Judge of the Day

Don’t mess with the bus driver.

We’ve covered odd judicial penalties now and again, and there’s a legitimate debate as to the appropriateness of public humiliation as a legal remedy for wrongdoing.

Or, as we see next week in Cleveland, a woman forced to wear an “idiot” sign on the corner where she was caught busting some Crazy Taxi moves — in order to get around a school bus filled with children.

And of course, we have video of this gonzo driver, so you can see for yourself if her punishment was warranted….

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Judge Susan McDunn

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore famously alluded to “powerful forces and powerful interests” that were out to get ordinary Americans. He received derision from some quarters for his vague invocation of mysterious forces that were conspiring to keep the people down — but maybe he had a point? As Henry Kissinger famously observed, “Even a paranoid has some real enemies.”

This brings us to the first of our two Judges of the Day, both out of the Chicago area. The first claims that she is “being persecuted extensively by many people in many ways.”

Let’s learn about the mysterious forces who are supposedly causing trouble for this jurist. Does she have actual enemies, or is she simply cuckoo in Cook County?

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Today, playing the role of the scary black man, Jay-Z.

In a perfect dose of Friday news, a New York judge cited Jay-Z while allowing a lawsuit brought by public housing residents to continue against the City of New York.

The public housing residents and their visitors claim Fourth Amendment violations when visitors are detained as “trespassers” in public housing complexes. The city moved to kill the suit, but Judge Shira Scheindlin (S.D.N.Y. issued an 84-page opinion saying that the public housing residents could pursue their claims.

Normally, I throw my lot in with the segment of humanity who would rather be eating Brussels sprouts at a Phil Collins concert than reading 84-page public housing decisions. But Judge Scheindlin threw a Jay-Z reference into one of her footnotes. Fun! Unless you hate black people, in which case Judge Scheindlin is deeply subversive…

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Along with all the wonders and ease of technology — the world wide web at your fingertips, the ability to send photos of your family vacations from the top of a mountain — there are also some serious accompanying risks. Like the possibility of forgetting to delete a stray picture of your privates and accidentally showing it to a colleague in the middle of a cellphone slideshow of otherwise innocent family and church photos.

Oops.

But that’s what former Philadelphia traffic court judge Willie Singletary did. He resigned several months ago over the blunder, and now he’s been officially called out by the state’s Judicial Discipline Committee…..

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On one level, your name is pretty damn meaningless. Many people aren’t actually called by their names that often. Instead, people just yell: “Dude,” “Hey You,” “Boss,” “sweet cheeks”… whatever.

But on another level, your name is one of a relatively few possessions that are truly yours.

So what happens if your name simply doesn’t fit into who you are? You can change it, right? Sure, unless you happen to be a transgendered person appearing in front of one particular judge in Oklahoma. Ain’t no gender-bending name games in this Judge of the Day’s courtroom…

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August seemed like it was a relatively lazy month for lawyers. Nobody did anything too crazy — except, of course, for our Lawyer of the Month nominees. As usual, we’ve got some pretty interesting characters in our line up for the honored and revered title.

Which attorney allegedly got a blow job from a client in the county jail? Which judge allegedly drew a bull’s-eye on an attorney’s picture and displayed it in his courtroom? And which attorney allegedly tried to extort jewels and riches from her former flame, a lawyerly Lothario?

Take a look at our nominees for August’s Lawyer of the Month and find out….

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Turns out judges sometimes value guns just as much as the rest of “real” America. We’ve covered judges who inappropriately brandish firearms from the bench, but as far as I know, I’ve never heard of a judge actually shooting his gun inside a courthouse.

Until today.

A state judge in Tioga County, NY, was censured after he fired his revolver inside his chambers. Was he shooting at a dangerous criminal? Nooope. It was an unfortunate technical malfeasance. It probably didn’t help that the reason he had a conceal-carry permit was because he approved his own….

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Covering state judges NEVER gets old. They flip out at pastors, they brandish guns at alleged rape victims, and they make incredible campaign ads. If there’s some wonky human behavior, you can assume a state judge has done it or soon will.

This week, we’ve got a recent (and reluctant) ex-judge from Georgia who faces allegations of propositioning a woman to be his mistress. When she declined and talked to the press, the woman claims the judge planted drugs on her car.

And, according to state officials investigating the judge, this might be just the beginning of the trouble he’s in….

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Bullseye!

The last time we wrote about a partner from Cozen O’Connor, he ended up with a “huge [bleep]hole” after sending a string of allegedly abusive emails to opposing counsel. Today, we’ve got another Cozen partner whose tale of woe with the New York court system may be liable for giving a New York judge a “huge [bleep]hole” of his own.

John McDonough, the Cozen partner in question, has accused Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack of some pretty untoward actions, and has filed papers to get the judge to recuse himself from a $100 million civil case against Duane Reade.

But what could have been so offensive that it would warrant calls for a judge’s recusal? Apparently McDonough isn’t a fan of being referred to as a “piece of sh*t”….

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Except when you're at work, duh.

Sometimes work is boring, yes. You do what you gotta do to pass the time. Facebook, Gawker, Above the Law… there are endless amounts of entertainment on the ol’ internet with which one can pass a dull afternoon.

So, with all the PG procrastination tools available online, it should not be that hard to just wait to watch porn until you get home!

Unfortunately, a state judge in Illinois allegedly couldn’t get to the end of the day without some visual inspiration. Now he’s in hot water over accusations that he was looking at hot websites while he was on the job.

Keep reading to learn more about our horn dog Judge of the Day, as well as the names of some of the sites he allegedly visited (don’t lie perverts, you know you’re curious)….

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