"The ethical rules for lawyers are minimum standards," she says. "So there are a lot of things that might not fit with your moral code or my moral code, that might not be violations of the ethics code of conduct."
Finkel does not see the situation in those terms. After the appeals court reversed the sanctions against Jakubczyk, the doctor shot off a letter of complaint to Turney. He apparently was not aware of her vision of the Bar's responsibilities.
In typical Finkel style, the letter is full of florid language and complaints about Jakubczyk. One sentence more or less sums up its main point: "What is the State Bar going to do to insure that its rules, regulations and disciplinary processes are adequate to cover developing art forms of misconduct?"
Turney's letter of reply was careful and lawyerly.
"The simple answer to your question," she wrote, "is that, according to the [appeals] court's ruling, there was no violation of its rules and, therefore, no basis to invoke disciplinary processes."
Finkel has an opinion about Turney's response. It's not careful at all.
"I pray to the Bar for relief," he says, "and they give me the finger."
During a couple of weeks of research, I was able to find eight abortion malpractice lawsuits in which John Jakubczyk has represented a plaintiff. Two of the cases are in fairly early stages, so it's hard to say how they will turn out.
In one of the cases that is complete, Jakubczyk apparently won a small amount of money for the client (one account puts it at $6,000; Jakubczyk declines to comment).
The other five netted Jakubczyk's clients nothing, as far as I can tell. Here's what his rigorous malpractice screening standards produced:
In a case that actually made it to court in 1987, a woman sought $2.1 million in damages. A jury rejected the claim.
Both malpractice suits Jakubczyk filed against Finkel were dismissed long before getting anywhere near a trial. No damages were awarded.
A 1989 suit against a doctor at the A-Z Women's Center was dismissed a little more than a year after it was filed. Again, no money was paid to Jakubczyk's client.
A 1991 action against a different doctor at A-Z Women's Center was dismissed about a year after it was filed. No money was paid. The judge's comment upon dismissal: "Plaintiffs have failed to show this court either good cause or due diligence in prosecuting these claims." (The doctor in that case was issued an advisory letter of concern from the state Board of Medical Examiners.)
There are two other cases in which Jakubczyk participated that involve reproductive care. Both suits were against doctors affiliated with a biomedical firm, and both involved amniocentesis, a procedure in which a needle is inserted into the womb of a pregnant woman to obtain fluid for analysis.
Jakubczyk said the cases belong in a different category than abortion malpractice. And the suits don't involve abortion; they involve the death of fetuses as a result of a procedure that is not abortion.
Both cases were dismissed before trial.
Several years before Finkel's clinic was targeted by the antiabortion crowd, another abortion facility, the Family Planning Institute, suffered through demonstrations by pro-life groups with which Jakubczyk was affiliated. FPI also had to pay to get an injunction to limit those illegal activities. That injunction names Jakubczyk.
I'll let Constance Bennett, FPI's executive director from 1984 to 1992, tell you about the demonstrations.
It was 1984 when Bennett came on the job, and, she says, "because I didn't know Mr. Jakubczyk, I tried to be nice."
Starting in April of that year, though, pickets started showing up every three or four weeks. They surrounded cars, she says. They were dressed in costumes. They had a band playing. They screamed at patients.
Bennett says she got letters and phone calls from people threatening to blow up the clinic. There were at least five such threats.
Her dog was killed. Windows at her home were broken. The clinic's roof was chopped open--apparently by hatchet--"multiple times," she says. The clinic's doors were Super-glued shut "at least ten times," Bennett says.
"I tell you what: They did every possible thing I could think of. They were so creative in trying to get us closed down," Bennett says.
The demonstrations resulted in arrests. Jakubczyk represented many of the demonstrators in court. Bennett says, "I was in court one year at least 30 percent of my time, because I kept getting subpoenaed by John Jakubczyk."
It cost FPI thousands of dollars to get its injunction. Bennett remembers the clinic spending more than $30,000 one year in legal fees.