Reporting on Judges Who Goof Off 2

Reporting on Judges Who Goof Off

Being a Judge is a responsible job requiring requisite decorum and behaviour.  But a directive coming from the Florida Chief Justice has somewhat dispelled the image, showing that judges are bad boys and girls just like any other kids.  Really.

The Chief Justice, Jorge Labarga has directed his troops – being ththis month from Florida’s chief justice has reverberated throughout the legal community.

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga
Chief Justice Jorge Labarga

In it, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga says the chief judge in each circuit must “separately communicate” with every trial court judge “the importance of a professional work ethic and accountability to the judiciary as a full-time commitment,” reports the Miami Herald (sub. req.).

And, for those who don’t take heed of the initial message, any neglect of duty “shall be reported by the chief judge to the chief justice of this court,” Labarga writes.

“Until this order came out, the chief judge, at least in Broward, was largely a ceremonial title where you went to rubber chicken lunches and you cut ribbons at the courthouse,” Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein commented to the Herald.

Finkelstein says that at least four chief judges told him at some point “that, whether a judge was intoxicated on the bench or was violating people’s rights by not following the law, they had no authority to do anything.”

But Lambarga’s order, Finkelstein noted, apparently takes a different view. “This order, as I read it, puts it clearly on the chief judges,” he said.

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