

For Real to face an impeachment trial, which would be held in the Senate, the House Judiciary Committee and the full House would have to vote on the resolution.

Thursday's hearing has led to a dispute between Deborah Canter's current and former lawyers.

Also scheduled to testify at the hearing is Los Angeles attorney Andrew Smyth, who represented Canter during the bankruptcy proceedings in question.

Watching from the public gallery will be her current lawyer, Michael J. Proctor.

"I don't have any agenda, one way or another, with regards to any testimony before Congress," Proctor said. "My only agenda is to ensure that Ms. Canter's rights and privileges are respected by those investigating this matter."

Proctor said he was attending the hearing in an attempt to ensure Smyth does not divulge any attorney-client confidences.

Smyth said there was no need for Proctor to watch his testimony.

"It's nonsense that [Proctor] is going back there to protect her rights," he said. "They are not after her."

Smyth said he would mostly be repeating testimony he already gave to the 9th Circuit investigation.

"I almost wonder why they are hauling me back there because I have nothing new to say," Smyth said.

But he acknowledged that he had not been subpoenaed, and was testifying out of a sense of duty to the judicial system.

Attorney-client privilege did not apply in this situation, Smyth said, because his testimony will not touch on any confidential communications and because Canter essentially waived the privilege when she disclosed her version earlier in the investigation.

Jeff Lungren, the spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, said the committee was aware of Proctor's concerns but believed they lacked merit because "Ms. Canter's behavior is not ... at issue here."

Diane Karpman, a Los Angeles lawyer and legal ethics expert, said lawyers testifying before Congress could have little choice but to divulge privileged information if it is pertinent to a committee's investigation.

"A lawyer who evokes attorney-client privilege could be held in contempt," she said. "Congress is a separate branch of government and you can't necessarily apply theories that exist in the judicial branch."

The other witnesses are two law professors who are experts in judicial ethics, Charles Geyh of Indiana University at Bloomington and Arthur Hellman of the University of Pittsburgh.

Their role will be to advise members on previous impeachment cases and whether Real's conduct merits a similar response, according to Frigola.

Stephen Yagman, the attorney who originally filed an ethics complaint against Real, is not scheduled to testify.

It was Rep. R. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who ordered the subcommittee to investigate Real, the latest of several attacks the congressman has launched on the judiciary.

Sensenbrenner wants to create an office of inspector general for the judiciary that would have the power to investigate ethics complaints.

Smyth said he was dubious of the congressman's intentions. "Sensenbrenner wants someone to oversee the courts and he is trying to make an example of [Real]."