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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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Victimizing the Victims by the Courts

17 Sep

Too often, court judges victimize the victims — making them suffer rather than treating them fair and just.    Often the victims are distraught and not well versed in the formalities of the court, and their feelings surface in a raw way.   Rather than showing compassion, the judges often find them in contempt of the Court or otherwise reprimand them.  Arlington County has a number of judges who engage in this narcissistic  behavior.

Luckily those who oversee the courts in some jurisdiction do not take kindly to this judicial misbehavior.   Here are two stories about judges (in other jurisdictions) who got into trouble for their misbehaviors…Hopefully the overseers of the Arlington Courts will do the same to keep the judges of the Arlington Court in line and showing more compasion.

Judge who berated and jailed a domestic abuse victim gets her day in court—and it’s not pretty

Appointed to the bench in 2005 by then-Governor Jeb Bush, the Florida County Judge Jerri Collins found herself in front of the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday, being publicly reprimanded—live on TV. This was Judge Collins’ penalty for her repugnant treatment of a domestic abuse victim who failed to show up to her abuser’s trial.

Judge could lose job for berating rape victim: ‘Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?’

According to the notice of allegations, Judge Camp’s “rude and derogatory” comments “belittle(d) and trivialize(d) the nature of the allegations.” He also made “stereotypical assumptions about how someone confronted with sexual assault would or would not behave.”