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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Judicial Checksum

I don't have time to do a proper post on this just now, so I'm instead reproducing the mail on which I just copied Howard Bashman and Glenn Reynolds. I hope they and others will highlight the issue of whether and on what terms judges should be permitted to view, and if desired participate in, discussions about their skills.

To me, from "Jonathan" at Judicial Check (at which I find no "About" page telling me who Jonathan might be):

----- Original Message -----
From: Jonathan
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 15:17:31 -0700
Subject: Do you want Judges banned from

Did you see the recent feature article in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals about Clearly the Judges have based on the amount of contact we are getting from them.

Here's a letter from one of the Judges:

"Gentlepersons: I read about your site in today's Daily Journal. Since postings are anonymous, I think it would be of great assistance for the administration of justice to allow judges to read the comments that are being made of them without actually subscribing to the service. We are somewhat isolated from critical (constructive or otherwise) colloquy, and this source would be an excellent tool for us to 'self-evaluate'. Please advise your thoughts. Thank you."

The request by Judges to enter poses an interesting question; should we allow Judges to view the site? Should we allow Judges to see reviews about attorneys and experts appearing in their Courts? Or is the correct analysis that anything that allows Judges to improve court functions and temperament paramount?

Well as the motto states "Built by attorneys, for attorneys", as such we are letting you, the Attorneys, decide.

If you think Judges should not be allowed in, then simply reply to this email with a simple no response.


My reply:


> If you think Judges should not be allowed in, then simply
> reply to this email with a simple no response.

What a sneaky double bind you've constructed. A no-reply is a vote the recipient might not approve of, a reply lets you know you have a live email address to continue sending unsolicited mail.

Oh well, I'll bite anyway (and if necessary add you to my spam filter later). I think every attorney and judge included—involuntarily, I might add—in your database should be allowed to view and respond to the comments about themselves on your site without registration. I have particular sympathy for members of the judiciary who have excellent reasons for not wanting their online activities tracked, and I have seldom seen a more gracious and well intended letter than the one you forward from your judicial correspondent.

Howard and Glenn, this might be of interest to you as well. For context, please peruse the send to which this responds, and the (unlicensed?) reprint of the Daily Journal article Jonathan references available at the Judicial Check site:

Denise M. Howell * * [phone omitted]
"Fire alarm sounds like 'Whoop Whoop'"

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