State Judges

* Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one Supreme Court justice thinks that things will be back to normal at One First Street come the start of the next term, despite his colleagues’ loose lips. [National Law Journal]

* Hourly billing rates for associate are on the rise nationwide, while partner and counsel billing rates only saw modest bumps. Is Biglaw back in business, or is this just another “retention strategy”? [New York Law Journal]

* This is a really hard to believe newspaper headline: “Law firm recognizes employees have life outside of work.” Carlton Fields, what kind of gypsy voodoo magic spells are you casting? [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

* Another day, another editorial about the “irretrievably broken” state of legal education in our country. But the ABA admins needn’t worry their oblivious little heads, because people will keep applying. [New York Times]

* And in today’s disturbing law school debtor news, Jason Bohn’s charge was upgraded to first-degree murder after a DA announced via indictment that Bohn allegedly intended to torture his victim. [New York Post]

* “Quite frankly, these are the actions of a dirty old man.” You can look, but never lick: it’s not really a good thing when a judge uses a sentence like this to describe an attorney’s alleged client relations skills. [CBS News]

* For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball fraud game. Lenny Dykstra pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud among a potpourri of other felony counts, and he’ll now face up to 20 years in prison. [CNN]

This little girl seems to be able to count better than some members of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Apparently some judges’ tenures are more equal than others.

An interesting lawsuit was filed last week in Louisiana. The chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court is stepping down, and the judge with the most seniority is supposed to be next in line to hold the post.

Logic suggests that the position should fall to Justice Bernette Johnson, who was elected to the Supreme Court in 1994, and is the longest serving judge on the Court.

But a different judge claims he is the longest serving judge, since he was elected in 1995. The math doesn’t work out, but Justice Jeffrey Victory claims that Johnson’s extra year doesn’t count because Johnson won a special, court-ordered election, and so there.

If it makes no sense to you how one election means less than another election, let me add that Johnson is black and Victory is not. That’s the rug that ties this room together….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Trying To Determine The Most Senior Judge, Even Counting Can Be A Racial Issue”

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…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: Shut Up When I’m Talking to You!”

It’s hard out here for a judge. Deciding people’s fates is fraught with serious ethical and moral questions, as well as occasional risks to personal safety. Some convicted criminals don’t take kindly to prison, and judges can face the wrath of a prisoner’s family.

So what can a judge do to protect his privacy and safety? Use technology of course! The whiz kids at Abine, the company that came up with Do Not Track Plus, have a new product that fills that need, or more generally, the need of anyone who wants to get their private data off the internet. The company recently announced a partnership with the California Judges Association….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Can a Worried Judge Go Off the Grid — Without Actually Going Off the Grid?”

Gary Kreep

Look, a lot of people may disagree with the cases I take. But there are a lot of people who admire me for taking on those same cases.

Gary Kreep, a conservative legal advocate for the so-called “birther” movement, commenting on his election to a judgeship on the San Diego Superior Court.

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?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: The Road to Hell…”

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…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

Which firm will be next?

* You know what’s really got to suck hard? Turning down a Supreme Court nomination to be governor, and then losing your gubernatorial re-election bid. Mario Cuomo is the Bad Luck Brian of our time. [New York Daily News]

* And speaking of bad luck, this prominent antitrust lawyer is like the harbinger of Biglaw doom. In the last four years, Marc Schildkraut has bounced from Heller to Howrey to Dewey. Good luck to his new firm, Cooley LLP. [Washingtonian]

* Another judge — this time from the S.D.N.Y. — has found that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Paul Clement, the patron saint of conservative causes, is probably facepalming right now. [Reuters]

* “I don’t know how you all practice law in Texas.” It looks like the judge presiding over the Roger Clemens case hasn’t been keeping up with all of our crazy stories from the Lone Star state. [Wall Street Journal]

* “[T]he epitome of unprofessionalism”: State Attorney Angela Corey couldn’t take the heat from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, so she threatened to sue the school and get him disbarred. [Orlando Sentinel]

* “What did you guys do to deserve me? How did you guys get stuck with this? Ay yi yi.” At least Jerry Sandusky’s got a sense of humor about a potential 500 year sentence. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* The election outlook for birthers may not be so bleak after all. Sure, Orly Taitz lost her bid to be a senator, but Gary Kreep might get to be a judge in San Diego County. We’ll find out later today. [North County Times]

New York City police officers already have quite the reputation for, to put it lightly, a certain level of insensitivity. We have recently covered the unpleasant consequences for well-meaning, educated citizens who try to prevent police brutality in the city.

In stories like the one above, it’s easy to see a possible racial motivation. But apparently some New York police officers are also colorblind in their aggression towards civilians.

Like when a cop allegedly decides to sock it to an elderly white man — who, oh yeah, just happens to be a state judge

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