February 22, 2007

The crying, melodramatic judge in the Anna Nicole case.

I find him quite bizarre. Too much self-expression!


Laura Reynolds said...

I'm sure glad he's not deciding on any of my family's problems. Lameness indeed.

vbspurs said...

Very bizarre, and he makes Judge Ito look as if he were a media-hater.

Is it common for a judge to have a white phone, which is then dramatically handed to him, in the middle of witness testimony?

Or is that just so that he looks good on the Larry King Live Show, when all of this is over?

Still, I'll forever be astonished just how random life is.

Suddenly, a famous person can up and die and everyone connected to it, from medics, to hotel staff, to random passersby who heard something, have their Warholian 15 minutes.

No matter how bofu the place, or how unheralded the people in them were, they are suddenly on a first name basis with us.

Hello, Kato Kaelin.


Anonymous said...

What was that??? I haven't watched any of this; couldn't care less. But I watched the link. Why was the judge so emotional?

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

The real reason he's crying is because this is his last guaranteed moment of television time.

Simon said...

Does it make me a total cold-hearted prick that the first thing that popped into my head was "Poor Joshua!"?

Even if not, it's certainly unhealthy that my second thought, leading on from the first, jumped to:

"[T]he judge is one of the actors, though he usually remains discretely offstage. He may pretend to be only the author, omniscient narrator. But he is one of the actors – an actor who pretends not to be in the play at all, but acts the role of a character who remains aloof, affects neutrality, and suppresses all emotion.

... [H]ow out of character it seems when on some rare, rare occasion, a judge expresses emotion ... [J]udges (unlike lesser 'humans' not charged with the duty to decide cases) must adopt an aloof, emotionless position in order to keep legal thinking properly focused on what they have deemed relevant

Althouse, Standing, in Fluffy Slippers, 77 Va. L. Rev at 1196-97. (That, of course, addresses a quite different topic, and I don't mean to misrepresent it, but it was what sprung to mind).

AllenS said...

I finished high school. The only schooling after that was Infantry School and Jump School, when I was in the Army. Sometime in the late 1970's I took my fathers lawyer in front of the Bar Association, and beat him. I'd have no problem with this clown of a judge, providing that there would be some non-lawyers hearing the issues.

Bissage said...

Cheese and crackers! Usually when someone gets all weepy I get all weepy along with them. But not this time.

That was pathetically undignified. The courtroom should be a temple of analytic dispassion. A judge is not a spectator. He or she is WORKING.

As soon as that guy realized he was going to lose it, he should have called a recess and resumed court with his law clerk crouching behind the bench so he could get his balls squeezed at the next sniffle. Holy guacamole!

You know, I’ve appeared in front of dozens of judges in family matters and I’ve never seen anything close to that. Heck, I’ve never heard of anything close to that. I thought it was because the judges were professional. But what do I know? Maybe they’re saving their tears for the limelight and their chance at the big time.

Anyway, back to business. There will have to be a docu-drama. At least the casting will be easy. Separated at birth?

Simon said...

Context, context, context. Ann is not (yet) a judge and this is a blog not a courtroom. I do hope your username reflects your initials not your educational status.

Bissage said...

Oops. A bit of an exaggeration back there. Put that number between 16 and 24.

No harm, no foul.


Robert said...

I haven't been watching any of this particular circus, so perhaps I'm being overly charitable.

But my supposition is that prolonged contact and interaction with the ever-expanding cauldron of wackadoo that this case represents may have been something that nothing in the judge's background or training prepared him for. Heck, how could _anyone_ have been prepared for this?

Zeb Quinn said...

He's obviously got issues of his own.

After 4 days of pointless blather he punted it to the guardian ad litem, something he could've done --should've done-- 3-3/4 days ago. The conventional wisdom is that someone got to him, probably his judicial peers in that courthouse and/or the chief judge, because he sure folded his tent in a hurry after promising all week that his ruling would be on Friday.

vbspurs said...

Calling someone named Ann, whom one doesn't know "Annie", is infinitely more offensive than the male collegiate, "Althouse".

(Which, after having read the reasons in a previous thread, sounds completely rational)

You know, I once jokingly teased Ann here, as is my wont, about Elizabeth's and my usages of our formal names -- I wondered if we women use our full names on blogs, despite being known to our intimates as Beth and Vicky, because we wanted to be taken more seriously, subconsciously.

But "Annie" is proof positive there is a seething resentment which comes out in as sexist a way possible, the better to belittle the blogger and her thoughts.


JDM said...

I miss Elizabeth's comments. Hope she is well.

vbspurs said...

I miss Elizabeth's comments. Hope she is well.

Wait, what happened?? Due to my blog coverage of Brazilian carnival, I was away from Althouse, or not really paying the comments close attention.

I hope it's nothing serious.


JDM said...

As far as I know nothing is wrong with Elizabeth, I just have not seen her around for a little while.

Mark Daniels said...

I haven't really followed this case, although I note that MSNBC, under the questionable leadership of Dan Abrams and Fox News have covered the thing like it was the most important event in the world.

But, based on this clip and gleanings derived from surfing away from constant news channel coverage of the case, I can't feel at all critical of this judge.

Nor do I think he was being disingenuine.

It was obvious that he was glad to be done with the case. So I think it's absurd to think that he was making a play for face time on 'Larry King Live,' though LK will no doubt hound him for an exclusive interview.

The judge gave a hint as to why he was so emotional when he commented that the media frenzy, something with which Smith had dealt through much of her adult life, had almost laid him out, even though he'd endured it only a week-and-a-half.

Smith, of course, craved media attention. But we have seen in recent days by way of the bizarre behavior of Britney Spears, just how unnatural, dehumanizing, and pressure-inducing being in the middle of a media circus can be, even for someone who seeks attention and celebrity.

One can only imagine how much harder it is to handle for one who hasn't courted the sort of attention given to the judge in this case.

The clip to which you linked, Ann, is all I saw of this judge. I wouldn't call him bizarre. He seemed to me both human and thorough.

I could be proven wrong about this guy. The cynics may be proven correct that this was all a show. Or others may be shown to be correct in characterizing his performance as bizarre, reflective of some sort of emotional instability.

But I feel that the criticisms leveled against him here are terribly unfair.

Mark Daniels

Syl said...

I'm getting sick of reading blogs. Everyone has a right to an opinion so everyone thinks their duty is to spout off and give it.

I saw a lawyer on tv who has tried many cases in front of him. This is the way he IS and they love him for it. He works mainly juvenile cases and brings the kids out and gets everyone relaxed and talking to each other.

The lawyers and others around the courthouse are appalled and angry at the rotten coverage the media is giving him.

Syl said...

I should add that results count. This judge got results. He got all those idiotic hangers on who hate each to...wait for it...come to an agreement. In only a couple of hours.

I, personally, think that's quite impresseive.

Okay. That's my opinion. But I only put it in a comment so it doesn't count. :)

vbspurs said...

As far as I know nothing is wrong with Elizabeth, I just have not seen her around for a little while.

Ohhh, I think I know what happened.

JDM, Elizabeth is now posting as Beth. New Blogger-related hiccup.



Hoosier Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

I think the judge was doing more of an audition for his own show than trying to decide a case.

Since the Wapner days and now Judge Judy signing on a bazillion dollar contract, why just sit on a bench when you can sit on a bench and make big bucks. Nothing wrong with all that but to me there is somthing unseemly about airing out court cases on tv for entertainment.

Leland said...

After 4 days of pointless blather he punted it to the guardian ad litem, something he could've done --should've done-- 3-3/4 days ago.

This was certainly my view. Through the little snippets of information I got, it was rather clear what Anna Nicole wanted, and it didn't matter to me what the other parties wanted. Have her estate fund a funeral in the Bahamas and bury her next to her son.

It is really sad that in such a horrible case, the judge comes up looking like the biggest jerk of them all. His decision was the right one, but he certainly didn't get there without due diligence in making an ass of himself.

hdhouse said...

were the lawyers present any better? singing? heads on table tops?..god.

Hoosier Daddy said...

were the lawyers present any better? singing? heads on table tops?..god.

Nope but then again, do you expect anything less from them? No offense to our host but anymore the profession seems to be more performance art than anything else.

Bissage said...

Hoosier Daddy,

Respectfully, I'm sure there's a county courthouse a short drive from your home. Take a day to find an active courtroom and sit in the back. Whether it's calling the criminal miscellaneous list, or a family short list, or summary appeals, or motions court, or even a criminal trial where much of it will be two cops repeating what the defendant told them or a civil trial where most of the legal underpinnings will be incomprehensible to the layman, . . . , prepare to be bored out of your mind.

You will see very few showboating lawyers. Very few real life lawyers are entertaining. And most of those are facile big mouths cutting corners and stealing their client’s money.

(I’ve said too much.)

P.S. Cool blogger name!

Mark Daniels said...

This is sort of fun. The post I did based on this discussion and my reaction to it--to which I also linked--has been linked by the AOL Entertainment News editors.

It's brought only three hits, I think. But it strikes me as funny. I guess that we can now take our places with those gossip jocks on E!.

Mark Daniels