Peter Black’s blog, Freedom to Differ, recently hosted a weekly editorial roundup of interesting articles from legal blogs around the world. Peter Black is a law lecturer at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. His blog focuses on happenings in the area of internet and media law.
I was honored to have two of my articles, this one and this one, selected for inclusion in the roundup. Thank you Mr. Black! After getting over the initial excitement, I took a moment to read some of the other posts that had been selected. I found this eye-opening post from a lawyer named Scott Greenfield who practices in New York:
“For those of us in the trenches, we see and hear a lot of things from the bench that make us cringe. From the “soft-core” improprieties of inappropriate temperament to covert bias, judges are untouchable. To grieve is to commit professional suicide, because the Commission isn’t going out on a limb over anything that subjective or lightweight. Nobody is going to spit in the face of an angry bear, unless you want your head torn off.”
Bad judges tearing lawyer’s heads off! Boy! I thought that happened only here in California.
Sad to say, my experience hasn’t been all that different from Mr. Greenfield’s. While most judges I have been before have been smart, fair and professional, there’s been a few that simply shouldn’t be on the bench deciding people’s fates. Even one bad judge who denies justice to one person is one bad judge too many. Some judges don’t even try to hide their extreme biases in favor of employers and Big Business.
And this brings up another point. When you sue someone in court, you never know what’s going to happen. If you draw a bad judge, for instance, you can pretty much kiss your suit goodbye.
Don’t believe me? Then read this article about the infamous Judge James Brooks, a California state trial court judge who treated a top trial lawyer in a ridiculous and unprofessional manner during a jury trial. Wanna guess whether the lawyer won the case for her client? Time’s up. Answer: after 30 days of grueling trial, she lost and the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial. Thank you Judge Brooks.
Ahh, bad judges. That will have to be a post of its own one of these days. I’ll put that one on my to-do list.