Judicial Reports

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Judicial Reports thinks they might. From the article:

As the State Legislature slouched toward adjournment late Thursday with no breakthrough on the issue of pay raises for judges, an infuriated judiciary began to contemplate an escalation in the salary wars.
For many that might mean new or expanded litigation. Some are even whispering “strike.”

New York judges haven’t had a raise in 9 years, and they’re getting pretty pissed about it:

“Judges don’t need to hire lobbyists or public relations people, we need to hire an FBI hostage negotiator,” said Montgomery County Family Court Judge Philip V. Cortese in an interview — distilling the judges’ collective belief that the Legislature essentially held salary negotiations captive to other legislative priorities.

Of course, there are some slight problems with a judicial strike, such as the fact that they can’t legally do it:

Just like the transit workers, judges are explicitly prohibited from striking under New York’s labyrinthine Taylor Law — a statute governing labor organizing of state public servants.
According to Jerome Lefkowitz, chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board, the law treats judges as “management” whose members are not allowed to unionize. At the same time, it prohibits them from striking.
In other words, judges have even fewer options than transit workers or other public employees. “The law says that managerial employees are excluded from the Taylor Law, except Part 210 which says: ‘Thou shalt not strike,’ ” Lefkowitz explained.
In the stern language of that section, no judge can “cause, instigate, or condone a strike.”

So one judge suggested they all just get really lazy instead:

“Another idea is to review all papers submitted very carefully for any errors — typos, misspellings, matters left out — particularly orders and decrees. No handwritten corrections or having your own secretary retype to fix them up. Return them to attorney for correction, and return them again until they are totally correct. Particularly for any firms with legislators in them.”

That sounds very mature, and bound to work.

judicial reports.jpegA hot new trend in the world of law: websites that turn the tables (benches?) on the judiciary, by placing judges rather than litigants under the microscope.
First there was The Robing Room, which bills itself as a site “where judges are judged.” And now there’s a great new resource called Judicial Reports, published by the Institute for Judicial Studies (IJS).
IJS is an organization with the worthy dual mission of “defend[ing] judicial independence and demand[ing] judicial accountability.” Judicial Reports is part of that effort:

In 2006 the Institute launched JudicialReports.com to cover developments within the state and federal judiciary, starting with the New York metropolitan region. Extending that effort, a deeply detailed, subscription-based service, Judicial Profiles, is available through the Web site. The Blue Book of New York Judges is a digest of that research, focused on major state trial judges in the city.

Anyone seeking a full understanding of a jurist’s performance is urged to delve much further than what is contained here. Gauging judicial performance is a complicated, often subjective endeavor. Individual competence and integrity are foremost considerations. But context is often key, whether it be the sociology of a given jurisdiction, the division of caseload labor among jurists, or the political economy that brokers the allocation of resources for the system.

The Judicial Profiles that are available through the website look tantalizing. They seem to be similar to the write-ups in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, but more detailed and rigorous (and they’re available online). They look like a resource that no law firm will be able to do without.
Judicial biographical porn: We love it!
Judicial Reports: Defending Independence, Demanding Accountability
Judicial Profiles: Judging the Judges
Sticker Shock Looms for Judges [Empire Zone]