Even those of you who didn’t watch the Iran-Contra hearings, whether because of not being born yet or some other excuse, have heard of the heroic comeback, “I’m not a potted plant, I’m here as the lawyer, that’s my job!”
Potted plants have once again taken center stage in legal proceedings. The Committee on Judicial Conduct has recommended censure of Judge Brigantti-Hughes of the Bronx for asking her court attorney to accompany her to Home Depot to buy soil and plants and help the judge re-pot the plants in chambers! That’s if you believe the front-page story in last Friday’s NY Law Journal , a notorious scandal sheet dedicated to court calendars and steamy opinion pieces on real estate law.
And if that isn’t enough judicial misconduct to make your blood boil, this poor, abused court attorney had to babysit the judge’s kid while the judge was on the bench at least five times in five years! And hold hands with the judge in prayer meetings.
IMHO (or IOHO), this whistle-blower might have considered taking a tip from Bartleby the Scrivener and just said, “I’d rather not,” instead of enduring years of martyrdom and then calling in the Inquisition. As every appellate squawker arguing about preservation knows, judges are presumed to be totally clueless about error unless somebody makes an objection.
But thank heavens, the Appellate Division is a model of probity. We have it on good authority that in the First Department Judge Android does the babysitting, Judge Sweetheart runs the prayer meetings and Judge Crabgrasse does the errands to Home Depot. Meanwhile, their clerks read the briefs, decide the cases and write the decisions. Who says we’re not in the best of all possible worlds?