Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Of My Best Friends Are Judges

So a coke dealer's sentence was thrown out because a Milwaukee County  judge made some inappropriate (and allegedly racist) comments from the bench.  For example, the judge made a remark about the convicted's "baby mama."  It seems to me that the Judge was just trying to be "hip" and funny.  But it was a dumb thing to say.  As a young lawyer we are often told that humor in the courtroom is just a bad idea.  I guess that advice applies to judges, too.

Anyhow, what I find just amazing is the judge's defense of himself:

While I was a judge, my long-time trial partner, best friend, and Judicial Court Commissioner was African-American.

Are you kidding me?  How does this still happen?   


1 comment:

  1. You're too young to remember Christ Seraphim (yes, that was his real name), whose demeanor on and off the bench certainly belied that name back in the 60s and 70s.

    I see in the article that the author quotes the judge as talking to "you guys", as if there is something wrong with that. My first appearance before the court of appeals, my boss came to watch. He praised my argument but said I should probably not have called the two-man, one-woman panel "you guys." We still won the case though.