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Judicial Reform

"Our government... teaches the whole people by its example.  If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."  
Justice Louis Brandeis



Nancy Swan's experience and advocacy has made her one of the nation's leading judicial reformers. For more than ten years, Nancy Swan has called upon lawmakers to reform the legal and judicial system and to provide effective whistle-blower protection. Her commentaries and articles have been published in newspapers across the nation including, USAToday, Biloxi Sun Herald, Jackson Clarion Ledger, Hattiesburg American, the Gulf Coast Mississippi Press, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Mobile Press Register, the Huntington News, and The Charleston Gazette.

On August 1, 2002, Nancy Swan spoke to a packed house of thousands of professionals at a special session of the Mississippi legislature and told her story.  She told that her case had been so corrupted "it could not be heard in Mississippi courts."

Two months later, on October 9, 2002, the Associated Press reported that the U. S. Department of Justice was investigating Paul Minor, Nancy's former attorney, and Harrison County Circuit Court judge John Whitfield, Nancy's former judge, on charges of bribery, fraud, and racketeering. It was Nancy Swan's discovery about loans to judges, revealed in one of her article series, that had sparked the investigation.

Six months after her speech to the legislature the Mississippi Supreme Court revised the Mississippi Code of Judicial Conduct. Five years later, Mr. Minor and former Judge John Whitfield were convicted by a jury for their part in a judicial bribery scheme and sentenced to ten years in a federal prison. Both men are appealing their convictions.

Nancy Swan spoke on Capital Hill at the 2008 Citizen’s Forum on Judicial Accountability, and told the story of the five judges in her case. She has been interviewed by the Biloxi Mississippi Sun Herald and the Jackson Mississippi, Clarion Ledger interviewed Nancy for background information.

Nancy Swan writes articles and speaks to organizations and the community to urge greater oversight and transparency in judicial accountability. She has been interviewed by magazine editors, news reporters and editors, television personalities and on radio, and has been quoted on organization websites and in national press releases. She advocates to:
  • educate the public about the function and failures of legal and judicial ethical institutions and complaint systems,
  • require transparency and public hearings of legal and judicial ethical complaints,
  • provide federal protection from harassment and retaliation for legal or judicial whistle blowers, those who report corruption in the public or private sector, and those who file legal and judicial complaints,
  • support an enforceable and effective bill of rights for legal consumers which will spell out rights of consumers, the obligations of lawyers and judges, and the method of reporting misconduct,
  • support legislative action to reform and enforce judicial ethical codes,
  • hold state and federal agencies accountable for failure to enforce judicial ethical standards.
Nancy serves as Advisory Board Vice President of POPULAR Inc., an association of public interest attorneys and law school graduates to address civil and criminal justice system reforms. She is co administrator of the POPULAR's prestigious "Restore Integrity Award." Nancy's account of her legal difficulties has been selected as a case study to be addressed at a planned 2010 summit on legal reform by POPULAR Inc., to be co-sponsored by law schools, consumer groups, bar associations, judicial institutes.

She serves on the Strategic Planning and Management Board for the National Forum on Judicial Accountability (NFOJA), which will be holding state and Community Forums on Judicial Accountability.

As a human rights activist and member of Amnesty International, the author was selected as state delegate leader.

Bookmark the Nancy Swan's home page or your favorite pages and visit frequently for updated news, postings, and blogs entries.  Subscribe to her blog page and learn more by visiting the resources provided at the end of each subpage.

Follow Nancy on Twitter and join her on Facebook.  If you have questions or comments email Nancy at nswan342(at)gmail(dot)com.