Justice and Mercy: We Can Only Wish that Some Arlington Judges Showed It

17 Nov
Chief Judge Newman

Chief Judge Newman

A very touching piece appeared awhile ago in the online publication, “Inside Nova.”   The article spoke about the Honorable Chief Justice William Newman and the struggles he endured through segregation in Arlington and his philosophy of being a judge.

To his credit the article reflected how he was positively viewed by members of the legal bar as fair — a goal to which he aspired.   As one lawyer quoted in the article said:  “Judge Newman today? All right!”

That quote reflects both the perceived fairness of Judge Newman, and the perceived unfairness of other judges on the Arlington bench.

As those who have read this blog over the years know, there were and continue to be some very bad apples on the bench in Arlington Virginia court.     They have been known to deny parties their constitutional right to chosen counsel, refusing to recuse themselves when clearly having a conflict of interest, blatantly denying a party’s right to a speedy trial, and having ex parte discussions with one party without properly informing the other party.

One part of the solution that should be seriously considered is the persistent proposal of merging the small (and not very busy) Arlington Court with the Alexandria court.     A bigger merged court would create efficiencies, eliminate waste, and present a wider variety of judges to hear cases.

In addition, Judge Newman can take steps to improve the performance of the other judges by reviewing their case handling by regularly surveying users of the courts (attorneys, parties, and court observers).

It is only through such measures that all parties appearing before these Arlington courts will be shown “Justice and Mercy,” not just those who go before Judge Newman — and Arlington will finally get a quality of justice in its courts that the community deserves.

See, “Inside Nova.”

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