For some folks, being a judge is more demanding than it looks. You have to stay awake the whole time while court is in session, and you can’t let the plaintiff, the defendant or their attorneys catch you doing word search or sudoku puzzles during the trial.
Plus, you have to pay fairly close attention to the testimony and scrutinize every scrap of evidence so you can rule on motions made during the proceedings and come to a decision about the whole thing afterward.
No wonder they call it a trial.
Sure, people call you “Your Honor” and you get to wear that fly black robe, bang that cute little wooden gavel and say cool things like “Order in the court!” and “Objection overruled.” And, if any of the witnesses get your goat, you can find them in contempt and hit them with a heavy fine or a lengthy jail term, which is pretty awesome.
But still, there are some serious drawbacks to being a judge -– like defendants and plaintiffs expecting you to reach a verdict in less than a year or two after the trial concludes, and higher court justices, editorial writers and even ordinary citizens complaining when your decisions seem arbitrary or capricious.
Ask Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster. She can tell you what it’s like.
Twice already this year, the state Supreme Court has ordered Judge Webster to issue her rulings quickly.
In February, the Court ordered her to rule on a motion that had been pending since January 2011. This month, she was ordered to rule on a petition from a convicted murderer that had been pending since September 2009.
How embarrassing for her. It made the news and everything!
“What I take from this personally is that trial courts are expected to and should act promptly, efficiently, and fairly,” Judge Webster commented to the Daily Mail.
At the very least. That would seem to be the bare minimum for someone who’s a judge.