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Beware of Spurned Judges

Hell hath no fury like a judge spurned.

Anyone thinking of voting out a sitting judge might want to keep that in mind.

An entertaining case in point can be found in a Georgia Supreme Court ruling last week called Heiskell v. Roberts, in which we learn that after a state court judge lost an election, he proceeded to dismiss 60 traffic cases.

Then a "trial court correctly concluded that Roberts was exercising a judicial function when he dismissed the traffic cases, because adjudication of such cases is a function normally performed by a judge."

Most judging is done by judges.

The judge got judicial immunity because he was judging. It doesn't have to be good judging to be immune judging.

Take that, stupid voters.

The judge then sued, believe it or not, for a higher salary, and county officials counterclaimed for, among other things, intentional infliction of emotional distress because of the traffic case dismissals.

Who says people in government don't have feelings?

Here's my favorite part of the ruling: "Appellants' argument that judicial immunity applies only to 'claims' brought against a judge and not to 'counterclaims' brought against a judge is baseless. A 'counterclaim' is simply the way that a defendant brings a 'claim' against the plaintiff in an existing lawsuit."

Next time they should try a crossclaim. Maybe that will work.

Artistic advice.

Do you want to improve the quality of your law firm's videos?

I can't imagine why you'd want to do that - it's a law firm, not a movie studio - but if you do, you can find seven tips in a piece posted last week by the National Law Review (which is not to be confused with the National Law Journal, despite the strangely similar title).

The article, written by a guy who claims to have lectured thousands of lawyers about video marketing and is selling a book about it, can also be found on the author's website.

The tips are odd. In fact, most of them don't seem to be tips at all - they're questions, e.g.: "What should you talk about?" and "Who are you?"

Fair enough. If you can't remember who you are, you probably won't be able to sell yourself on camera.

My favorite tip is number 4: "The video equipment doesn't matter."

So you should just pretend you have a camera?

Apparently, it's a psychological exercise.

Fortunately, I'm here to offer better tips.

1. Don't cast anyone's actor girl/boyfriend. They'll try to take over the shoot and insist on cast parties. Those aren't bad things, but you're likely to lose a substantial portion of your personnel who come to see acting as a better way of life.

2. Don't include porn or cats in your video. Most of the Internet is already devoted to porn and cats. You're not going to stand out that way.

Be creative. Turtles and baby llamas are good.

3. Be dramatic. Footage of maniacal laughter and an office orgy after a successful court appearance shows that you care about your work.

Use extras to portray clients enjoying the orgy. (This is not porn. It is merely an expression of appreciation for excellent representation.)

4. Before and after. Demonstrate the impact of your work with a dramatic reenactment of a client's story.

This should begin with a homeless, bedraggled client living in a walkway outside a courthouse and end with the client in silk pajamas relaxing in his/her brand-new Malibu mansion.

A little literary license is fine.

5. The video equipment does matter. Really. You need to record this stuff on some kind of film or digital thing.

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