Thursday, November 12, 2015

 
LOW JUDICIAL WAGES KEEP THE BEST OF THE BEST FROM RUNNING FOR JUDGE

I firmly believe it is time to raise district court salaries to $250,000, and county court at law judges to $175,000.  The corrupt will still run for the positions, but more highly qualified candidates will also run.

There is the case of former Texas Supreme Court Associate Justice David Medina.  After leaving private practice for the Texas Supreme Court he ran into financial ruin.  The evidence of his financial ruin lead to his indictment along with his wife for arson on their home.  The indictments were summarily dismissed by the fellow Republican DA over a very strong public objection by the grand jury.

I have no idea if David Medina and his wife were innocent or guilty. They are just a case in point.

I get that most parents have to help their kids by cosigning student loans so that they can go to college.  We now have 30 year olds living at home struggling to pay back their student loans and a car payment so they can get to work.  They cannot afford rent.

As an attorney earning enough money to live a comfortable life and pay cash for the education of your children, you are not going to become a judge and see your salary cut in half, thereby leaving no means to pay for your children's education.  This is basically what happened to David Medina.  He could no longer afford the life he had in private practice on the salary of the Supreme Court Justice.

I get it is public service - but it is a public service wherein we are asking the best to sacrifice the education of their children in order to serve.

Some lawyers are fine with the pay cut.  They put a couple of million away in investments before becoming a judge and can live on a judicial salary.

But if they want to get paid the higher wage they need to begin to work for it more like federal judges.

Governor Bush vetoed a law which would have required the judges to write opinions justifying any order dismissing a case.  Bush said it would have put too much work on the judges.  If no case makes it to jury on Monday or Tuesday good luck finding that judge in the court house after lunch.  We can easily get rid of two district courts without impacting how fast justice moves. 

State judges should have to justify their ruling in the same way federal judges have to justify their rulings.  It is an important check on favoritism and corruption.

So while I am a huge advocate of judicial raises, I am also a huge advocate of mandating judges in writing justify their rulings.  Simply saying just cause is an empty finding by the judge.  Things will change fast if they have to state the evidence which forms the basis of just cause.

Judicial reform is absolutely necessary if we are to end the corruption in our courts.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are making it sound like ALL attorney's are rolling in the dough... you are funny ... most, who are in it for more than the money wouldn't die because of the current judicial salaries ...it is a passion not just a source of income... kinda like the lifers at the da's office : )

Anonymous said...

Do you think it's ok for the Judge's secretaries to get paid more than County Peace Officers? They risk themselves everyday.

BobbyWC said...

I never said all attorneys are in the money - in fact many earn less than a first year BISD teacher.

But parents do think about their children's education and are not prepared to force their children into student loans just so they can serve. This is why it is not unusual to see older attorneys all of a sudden seek a judgeship. Once their kids are out of college there are free to relax to a 40 hour week and no longer have to worry about educating their children.

As to county peace officers - Cameron county has made a fool of itself on this one. I would set a minimum wage of $50,000. Safety at the court house is serious business and we need to pay a wage which reflect that reality.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

I think the older attorneys jump to the bench for retirement!!! And there is no reason why anyone working as court staff should make that kind of money... they are secretaries in a glorified office

Anonymous said...

Do you suggest that all political and medical doctors get a forgiveness student loans? Medina supposedly knew the laws and the avenue he was taking, he intentionally, maliciously, knowing, took it upon himself to commit the wrong. Why is he not governed by the same laws of the land as every other law person? Judges should be accountable as to why they chose to dismiss "ALL" cases. After all, he should be or is an elected official by the public citizens. Just like his case being dismissed, why was it dismissed? The public citizens should be informed as to whether it's a positive or negative results. This so called David Medina was a Tex. Supreme court judge. God knows, he well knew the risk he was playing. If this David Medina didn't know the risk then he had no business in any legal field. He had different avenues like resigned or retire and go back to private practice. Even bull shit. This is not a third world country mentality. This is my opinion .

BobbyWC said...

I have no idea where you are coming up with this forgiveness nonsense. Further the new DA refused to reindict David Medina so there is no finding of wrong doing on his part. Unlike you I was not there to witness the crime so I hold on an opinion as to his innocence or guilt.

I used him as an example - there are many.

But I approved your comment because it does reflect the sense of injustice people feel when it comes to our legal system

Bobby WC