State Judges Are Clowns

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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Sigh. And just when we thought that the best way to avoid being raped or groped was to stop dressing like sluts, a judge announces that there’s a new way to avoid sexual abuse and assault.

It’s really quite simple. You see, all you need to do is never step foot outside of your home ever again. If you’re brave enough to cross the threshold of your front door, you should never go to a bar — very, very “bad things can happen in bars.” (Haven’t you seen that Jodie Foster movie? Ladies, that could be you bent over that pinball machine if you’re not careful!)

If only someone had told women about this strategy earlier, then perhaps judges wouldn’t have to admonish victims for their so-called poor life choices. After all, if women wouldn’t be so bold as to step out in public, then nothing bad would ever happen to them.

Thank God for judges with Puritanical values like these. Excuse me while I choke to death on my sarcasm….

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* There are only 56 days until Election 2012. Does anyone actually think that’s enough time to resolve all of the state election law battles? Even if it is, we could still be looking at a “potential disaster” in terms of post-election litigation. [New York Times]

* “It’s a horrible feeling when you keep waiting for the phone to ring and slowly realize that it isn’t…” Second-year law students are learning that waiting to see if you’re getting a summer associate position is a lot like dating — but worse. [Wall Street Journal]

* Meanwhile, law school graduates are trying to figure out what to do because the call never came. Per the BLS, the legal sector lost 1,400 jobs in August. Must be encouraging if you’re looking for a job. [Am Law Daily]

* Seventeen years after the conclusion of O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, the lead prosecutor on the case accused the late Johnnie Cochran of tampering with the infamous glove. Um, better late than never? [Reuters]

* “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.” Because being groped by a cop wasn’t traumatic enough, this judge wants you to know that it was all your fault. [New York Daily News]

* If you allegedly tell a judge’s clerk that his boss should “get the f**k off all [your] cases,” and then follow up by allegedly telling the judge to “straighten the f**k up,” then your next stop is probably jail. [National Law Journal]

* Fashion law goes to Fashion Week and makes it work: Fordham’s Fashion Law Institute celebrated its clinics with a presentation at Lincoln Center. Papa Gunn would be so proud. [Crain's New York Business]

Justice Jim Sharp Jr.

You guys are a bunch of back woods hillbillies that use screwed up methods in dealing with children and I can promise you this, things are about to change in Brazoria County.

– Texas Justice James (“Jim”) Patrick Sharp Jr., quoted by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in a public reprimand released earlier this week.

(Keep reading to learn the details of Justice Sharp’s reprimand and read much more of the choice language that got him in trouble.)

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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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* When in doubt, seek divine guidance and bet it all on black. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is going to be visiting Las Vegas this week, where he will attend a Red Mass and then head for the Strip. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

* After being limited on page length, a licensing expert opted to file a five-page cartoon brief in the Apple e-book case. This dude can retire, because he’s achieved legal baller status. [Bloomberg]

* James Hayes’s lawsuit over ICE’s alleged federal “frat house” has been sent to mediation for a possible settlement — but in real Greek life, he likely would’ve been peer pressured to de-pledge. [Washington Post]

* Bull’s-eye! Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack has recused himself from a personal injury case where he was alleged to have called a Cozen O’Connor partner a “piece of sh*t.” [New York Law Journal]

* The case of the missing asterisk: an Ohio Court of Appeals candidate was fined for wearing judge’s robes in her campaign flyers because she failed to indicate her judicial status or lack thereof. [National Law Journal]

* How much does it cost to cover up and then begrudgingly deal with a child sex abuse scandal? The tab thus far for Penn State University is about $17M — $4M of which went to legal services and defense. [CBS News]

* Despite Villanova Law’s admissions scandal, the dean reports that the school has admitted its “highest-quality” class ever. You know it’s hard to believe anything you say about your data, right? [Philadelphia Inquirer]

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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Each spring, our fine country is besieged by little girls on a mission to sell the most cookies or else risk being the embarrassment of their troop. Of course, I’m talking about the Girl Scouts of the USA, a program that indoctrinates young women to “be prepared” for adulthood by earning patches in first aid, sportsmanship, and other important life skills, like cooking and makeup application. (Yes, seriously.)

Anyway, Girl Scout cookies used to be pimped by door-to-door sales when mothers still allowed their children to walk around unattended (except for where I grew up in Hillsdale, NJ, the town where Joan’s Law originated). These days, parents tend to do all the work for their kids, and force their coworkers to buy box upon box of delicious cookies.

Now, it’s very rare that one wouldn’t succumb to the pressure to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies — seriously, have you ever eaten a Thin Mint? — but you can’t convince everyone to be a customer, and not everyone will care that they might be crushing a little girl’s hopes and dreams of earning a cookie patch. In extreme cases, not even a judge can allegedly foist these cookies upon an unwilling customer….

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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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The only people dumber than this Lubbock, Texas judge are the people who believe state court judges are impartial.

The story that has gone viral this morning is about Texas Judge Tom Head. In a local news interview, Judge Head said that a property tax increase was needed, in part, so the sheriff’s department could defend the people against U.N. troops that Obama would send to invade Texas to quash the civil war that would naturally break out if he was re-elected.

Stupid freaking Texas. Up here in New York, we’ve been preparing for that eventuality for years. What, you think it really costs $2,200 to rent a one-bedroom shoebox in Chelsea? Of course not! I believe it was our own New York State Supreme Court Judge D. Bagger Dumas who said: “The MTA needs funds to extend the 7-line all the way to Hoboken so that we may have an avenue to escape from the mechanized Kenyan Power-bots Obama has been developing in secret with the French and General Zod.”

Sorry, even my jokey attempt to sound as crazy as a Texas judge falls woefully short of the real life lunacy of Texas judges (plus an UPDATE on this guy’s title)….

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