What if you were a judge, granted by the Governor and/or the public, a position of trust and authority in our court system? And you are willing to (mis)use your power to put a lawyer out of business?
Maybe you don’t like the lawyer, or maybe you are angry that the lawyer identifies judicial misconduct. Or, maybe you want to make sure the lawyer does not make any money – money that could be used to support a campaign for judge.
Whatever your reason for wanting to misuse your power, there are a number of tried and true techniques you can use to work to put the lawyer out of business. You need not employ them all – have your buddies do some.
- Dismiss cases she brings as a plaintiff attorney. (Make sure to dismiss the ones where a jury would probably award a lot of money.)
- Make the attorney expend additional time and resources appealing all of those dismissals.
- Write little ‘appealable’ things into your orders, so that you can sleep at night pretending that the appellate courts will reverse you, and then when they don’t (deferring to your “discretion”), shrug your shoulders and say – oh well, that’s not on me.
- Allow other attorneys to attack the lawyer in public filings and public hearings, calling her names, making all kinds of unsupported accusations.
- When you hold court, make sure not to keep decorum in your courtroom. Make sure these other attorneys have ample space and time to attack her in public. (Make sure she really gets the message that she cannot sit at the cool kids’ table.)
- Send the message to the Bar to bring sanctions motions, or just take the opportunity when they do. Grant the sanctions motions, no matter how ridiculous they are – this will cost her time and money. This has the added side benefit of creating a paper trail of judicial orders that can be trotted out at just the right time during her judicial campaign, you know, preparing for that major media blast where they say, a “well-respected judge” … [fill in the blank].
- Make sure she is assigned judges who are part of your misuse-of-power clique, who will do her the maximum damage (you know, lots of sanction orders, lots of name calling and stuff…create that paper trail!).
- Talk the attorney down behind the scenes at the courthouse (or other courthouses around the State). See how many other judges are willing to misuse their power.
- For criminal cases where she is defending, make sure when the attorney comes to court you make her wait all morning, taking her case last. (This will make sure she spends the maximum number of hours on her flat fee cases.) And do this for years.
- If she requests trials for her criminal-defendant-clients, send her to back-to-back trials until she is physically exhausted (that oughta teach her to demand trials….).
- and (drumroll please…..)
- Report her to the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility to take her time and resources, and, if you’re lucky, get them to go after her in an election year!
This is just a starter list. Talk to other judges willing to misuse their power – they probably have ideas, too. And, you can enlist public employees, like clerks, to help you in your mission. (They really can’t say no to you, you are a judge, after all. Don’t worry about how much stress you are causing these employees.)
Don’t worry about the lawyer’s clients, or how much you destroy their lives or livelihoods. To do this mission, you need to stay focused. It’s all about you and what you want, remember?
And most of all, don’t worry about that pesky oath you took to uphold the constitution and laws. Those should be ignored, your mission is paramount!
Warning! It’s just possible that these tried and true techniques will fail over time. It’s possible the lawyer is not driven by money, and can withstand a decade of judicial abuse and still keep standing, still stay in business. It’s possible that the lawyer’s clients will become (whether intentionally, or just because of observing your conduct) judicial reformists. And it’s possible that the lawyer and the clients are willing to name your game. And it’s possible, just possible, that the culture you counted on is changing. And that other judges will be willing to stand up against your techniques, not only not willing to help you, but willing to report you and testify against you.
So, use these techniques with caution.