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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

40 Million Dollar Judge Silent on Judicial Pay Raise...CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

No word from New York Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Ramos on the lawsuit seeking judicial pay raises, and which is to be filed in court today according to The New York Law Journal. Judge Ramos, who is seeking re-election to the bench this fall, has been recently embroiled in the revelation that he may have misled then-administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman when he sought a waiver of the rules regarding estate and trust participation by a judge for non-family members.....MORE..... (See other Ramos stories on this forum...)

One blog reader emailed us with his/her suggestion, "It's only fair to give every judge a waiver of the rules so that each justice may run a $40 Million Dollar trust and estate like Judge Ramos. This would be a good way to give the judges more money, and the state wouldn't have to give a salary increase."

We leave it to the readers to decide.....

The following is a good article by Joel Stashenko, from today's New York Law Journal.......

Judges From Four Groups To Sue State for Pay Hike

Joel Stashenko -09-12-2007- ALBANY - Members of four New York state judges' associations will filesuit today in Manhattan Supreme Court to force the governor and to give judges a pay raise.

The long-discussed suit is being filed now because the judges havebecome fed up with the apparent inability of lawmakers to agree toconvene in Albany and to take up the judicial pay increase bill they have had before them all year, Staten Island Civil Court Judge PhilipS. Straniere (See Profile) said in an interview yesterday. A judge from the group Judge Straniere heads, the Board of Judges ofthe Civil Court of the City of New York, as well as individual judges from the Family Court Judges Association, the New York City FamilyCourt Judges Association and the City Criminal Court Judges Association will be plaintiffs in the suit.

Judge Straniere declined to name the plaintiffs. He said there was some legal question whether the judges' associations themselves - there are 13 statewide - would have been deemed to have standing if they had formally joined the legal action. It was felt there would be no question as to the standing of individual judges, he said. However, even though the four associations are not plaintiffs, they are all supporting the action. When last seen in Albany in June, the Legislature was concluding its regular 2007 session, and its leaders were promising to soon return into session to address issues they failed to get to during a contentious first six months of the year.

Those issues included, state judicial administrators were assured, raising the pay of state judges for the first time since 1999. The judiciary was behind a bill to bring the pay of Supreme Court justices in line with federal district court judges and to give allother state judges proportional pay increases. The increases would average about 24 percent. The legislation would also create a commission to recommend future pay raises so judges would not have to periodically return to the governor and lawmakers for more money.

Since June, a political scandal involving Democratic Governor EliotSpitzer and his nemesis, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno,R-Rensselaer, has ratcheted up the partisan animosity at the Capitol to the point that none of the leaders can demonstrate they can do business together, or when. Judge Straniere said this latest delay was the last straw for the judges in the suit to be filed today."I think everybody agreed over the summer that if they were not going to come back in September, then that would be it," said JudgeStraniere, the brother of a former assemblyman from Staten Island."Enough is enough."

The suit will name the Assembly, Senate and the governor for failing to provide fair pay for the state's 1,200 judges. It will seek to win court-ordered raises for judges retroactive to 2000 and to impose a system of annual cost-of-living increases going forward.

The suit has been mainly prepared pro bono by partners Thomas Bezanson and George Bundy Smith at Chadbourne & Parke. Mr. Smith is a formerjudge on the Court of Appeals. It will be the second suit filed by judges seeking higher pay. District Court Judge Edward A. Maron of Nassau County (See Profile), Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack (See Profile) and Nassau Supreme Court Justice Joseph A. DeMaro (See Profile) have a similar action before Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. McNamara (See Profile) in Albany County.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office has asked in that case for an extension until Friday to file a reply brief in the case. Attorneys for both sides say they expect Justice McNamara to decide the case on the briefs, without oral arguments.

Mr. Spitzer said earlier this summer that it would be a mistake for the judiciary to go to court in what he said would be a futile effort to compel the other two branches of government to give them a raise. And Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye has repeatedly said a lawsuit by the judiciary should be a last resort.

Traditionally, judges and lawmakers, who also have not had a raise since 1999, have gotten pay hikes at the same time. Chief Administrative Judge Ann T. Pfau had no comment on the impending suit yesterday. Spokesmen for Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Bruno declined comment. A spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver,D-Manhattan, said the Assembly Democrats were committed to resolving the issue in line with the bill proposed by Chief Judge Kaye.- Joel Stashenko can be reached at ……


Anonymous said...

So what's going to be done about the judges who abuse the rules? Ain't it true: any lawyer (or judge, since they're all lawyers) can devise a cleaver way so to make sure the rules do NOT apply to them. Why even bother making rules? Ramos' judicial raise should come in the form of raising his ass off the bench.

Anonymous said...

Judicial raises....does that mean they will now spend more than 3 hours at work...or will that habit stay embedded along with the extra cash? Also, will the 4-6 month vacations now in place remain...if only the public knew! The judges compensated themselves well, for their alleged "McDonald's" salaries, more than sufficiently since 1999! Also you should check under those dresses to see what they have on..hmmmm??!! This group does not deserve your sympathy, nor does a larger salary produce a less corrupt bunch...possibly the opposite!

Anonymous said...

Judge Judith Kaye started this whole kabel months ago. Now her minions are doing her bidding. So where is she in the background pulling the strings? This is not going to make the Judiciary look good and I told you so. By the way as you know Judith not all Judges are in favor of this chicanery.

Anonymous said...

how, and how much, is judge ramos paying jonathan lippman for the waiver of the rules.

40 million is a lot of money to most people. And judges want raises?!?

Anonymous said...

What does Johnny Boy Lippman have to say about this situation?

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