Judge of the Day

Does this sign also mean no blacks or women allowed?

It’s the ruling that is splitting the Sixth Circuit apart. A federal bankruptcy judge, George Paine II, belongs to an all-white country club in Nashville. But there is a pesky judicial code of conduct that says that judges “should not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin,” according to the New York Times (gavel bang: ABA Journal).

That seems cut and dry to me. An all-white, all-male country club sounds a hell of a lot like an organization practicing “invidious discrimination.” But I’m not on the Sixth Circuit.

And the Sixth Circuit essentially told Judge Paine: guys in my high school used to belong to discriminatory clubs all the time, it was no big deal.

In a 10-8 decision, the circuit decided to allow Paine to continue his membership in the club and on the bankruptcy court.

So that code of judicial conduct means what exactly?

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Judge Philip Kirk

On Monday, Judge Philip Kirk of Wisconsin sentenced Delton D. Gorges, a 71-year-old former bus driver, to seven years in prison. Gorges was convicted on charges of sexually assaulting boys, after pleading no contest.

Judge Kirk had some odd words for the defendant at sentencing. Most notably, he told Gorges: “I think you were born gayer than a sweet-smelling jock strap.”

(I’m sorry, but is anyone else finding this transcript a little titillating? Maybe even Judge Kirk?)

Judge Kirk — today’s Judge of the Day, naturally — also expressed skepticism toward Gorges’s claim of heterosexuality: “I think that if anyone believes that in the last 10 years or 15 years all of a sudden you developed an interest in homosexuality and young boys, then I must have looked ravishing in my prom dress this year.”

(Well, Your Honor, you do wear a little black dress — well before the start of cocktail hour.)

Okay. Can we get some context up in here?

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What is up with judges in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area? Why are they such bad drivers?

Last month, Justice Antonin Scalia got into a fender-bender in northern Virginia. According to at least one witness, he was at fault — and got ticketed for it.

Today we learn about the roadway misadventures of a Maryland jurist, Judge Brian Kim. In case you’re wondering, yes, he’s Asian.

But his alleged offense doesn’t seem stereotypically Asian….

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A memo to judges: we do not want to see you naked (with the possible exception of the Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary). Please keep your clothes on, Your Honors.

We’re not talking just about Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian jurist whose nude photos surfaced on the internet. This message goes out to male judges too.

Like Pennsylvania judge Douglas Gummo, 42, who was arrested after he was apparently discovered naked, wrapped in nothing but a bed sheet, trying to access the hotel room (and maybe more?) of a female colleague….

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Madam Justice Lori Douglas, clothed.

It’s been a while since we last checked in on Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas, the Canadian jurist featured in pornographic photos that found their way to the internet. Today we have an update.

The update relates to Justice Douglas’s husband, Jack King — the Canada lawyer responsible for posting the pictures of his wife engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys and administering fellatio, among other activities….

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If you see this sign, turn in the opposite direction and START RUNNING.

We’ve spent a lot time covering Wisconsin’s dysfunctional state legislature. But did you know the state’s judicial branch is just as messed up?

We’ve discussed this before, but now there’s more to report. You know any semblance of bipartisan civility has broken down when one justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court calls the chief justice a “bitch” and vows to “destroy” her.

That would be shocking language if it was bandied about in a courthouse in the Bronx, but it’s just another day of state politics in Wisconsin. I’m telling you, we’re going to have to station the USS Inside Voices Please in the Great Lakes to chill this state out…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Have We Looked Into Declaring a ‘No-Fly Zone’ Over Wisconsin?”

Who says the Midwest is more laid back than the coasts? Who says Midwesterners are more polite than people who live in big cities? Who says working in a place like Iowa affords a higher quality of life and a better work/life balance than working in a place like Chicago?

Not United States District Court Judge Mark Bennett. No sir.

We’ve written about Judge Bennett before. He’s a funny guy. The last time we saw him, he was expressing his personal bias against “East Coast law firms,” in part because he think big city lawyers possess “unsurpassed arrogance.”

But Judge Bennett might be selling himself short. I don’t think the average East Coast lawyer’s arrogance even approaches what His Honor rolls with…

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It was quite shocking last October when word first surfaced that then-federal judge Jack Camp, at the time a senior judge for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), might have indulged in cocaine, marijuana, and sex with a prostitute. The charges were hard to believe, especially given Judge Camp’s judicial office.

But, as it turned out, there was some truth to the allegations. In November, Judge Camp pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from his role in a scandal that involved drugs, guns, sex, and a stripper named Sherry Ann Ramos.

Now new information has come to light that makes Judge Jack Camp’s behavior perhaps more understandable, even if still illegal….

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Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor

Oh, condominiums. To own your own box of air in the sky, subject to the terms and conditions of your neighbors and building managers. Lex Luthor always had this right: either you own land or ponces wearing underwear on the outside can swoop in and ruin your good time.

We’ve got a couple of lawyer/condo issues floating around, so let’s tackle them together. We’ve got a Miami judge who allegedly likes to kick in doors to her own unit. And we’ve a New York lawyer who wants satisfaction over 109 missing square feet…

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Mmm... lunch.

When I first got this job, I thought that it might be a good idea for me to hook up a Breathalyzer to my laptop to prevent me from posting drunk. Then I realized people enjoy this site more when at least one of us is drunk, and so I sacrifice my liver for you fine readers.

Of course, making internet pronouncements about which law schools should be avoided is one thing; it’s not like I’m sitting on a bench wearing a black robe and banging a gavel. I’m not a judge (or a driver), only my shrink needs to know how many Bloody Marys it takes before I feel like dealing with commenters.

In short, I’m not Judge W. Kennedy Boone III, a Washington County Circuit Court judge in Maryland. In November 2009, Judge Boone got into a car accident where his BAC was .18 — twice the legal limit in the state of Maryland. In March he pleaded guilty to a DUI. And now the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities is making him submit to a Breathalyzer twice a day when he goes to work.

So yeah, Maryland can’t trust the guy to remain sober for an entire work day, but as long as he can prove that he’s sober he is allowed to be a judge, with power over people’s lives…

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