The Broward Blog had a link to this ST. PETE TIMES article on the perfect judicial candidate. The writer was dreaming.
From the article:
To me, the perfect candidate to ascend to the bench would be a lawyer who has done time in both trenches, as prosecutor and public defender, good-guy avenger and perpetual underdog. (We need more judges who know what "underdog" feels like.)
My candidate would then have gone into private practice to hone skills in civil or family or some other useful law, gaining perspective and experience over at least a decade, hopefully more...
And certainly, we would hope no one would run for judge just because hanging out a shingle can be a tough go and, hey, the gig comes with a steady paycheck, benefits and a really nice parking space. We would hope.
Rumpole says: about that last paragraph...we would hope that newspaper writers refrain from writing while under the influence of ridiculous ideas grounded in fantasy. To be blunt, you can't spit in any courthouse in this state and not hit someone in black robe who couldn't make it in private practice. Period.
Not to say we don't have talented and dedicated judges, we do. Out of a population of billions, the world also had a Mother Teresa. It's just that saints and great judges appear with about the same frequency, and that pre-supposes you believe in them (saints and the existence of great judges.)
So perhaps and perchance this is the start of a good discussion.
Great Judges you have tried cases before.
We'll start with two:
Senior Federal Judge Jose Gonzalez. They don't come any better than him, and as Springsteen sings on his newest album (Terry's Song) "When they built you, brother, they turned dust into gold. When they built you, brother, they broke the mold."
And in our own REGJB (back when it was just called the Justice Building) Judge Cowart, who famously responded to most objections with "bless your soul" and then moved on about his business.
You won't find any better judges anywhere in the country, than those two. Which leaves a few hundred others on our list as good, fair, horrible, and "how in the world did you even pass the bar?"
Have at it.
See you in court, avoiding the glare from all the robed readers we just insulted.