Monday, January 25, 2010

The Judge Speaketh (again)

Okay, so he's not that formal. But Judge Mike Lynch did want to respond briefly to a couple of comments that were posted after his interview, which you can find here.

Here's what he has to say:

Response to Anonymous who thought me arrogant: My joke about never being late was, I admit, pretty lame. I also should have realized that in our world today, where there is little trust or faith in public servants, it was an ill-advised comment, and I should have stuck with a serious and factual response. However, I do believe that a little levity in our line of work is important in staying balanced, and I even employ it in the courtroom when appropriate.

My staff and I are available to conduct the public’s business on a timely basis, and we are able to complete approximately 1600 felonies per year. Also the district attorney, police, and defense attorneys have access to my phone number for emergency arrest or search warrants or bond issues that come up after hours.

I do appreciate your strong feelings about public servants earning their pay and will accept your comments as a (never harmful) reminder of who employs me.

Response to Anonymous who wrote about judges being influenced by donations: In my own case, I did receive contributions mostly from defense lawyers. However, since I left the DA’s office to run for judge, many of my strongest supporters and most influential ones were prosecutors, including the DA himself who appeared in two of my TV ads. Today I have close friends on both sides, but every one of them realizes that what goes on in court is separate from any friendship. Truly it’s easier to just rule according to the law, and let the chips fall where they may, than to try to figure out which side I’m most beholden to.

More generally, I do understand that such contributions create at least the appearance of impropriety and this is a legitimate concern for the justice system in Texas. As other writers have pointed out though, finding a solution that doesn’t create worse problems is not an easy proposition. I do support efforts being made to find a system that alleviates this problem and hopefully will increase confidence in our system. It is disheartening to see the level of distrust that apparently exists, especially when I believe most lawyers and judges to be honest and ethical.

1 comment:

  1. As the Anonymous with the question about judges being influenced by contributions I wanted to thank the Judge for his considered response. My life now depends on another judge and the DA being fair and ethical. The problem is once your daughter is murdered you are incapable of trusting even God Almighty.


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