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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
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The Imperial Judiciary

I don't hang out with judges so I don't know what they're really like. It could be that they're just people like the rest of us.

But are they?

Think about it. If you had godlike powers - and got paid to have them - wouldn't that have an effect on your personality?

Or is it the other way around? Are people who demand to be obeyed the type of people most likely to want be judges?

Oh sure, I've seen lots of affable-looking judges on the bench, but couldn't that be a façade? After all, in the courtroom, judges almost always get their way. Wouldn't that make you affable?

And if judges don't get their way, they've got guys with guns who can take you away.

So if you're used to that kind of thing on the job, couldn't that spill over into your non-court life?

Maybe not, but then I spotted this in a ruling from the New York Court of Appeals called In the Matter of the Honorable Dennis LeBombard: "The collision did not result in property damage or personal injury but a verbal altercation ensued when both drivers exited their vehicles. Petitioner repeatedly and gratuitously told the other motorist that he was a judge, suggesting that because of his judicial status, she must have been in the wrong and had caused the accident. When the motorist entered a nearby barber shop to call the police, petitioner followed her into the shop and continued referring to his judicial status."

He wouldn't have had to do that if he'd remembered to wear his robe.

By the way, this particular judge also had no problem with self-confidence. According to the ruling, he decided to preside at a hearing involving some relatives.

Said the ruling: "Petitioner testified that he understood that he should disqualify himself from cases involving his family members but did not do so because he believed he could be 'very, very fair.'"

And isn't fairness what all of us want?

NOT SUCH A GOOD DEAL. Evidence keeps mounting that the "assumption of risk" defense out to apply to contract suits.

Bear in mind that I only report this stuff. I don't make it up.

A successful, veteran music producer has sued some people who hired him for not paying him all he was owed to manage a woman's singing career.

OK. Not that strange so far.

According to the suit, the plaintiff was a former president of soundtrack development for Time Warner WMG and had worked with all manner of celebrities. He was "one of the top music supervisors in the film industry, with an illustrious career spanning over 40 years."

And then a wannabe singer and her mother asked the plaintiff to manage her career.

Not surprisingly, plaintiff didn't think this was a terribly good idea.

Woman and mother then offered him $2 million.

Are you ready for the kicker?

The mother "informed him that he would need to meet with E. Wedelstedt (the singer's father) to confirm the deal. E. Wedelstedt was incarcerated in prison in the State of Colorado."

Take a moment now to Google E. Wedelstedt to find out what's not mentioned in the lawsuit. I'd tell you, but I don't want to spoil your fun.

The money was to be funneled through a shell corporation called Daddy's Girl.

Some of us might have been concerned by some part of this, but the plaintiff producer took the deal - and only got half his money.


There's got to be some assumption of risk here.

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