Thursday, March 12, 2009

Non-Lawyer Judges Fight Reform

Probate judges fighting reform of their courts oppose the most basic change of all.

Incredibly, they don't think probate judges — who often work part time in return for full-time benefits and hefty salaries — should even be lawyers.

The whole idea of non-lawyer judges seems odd, like a practicing doctor without an M.D. But this is Connecticut, where anyone with enough lawn signs or political connections can be elected judge and probate-sanctioned kidnappings remain frighteningly common.

Requiring judges to be lawyers was one of the many reforms that state legislators were wrestling with as the judiciary committee began considering far-reaching changes for probate, the only court system in Connecticut that has remained largely unaltered since Colonial times.

The probate judges turned out in force to say they don't want the bigger regional courts, let alone mandating a law degree or becoming part of the dreaded Superior Courts. Most opposed Gov. Rell's proposed — and long overdue — consolidation of the courts.

Full Article and Source:
Probate System Fights Reform. Nothing New

See also:

Rell's Surprise

Judges Will Take Pay Cuts

Probate System Going Bankrupt


Anonymous said...

This is incredible - they don't want probate judges to be lawyers?

We'll, I've got to admit that if they weren't lawyers, they might not be as tainted as they are...

Anonymous said...

It is 2009 and yet the courts appear to be in the stone ages. We are suppose to rely on the courts to make favorable judgement for public good.

Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

This is a tough call.

My opinion is that it would be great if the lawyers who appear before the judge were strangers; not from the same circle of friends, the brotherhood, the bar association.

My other opinion is, the judge must have knowledge of the laws of the state, at the very least or how can he/she make informed decisions, rulings and run his courtroom accordingly?

Anonymous said...

The judges turned out in force to protest any form of reform. They've run amuck for too long and don't want that to change.

Anonymous said...

Gov. Rell has her work cut out for her. I hope she does the right thing instead of just what these judges want her to do -- for them.

Anonymous said...

Judges who are lawyers don't follow the laws, so it doesn't really matter if these judges don't know them. But reform is needed. Are there honest people to put in these positions?