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Ingredients: a Christmas party, a judge and a female attorney. Don't mix well. Sometimes, advice you received as a child continues to work well into adulthood. Click here.
A valuable lesson for all.
What a load of PC bull manure. The judge slaps a female atty. twice on the butt at a Christmas party, the female does not complain to the Commission and does not want the judge reprimanded, but some sniveling nitwit reports him anyway, and the Commission sentences him to listen to 8 hours of feminist nonsense?!!! What the judge did was in poor taste, but it is not the end of the world.
Obviously the Judicial Conduct Commission doesn't have enough to do. Clearly, at a bare minimum, the Commission needs a lot of close oversight. The members who voted for this grossly disproportionate punishment should be required to submit to a 16 hour course--at their own expense--on common sense, and they need to be publicly exposed and reprimanded for their foolishness.
Gender sensitivity and sexual harassment = feminist nonsense
I'm guessing you're not the PIO for your office !
I feel for the attorney the most.
It's a good thing the judge wasn't playing in a softball league and a teammate hit a grand slam. Bystanders could really get offended.
Context is everything. What works at a sporting event doesn't play well at the office Christmas party.
I suspect the attorney in question was not so much "unoffended" as "didn't want any more attention paid to this than already had been". It's embarrassing and inappropriate to be slapped on the butt by a colleague of the opposite sex at a Christmas party, but it's over and done with quickly. Being the subject of whispers among the legal community in the "days and weeks" following the party, being forced to testify in a disciplinary hearing, and having a public warning as a result just drags out the humiliation and makes sure even more people are aware of it than ever saw the inappropriate behavior in the first place. I can certainly understand why the attorney in question would rather take care of it privately. That doesn't mean the commission's response wasn't appropriate.
My question is if that is the way he shows his great respect and admiration of professional women, how does he treat women that he does not necessarily hold with such high regard? Further, what is his purpose in going around and telling everyone about what he did? Sounds more like a high school locker room conversation, by doing that he made the incident more than just a friendly gesture of respect. His actions made the incident worse. She has shown more dignity than the judge. She did not go around telling everyone about it, she addressed her concerns with the judge privately.
I don't think the judge went around making comments. One of the people who witnessed it said he talked to people about it later. (See finding 9) The judge's comments came from his statement to the Commission. (See finding 10) I would kind of expect him to talk about it then.
This actually happened to me, though it was before I became a lawyer. The main difference being, of course, that it was a female supervisor and I'm a man. It's confusing and embarassing, and there's really no good way to respond. I didn't complain because I didn't want to make a big deal of it, but it wasn't because I was okay with it either. Even assuming that the judge had "that kind of relationship" with the attorney, he put her in a very uncomfortable situation in front of everyone else. Add to that, he's a public figure.
Do I think he should've been removed from the bench? No. But I can understand why someone wouldn't want that type of behavior to go unchecked. The sensitivity training sure seems silly to regular folks who know how to show respect for other people. I mean, it doesn't take eight or sixteen hours to say, "Slapping people on the butt isn't professional." But it may take some people that long to hear it.
[This message was edited by Fresno Bob on 05-23-08 at .]
And some of our victims don't want to testify, why?
It seems to me that people are assuming a lot. There was only one person properly in a position to register a complaint, in my opinion. She did not. Comparing this to a rape victim is way over the top.
I'm not saying I agree with behavior, either. PC out of control is oppressive, too.
I agree with you, I don't think she suffered as a rape victim did. (And I agree that PC out of control can be oppressive as well.) I didn't even think of rape victim when he said victim, but I've been known not to think.
But on a smaller scale, her reluctance to talk probably follows a similar thought line as that traveled by victims of crime. She probably faces many of the same conflicting emotions, just not to the extreme degrees that a crime victim might.
I just thought Gordon made a good point.
I don't think that the victim of this is the only one who could register a complaint, necessarily. It's not like the judge just did this in his office or something. It was at a party full of lawyers who practice in his jurisdiction and are seeing the judge treat a lawyer who practices in his court in an unprofessional and sexual manner. That brings disrespect to his office as a judge. In fact, that was what he was reprimanded for -- conduct bringing public discredit to the judiciary.
David, I am embarassed to say that it appears I assumed a lot, too.
I'm going to respectfully disagree with my resected and esteemed colleagues, and sit the rest of this one out.
Nothing to be embarassed about, dude. You're just sharing your point of view. You made me think about my position, which is always a good thing.
I respect Terry's opinion, and he makes some valid points, but I think the Judicial Conduct Commission did the right thing. The lawyer, because of her status as a practicing lawyer in the judge's court, faced ostracism by the judge and perhaps some unfavorable rulings in "close call" situations if she had been the complainant.
I think the commission has an obligation to send a message to judges like this. His boorish behavior may have continued ohtherwise. Sometimes the commission needs to stand up for the victim and other possible victims.
"Add to that, he's a public figure."
And that is the crux of the matter. Even if the slappee doesn't mind, judges should not go around in public, intoxicated, and slapping women attorneys on the behind. According to witnesses, she did mind it at the time, and the signal sent to other party-goers is, "I'm a judge, I can do what I want, and you may be next."
Consider what a brand new female lawyer who has to practice in his court would think. Consider the example it sets for the behavior of other men. Like it or not, Judges set a standard.
She probably wasn't okay with it, or she wouldn't have talked to him in his office about it. But what was her recourse, anyway? Turn in the judge who you will continue to go in front of, knowing he would not be removed and your livelihood depends on trusting that he will not forever hold it against you?
That is the problem with lawyers policing lawyers and judges--it's impossible to turn in those who need a slap on the wrist--because they will still be there afterwards.
And KSchaefer is right--judges do set a standard, they are supposed to set a standard, it's in their canons. Unfortunately, noone can call them on it except people over whom they have direct economic and career control.
I feel the most sorry for her as well--she didn't bring it on herself, she handled it in a forthright manner, and because of the judge's actions when he was drunk--she will be forever uncomfortable in his courtroom.
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