Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tired of My Missouri Plan Posts?

I've been outspoken about the right-wing attacks on the Missouri Plan. To sum up, the attacks are misguided at best, and an example of the worst spawn of right-wing partisan hardball aimed at bringing the independent judiciary under the control of party bosses at worst.

Tomorrow evening at 6:30, the Committee for County Progress will be hosting a forum on the Missouri Plan, featuring Dale Youngs providing a history of the Plan, former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Judge Chip Robertson (appointed by Ashcroft) defending the Plan and Professor Bill Eckhardt criticizing it. It will be held at Professor Eckhardt's home court, the the courtroom at the UMKC School of Law, and admission is free.

It should be a great forum - I hope that you'll consider coming out and hearing views from somebody other than me . . .

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39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might also see some good arguments at http://www.justicenotforsale.org/ -- Johnson County (KS) is voting on the same issue November 4, 2008.

11/28/2007 10:21 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

So buying a judgeship over a long period of time through campaign contributions (The Bough Plan or The Missouri Plan) is better than letting the people decide whether judges who raise the price of everything through granting class action status should be sent home? A real campaign would let people know what judges are tough on crime and tough on frivolous law suits instead of looking at a list of names they have never heard of and walking out without voting to retain or turnout anybody. If we would do away with The Bough Plan, we would put away criminals and lower the price of everything. Bough can still buy black robes and sit around not doing anything and pretend he is important. He just would not get a judicial pension for doing it.

11/28/2007 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SSideRep:

I'm fascinated by why you would attempt to rename the Missouri Plan the Bough Plan. Why would you attempt to personalize this issue? You realize, don't you, that the plan was in place decades before Bough was born, and Bough is only one of thousands of informed people who want to preserve the independence of the judiciary?

Your slimy verbal tactics illustrate your bad faith in this discussion.

11/28/2007 1:27 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

It is not the Bough Plan. It can't be Bough, he doesn't know enough about it to have it named after him.

I've never read anyhing that stated that Bough told his readers about the "elections" that take place in the Missouri Bar. He has never said anything about the money spent by Bar member supporters to get their member elected to the selection committee.

Hmmm? The Missouri Bar doesn't publish that little tidbit of information. They wouldn't want any of the dumbass voters in Missouri to influence their little political project.

11/28/2007 7:35 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

How would you propose that the members of the Missouri Bar select the lawyer members of the Commissions? Now you're against elections?

As for the contributions red herring, I'll assure you that no member has spent more than a couple thousand dollars for the election - nothing like the $20 million that party bosses want to see pumped into judicial elections.

Why is it, though, that you, too, seem to want to make this a personal vendetta?

11/28/2007 9:27 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Ssidedem you once again display the analytical ability of your average bag of hammers. Thank you for adding a bit of certainty to uncertain times.

11/28/2007 10:38 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

Dan considers elections to be good, as long as only lawyers are permitted to participate in the election.

When did the lawyers of Missouri become a ruling class?

Why not let any attorney that wants to be a member of the selection committee submit their name, and the member be selected by lottery?

The best place to find "truthful" information about the Missouri Plan is to look at some of the other states where it has been proposed. Appellate judges in Texas have come out against the Missouri Plan. Most of the sates in this country do not operate under any form of the Missouri Plan. If this Plan is so great, why do most of the states in this country avoid it?

The basic notion behind the Missouri Plan is that the members of the judicial nominating committees, particularly the lawyer members, are more competent to choose judges than is the voting public. It would seem that one testable implication of this claim is that the sorts of people chosen to become judges in Missouri Plan states would be somehow better, in a demonstrable way, than those people elected to the bench in non-Missouri Plan states. Much research has been conducted, looking for evidence that Missouri Plan judges are systematically better qualified than elected judges. No evidence of this sort has been found.

In spite of the reformers’ best intentions, politics inevitably surrounds the work of the nominating commissions in Missouri Plan states. In operation, the Missouri Plan substitutes committee politics for electoral politics. The appearance of expertise and non-partisanship is largely, if not entirely, a facade -- a fact widely noted in the political science literature.

The Bar's control over who gets the seat on the Missouri Supreme Court became evident this past summer. The committee submitted three names to our Republican Governor. History has demonstrated that the Governor will usually select a nominee that reflects his party's agenda. Judge Breckenridge was the only nominee that came close. The other two nominees, one of which was a real POS, (not point of sale) were Democrats. The selection committee effectively decided who would get the seat on the bench by limiting the Governor's choice to one candidate.

If the Bar is so honest, why did they give Judge Hutcherson such a bad review prior to the 1992 retention election? Was he really a bad judge, or did he just not agree with the Bar’s politics?

11/29/2007 7:59 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

What we have in this state is a judiciary by cartel, and I prefer Democracy.

Case and Point, would the judge in Miracle on 34th Street have ruled in favor of Santa Clause had Fred Mertz not explained to him the power of democracy? What if Judge Bough had been put in that situation after being placed on the bench by his cronies on the selection committee? I will tell you what happens: Santa Claus is deported and Natalie Wood grows up to whore $2 BJs on 42nd Street, that's what. All because these judges under the system that Mr. Bough manipulates and champions no longer care what The People think because they are only subject to Soviet-style sham "retention" elections. They paid their way there and they are not going anywhere.

11/29/2007 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did the meeting last night go?

11/29/2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The meeting is tonight - it should be really interesting.

Once again, SSidiot, you seem to have an obsession with personalizing this issue toward Steve Bough, though he is only one of thousands of attorneys and informed citizens who approve of the Missouri Plan. Why is that?

11/29/2007 10:42 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

I had no idea it was possible to buy a spot on the bench under the Missouri Plan. I put dibs on Division 5, because it's pretty.

11/29/2007 11:14 AM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Sophia, I am tempted to say that as we get closer to the end of the month ssidedem's meds might be running out or losing potency.

Nevertheless, like I said earlier this week, I think we could be dealing with something more creative and coordinated when we see ssidedem comments. The ssidedem comments posted on The Source by he/she/it and/or them just seems to point in that direction.

11/29/2007 1:03 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

It's much less expensive to buy a seat under the Missouri Plan. You don’t need to spend money with the mainstream media.

Let’s examine the last seat filled on the Missouri Supreme Court. The selection committee gave the gov. three choices. One was an idiot that ignores constitutional amendments and is a Dem., another was just a Dem., and the other was a semi-Rep. Since most governors appoint someone from their own party, it was pretty easy to see who was going to be appointed.

Was anything other than merit used to determine who the selection committee submitted? I doubt we will ever know, but it is pretty apparent that the committee knew who would get the nod by limiting the governor’s selection.

11/29/2007 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ssidedem - so you would prefer to have a system where you have to worry whether your lawyer contributed to the campaign of the judge who is ruling on your case?

Brilliant!

As a trial lawyer, the most important thing to me is to have a fair and impartial judiciary. If I want to give my client's sound advice, I need to know that the judges will look at the law and the facts, not their contributor list, when making their rulings. If I know that the judge is fair, then I have a better chance at predicting outcomes for my clients.

Pretty sinister motives in your book, I'm sure.

11/29/2007 2:28 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

anonymous 2:28

The answer to that is pretty simple. Make it illegal for lawyers to contribute to a judges campaign fund.

11/29/2007 3:30 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

Porchpundit,

SSDem is an obvious republican troll. Zell Miller turned the lights off when he was the last person to leave the "people who vote Democrat because Lincoln was a Republican" meeting. As to why he's pretending to be a democrat, I don't know, maybe Scott Ott is on vacation and he's looking for some substitute laughs.

Speaking of laughs...

A real campaign would let people know what judges are tough on crime and tough on frivolous law suits

This is obviously a guy who's familiar with our judiciary. I guess he's kind of proving his point, since he's apparently been exposed to a campaign to convince him that we have a corrupt pro-criminal pro-frivolous action judiciary. Too bad it was a campaign based on lies.

4SSDem,

Great plan! Lawyers don't need first amendment rights! You should take this thought process to the next level, and forbid lawyers from running for office, or lobbying elected officials, or, what the hell, voting. That'll clean the system up!!

11/29/2007 3:50 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

sophia

How do you interpret a solution that would make it illegal for an attorney to give money to a judge as an infringement on your freedom of speech?

Do you really think an attorney has a right to give money to a judge that will decide the case that they present?

What scares me, is that you don't see a problem with that.

11/29/2007 4:17 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

Do you really think an attorney has a right to give money to a judge that will decide the case that they present?

Well, 4SSdem, I think it's a pretty suboptimal system that has people who would appear before judges making donations to those judges' campaigns. That's one of many reasons I support the Missouri Plan, under which it is unnecessary for judges to have campaign committees and solicit donations to run expensive ad campaigns to convince people like SSDem that they hate criminals, immigrants, and plaintiffs.

If you recoil in horror at the thought of attorneys making donations to judges, why can't you see the problem with businesses and other future litigants making donations to the same judges?

In most cases, the attorneys are getting paid regardless of the outcome. Shouldn't you be a tad worried about the parties, whose financial interests are directly affected by the judges' decisions?

How do you interpret a solution that would make it illegal for an attorney to give money to a judge as an infringement on your freedom of speech?

Buckley v. Valeo

Using money to influence elections is constitutionally protected speech.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0424_0001_ZS.html

What's the compelling government interest in preventing lawyers from donating to judges but letting every other present and future would-be litigant donate?

11/29/2007 6:37 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Porchguy, I think you and I could possibly agree that Sophia won that round.

Slam.

'nother reason to take a walk on the southside. (and the colored girls went...Doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo...)

11/29/2007 11:35 PM  
Anonymous John Edward (the psychic, not the candidate said...

ssidem HAD to lose that round. It's bad enough when you have weak ideas. It's worse when they're not even your own. ssidem just got back from a long weekend with Shirley MacLaine and has been reduced to channeling Matt Blunt and his toadies. Be kind to ssidedem. Imagine the horror if you were reduced to thinking Matt Blunt's thoughts. I think it would go something like this "Let's take away victim's rights, blah, blah, blah . . . .protect my campaign contributors, blah, blah, blah . . . .where's that delete button in Outlook? blah, blah, blah . . .can we fire the guy who pointed out I was breaking the law? blah, blah, blah, why do I have to return excess campaign contributions . . . blah, blah, blah . . . let's change some of the laws that keep the judges protected from excessive political control and meddling."

11/30/2007 12:09 AM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

sophia

"Using money to influence elections is constitutionally protected speech"

The SC did not address an attorney’s use of money to influence the election of a judge, and subsequent appearance before that judge.

If an attorney makes a large contribution to the election of a judge, that judge may be required to recuse from any case that attorney may bring before them.

Do to their unique position; judges are required by Canons to do everything they can to remove the appearance of partiality, including recusal if an attorney or litigant made a large contribution to their campaign.

Just to throw in a little relevant citation; "justice must satisfy the appearance of justice." Offutt v. United States, 348 U.S. 11, 14 (1954). "This stringent rule may sometimes bar trial by judges who have no actual bias and who would do their very best to weigh the scales of justice equally between contending parties." Concrete Pipe & Products, 508 U.S. at 618 (citing Marshall v. Jerrico, 446 U.S. at 243).(2) Whether or not a judge allows campaign contributions to affect his or her treatment of a case, the Due Process Clause forbids even the "possible temptation to the average man as judge" not to be neutral and detached. Concrete Pipe & Products, 508 U.S. at 617 (quoting Ward v. Village of Monroeville, 409 U.S. 57, 60 (1972)). See also Morial v. Judiciary Comm'n, 565 F.2d 295, 302 (5th Cir. 1977) ("The state's interest in ensuring that judges be and appear to be neither antagonistic nor beholden to any interest, party, or person is entitled to the greatest respect."). Thus, for example, in Tumey v. Ohio, 273 U.S. 510 (1927), the Supreme Court reversed a conviction adjudicated by a town mayor who received payment of fees and costs from fines he assessed when acting in a judicial capacity, although no showing of actual bias was made.

If an attorney contributed to a judge’s campaign, the amount should be noted with the attorneys bar status on the mobar website. As many judges in Missouri are elected and attorneys contribute to their election, I’m amazed that this is not a provision that is already in place. In fact, since this is the computer age, all contributions for the election of a judge made by an attorney or litigant should be automatically cross-referenced and disclosed prior to any appearance before that judge.

The focus here should not be on the propriety of the campaign contribution as these are entirely legal. The focus should be on the propriety of hearing the case by the judge or justice concerned once aware of the contribution which then kicks in the appearance of impropriety, not to mention fairness of the deliberative process.

Campaign contributions may affect the neutrality and impartiality required by the United States Constitution, that violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


Do you think that your First Amendment Right should outweigh the opposing parties Fourteenth Amendment Right?

11/30/2007 7:06 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

4SSdem,

Did you really just go and pull a block quote from the plaintiff's brief in Public Citizen v. Bomer without understanding that all the arguments are in support of ending a system whereby judges raise campaign contributions from anyone? Are you pulling my leg? You want the public to directly elect judges, but you decry the influence of campaign contributions to judges on the appearance of an impartial judiciary? You are either terribly confused or arguing in bad faith.

The focus should be on the propriety of hearing the case by the judge or justice concerned once aware of the contribution which then kicks in the appearance of impropriety, not to mention fairness of the deliberative process.


Think about the perverse incentives you are creating. Let's say I think Judge Bob is the fairest and most reasonable judge around. I like appearing before him because I can count on him following the law and exercising his judicial discretion wisely. I may not win, but I know his decisions will be sound. Now he's up for re-election, but if I show my support and approval for him with a donation, I don't get to have him as a judge anymore.

Personally, I don't want a judiciary politicized through direct election, but if you're going to insist on that system why on earth would you set it up so that people have disincentives to support good judges?

I've found discussions about the Missouri Plan to be very revealing. From reading laymen's comments, I think that we members of the Bar need to do a better job of explaining to the public how our entire judicial system works (this isn't currently neglected, but obviously we've got room for improvment). Mixed in with all the knee-jerk lawyer hating is a genuine and understandable fear in laymen facing a crew of specialists. We need to be honest that the Missouri Plan, in large part, asks the public to trust us. And we need to explain to the public why they should.

Because the other side's argument comes down to: you can't trust the lawyers, you can't trust the judges, all you can do is try to make them answer to you like all the craven politicians. It's important to grasp that these people do not believe in the rule of law. It's not just a political skirmish to them, it's a G damned assault on the Enlightenment and a desire to live in a society where there is no corner where the interest of the weak can trump that of the powerful.

11/30/2007 11:55 AM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

sophia

I don't know what kind of law you practice, but please don't ask me to sacrifice my right to a fair and impartial judiciary so that you can give money to Judge Bob.

Judge Bob may be the greatest judge to ever sit on the bench, but he is human.

If I was opposing counsel, I would not feel comfortable with the fact that you gave money to Judge Bob and I chose not to.

I'm sure that we can devise a method of permitting contributions that would prevent the judge from knowing who gave him the money.

Don't you think that would be a better solution?

The attacks on the Missouri Plan are not just coming from laymen. The proposed changes have come from attorneys and legislators.

What do you think Mr. Placke’s incentive is for wanting to change the Missouri Plan. He is an attorney; an insider. The legislators are tired of hearing about the corruption that exists among the judiciary.

You want the voters to trust the Judiciary. Tell the Judiciary to stop hiding from the voters. Tell the Supreme Court to stop creating Rules like 12.21 and 73.01. Record all communications that take place in chambers. Complaints filed against lawyers and judges must be reviewed by an outside panel that will investigate claims that they consider to have merit. Create a committee to review the precedential value of all appellate cases instead of allowing the appellate courts to hide any misconduct they want by determining the case to have no precedential value. This is how you get the people to trust the lawyers and judges.

11/30/2007 6:00 PM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

Sophia, it is arrogant to say that the people do not understand and lawyers do. The people understand democracy, and the way that Missouri picks its judges is not democracy.

Mainstream, you spend too much time lookin for love on Independence Avenue to be taken seriously - does your wife and kids know where you go? And porchpundit is just a mentally disabled monkey with access to a computer. You people are lame.

Dan Ryan you have been quiet lately, did Bobby Finn tell you to cool it? You know if the liberal Abortionists did not have control of the courts, babies would live and true Catholic teaching would prosper.

You people are going to be so surprised next year. Thanks for your help 4SSideDem. We will have a great cyber laugh next November when these sorry sots and abortionist apologists are crying.

12/01/2007 10:02 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

SSideWhatever-

Quiet lately? I did more posts in November than in any previous month in this blog's history. A minor point, but indicative of your lack of connection to truthfulness.

If it's arrogant to suggest that voters know less about lawyers than lawyers, then there's no problem with retention elections, right? Glad we agree.

As for your silly ad hominems on Mainstream and PP - well, again, you show your true colors.

12/01/2007 10:14 AM  
Anonymous ssidedem said...

Retention elections are no different than Communist Party elections in China or the Soviet Union -- Vote yes or no.

Democracy Dan, try it.

12/01/2007 11:03 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

I don't know what kind of law you practice, but please don't ask me to sacrifice my right to a fair and impartial judiciary so that you can give money to Judge Bob.

4SSdem,

Again, terribly confused or arguing in bad faith? I'm leaning towards the latter. I don't want to give money to any judge. I like the system as it currently exists, and generally prefer that judges not have to run political campaigns.

Don't you think that would be a better solution?

Why go for better when we can go for best -- judges don't run political campaigns and don't take donations.

What do you think Mr. Placke’s incentive is for wanting to change the Missouri Plan.

He wants a system where judges can be bought.

The legislators are tired of hearing about the corruption that exists among the judiciary.

This made me laugh out loud. What corruption is that? More likely that certain legislators are tired of hearing from the Chamber of Commerce et al, who bought the legislators and want to buy the judges so that the law is applied in ways that will promote and protect their interests above all else. Money already plays such a powerful role in selection of the executive and legislative branches, I don't want to see that extended to the judiciary.

Sophia, it is arrogant to say that the people do not understand and lawyers do.

SSdem,

No more arrogant than saying my doctor understands medicine better than I do. How do you define "frivolous lawsuit"?

12/01/2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

I've got to hand it to you sophia, you sure do act like an attorney. You come across as arrogant, condescending, and evasive.

You, as an anonymous, self proclaimed, member of the Missouri Bar, claim that another member of the Missouri Bar "wants a system where judges can be bought".

So which member of the Bar do we trust? The one that is anonymous or the one that will come forward and be recognized.

How dare you accuse Mr. Placke of wanting a system where he can buy judges?

How dare you compare yourself with a doctor? If you want to compare yourself with another occupation, try used car salesman. They know their product too, but their main objective is to take your money. People have a tendency not to trust them either. They are a necessary evil, just like attorneys.

You want us to trust attorneys? Stop doing everything behind closed doors.

You managed to avoid Rule 12.21 and 73.01.

12.21 - Complaints made about judges should not be required to go thru a clearing house controlled by the Bar.

73.01 - Judges should always be required to declare the facts and the law used to render a judgment; not just when you ask them to do so before trial. Honest people are not afraid to tell you why they did what they did.

Every attorney will tell you that there is always a winner and a loser. The winner doesn't care why they won. The loser always wants to know why the lost; if for nothing else, to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Frivolous lawsuit - what a rarity. Let an attorney file a frivolous lawsuit against you, then tell that to your attorney. You want the canned response? "Doesn't everyone deserve their day in court?"

I didn't come in here to bash attorneys, but when the attorneys start the bashing...

12/01/2007 6:11 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

4SSdem,

I'll go ahead and put you in the "bad faith" column. You call me evasive after you repeatedly ignore the fact that the system (direct election) you are calling for will lead to an outcome (money influencing the judiciary) you claim to deplore? Instead of dealing with that, you're trying to get all huffy on Placke's behalf.

How dare you accuse Mr. Placke of wanting a system where he can buy judges?

I never suggested that Mr. Placke was personally interested in buying judges, just that he wants a system where it is possible to do so. How dare I? I don't know... probably because I can read and reason. And he's a Federalist Society guy, which means I could probably come up with a long list of awful things that would happen if the system operated the way he wants it to. That his beliefs, if enacted, would have ugly consequences is a problem with his beliefs, not with my pointing out the probable consequences.

So which member of the Bar do we trust? The one that is anonymous or the one that will come forward and be recognized.

Silly at so many different levels. And particularly obnoxious given that I have sincerely engaged your arguments in this matter, rather than asking you to trust me-- I'm right. Or can you not distinguish between trusting lawyers to contribute to the selection of good judges and trusting lawyers to decide all issues for you?

How dare you compare yourself with a doctor?

Ok, you probably can't make the above distinction. The answer to your question is: because we're both specialists, and it takes more than unguided common sense to understand why we do certain things certain ways.

If you want to compare yourself with another occupation, try used car salesman.

See now, the used car salesman wouldn't have worked for my purpose (explaining why it's not arrogant to suggest that attorneys have a better understanding of the system than non-attorneys and that attorneys should work to close that gap) because anyone can walk in off the street and become a used car salesman. If understanding how the courts worked were that easy, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. But then, let me guess, you're one of those people who thinks the complexities of the judicial system are just a lawyer "make work" scam and not the natural result of aiming for a system that's as uniform and fair as possible?

You managed to avoid Rule 12.21 and 73.01.

It was pretty easy to do, too. I'm a big enough geek to be open to explaining the policy behind the rules of civil procedure, but not for someone who I doubt is sincerely interested in the answers. I find it more entertaining to speculate as to the source of your details. Hmm. You had a bench trial where you lost, and you, acting pro se, didn't know about the rule that you need to make a request for specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. You still don't understand why you lost, and you're angry you don't have an explanation from the judge. You make a complaint about the judge, or try to see if others had complained, and were frustrated that you couldn't get your hands on every crank ass complaint ever made against him. And, I don't know if you've thought this far ahead, but it would be really awesome if you could know about every crank ass complaint made against the judge so when you run commercials against him you can make him sound grossly incompetent by the number of complaints. Am I close?

Let an attorney file a frivolous lawsuit against you, then tell that to your attorney. You want the canned response? "Doesn't everyone deserve their day in court?"

Gosh, you've had enough "frivolous" lawsuits filed against you to know the canned response? You're one unlucky individual. The standard response to a frivolous lawsuit is "Motion to Dismiss." And yes, anyone with the filing fee can walk in off the street and file a frivolous lawsuit (see claims filed against Satan), but the system spits them out at the Motion to Dismiss level. It's not unusual for defendants to consider a suit frivolous, because they've got their own version of what happened, or they don't know the law, but in our system we don't leave the "frivolous" call up to the defendants. That wouldn't be very fair.

12/01/2007 9:11 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

sophia

You portray the attitude of a sincere blogger, but, in fact, your mission is much more devious. Your nickname sophia is not your birth name, the name of a much loved aunt, or even your cat, but that of one who is a Sophist. While Protagoras is your apparent god, he only serves to endorse the universal distrust of lawyers currently expressed throughout this country. Your lawyerly (sophist) comments are what we have come to expect from a member of an often unprincipled profession. I'm sure that you have found your sophist rhetorical technique to be quite useful, but the contempt expressed by those who read your comments is overwhelmingly justified.

Let me make this perfectly clear: I have never acted pro se at a bench trial, nor have I ever filed a complaint against a judge. My knowledge of the legal profession is the result of my many years spent investigating a broken system. I don't expect one who makes their income from a system whose deficiencies benefits their wallet to acknowledge the deficiencies - so don't bother. Maybe it was the years spent as lead investigator for the Solicitor’s Office, in another state, that provided me with an intimate knowledge of how the legal system is manipulated by members of the Bar. Many attorneys will let it slip that they have a judge that “owes them a favor”. How do you think attorneys come by these
“favors”?

Your dislike of The Federalist Society likely stems from your Constitutional Law class, when you determined that you were a liberal. To be fair, you don't just consider a layman's interpretation of the law to be wrong, if it differs from yours; you consider a lawyer's interpretation of the law to be wrong, if it differs from yours. A number of sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices are members of the Federalist Society. In fact, the founder the Federalist Society is a sitting SC Justice. FYI- The Federalists were the first political party to oppose the Republicans.

If you think Mr. Placke’s proposed changes to the Missouri Plan only serve to create a system in which judges can be purchased; it would only be reasonable, by your implications, to consider that the entire federal judiciary may have been purchased. Is that what you are attempting to convey?

It doubt that it was never the intent of the founders of this country, or this state, that attorneys would pick the judges before whom they present their case. The current, Bar dominated, method of selecting judges is just as open to corruption as any other method. Those who serve on the selection committee their position by popular election; only that popular election is restricted to a certain class of voters. Bar outsiders are never invited to observe the election process. You own statements infer that the layman can’t possibly understand something as complex as the law. What’s next? Prevent the ignorant
layman from serving on the jury?

A corrupt judiciary is not just a result of the method in which a judge gets on the bench. Judicial corruption is a beast that must be regularly fed. Bribery is the delicacy that makes this beast fat. Don’t expect most corrupt judges to expose themselves by accepting cash. Bribery is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal duty. The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the receiver's conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or any promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity. Numerous judges have been indicted and convicted for accepting bribes.

The only viable method available to reduce the occurrence of judicial corruption is transparency. Claims of wrong doing on the part of judges should be presented to an unbiased, independent commission, not a commission dominated by the Bar. The Bar does everything it can to present the appearance of a fair and impartial judiciary, that includes doing their best to hide their dirty laundry.

As I presented: How dare you compare yourself with a doctor?

sophia said… “Ok, you probably can't make the above distinction. The answer to your question is: because we're both specialists, and it takes more than unguided common sense to understand why we do certain things certain ways.”

Only arrogance would permit an attorney to consider themself to be a specialist equal to a physician.

You make it quite difficult, but I’ll refrain from posting the numerous lawyer jokes involving a doctor available on the internet. Doctors don’t sell their conscience in order to get into medical school. Doctors don’t get to spend many weeks examining their patients before administering treatment. When someone becomes a doctor, they are prepared to treat their client immediately. Lawyers come out of law school with the knowledge of how to look up the law, not an in depth knowledge of the law. What do lawyers learn in law school? They learn how to think logically, and then how to manipulate that logic for their client’s benefit. They learn the Socratic Method.

When you earn your SJD, you may then be considered a specialist, even then I would find it hard to provide you consideration as an equal to a physician. The vast majority of physicians are humble when compared to the arrogance exhibited by most attorneys. I doubt you can see that from the inside.

Lastly, and I apologize for the length of this post, if you really want to deter the filing of frivolous lawsuits, why not get rid of the safe harbor clause of Federal Rule 11? In Missouri, why not have sanctions awarded to the party who has been wronged, instead of the court?

“Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.” —Alexander Hamilton

“The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.” —Clarence Darrow

12/02/2007 3:19 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

So, is sophistry just something you know when you see it, or are you capable of pointing out the flaws in my reasoning and supporting your conclusion? You're running all over the place, throwing in the kitchen sink, and assigning labels, but I must've missed the part where you addressed this:

You call me evasive after you repeatedly ignore the fact that the system (direct election) you are calling for will lead to an outcome (money influencing the judiciary) you claim to deplore

I get that you're heavily invested in your theme of "all members of the bar are corrupt," but you have yet to explain how you expect the situation to improve by cutting them out/diluting their influence given that other segments of society are willing to fill the corruption void. I don't accept your premise, and even if I did, your own argument doesn't support your conclusion. You're not even good enough at this to be deemed a sophist. And that has nothing to do with what either one of us does for a living.

I don't expect one who makes their income from a system whose deficiencies benefits their wallet to acknowledge the deficiencies - so don't bother.

Comments like these are what make me think you assume we're all corrupt or that the legal system would be easy to deal with if not for lawyers mucking it up on purpose. You know nothing about my wallet. Do you think that all lawyers benefit from the alleged deficiencies in the system?

Your dislike of The Federalist Society likely stems from your Constitutional Law class, when you determined that you were a liberal.

I want you to know that the voice-over in my head read that in a classic freudian analyst accent. Alas, you are incorrect. My dislike stems from disagreement with its actions and goals as I see them (not the "non-partisan" stuff they try to sell as their goals). I don't recall the group being mentioned in Con Law, but then I did miss the day they handed out cards to the liberals identifying all the groups we should dislike.

FYI- The Federalists were the first political party to oppose the Republicans.

FYI- The Federalist Party (no relation to the modern Federalist Society) was dead 30 years before the modern Republican Party was born. Not sure which line of misinformation you're pushing here, or if you're even aware of it.

You make it quite difficult, but I’ll refrain from posting the numerous lawyer jokes involving a doctor available on the internet.

Yes, one needs an advanced degree in sophistry to combat the wits of a man who has to restrain himself from posting lawyer jokes in support of his argument.

What do lawyers learn in law school? They learn how to think logically

Most people don't need to go to law school to think logically. I don't think it takes a J.D. to realize that your long list of ways in which doctors are (arguably) different from lawyers in any way contradicted (or even approached) my point that they are similar in that "it takes more than unguided common sense to understand why we do certain things certain ways.”

When you earn your SJD, you may then be considered a specialist, even then I would find it hard to provide you consideration as an equal to a physician.

I'd like to mark this as the point where your completely missing the point became funny again.

12/02/2007 6:59 PM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

sophia

I'm going to make this simple for you.

I have not avoided answering your question because I cannot support my position. I avoided your question because you have made a false claim.

You stated "You call me evasive after you repeatedly ignore the fact that the system (direct election) you are calling for will lead to an outcome (money influencing the judiciary) you claim to deplore."

I never called for direct election. Not once. Nope. Nada.

If you have somehow misinterpreted any of my statements I would be happy to clarify them.

Please reference the date, time, and a quote where you would consider that I suggested the popular election of judges.

I will be happy to respond to your other comments, but I think we need to get this out of the way first.

12/02/2007 7:35 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

For Pete's sake, your handle is "4ssidedem." I guess it was unreasonable for me to think that your handle selection was not a coincidence and that you agreed with the guy calling for direct elections. Particularly when you went off and cited Texas (a direct election state) and argued that lawyers shouldn't be able to donate. Or the part where I repeatedly clarified that I don't agree with direct election, but thought a restriction against lawyers donating was wrong -- an excellent opportunity for you to make your own clarification on your position re: direct election if you felt it was misrepresented or misunderstood. I'm not going to provide an exegisis of your bad faith, just marvel at it.

12/03/2007 11:02 AM  
Anonymous 4ssidedem said...

sophia

Thanks! You last dissertation has provided us all with a perfect example of what makes me despise people that act the way you do.

You find that you made a mistake, and now you want to shift the blame onto me. Your shortcomings and assumptions are no fault of mine. Support for another bloggers ideas does not include total adoption of that bloggers words as if they were my own.

Why don't you just admit to your error as an honest mistake, and move on?

You seem to want to confuse the readers. I will not assist you.

You made a claim that my previous comment was "running all over the place, throwing in the kitchen sink".

I will clarify my comment; one subject at a time.

12/03/2007 12:54 PM  
Anonymous 4Sophia said...

Sophia -

Don't you get it? 4SS gets to claim he supports ideas he doesn't support, and use examples that support the ideas that he doesn't support, and ignore prior discussions based on ideas he doesn't support, but you are supposed to read his mind and understand that secretly, unbeknownst to anyone but him, he doesn't support that idea.

And if you explain how goofy that is, he gets to say he despises you.

It must be nice to be 4SS.

12/03/2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

sophia... and 4sophia...

What do you do when you catch your tail?

12/03/2007 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with th Missouri Plan is that it is next to impossible to get rid of the bad seeds on the bench because information about them do not properly get out to the voting public.

Example: Judge Dale Hood who was retained.

1/31/2009 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attorneys are a disrusted breed and most ALL of them can be purchased. Judges rae attorneys and they too can be purchased and benches are most certainly purchased.

Maybe they and all the parties they make such evil possible will all began to be struck down by God for all their dirty dealings. And those still with consciences will turn away from such evil and others never sell their soul.

1/31/2009 10:46 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

uh huh.

1/31/2009 10:54 PM  

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