Emily Goodman

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

* Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer has a challenge for you: “I defy you to tell the difference between a naked prostitute and any other naked woman.” [Dealbreaker]

* It’s not often that Cravath partners leave for other firms, but it happens. Jeffrey Smith, former head of the environmental practice at Cravath, recently decamped for Crowell & Moring. [Am Law Daily]

* Former Bush Administration DOJ official John Elwood, now a partner at Vinson & Elkins, breaks down the Office of Legal Counsel’s recently issued opinion on recess appointments. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Blawging, Flawging & the Mathematical Theory of Information. Also: what do laser hair removal in D.C. and lemon law in Wisconsin have in common? [Associate's Mind]

* Are Americans finally waking up to the higher education bubble? [Instapundit]

Professor Ann Althouse: birthday girl.

* It appears that Joseph Rakofsky, whose handling of a criminal case drew critical comment, struggles on the civil side too. Justice Emily Goodman returned a proposed order of his with this notation: “Decline to sign. Papers are incomprehensible.” [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

* If you’re a trusts and estates lawyer or a reader of fiction, consider checking out this well-reviewed new novel by Patrick James O’Connor, which takes the form of an extended last will and testament. [Amazon (affiliate link)]

* Happy Birthday, Professor Althouse! [Althouse]

Emily Jane Goodman Emily J Goodman Justice Emily J Goodman Judge Emily Goodman Above the Law.jpgWe agree that federal judicial pay needs to rise. But despite our sympathy for the cause, we’re getting tired of hearing about the need to raise salaries for federal judges. (The latest voice to weigh in on the debate, former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, is pretty random.)
So enough about federal judicial compensation. What about salaries for state court judges?
Yes, sometimes we poke good-natured fun at members of state judiciaries. But in all seriousness, state judges play a crucial role in the administration of justice — in the aggregate, arguably a larger role than federal judges (including the Supremes).
Many state court judges work long hours and perform excellent work on the bench. Many are widely admired for their diligence and their competence. And yet their pay, like that of federal judges, ain’t so hot.
Consider this email, which we publish with her permission, from the Honorable Emily Jane Goodman, a justice of the New York Supreme Court:

From: Emily Goodman
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 11:49 AM
To: AboveTheLaw Tips
Cc: Justice Emily Goodman
Subject: AboveTheLaw Tip

About the LIST OF SHAME, why not mention the salaries of NYS judges (of which I am one)?

Emily Jane Goodman

This message may have been intercepted and read by government agencies including the FBI, CIA, NSA without notice or warrant or knowledge of sender or recepient.

(By the way, we love that little disclaimer at the end about warrentless communications monitoring.)
We followed up with Justice Goodman, who offered some additional thoughts:

[A] NYS Supreme Court justice is paid $136,700 per year. We have not had a raise in 8 or 9 years; we’ve had only 2 in 2 decades! There are no COLAS, no bonuses, no outside employment. (Compare and contrast with a first year associate — you do the math!)

This is indeed troubling. Remember Dan Alterman’s estimate of $47,000, for the value of the billable hours spent on the Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell hearing — in New York Supreme Court, of all places? Two days’ worth of such hearings — a morning hearing, and an afternoon one — would easily eclipse the annual salary of the jurist hearing the case.
More from Justice Goodman on state judicial pay, after the jump.

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