Some questions from the readers are always welcome - and I've certainly been getting a few of those, in posts & emails these past weeks.
Many of you are surprised as to the level of coverage my case got in the Scotsman & other newspapers - which can be viewed in my Flikr Photo Album
Well, the Scotsman newspaper certainly did play a big part in boosting the presence of my case, where crooked lawyer Andrew 'Fraudster' Penman of Stormonth Darling Solicitors, Kelso , robbed my family.
My eternal gratitude goes to the Scotsman of course, for their perseverance in covering my case - which brought out a few other stories on crooked lawyers too, and would you believe - actually caused the Scotsman to come out against self-regulation by the Law Society of Scotland and call for the independent regulation in several Scotsman editorials, which we are now about to get for complaints against solicitors in the forthcoming Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill
However, as some of you wonder, and was recently pointed out in the Scotsman comment forums Here .. the legal profession in Scotland certainly flex their muscle when it comes to quashing stories of crooked lawyers - and the Scotsman, sadly, fell to this fate several years ago, just after the 2001 "Regulation of the Legal Profession" Inquiry by Christine Grahame's Justice 1 Committee started to fiddle the terms of it's investigation in 2002.
The Law Society of Scotland - knowing full well, a queue of victims testifying at the Scottish Parliament Justice 1 Committee over hordes of crooked lawyers, wouldn't look good for it's image, persuaded the Scotsman group to drop stories on crooked lawyers, otherwise advertising from legal firms would be pulled - and all those lovely little lawyers offices up and down the breadth of Scotland wouldn't be buying a daily copy of the Scotsman newspaper. Circulation at the time, was bad, and the threat from the lawyers was enough to curb said articles on crooked lawyers ... but worse was to come .. the Law Society insisted on having a few lawyers on the staff - able to write pro legal profession articles and undo some of the damage caused by the likes of my coverage ... and that is why we have the likes of Campbell Deane, Donald Reid, Jenny Veitch & others twittering away on the glories of being a lawyer - and how honest the legal profession really is - while victims should be executed for protesting their cases.
A few memos flew around on poor old me ... "Don't cover Peter Cherbi" .. "If an email comes in from PC .. send it up to the legal team" ... and a few more colourful ones too ... but it got too much for one of the news editors to take, so he told me all about it .. showed me the evidence .. and that was it .. not much more about crooked lawyers in the Scotsman.
Wait a minute though ... I hear you say .. 'that's censorship, isn't it ?' - Well, yes it is. Quite right, it's censorship. The Law Society of Scotland, have censored the press.
It still happens though .. remember the article in the Herald newspaper titled "Would Granny swear by the Law Society ?", which I first covered here : The Corrupt Link Revealed - How the Law Society of Scotland manages client complaints & settlements
Well, the Law Society of Scotland went into war with the Herald newspaper, even threatening the careers of Journalists unless a retraction was printed of the 5th June article which reported on Douglas Mill, the Law Society Chief Executive, giving conflicting evidence to the Justice 2 Committee on his meddling with client claims - Mill's evidence appeared even more conflicting, after being challenged by John Swinney MSP with productions of memos which completely contradicted Mill's claims of innocence.
Read the Herald's forced 'clarification' of the content of the 5th June 'Granny swearing' article, which I covered here ; Law Society of Scotland claims success in gagging the press over Herald newspaper revelations of secret case memos
However, Douglas Mill & the Law Society were not content with the Herald's short 'clarification' .. since they wanted a full retraction of the story ... so they got hired gun Jennifer Veitch to do a rebuttal article in the very next day's edition of the Scotsman - which I covered here Scotsman responds to Peter Cherbi and the Herald with a living eulogy of Douglas Mill
I have to say, that photo of Douglas Mill creeps me out .. Someone said he looks like Julius Streicher - a prominent Nazi who was executed at Nuremberg for his hate publishing newspapers which incited the execution of ethnic groups including the Jews. If you Google Julius Streicher, there are a few pictures which are strikingly similar to Mill .... and from what I hear, Mill has certainly no love for those of us who stand up for justice against the legal profession .... so we better watch out on these past examples - because as we all know, even the legal profession sometimes eat their own , never mind eating the clients or complainers !
Oddly enough - after the attack on Leslie Cumming (almost within a few minutes, actually), senior members of the Law Society including Douglas Mill held private briefings & chats with journalists, demanding they run stories on those of us who questioned the honesty of the legal profession. I, Peter Cherbi, was particularly to 'get it in the neck' on this one.
Luckily for me, I had been quick off the mark and covered the Leslie Cumming story too, after getting tips from a Law Society insider and several journalists there was going to be "an all out attempt made to silence critics such as Peter Cherbi". I covered the Cumming attack story in my MSN blog on January 28th 2006, here : Major move by the Law Society of Scotland to silence critics in the wake of assault on one of it's top members
Sure enough - later that day, Scotland on Sunday contacted me for quotes on the Cumming attack .. because the Law Society of Scotland were demanding that all websites, publishing & anything or anyone to do with exposing corruption within the legal profession, should be shut down, but in the hurry to get quotes from me, Scotland on Sunday also mentioned my blog .. which certainly gave me a wee boost !. Read the Scotland on Sunday article in my blog post here : Scotland on Sunday's article on the Leslie Cumming attack
Now, that's censorship ! I don't blame the Scotsman group - it wasn't their fault - the Law Society of Scotland were obviously hungry for blood (having spilled it from one of their own in questionable & unresolved circumstances) ... and I was certainly a good target as you can see ... but good thing I have my head screwed on properly, and know what to say & when to say it. A Scotsman insider later said ... 'You did just fine, Pete.. they were hoping for a happy reaction to the attack from you but you were as good as gold and threw it right back to them" ... good thing too !
If I could just say this to the Scotsman - Please, lads, run the stories on the crooked lawyers. People are being ruined by those who purport to uphold & represent the law. Everyone surely has the right to get the same kind of exposure I got in the paper. Give these people a chance, and dump all those pro legal profession stories which are simply there to kill off criticism of what we all know is a very corrupt profession. But ... thank you, for my coverage, and thank you for giving me the platform to speak to others & hopefully use the publicity I get, to help others, and of course, to ultimately help bring in the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill - which, without all those Scotsman articles on my case, I think would have been a lot more difficult to campaign for.
My message to politicians. Why don't you help us ? Do you hate us so much because we bring to your attention things which should not be ? Are you so much in the back pocket of the Law Society & it's allies, you are afraid to stand up to them ? Not one outraged politician has ever stood up and helped me, bar Phil Gallie. Why is that ? and why have so many other constituents across Scotland been refused help by msps when it comes to crooked lawyers or their allies ?
This, is the power of the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish legal profession visible for all to see - and this is why we must have a fully independent complaints system against lawyers - and why we must also have a review of how the Law Society has conducted itself in the past towards many clients whom have been purposely ruined to protect crooked lawyers.