Judge Benched for Treatment of Litigant – Update

Following up on The Washington Post Editorial Board opinion in LPR’s last blog post, The Baltimore Sun reported on September 11, 2012, in an article titled Judge to Retire Amid Complaints About Domestic Violence Casethat Baltimore County District Court Judge Bruce S. Lamdin “plans to retire” on October 1, in the wake of his treatment of a domestic violence litigant and subsequent assignment to “chambers only” work.

In response to LPR’s posting about the judge’s treatment of the litigant, we received a head’s up from one of LPR’s followers about an attorney who has been taking steps to expose reportedly improper behavior by a Connecticut trial judge.  Attorney Bruce Matzkin wrote an article in the New Haven Register in August titled FORUM: Lawyer Can’t Be Silenced in Fight for Justice.

A judge must apply the law. No lawyer I’ve discussed this with could recall another trial judge issuing two written decisions nearly contemporaneously, governed by the same law, applying the law in one and ignoring it in the other, despite its being prominently cited.

Mr. Matzkin writes that his quest for justice for his client included writing an article in the Connecticut Law Tribune and testifying before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee against the judge’s reappointment.

According to Mr. Matzkin’s article, the response to his speaking out included the reappointment hearings being pulled from airing on cable, being criticized by the Tribune‘s editorial board (chaired by a former Connecticut Supreme Court Justice), and having the Statewide Bar Counsel’s office call for an investigation into whether his Tribune article violated the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct.

Mr. Matzkin appears to have become a target for speaking out.  Speaking out should never result in a manhunt aimed at silencing those brave enough to shed light on injustice.

LPR applauds all attorneys who stand up for legal consumers and advocate for honesty and integrity in the law.

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