What’s so terrible about nepotism? Families have always worked together. Over at Vesuvio’s Dry Cleaners, which we occasionally entrust with our best and only suit, Mrs. Vesuvio regularly mans the counter whenever Mr. V. keels over from the fumes.
At the liquor store next door, where Mr. Gdansk fervently lectures the customers on the superiority of Polish to Russian vodka, Mrs. G. frequently takes over while he recuperates in the basement.
At the nearby body and fender shop, Tiny’s wife runs the business singlehandedly for years at a time while her husband is away.
Does anybody demand to see the Missus’ qualifications and proof that the job has been advertised to a diverse pool of applicants? Of course not.
So what’s the big deal if an Appellate Division judge hires his ex-wife as a court attorney? (NY Post, 4/17/11). What’s he supposed to do, hire some stranger? Some padded-resume type that he’s never even been married to?
Court attorneys are the people who write the bench memos and draft the affirmances so the judges have something to read while sitting through your boring oral argument. Ruthlessly wielding the rubber stamp, at least in criminal cases, they’re the power behind those five thrones. It’s a great consolation to know that, even if our briefs are never read by a judge, they’re at least read by someone very close to one.