Ethics for Justices
January 27, 2012 12:37 PM   Subscribe

The firm represented the justice, who never paid for the work. Now the firm litigates cases before him. Remember Michael Gableman, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice? Now he is the subject of a likely fruitless petition by a Democratic state representative, Kelda Roys, regarding the "free" legal work done for him by a prominent firm which still litigates before him. Previously on MetaFilter on the Wisconsin Supreme Court justices. Previously on MetaFilter on Wisconsin recall elections.
posted by bearwife (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Kelda Roys is my rep :) But yet - it seems more a political stunt than anything, not that I don't think it should be done, necessarily, but "likely fruitless" sums it up. Our whole State politics is a giant fucking mess with Republicans acting like powerhungry cry-babies. I can't wait til these shitheads GTFO. I really really really hope we can get Walker out (as well as the others we're working on recalling), but I'm not going to count on anything until the chickens are hatched.

Politics, sadly, has a way of raising my hopes, and then dashing them headlong on the rocks leaving them to lie their bleeding and wounded (slowly nursed back to health via enough time and faithbuilding, only to be picked up once more and dashed again)...
posted by symbioid at 12:46 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Our whole State politics is a giant fucking mess with Republicans acting like powerhungry cry-babies.
Isn't it weird how the republicans are such babies even when they win? I guess it keeps their base in a constant state of emotional agitation and grievance. It's like their electoral success depends on making the people who put them in power miserable.
posted by delmoi at 1:13 PM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's kind of like when I was growing up in a fundie church, and the whole narrative was built around persecution of Christians (i.e. "War on Christmas" type bullshit - only back then we didn't have a mainstream 24 hour "news" channel pushing it to the populace at large).

But yeah - the dominator cries about its loss of privilege as if loss of said privilege is the same thing as unbearable suffering instead of just having to deal with the same shit everyone else does.

Speaking of Wisconsin politics (sorry this isn't about the Gableman thing - I'm not fully conversant on that issue -- there's so much shit going on right now between the mine vote that just happened last night and the protests from the Red Cliff band of Ojibwe against it, as well as...):

The Walker Corruption Investigation (which now has 5 associates of his facing charges) (Note: I don't know anything about the bias of the northwestern, it was just the first non-huffpo article on it that looked recent in google news)...
posted by symbioid at 1:22 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Politics, sadly, has a way of raising my hopes, and then dashing them headlong on the rocks leaving them to lie their bleeding and wounded (slowly nursed back to health via enough time and faithbuilding, only to be picked up once more and dashed again)...

Then it's doing its job.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 1:38 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a shame blogger Illusory Tenant left Wisconsin. He's been following Gableman's corruption for a few years.
posted by drezdn at 1:41 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The firm represented the justice, who never paid for the work. Now the firm litigates cases before him.

In my state, judges are elected at all levels. It is legal for judges to receive campaign contributions from attorneys who practice in front of them. Of course, attorneys who practice in front of them are about the only people who care enough about who is judge to want to make campaign contributions in the first place. So judges raise almost all of their money from the lawyers who practice in front of them. We can give to a judge's campaign while she is actively a judge, and we can continue to practice in front of them after doing so.

A judge may not solicit campaign contributions literally from the bench while court is in session. However, I have had it happen. I have been called up to the bench and asked by the judge to give to his campaign. I did not do so. That particular judge was even running unopposed at the time. Another time a judge's campaign manager (a lawyer who practices in front of him, of course) told me that if I did not give money to that judge's campaign that I might find things to be a bit more difficult on me in court.

This makes it almost impossible to oust a sitting judge from office. Filing for office occurs in February. The election occurs in November. The new term starts in December. If you support a sitting judge who loses, at least you will court the favor of that judge from February to December. If you support someone who is not already a judge, you may never benefit at all if that person loses. Therefore, all of the money goes to the sitting judges.
posted by flarbuse at 1:56 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


A judge may not solicit campaign contributions literally from the bench while court is in session. However, I have had it happen. I have been called up to the bench and asked by the judge to give to his campaign. I did not do so. That particular judge was even running unopposed at the time. Another time a judge's campaign manager (a lawyer who practices in front of him, of course) told me that if I did not give money to that judge's campaign that I might find things to be a bit more difficult on me in court.

Which state is that and what in the fucking hell is going on down there?
posted by Talez at 2:06 PM on January 27, 2012


Isn't it weird how the republicans are such babies even when they win? I guess it keeps their base in a constant state of emotional agitation and grievance.

Perpetual victimhood.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:35 PM on January 27, 2012


"Which state is that and what in the fucking hell is going on down there?"

If I'm not mistaken, this sounds like a North Carolina variety of fucked up. Courthouse rings have a long history across the south and in North Carolina particularly
posted by Blasdelb at 2:48 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Note that Gableman is an elected official and thus subject to recall, just like the Governor. I haven't heard of any organized effort in that direction, though.

By all accounts, the dysfunction and raw hatred in the WI Supreme Court is so deep and extreme as to make the state legislature look like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. And that problem isn't going to go away in the next election, or two, or three.
posted by escabeche at 5:56 PM on January 27, 2012



I used to work for the WI Supreme court - on the CCAP project, but I still had to interact with the Justices from time to time.

Granted it was 10 years ago, but I can tell you that Prosser is a little tiny chihuahua of a man. I've only met a few people with LMS. He's a prick, too. Ann Bradley should have kicked his miserable ass.

Abrahamson is nice as can be, and she was a treat to work with.

I don't think I ever met Gableman, I think he was elected after I left. It was a fairly contentious election and Gableman was ably abetted by the Wisconsin State Urinal. A big part of the problem is that media in this state basically takes its marching orders from the Republicans.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:17 PM on January 27, 2012


If they can't get rid of the Wisconsin Strangler (aka Prosser) they are never going to get rid of Gableman!
posted by kuppajava at 6:55 PM on January 27, 2012


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