Judge of the Day

It has been a bad week for those poor naïve souls who imagine judges as wizened, white-haired, grandfatherly figures. At least at the state level, we are learning about judges with tempers more along the lines of grumpy pitbulls than anything else.

This week, we heard about a judge in Washington who has been charged by a state judicial board with violating codes of conduct. The Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct accused Judge John Wulle of failing to “to maintain order and decorum in proceedings” and engaging “in a pattern of discourteous, impatient and undignified behavior.”

So, how exactly did Judge Wulle allegedly misbehave? Let’s take a read, and, even better, we’ve got video….

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Divorce, so I hear, is not a fun experience. Emotions run high, hearts get broken, money has to be divided among hostile parties. The last thing you want when you’re going through divorce is to have the judge handling your case scream at you in court, in front of your soon-to-be ex-wife, threatening to put you in jail, and saying he dislikes you so much that he should recuse himself from the case.

Sounds pretty terrible, right? Maybe even unbelievable? Well, straight from West Virginia, we’ve got video of our Judge of the Day doing just that…

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Alameda County Judge Paul Seeman

Usually when we talk about judges in the United States, we give them a pass on the old saying, “judge not, lest you be judged,” seeing as judging is kind of their job and whatnot.

Not so much for one local judge in Alameda County, California. This jurist has been arrested for allegedly financially abusing an elderly woman who was his neighbor.

As of last night, our Judge of the Day was languishing in a cell in the district he used to preside over. Where did the veteran jurist, who had long worked in juvenile justice, go wrong?

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Some people might imagine that attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals stop interacting with the legal system once they leave the courtroom or their law firm offices. At Above the Law, we know better.

Over the last couple of months, we have seen attorneys chase down muggers on foot and open fire on burglars. Today, we hear about a San Francisco judge who become a victim as a result of her in-court kindness.

The Honorable Lillian Sing, our Judge of the Day, didn’t do anything particularly crazy, other than have the misfortune of parking her car in the wrong place at the wrong time, while trying to help the wrong defendant…

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Reema Bajaj: lawyer accused of prostitution

Let’s take a break from the sad and serious story of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s downfall and turn (or return) our attention to another kind of going down. In more salacious, racy fare, we bring you updates about female legal eagles who have flown high in these pages before — and now might find themselves crashing earthward.

The first is Reema N. Bajaj, a beautiful young Illinois lawyer who has been accused — perhaps unfairly — of prostitution charges. The second is Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas, a Canadian judge whose nude photos made their way to the internets.

So what’s the latest news about Bajaj and Douglas? Here’s a hint: What does each share in common with Bill Clinton?

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Judge Wade McCree

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, another judge goes and pulls a Weiner. In case you haven’t heard, Wade McCree, a state judge from Michigan, has been accused of sending nearly-nude photos to a bailiff via sext message. That’s right, we’ve got judicial divos posing for male pin-up shots right here in America (sorry to steal your Canadian thunder, Madam Justice Lori Douglas).

As they say on the internet, TTIWWOP — “This Thread Is Worthless Without Pictures.” Well, we’ve got one (safe for work, of course)….

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Judge William Alsup

With proceedings in the “World Series” of high-tech law cases underway (aka Oracle v. Google), lawyers have discovered that the judge overseeing the matter is, well… kind of a hard ass.

His idea of work/life balance? Seemingly nonexistent. He arrives at work no later than 5:30 a.m. This judicial drill sergeant reportedly gets his workouts in by running up and down the stairs of the 20-floor federal building where he works. And most of all, he’s a stickler for the rules — he likes a quiet courtroom.

Got a cough? Need to sneeze? You’d be better off calling in sick than entering this man’s courtroom….

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Over the past week, while the Bay Area has been rainy, windy, and generally ugly outside, folks in my old Chicago stomping grounds have been enjoying the upside of global warming.

I know the sun is a nice, unexpected reprieve from the nine-month Midwestern winter. Unfortunately, the mini-heatwave has not brought any relief from the hot air that notoriously blows from government buildings in Cook County.

Earlier this month, a local judge was unceremoniously removed from her courthouse and arrested for assault. My colleague Staci Zaretsky might have called her a judicial diva, but I think this jurist is more of a Mike Tyson type…

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Montana Chief Judge Richard Cebull

Montana Chief Judge Richard Cebull started the first day of the rest of his life today. The judge who sent around a racist and sexist email about Barack Obama and the president’s dead mother started the “damage control” process that will never really end.

Richard Cebull could emancipate slaves and everybody would still know he’s a racist. Obviously, his family and friends already knew he was racist, but now the general public gets to know. There’s nothing for it now. Whether or not he will still be allowed to have a job is pretty much all he can fight for.

And he is: he’s voluntarily asked the Ninth Circuit to review his conduct. And he’s written a letter of apology to President Obama — who is rapidly on his way to becoming the most poorly treated president in American history (even though the last one was openly thought to be mentally retarded, and the one before that was impeached for getting a BJ).

But we’ll get to all that. First, free of charge, I’m going to slow down long enough let everybody catch up to why the original letter was racist, and why sending the thing makes Cebull a racist, too….

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Chief Judge Richard Cebull

We mentioned this last night in Non-Sequiturs, but it merits more coverage. Judge Richard F. Cebull, current chief judge for the District of Montana, admitted to forwarding a racially charged joke about President Barack Obama from his courthouse email account. Chief Judge Cebull, a graduate of the University of Montana Law School and a former federal magistrate judge, was appointed to the district court by President George W. Bush in 2001. One of the readers who brought this story to our attention described Cebull as “a good judge.”

A good judge who tells bad jokes. Let’s get to what you all want to know: What was the joke? And was it offensive, or funny, or both?

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