Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mindfulness in Judging

Dr. Pam Casey, and Judges Steve Leben and Kevin Burke have published a White paper, MINDING THE COURT, Enhancing the Decision-Making Process (available here).

The paper discusses cognitive heuristics, and implicit biases, encouraging judges to be mindful of how they are making decisions.  It is thoughtful and encouraging.  The paper is a must read for those who are watching for signs that the justice system is changing.

I love the following quote,

Several techniques can help judges to be more mindful and aware of the decision-making process so that they make better decisions. First, focus on the higher purpose of the proceeding—hearing and properly deciding a case with a real impact on someone, not just processing a court docket.

This is what the real people who appear in court expect; it’s good to see it in print.

You see, you believe, and you receive….

I believe

    “Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?”
— Maurice Freehill

I believe we are seeing change in this justice system.

I believe that things will never go back to “the way it used to be.”  I believe that too many people are in favor of change, too much has been exposed, too much has happened, for it ever to go back.

I believe that many judges want reform.

I believe the customers of the courts are demanding reform.

I believe that many judges re part of the SOLUTION.

I believe that the judges who are clinging to the old ways, desperate to protect the “old” system, are virulent but small in numers.

I believe that giving voice to these truths is important.

I believe that no matter what the ‘bad’ judges try to do to me (and you know who they are by how they treat me), that it is important for me to continue this journey.

Those who fight against me, what are you going to do next?  Your games are tired and worn out.  We know what you are going to do before you do it.  It’s always the same.  You embarrass yourself when you desperately strike out against me – the poster child for what happens to a lawyer who she speaks the truth in this justice system.

Your game is so obvious now.

The very fact that y’all went after me, the very fact that I have been smeared by judges, harmed by insiders, proves my case.

I believe it’s time for you to let go.

What are you so afraid of?

It’s coming any way.  No matter what  you do to me: the future is coming.  This system will never go back to “the way things used to be.”

I believe, with each new day, we are living in the future.

I know you are out there, system insiders who want change.

We are close.

We have never been so close to breaking the back of the old ways.

Each of you can do something.  Those who want change need your help.

I am not asking you to color outside the lines.  I respect your moral position.  I am asking you to do what you can from where you are.

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
— Edmund Burke

And if you cannot do something, then at least join me in believing.

I am out fighting on the front lines, because I believe.