Clerkships, Vicious Infighting

Sectarian Violence in the Federal Courts: Career Clerks v. Non-Career Clerks

An email from a federal district court clerk regarding a pending proposal that would harm career clerks vis-a-vis non-career clerks has apparently touched off an email war between the career clerks and the non-clerks. The original email, and every subsequent email, is being sent to every single district court clerk in the country. According to one of our tipsters, about 40 shots have been fired over the last couple of hours. This is the only one we have so far:

Because the cause of career law clerks apprently takes precedence over the rules of decorum, professionalism, and email etiquette, and because numerous (earnest) pleas to cease sending unsolicited emails to the the “all reply” list have gone unheeded, I have decided to share with the law clerks of the country a list of some of my favorite tater-tot recipies. As my first installment, here is the recipie for my world famous Tater Tot Casserole:
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag tater tots
shredded cheese
1 lb of ground hamburger meat
serves: 6 or 7
Brown hamburger meat. Add cream of mushroom soup and stir together continuously.
Let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
Place mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Lay tater tots neatly on top of the mixture.
Place in oven on 350′ and let the tater tots brown.
Sprinkle with cheese; melt it in the oven and ENJOY.

If you’re a federal district court clerk, or if you’ve been forwarded any part of this war, please send it to us.
The original email, which is boring and contains multiple typos, is available for explanatory purposes only, after the jump.

Here is the original email:

Dear Fellow Law Clerks,
By way of introduction, I am a career law clerk in the Eastern
District of Michigan. In our District, 37 or the 82 (district, circuit,
magistrate and bankruptcy) law clerks are “career” law clerks. As you may
or may not know, the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Judicial Resources
(JRC) presently is considering the Proposed Options of its Compensation
Study Working Group which include a number of cost-cutting proposals
targeting career law clerks. Career clerks in our District, as well as a
number of the District’s judges, submitted comments urging the JRC to
reject the Working Group’s proposals. (A copy of our letter was forwarded
by our Chief Judge Bernard Friedman to the Chief Judges of your courts, and
a few of you have emailed us indicating that the letter has been shared
with you. If you have not seen it but would like to, we’d be glad to send
you a copy.) In late June, the JRC will meet to consider whether to
recommend the Working Group’s Proposed Options to the Judicial Conference.
There will be a second “comment” period following the JRC’s issuance of its
recommendations and before the Judicial Conference votes to take action in
September. That is why we are writing to you now.
In preparing our comments to the Working Group, we noted that none of
its proposals affect any of the other categories of judicial employees,
such as judicial secretaries and court reporters. These groups of
employees are organized nationally and we understand that at least the
court reporters have been very active in monitoring/lobbying to prevent any
changes in their current salary structures. As law clerks, we do not have
a national organization. Thus, before sending our comments to the JRC, we
did not have enough time to identy and seek out input or concurrence from
career law clerks in other courts. We wish that we had been able to do so,
as our comments possibly would carry more weight if they came from a
broader representation of the Judiciary’s career law clerks. However, if
the JRC decides, nothwithstanding our comments, to concur in and recommend
adoption of the Working Group’s proposals, we will have one more chance to
urge the Judicial Conference to reject such recommendations during the
second comment period.
We are attempting to compile an e-mail list of the Judiciary’s career
law clerks in order to make future communications between us possible and
to create an avenue to share information about proposals or other
information affecting us that only a segment of us discover through
happenstance. The list will be particularly important because of the lack
of notice which was provided when the recent proposals were posted on the
J-Net, and the extremely short period to comment. Having a national list
will help ensure that career clerks will be notified about any
proposals/recommendations and comment periods, whether or not they choose
to join any unified letters.
If you are a career law clerk and are interested in being included in
this list, please let me know. If you have not received a copy of the
Working Group’s proposals and/or our letter and would like a copy, please
let me know that as well. Finally, while we have attempted to reach all
law clerks, we discovered that some courts do not have “law clerk” mail
lists. For those courts, through the use of the Judicial Yellow Book and
the various court websites, we think we have identified most of you, but
I’m sure we missed a few. So, please feel free to share this e-mail with
other career law clerks in your courts.
We look forward to hearing from you!

(hidden for your protection)

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