Deborah Tyner

shopping bags Above the Law blog.jpgBack in August, we named Judge Deborah Tyner our ATL Judge of the Day. The Honorable Debbie ditched her judicial duties to go shopping, which struck us as absolutely fabulous.
Now Judge Tyner has a kindred spirit. Meet Cynthia Garris, a Virginia defense lawyer. From the Virginian Pilot:

A local lawyer has been disciplined by the Virginia State Bar for telling a judge she had to postpone a case because of a commitment in another court when in fact she went shopping instead.

Defense attorney Cynthia D. Garris received a public reprimand from the State Bar, according to an announcement Friday. The reprimand does not affect her law license.

Garris, whose office is at 132 W. Olney Road, told a Norfolk Circuit Court judge last summer that she had to postpone a case because of a court commitment in Williamsburg.

The judge later found out she had gone on a shopping excursion instead. The judge found Garris in contempt and fined her $250.

The judge may have acted hastily. What was Garris shopping for? If shoes were involved, the contempt finding was unwarranted.
Garris should get her $250 back. That money could buy a decent (but not fabulous) pair of shoes.
P.S. Cynthia, if you’re looking to join a big firm, take a look at Bryan Cave
Norfolk lawyer rebuked for delaying case to go shopping [Virginian Pilot]
Earlier: Above the Law Judge of the Day: Deborah Tyner

deborah tyner judge.jpgOver at the WSJ Law Blog, they have a “Judge of the Day” feature (see, e.g., here). We like the idea so much that we’re going to start up our own version.
But as you’ll see from our choices, our “Judge of the Day” selection criteria are a bit different. Our inaugural ATL Judge of the Day is the Honorable Deborah Tyner, of the Oakland County Circuit Court. Here’s why she deserves this honor:

A suburban Detroit judge who was filmed shopping, working out at a gym and visiting a spa during repeated absences from the bench last winter says she will leave at year’s end.

WDIV-TV followed [Judge] Tyner for several weeks last winter and reported that she repeatedly left the courthouse at lunchtime and did not return to the bench. Tyner said then that she had done nothing wrong and was caught up with her cases.

Shopping excursions? Spa visits? Regular work-outs at the gym? This jurist has her priorities straight. She’s fabulous!
Quite frankly, we don’t understand the “scandal” here. If a judge gets her work done, why can’t she check out a little early, and treat herself to a hot stone massage?
Law clerks and law firm associates have to put in face time, sure. But judges? What’s the point of being on the bench if you can’t play hooky every now and then?
Mich. Judge to Leave the Bench [Associated Press]
Oakland Judge to Leave Bench [Detroit Free Press]