Saturday, February 26, 2011


Well our Twittering has been an unqualified success! And it's fun too!

In case you missed it, here are some of the things we discussed on twitter the last few days:

The US Attorneys Office in Manhattan (Motto: "In the Southern District Of NY our 'you know what' doesn't stink.") has indicted poor Julian P. Heicklen, 78 years of age. Mr. Heicklen has taken in the last few years to parade outside the Courthouse in the Southern District holding a "Jury Info" sign and handing out pamphlets in which prospective jurors (and anyone gets a pamphlet. Mr. Heicklen had no way of targeting members of the venire.) were told that they had the right to not follow any law they didn't agree with.

Well, the Feds decided they disagreed with Mr. Heicklen, First Amendment be damned, and they indicted him on jury tampering charges.

If that happened here, you'd be reading about Rumpole representing him for free.


What would you think about a courthouse that had greeters outside ready to wish you a good morning and answer any questions you might have? What about a Judge that doesn't talk down to people, but sits at eye level and speaks to participants clearly, simply, and with respect? Well in New York, where they indict people for speaking their mind in Manhattan, they treat defendants with respect in Brooklyn. (...and the Bronx is up and the Battery's down, and people ride in a hole in the ground. New York, New York, it's a hell of a town- It's an old song. Google the lyrics.)

“We don’t want going to court to feel like this Kafkaesque experience,” Mr. Berman said. “Little things like making eye contact, like saying ‘thank you,’ like saying ‘excuse me’ can go a very long way in affecting how people perceive the courts and government in general.”

Mr. Berman said he believed the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn exemplified the impact that effective communication can have on the justice system. In addition to emphasizing alternative sentencing options, the court has made logistical changes that distinguish it from other courts. The courtrooms are better lighted, Mr. Berman said, and the judge’s bench is not elevated, so the judges do not have to literally talk down to the defendants. A greeter posted at the entrance to the courthouse helps answer people’s questions as they come in, Mr. Berman said.

Mr. Berman said that 86 percent of defendants who have been through Red Hook said they believed that their cases were handled fairly.

Rumpole says: So there you have it. And if you were following us on Twitter you would have had an exclusive first look at what we were thinking a day ago. So Join us on Twitter and follow us at the JusticeBuilding. There's still time to join for free, but hurry, offer good only while supplies last.






RE: Upcoming week:

For the upcoming week and perhaps through the end of March, attorneys practicing before this most right and honorable court are highly encouraged to write their motions in the ancient language of sanskrit.
Footnotes should follow the Uniform Sanskrit System Of Citation.
Accordingly, appellate cases from India and Pakistan cited during this time will be considered "persuasive but not binding" upon this most high honorable court.

That is all.

eyeoncountycourt said...

fascinating Twitter loop Sat night- bunch a ASAs and pds looks like at the same party started dissing the elders of county court and dui. Hersch, Riff, Blecher, Elortugi took most of the shrapnel. Some said they'd lost it. Others said they never had it. B's much discussed twin acquittal of duis at the same time- 2 courtrooms 2 cases two judges, 4 asas- he walked between courtrooms picking jurys, openings, etc. Most said it never happened. one said it did and there were high readings in both cases.

And then the confirmation- the SAO keeps a book on these guys. Orders their openings, voire dires, closings, crosses on the regular dui cops for them to review in upcoming trials. The mystical book- much discussed- and now confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Last week I appeared before Luise K Martin and Ed Newman. I heard people ask for continuance because of serious family illnesses. Both judges started off by telling the lawyer that the judge wished the sick person well and then granted the continuance.

Sure beats judges starting sentences with..." I don't care..."

Anonymous said...

I suggest Alex Michaels as the courthouse greeter.

Anonymous said...

funny shit