Sunday, July 09, 2006

Judging Judge Johnson and Judge Elloie

Judge Calvin Johnson wrote a letter to the editor, printed in the Sunday Times-Picayune praising jurors for showing up for duty in June, and appealing to jurors to show up for their scheduled July appearances.

I am sure we can count on each of you scheduled for jury duty in the month of July to take an active role in healing an already disabled system by showing up.

It sure was darn nice of Judge Johnson to take the time to write a letter. He could have just sent a postcard from Jamaica.

And it sure was darn nice of those jurors to actually volunteer their service to the city. It's a miracle Johnson actually noticed any of them in between training junkets with his friend Judge Elloie.

The thing is -- I don't know what Johnson's record is -- but I think New Orleans would be safer if Jamaica kept Elloie.

Thank God He hasn't called on jurors to do training in Jamaica too. The criminal justice system would come to a screeching halt ... er ... well, is there such a thing as a double-screeching halt?

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At 7/10/2006 07:33:00 PM, Anonymous Adrastos said...

I know Judge Johnson quite well. He's a good guy and an excellent judge. It would have been wiser if he hadn't taken the trip this year though.

At 7/10/2006 08:26:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Maybe you could enlighten us all to the qualities of other judges. I think most people who pay attention know that Elloie is worse than worthless. But I don't think people have anything by which to judge the other judges. It might make a good post.

I heard an anecdote today about work ethics in Eddie Jordan's office I might post soon.

At 7/10/2006 09:21:00 PM, Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

I assume you've never had jury duty in criminal court Adrastos. Voir dire in his court room is a pool of quicksand. I'm not alone in that assessment, one day, during the last week of duty, they announced that they were almost through for the day--hopeful murmurs, but they still had to select a jury for a case in Judge Johnson's court--everyone, everyone in the pool groaned audibly. My particular case was probably extreme-- too long to go into here, but for a guy who comes across as so charming and considerate, he showed a total lack of consideration for other people, and the delays were not to insure a fair trial. Unless a 3hr lunch break (when a "couple of hours" break is announced) helps ensure a fair trial. That was just one example, out of my two day--long days, til 8:00 the first day--voir dire. The feeling was universal among my pool and seems common among other people that I talked to.

But he's a very charming person and seemed very nice, I'm sure he's a great host and thekind of persn you'd invite if you hosted a dinner party. I guess he truly doesn't realize how inconsiderate he is of jurors' time or he truly thinks that no other judges let jury selection take as long as it should.

Sorry for the rant, I guess I've been waiting almost seven years to get that off my chest. You can imagine how much I just cut out.

Thing about the story is: yes it's a worthwhile story, but they're up to (at least) 2 front pages, 6 interior pages, an editorial and one op-ed piece on CLE-- something that cost a few hundred thou and that even Rafael Goyeneche said was mainly a matter of symbolism. The T/P's allocating its resources about as well as the city and state governments that it covers. Of course CLE is a "major" scandal that doesn't involve C. Ray.

At 7/12/2006 08:29:00 AM, Anonymous adrastos said...

I've been stuck on jury duty as well as having practiced in front of Judge Johnson. I have a hunch that there was something going on with either your case or another. The judges can't tell the jury if they're discussing the case in chambers. Either that or Judge J had a lapse in courtesy, which is possible. Nobody's perfect, after all. But my money is on his having some sort of official thing going on when y'all were waiting. Jury duty always sucks.


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