What, are you in trial Rumpole?
Rumpole replies. No. This week we have been cleaning up messes in the office and watching the fur fly between Mr. Reiff and his admirers.
A Fan writes:
Is this petty bickering the best the blog can offer? This is more boring than jury duty.Having adopted a pseudonym and a suitable blog title, Rumps, you are obliged to fulfill the promise of your press comments. Find some dirt -- or at least some humor -- and leave the bickering to the comment sections no one bothers to read.
Rumpole Replies: We’ve picked a fair number of juries in our day.
This is decidedly not as boring as that. (We realize that you can do the JUMBLE during the other side's voire dire and not get caught. Many would say this Blog is a JUMBLE)
Unfortunately, making justice, much like sausage, is rather ugly when you look at it up close. While I'm sure your motives were pure in creating this blog, it is clear that it has disolved into a haven of petty sniping and the opportunity for people to take anonymous potshots at anyone they feel may have wrong them. So far, it has been other lawyers who have been the primary targets of these shots, but I wonder how long it will be before someone makes truly unseemly and unfounded allegations about those on the bench or makes allegations that have disastorous consequences. Art Teele's wife on T.V. the other night talking about how he took his life because of the allegations of a transvestite prostitute has to give you pause. And I'm sure that outsiders looking in will only come away with a disgust at the sausage that is being made. Perhaps it is time to leave the sniping to the coffee shop for those who choose to stick around this pit that we call the Justice Building and for you to pull the plug on this experiment before it really blows up in everyone's face. Sorry, but I want to avoid making myself a target too so I'm staying anonymous too.
Rumpole Replies: Don't worry. Be Happy. You Worry too much. The content on this Blog has all be 100% professional. Umm... meaning it has been confined to professional activity.
IF Art Teele were still alive and someone posted a comment on him visiting prostitutes we would remove it immediately. That is not what this is about.
Comment On Judge XYZ's behavior in trial or how he/she runs a sounding, or their sentencing policies are fair game. Comment on Judge XYZ visiting transvestites would never make the blog. (Actually visiting a transvestite is harmless. Having sex is what we are talking about not talking about).
We have been strict about not allowing personal matters to be published and people have responded appropriately. Lawyers have attacked each other on professional matters ( the Sun also rose in the east today, not shocking news on either account), not private matters. We will keep it that way.
But you post does relate to our concern, so we edited this Post to include your relevant comment.
Dirt and Rumor are harder to come by then we initially expected. We get a lot of juicy rumors our way. There are two problems we are currently encountering:
1) We are on the lookout for red herrings. Some friends of ours, say a sneaky criminal defense buddy with a large proboscis and a bad case of halitosis (you know who you are) drops a juicy tidbit during a conversation. Then he sits back to see if it makes the blog, confirming his deepest suspicion about our identity. So we are constantly running down rumors to make sure we don’t get had ourselves.
Second, and more troubling is being able to draw the line between what is public comment worthy, and what is not. Despite our guidelines about private life being mostly off limits, there are still troubling issues we admittedly cannot resolve.
Ethics and Blogging 101.
Here is an example of what is vexing us:
without naming names, is it proper to comment on the fact that a recently named Judge was the Governor’s second choice? It’s not that Judge’s fault. The Governor tapped a political crony who turned him down for financial reasons, so (we hear) the Governor got really angry and made his second pick.
Now there are many successful Judges who were not a first choice ( Anthony Kennedy was tapped by Reagan after Bork exploded and Ginsberg imploded; and Justice Blackmun was selected by Nixon after Carswell and Haynsworth were defeated in the Senate) . But is it fair to this Justice Building Judge to bring that matter up?
With great power comes great responsibility.
With writing a humble little blog also comes a bit of responsibility.
Did you hear the one about Joe Farina? He walks into a bar with Bennett Brummer and Janet Reno. Sitting at the bar are a priest, a rabbi, Kathy Rundle and a goat. Farina says…….
Anyway, give us time and we will muddle through this and find a happy medium
(no, smart guy, not a good natured soothsayer).