I’ve always wanted to include a riddle in my blog. Today, since I am going to discuss the influence that a Judge has on a case, I thought it was a good time to riddle you. Like some fancy riddle book, I’ll put the answer at the bottom of the blog. A tease to get you to read all the way. However, I won’t put it upside down. Here’s the Judge riddle:
The Judge looked at the man who was about to be sentenced. The judge told him, “You may make a statement. If it is true, I’ll sentence you to four years in prison. If it is false, I’ll sentence you to six years in prison.” After the man made his statement, the judge decided to let him go free. What did the man say?(Don’t scroll down yet!!!!)
Normally, I refrain from commenting on Judges. In fact, it’s very hard to get any lawyer to really tell you what they think of a particular Judge. I’ll bet that only crazy or retired lawyers would blog on a particular judge.Yet, in almost all my cases, I check the box, on behalf of my client, that a jury trial is requested. The alternative is a bench trial, where a judge decides. I still like the jury system of a jury of peers.
Judges are the keepers of the evidence. Their robes are black to emphasize their authority. We count on them to be fair and to apply the law. Even when they fairly apply the law, they certainly can be influenced by mood or predisposed thoughts on a particular topic. For instance, a judge who rides a motorcycle may have a greater understanding of motorcycle laws. A Judge who has never been in private practice may not really be sympathetic to a lawyer who doesn’t want to schedule back to back trials without some time in between.
The code for whether a lawyer enjoys being in a certain judge’s courtroom is usually the expression, “that’s a lawyer’s judge”. From my perspective, that is a great compliment for a judge to receive. Beyond that, there isn’t much said about judges, except a periodic exchange that sometimes occurs on some lawyer listservs, that might address how long a judge will allow a motion to be argued (code for the patience of a judge); How a judge leans on certain issues (code for whether this is a defense or plaintiff judge); Or whether this Judge is close to retirement (code for please tell me that he/she won’t be hearing cases very much longer)
I have noticed that lawyers tend to laugh at jokes told by judges. It’s amazing how funny that black robe can make some people. South Carolina is a little different in that it sends a survey to lawyers to complete, to tell what they think of judges. Of course, the survey is anonymous. Beyond that, you won’t hear much more said about specific judges.
Otherwise, it would just be crazy talk and career pain. No lawyer, while clearly thinking, is going to be “more assertive”. Persuasion is good. Assertiveness….. not so good. It reminds me of a recent joke that was just forwarded to me, about a husband who claimed that he was determined to be more assertive.
A mild mannered man, is married to a woman who likes bossing him around. He decided to talk with a psychiatrist about how he could stand up to his wife. After discussing his situation, the psychiatrist recommended a book on assertiveness.
By the time he had finished the book, he decided that he would show his wife that he had become a very different person. He walked up to her, pointed a finger at her face, and said, “From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of the house and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight and, when I am finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert. Then, after dinner, you are going to draw my bath so I can relax. After I have finished my bath, guess who is going to dress me and comb my hair?”
His wife replied, “The funeral director.”
( blogging note: I have a wonderful wife who would comb my hair but if I got a crew cut, it would look like the crew bailed out)
Riddle Answer: you will sentence me to 6 years in prison.” (If it was true, then the judge would sentence him to 4 years. If it was false, then a six year sentence, which would be true. Since it is neither true or false, the judge had to let him go)