We’re taking some trips down memory lane this week at Above the Law. Yesterday we wrote about Peter John, a Lawyer of the Day from 2007.
Today we bring you news about Herman Thomas, a Judge of the Day from 2007. He was accused of improperly paddling prisoners, but was acquitted at trial.
Now he’s exploring new opportunities in the political realm. From WKRG:
Three months after he was found not guilty of paddling and sexually abusing inmates, former Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas is running for State Senate.
“I wish to continue my commitment to serve my community that has done so much for me and my family,” Thomas said.
Like acquitting you on charges of spanking male prisoners and trading favorable treatment for sexual favors?
Herman Thomas isn’t the first former judge to go into politics. Over the years, there has been significant movement between the judicial and the legislative branches. (Linda Greenhouse has this nice write-up of the phenomenon.)
But ex-Judge Thomas’s move still seems a bit… random. Could there be another reason he’s running for elected office?
Remember Judge Herman Thomas? He’s the former Alabama state court judge who was accused of spanking male prisoners, trading favorable treatment for sexual favors, and improperly interfering on behalf of a cousin in legal trouble.
Judge Thomas challenged the charges at trial, and this afternoon the jury returned its verdict. From the Mobile Press-Register:
Herman Thomas has been found not guilty on charges of sex abuse, sodomy and assault. The jury initially returned seven not guilty verdicts on five sex abuse charges, one sodomy charge and one assault charge and reported they were deadlocked on the remaining counts. Judge Claud Neilson dismissed those deadlocked charges against the former Mobile County Circuit Court judge.
* At the Supreme Court, much ado about a cross. [Washington Post (Robert Barnes); Washington Post (Dana Milbank)]
* Former Heller Ehrman partners deny that the firm was insolvent in 2007. [Am Law Daily]
* The new Honduran government, which came to power through a coup, has hired lawyers and law firms — including Lanny Davis, who recently moved from Orrick to McDermott — to defend its legitimacy. [New York Times]
* And there may be more work for antitrust lawyers, thanks to a new Justice Department invesitgation of IBM. [Reuters]
* Key Democratic lawyers agree to allow Guantanamo detainees to be transferred to the U.S. for trial. [Washington Post]
* Prosecutors drop one victim from the case, but Judge Herman “Who Needs A Spanking?” Thomas still faces charges dozens of counts related to 14 other victims. [CNN]
* No, it’s not your imagination: Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign commercials are making fun of former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (pictured) for being fat. (Disclosure: We worked as an AUSA under Christie from 2003 until 2006.) [New York Times]
For long-time readers of Above The Law, Herman Thomas is a familiar name. He’s the former Alabama state court judge who allegedly enjoyed spanking male prisoners, traded favorable treatment for sexual favors, and improperly interfered on behalf of a cousin in legal trouble.
He gave up the paddle gavel two years ago. Now he’s headed to trial.
From the Associated Press:
Chief Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson said authorities began looking at Thomas after he changed a jail sentence in 2006 for his cousin, former Mobile County school commissioner David Thomas, even though the case was being handled by another judge. Other cases that Thomas had taken over from other judges without their approval soon surfaced, she said.
And what happened to the prisoners in the cases commandeered by Thomas?
Oooh boy. What is it about jurists with the surname “Thomas”?
More lurid allegations are being made against Judge Herman Thomas, the Alabama state court judge who allegedly likes to spank male prisoners. From the Mobile Press-Register:
In affidavits filed in support of Michael Dewayne Anderson’s 2003 federal suit against Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas, three men made similar accusations about Thomas.
John Richardson said he saw Thomas “constantly” driving up his block to pick up a neighbor. That neighbor, Richardson said, “told me that as long as he plays the sex game with Judge Thomas, he wouldn’t have to worry about staying in jail.”
Nathaniel Agee said Thomas “inflicted burden and humiliation in my life.”
“Herman and I started off going fishing together, hanging out together. He would even drop by my house early some morning(s), and say he wanted to talk.”
Brokeback Pond? Apparently so:
Thomas increased the visits to his home, Agee said, “but when he found out my children were there, he started to become angry because we couldn’t be alone with each other. I tried to explain to Judge Thomas that it was all right to be friends and hang out, but I’m not into sexual relationships with a man.”
Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas is ATL’s Judge of the Day. He takes the prize for his innovative approach to sentencing. From the Mobile Press-Register:
Authorities are investigating allegations that now-suspended Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas periodically removed prisoners from Mobile County Metro Jail and spanked them in a room at the courthouse, according to courthouse sources involved in the inquiry.
Once inside the room, according to the sources, the judge would ask the young men to drop their pants and prepare to be spanked with what they described as a wooden or fraternity-like paddle.
To quote ex-inmate Paris Hilton, “That’s hot.” We agree with these commenters:
“[I]n San Francisco we have lots of people who pay $200 a session for that kind of treatment. Perhaps this judge has a bright future in Bay Area.”
“That’s some kinky place. I think Senator Larry Craig would like to break INTO that prison!”
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
Whether you’re fresh off the bar exam or hitting your stride after hanging a shingle a few years ago, one thing’s for certain: independent attorneys who start a solo or small-law practice live with a certain amount of stress.
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