If one follows declarations of presumption of integrity of the judiciary, there is nothing jeopardizing my clients if I simply walk into the courtroom without knowing the judge personally, without knowing his or her whims, and fully expecting the judge to simply follow and apply the law.
It is interesting to mention that the post about the "pet peeves" of judges has been one of the 10 most read posts on my blogs, which is determined automatically and without my control, simply by the number of views of the posts.
Recently, I referenced that blog and followed the link to the seminar that was offered to me. The link led me nowhere.
I went to the company which offers those CLE seminars around the country and ordered a word-search as to what the "judges want you to know". The search returned a staggering 1132 seminars around the country, where attorneys around the country were offered to pay and receive skills and ethics credits for, basically, learning how to brown-nose a judge.
My other major concern was that judges actually participated in the panels, which raised at least the following questions:
- are judges being paid for participation?
- If "yes", how much?
- doesn't it create a conflict of interest for the judges to see that attorneys who attended the seminar paid to learn about their "pet peeves"?
- Shouldn't the seminar rosters (attorneys attending) be made public, so that other attorneys and litigants may consult those lists and decide whether they want to recuse a certain judge or disqualify a certain attorney because of an appearance of impropriety, because it appears that the attorney paid the judge to learn about his or her "whims" in the courtroom and thus can expect a favorable treatment from the judge?
- especially in view of budget constraints in the court system, who allowed the judges who attended the seminars to be present there during taxpayer-paid time?
- how did the judge's absence from the courtroom while the judge was instead present at the seminar affect the judge's calendar and rights of litigants over whose cases the judge presides?
Remember - attorneys can be admitted to the bar and allowed to practice law only after they learn the law in an ABA-accredited law school, where they take Constitutional law and ethics as mandatory courses, and then must pass rigorous bar exams.
Yet, an attorney will still jeopardize his client's case if he comes to a court room without knowing a particular judge's personality and does not cater for the judge's whims? Maybe, regulation of the legal profession is then unnecessary because all that is needed is not knowledge of the law, but knowledge of a judge's, available for money through a seminar?