Who We Are . . .
Doris L. Sassower
J.D., New York University
Law School, Co-Founder. Renowned
nationally as a pioneer feminist and leader of the women's
rights movement before the movement was recognized as a
movement, "mother of joint custody," and well known for her work
as a divorce law and judicial reformer, she had a distinguished
35-year career at the bar (Martindale-Hubbell
Law Directory, 1989 ed.), with her own law firm, when, as a
result of her judicial whistleblowing, she was viciously
retaliated against in June 1991 by a due processless
politically-motivated suspension of her law license for having
sought to expose the corruption of judicial elections by
powerful party bosses in both Republican and Democratic parties.
As pro bono counsel to the Ninth Judicial Committee,
CJA's predecessor grassroots local group, in 1990, she
challenged a corrupt bipartisan political deal for
cross-endorsement of seven judges over a three-year period in
the Ninth Judicial District of New York (the infamous
"Three-Year Deal" in the groundbreaking case of Castracan v.
Colavita, et al. SEE
Where Do You Go When Judges Break the Law?, CJA's
$16,770 Op-Ed page ad, New York Times (October 26, 1994);
Restraining 'Liars in the Courtroom' and on the Public Payroll,
CJA's $3,077 ad, New York Law Journal (August 27, 1997).
In 1997, Doris won the
National Giraffe Award, recognizing “the courageous actions”
of “those who stick their necks out for the public good.”
She died in October 2019, eulogized by her daughter
Elena Ruth Sassower
B.A., Brown University,
Co-Founder and Director of CJA. She is the daughter of not just
one judicial whistleblower, Doris L. Sassower, but two. Her
father, who died in January 2019, was
George Sassower, who -- years before her mother -- was
viciously retaliated against and stripped of his law license.
Having been raised by such courageous legal giants, Elena
formally joined the battle against judicial corruption in 1990.
She is the moving force behind CJA's commitment to
evidence-based advocacy. Among her battle scars, her six-month
incarceration in 2004 on a trumped-up "disruption
of Congress" charge for respectfully requesting to testify
about documentary evidence establishing the corruption of a
federal judicial nominee at the U.S. Senate Judiciary
Committee's public hearing on his confirmation.
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professor of biochemistry, Tulane University School of Medicine
and Consultant and professor of biochemistry, Mayo Clinic and
Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He is an advocate for ethical
reform as it applies to judicial conflict of interest and the
constitutional rights of litigants and a proponent of
legislation to broaden and enforce judicial codes of conduct and
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more coming soon