State Judges

Being a judge is hard work. So hard, in fact, that sometimes these distinguished members of society go out in search of more plebeian ways to relax. We’ve taken the time to write about their hobbies in the past. For example, some judges get off by packing penis pumps underneath their robes. Some judges prefer prostitutes, and other judges like to blow through thousands of dollars at strip clubs. Hell, some judges just like blow.

But other judges are apparent aficionados of the classic gateway drug — marijuana. One judge in Texas was recently arrested for allegedly smoking two joints before he smoked two joints, and then smoking two more….

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Maybe it’s because I come from a writing background, as opposed to a legal background, but there’s almost nothing better about my job than reading legal opinions where a judge drops the usual formality and format. To my mind, judicial opinions are best when they include passion or empathy or even simple frustration.

And once in a wonderful blue moon, I stumble across something even better: an opinion that reads like a the product of too much whiskey and night terrors.

We have come across a recent Midwestern state court opinion that reads more like Hunter Thompson than Learned Hand. It doesn’t hurt the metaphor that the defendant, convicted of multiple theft charges, is also a long-term abuser of methamphetamine, marijuana, and alcohol.

I would call this a benchslap, but that might be too nice a word…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslap of the Day: Cornhusker Judge Shucks Druggie Defendant”

In the past week or two, our bathroom coverage has exploded. We’ve written about a law firm and a law school experiencing toilet shortages, a law school that has a sense of humor when selling naming rights to its bathrooms, and a law firm that wants its employees to follow proper restroom etiquette.

Do we talk too much about bathrooms? Well, not necessarily. Think about it this way: how much time does a person spend over the course of a lifetime in the bathroom, engaged in excretory functions?

(By the way, that’s a great management consulting case-study interview question. Try to answer it if you can; put your reasoning and calculations in the comments.)

If you’re tired of the toilet humor, stop here. But if you want to see a funny sign from a courthouse bathroom, keep reading….

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A. Gail Prudenti

It’s the best chambers in the state. Believe me, I know. I’ve seen them all.

– Judge A. Gail Prudenti commenting to the New York Times about pleasing chambers afforded to the Brooklyn Presiding Judge. Prudenti was recently promoted to Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of New York State, creating a vacancy for the position of Brooklyn’s Presiding Judge.

19 judges have applied for the position, apparently because the Brooklyn Presiding Judge doesn’t have to work in a spider hole like the rest of the borough.

A game that nobody wants to play.

Even though serving on a jury is considered an important civic duty, people in this country seem to loathe the mere idea of being forced to do it. After all, because of jury duty, people have to miss work — hell, some people even get fired because of it.

And even though jury duty is something that is required by law, instead of just doing it, people would rather make jokes about others being too dumb to get out of it.

One judge in Indiana is well aware of that fact, and he’s on a mission to get people to serve willingly, lest they be forced to face some embarrassing consequences….

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Wielding power and oozing prestige, judges can be thought of as “rock stars of the law.” But some judges are, in a more literal sense, rock stars.

Several judges around the country possess impressive musical talents. For example, as we mentioned earlier this month, Judge Randall R. Rader recently rocked out at San Diego’s House of Blues with his band, DeNovo.

Judge Rader is not alone is making music as well as rulings. A Georgia jurist recently released a critically acclaimed album, in which his gavel-wielding fingers strum the guitar alongside some musical greats.

Keep reading for the Above the Law interview with this colorful and creative judge….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Behind the Music, Behind the Bench: Meet Judge Jay Stewart”

Gregory Berry

As mentioned briefly yesterday, a New York state court judge just dismissed the celebrated lawsuit of Berry v. Kasowitz Benson. As you may recall, a former Kasowitz first-year associate named Gregory Berry, who entered the legal profession after “conquering Silicon Valley,” sued his former firm for over $77 million. In his kitchen sink of a complaint, filed pro se, Berry tossed in some 14 causes of action, including wrongful termination, fraud, and breach of contract.

It appears that Berry’s “superior legal mind” failed to impress Justice Eileen Bransten of New York Supreme Court. Ruling from the bench, she dismissed his entire case, with prejudice.

But that’s not all. Her Honor was displeased when Greg Berry walked out of her courtroom before the hearing was over, while she was still putting her ruling on the record. So later this month, he’ll have to appear before Justice Bransten again and explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt….

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It seems there is an interesting emerging trend in litigation these days: When a ruling doesn’t go your way, just make an appeal alleging judicial conflict of interest.

Same-sex marriage opponents wanted California judge Vaughn Walker to recuse himself from Prop. 8 hearings because he is gay. If and when the Supreme Court decides to rule on Obama’s healthcare law, some people have called for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself because of his wife’s outspoken work to repeal the act.

And yesterday, an Illinois woman convicted of child battery lost her appeal for a new trial. She appealed on the basis that the judge in her case’s adult children are Facebook friends with her alleged victim’s family….

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November is typically a month where people give thanks for all of the good things in their lives. The vast majority of the scandalous lawyers featured in these pages seem to have forgotten about that small fact. They just don’t give a damn.

Family ties? Meh. The troops? Screw ‘em. Honorific ATL titles? Totally lame.

Who are these thankless men? Let’s check out the candidate pool for November’s Lawyer of the Month competition….

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Earlier this month, a video showing Judge William Adams of Texas beating his disabled daughter went viral. Judge Adams didn’t try to deny what he did (which would have been tough, given the video); instead, he defended his actions.

Did the Texas Supreme Court find Judge Adams’s advocacy persuasive?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Update on Judge William Adams (of Daughter-Beating YouTube Fame)”

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