Judicial Ratings

Why would you label a judge or arbitrator as “neutral?” Aren’t all of them supposed to be neutral? That’s what I thought until I spotted an ad for JAMS, the arbitration service. The arbitrator is a “neutral.” Does that mean JAMS also offers “chaotic evil” and “lawful good” arbitrators?

Imagine my disappointment when I found neither on the JAMS website. Where are the biased arbitrators?

I have no idea why JAMS decided to label all of its mediator/arbitrators as neutral if that’s all they’re offering, but I think this labeling system should be put to good use. After all, no matter what your political leaning these days, you probably think a large number of judges are far from neutral. Applying the Dungeons & Dragons alignment system to judicial ratings would be very useful for forum choice and trial preparation.

I should point out here for the benefit of JAMS that a neutral character isn’t necessarily the one you want. They would be constantly cutting babies in half and not caring about Social Services. You’d probably be better off promoting “lawful good” arbitrators.

Those of you representing corporate or money management clients should be looking for “lawful evil” judges. They shouldn’t be hard to find.

JAMS may want to consider an evil subsidiary.

Continuing Legal Education. Legal fashionistas take note: The South Carolina Bar is selling a T-shirt on the “Shop CLE” section of its website. It says “I love big books and I cannot lie.”

It’s the only thing in the “Books, Forms & Software/Publications T-Shirt” section of the site.

I have no criticism of this, but … why?

Perhaps, I thought, this is an original South Carolina Bar creation that will be a collector’s item. But no. Try Googling “I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie” T-shirts. There are lots of them.

If the South Carolina Bar is desperate for money, wouldn’t it sell some other stuff too? Does wearing this shirt get you CLE credit?

It’s very mysterious. So is the tweet that the Bar sent out to promote the shirt. It features a .gif of two people wearing the shirt while either being struck by an alien invisible ray weapon or suffering simultaneous vertical fits.

Maybe we need to buy the shirts to save those people.

Degree of Difficulty. There may be an epidemic. The Florida Bar Foundation has also published a tweet with a message and illustration that is both perplexing and disturbing.

The message: “Taking a pro bono case on FloridaProBonoMatters.org is easier than walking and chewing gum.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the walking/chewing gum phrase meant to apply to really dumb people? Does this mean that any idiot can do legal pro bono work? Do they want to recruit the least-competent lawyers available? Or are they trying to tell us that simultaneously walking and chewing is extremely difficult? If the latter, pro bono work could be very hard, and this isn’t a great selling point.

The horrifying illustration compounds the confusion. In it we see a man — not identified, but wearing a Florida Bar Foundation shirt — placing a stick of gum in his mouth and then suffering a fit similar to those guys in South Carolina before collapsing like a salmon that leapt out the of the water, missed the waterfall and landed on solid ground.

I think the guy is dead, but there’s no update on his condition.

I suppose the message is that chewing/walking is extremely dangerous and difficult and this tragedy could have been avoided if only this man had been distracted by pro bono service.

My guess is that the gum was purchased at a local cannabis shop.

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