Category Archives: About the blog

Information about this blog

Good news – I think

Well,

Supposedly things are working again on Jill Clark Speaks.  You can visit the site at jillclarkspeaks.wordpress.com

If you have trouble with that, please let me know.  I am receiving emails addressed as coming from WordPress and would like to continue to make reports of any issues with WordPress, and to others.

Check out the post on jillclarkcontinues.  The link below might have to be pasted into your browser.

http://jillclarkcontinues.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/lorie-gildea-the-buck-stops-with-you/

If people tell me they can’t access the post through that link – I will post the whole thing here!

Thanks for hanging in there with me during these technical issues…

multi color thanks

About the Jill Clark Speaks blog

Jill Clark started this blog as a lawyer.  She still wears that hat:  lawyer for her clients, lawyer with a license (not only defending the attack on her license by a certain faction, but also discussing how that attack signals problems within the Minnesota justice system particularly for those who want reform), lawyer in the community.

Jill Clark now also wears the hat of candidate in a public election:  for Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Going forward, this blog (jillclarkspeaks) will feature commentary by Jill Clark the lawyer.  These comments are not attributable to Jill Clark the candidate, or the Jill Clark for Justice Committee.

As a candidate for Chief Justice, Jill Clark still enjoys First Amendment rights (thanks to the US Supreme Court), but there are some different rules that also apply to judicial candidates.  So for any commentary by Jill Clark candidate for Chief Justice, go to that site.

Blog News #3

In addition to discussing issues and problems (and judicial misconduct), this blog will, from time to time, offer potential solutions.

This blogger is well aware of the many well-intentioned folks who regularly work to better the justice system.  Those who attend committee meetings to focus on a specific problem, those who spearhead initiatives (such as Minnesota Judge Tanya Bransford’s work to reduce the amount of time juveniles spend in jail), and those who do the day-to-day work to create the systems, and tweak the mechanics, so that the engine runs.

By offering potential solutions, I am not, in any way, seeking to diminish the hard work and ideas of those folks.  And I am not intending to suggest that I am the first person to come up with potential solutions.  I know that many within the system work hard on a consistent basis to come up with solutions.  Those people who care are to be thanked and praised.

But I believe the way we arrive at the best solutions, is to have open discussion about them.  And I believe that members of the public do have something to offer justice system insiders.

So I’ll put out some of my ideas.  I’ll talk about ideas that I hear as I am out in the community.  And I’ll talk about the ideas of others, in the various forms in which they reach me.

Every time you see the picture at the left, it’s a “solution” blog.  As with all of these posts, when you see the “solution” blog, you can read it, don’t read it, consider it, reject, you choose.  If you think I’m all wet because it’s been tried before, or considered before and rejected, well, that’s fine, too.  As I am wont to say, it’s hard at times to figure out what is going behind the iron curtain (that’s my name of the wall between the public and the ‘inner workings’ of the justice system).  So maybe I sound uninformed about something you insiders know a lot about.  But just perhaps the solution blogs will engender some type of discussion.  And if any of you want to help take down the iron curtain by sharing what you do back there (so I can tell, for example, that you’ve considered something and rejected it), that would be welcome, too.

If some of the potential solutions offend you, I am kinda sorry, but kinda not.  I am not intending to offend anyone.  But I have a right to describe my ideas, even if someone is offended.  There are times when I dont’ think the statement is offensive at all, yet some judge (or group of judges) is offended.  I simply cannot get inside someone else’s head and decide what they might not want me to say.

I have certainly noticed ire after I deliver some type of public statement or idea about the courts.  I am a human being of 55 years on the planet, and I can tell if someone is PO’d (even if that person is wearing a robe).  Such when I talk publicly on the radio on a Thursday evening, and come to court the next Friday morning, and before anything happens in the case, the judge is huffy, fuming and harsh facial expression, shooting daggers my direction (c’mon, y’all, do you think I don’t notice?), you know, the things we humans key off of from each other, to interpret the other one is upset.  And if nothing has happened in the case to warrant this, I do consider that this could be engered by what I said.  This has happened to me a lot.  I find it kinda sad, and kinda funny.

It’s sad because these people are supposed to be mature, reasoned and termperate.  When they get PO’d just because of something I said about a public institution, I am sad because I expect more from these people who chose to become judges.  (No one is forcing them to be judges; do you know how much in the community it comes up, “if you don’t like your job why don’t you just quit!”)

It’s kinda funny because it shows a real inability to handle criticism.  An adult judge, some of these people judges for 10, 20 years.  Yet they have not learned to handle criticism.  If certain judges cannot even handle my criticizing an entire branch of government, what chance is there that a Minnesotan could criticize that judge without invoking the same ire?  (Ok, so this makes me sad, too.)

There is much to be said about the entire debate over elections v. appointment of judges.  But one thing that hits me over and over, is that on the campaign trail, the candidate is criticized all the time (every week if not every day, depending on the profile of the campaign).  This is an important de-sensitizing process.  You will find that most adults, if they are criticized a lot, will learn to manage it, and not to get so bent about it.

I don’t believe judges should be criticized less.  I believe judges should be criticized more.  I think they need to be criticized to the point they are de-sensitized, and more able to accept the criticism as just something that occurs, and not get bilious about it.

I’m not in any way endorsing being nasty to judges in the courtroom.  That’s not at all my style.  I’m talking about discussing ideas about the justice system.  You cannot talk about the justice system without talking about judges.

If you have a strong feeling about one of the potential solutions or if you want to share some information with me, you can go to About, fill out information about yourself, and send me a message.  Your comment will be reviewed but it will not publicly post.

Blog News #1

Whenever you see this picture at the left, it means the post is about the blog itself.

Skip these if you want.

But if you are scouring this blog for some way to hold it against me, you are required to read all parts of the blog, including these posts.

The blog is not work for me.  The blog is something I have prepared for over time, gathering ideas and documents from the trenches to write about.  I was originally planning a periodical called, “From the Trenches,” and have collected partially-developed articles for years.  But when the powers that be decided to push a lawyer disciplinary matter against me, it became a vehicle for discussing both that specific case as well as my general observations of the justice system.

I do it on my own time.  (None of my “work” time is taken by this blog.)  This blog is at this time in my life a loose type of ‘therapy’ for me.  It is healing for me to tell a bit of my story after many years of not being able to (for various reasons).

The blog at this point has not discussed evidence from the lawsuit.  (Hopefully, that’s coming up!)

The blog has in general terms discussed some procedural aspects of the lawsuit, and there’s more of that to come.

The blog must be read as a whole.  Posts often presuppose that you have read the prior posts, sometimes by linking to them directly, but even if not.

If you want to request a change, go to the About section, fill in data about yourself, and leave your request.  Those will be reviewed, but they will not publicly post.  (And remember, the only exception to the First Amendment for Canon 8.2(a), is defamation.)

Anyone who’s considering trying to get their friends in public agencies to waste public resources trying to come after me to punish me or silence me, well, don’t you think that’s just overdone?  Don’t you think the public is getting tired of paying hard-earned tax dollars for your little vendettas?

Instead of coming after me, why don’t you clean up your own house?  You may find that the best way to impede public criticism of your public actions is to stay clean.

My Heartfelt Disclaimer

Look, as much as I’d like to, it just isn’t possible to include in every post a disclaimer about the ‘good’ judges. You may see a lot of criticism of certain judges on this blog. But that doesn’t mean I think all judges are bad, or engage in bad conduct. In fact, the judicial branch is full of ‘good’ judges. By ‘good’ judges I mean: 1) judges who strive to obey the law and apply the law to the facts; 2) judges who work to serve the public (by being patient, temperate, judicial, and by not always making it all about them); and 3) judges who strive to obey their judicial ethics canons. Those judges know who they are, and the criticisms on this blog are not about them.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to push the ‘good’ judges. I am. Anyone who knows me understands that part of my role in this complex organism we call the justice system, is to push the envelope into the future. If I could have but one wish granted, it would be that the ‘good’ judges carry some of the load in reporting judicial misconduct. First, it is their duty. Canon 2.15 requires judges to report each other under certain circumstances. And a system of ‘self-governance’ simply will not work if judges do not report each other. And Second, why would ‘good’ judges put all the load on people like me and my clients? We have the least power in the system, the least standing, and the least ability to gather the needed evidence. So, Judges, the next time you get an email from your colleague blasting a party or a lawyer, the next time you hear some inappropriate gossip over breakfast – don’t sit there in silence. SAY SOMETHING! I will keep working it from out here. But those of you in there are needed, too. Together we can do this.