Judge to jurors: no more free lunch

In a radical belt-tightening response to the slashing of $170 million from the Judiciary’s funding, the Chief Administrative Judge announced that deliberating jurors will no longer get free lunch but will have to go out to the deli like everybody else (“Small Claims Courts to Operate 1 Night Per Week to Cut Costs,” NYLJ 4/8/11).

About time! In the good old days, deliberating juries were locked up without food or water until they came up with a verdict.

Even bolder was the Judge’s fat-trimming attack on inflated overtime for those people who never call your case or produce your client. The victims quickly grasped that this meant getting less money. “The public is going to be totally inconvenienced,” the head court officer prophesied darkly.

While hundreds of other workers face layoffs, the rank and file judges continue their demand for $325 million dollars they say is owed them for “12 years of decided and undeniable constitutional abuse,” i.e., not getting raises (“Judges Renew Pay-Raise Effort via Lawsuit” NYLJ 3/31/11).

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
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1 Response to Judge to jurors: no more free lunch

  1. Roy says:

    Judge Pfau’s directive regarding lunch for deliberating jurors was slightly contra to the language of the statute (CPL 310.10(2)), which requires that all parties be heard, and clearly states that it is within the discretion of the trial judge to suspend deliberations, not the chief administrative judge. Turns out that the legislature long ago had a problem with deliberating jurors routinely going out to lunch with each other just for the heck of it! Doesn’t take a social psychologist to see problems with this. Last week LAS in Brooklyn objected in a trial to this directive. We won and policy has been changed.


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