Judges, Feeling the Pressure

Judges who are fed up with crowded dockets, low pay and inexperienced lawyers or pro se litigants are taking their frustration out in court, according to a recent story in The National Law Journal. 

The paper reports a Florida judge was disciplined for screaming at an attorney because of the lawyer’s alleged bad attitude and a West Virginia family court judge was punished for telling a litigant to “shut up” or face jail time.

While not defending a judge losing his or her cool, legal observers said the immense pressure judges face has made these types of outburts almost inevitable.

“A fair number of judges are sitting at a low boiling point,” said Michael Downey, a partner at Armstrong Teasdalein in St. Louis who specializes in legal ethics.

Because of the rough economy, Downey said more litigants are deciding to represent themselves, while others are hiring less expensive but more inexperienced attorneys.

“People are coming in unprepared or with borderline arguments, at best,” Downey said.

And when a judge loses it, social media outlets like Twitter and YouTube allow the world to instantly see the outburst.

Sanctions against judges for poor demeanor, however, are not the only reason for an increase in judicial discipline. In 2012, sanctions that range from public admonition to removal from the bench went up by 5.7 percent compared with 2011, according to numbers from the American Judicature Society Center for Judicial Ethics.

Full Article and Source:
Judges, Feeling the Pressure


3 Responses to “Judges, Feeling the Pressure”

  1. StandUp Says:

    I would hope the bad ones are feeling the pressure!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Love the picture. It's exactly how they look down their noses at us.

  3. Barbara Says:

    That picture is priceless!

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