Released, Wednesday, March 02, 2011, Bridging the Budget Gap
Talk of the Town, 919 610-5255
My View, "Why deep cuts won’t imperil the courts" What's yours?
Your Host: Former Assistant Assignment Commissioner, Deputy Clerk, former Courtroom Clerk to the late Chief Judge Harold H. Greene, Washington, D.C.
I am now a bit over 60 years of age, and I’ve been in Raleigh 21 years, and though I’ve had relatively minor infractions with the law in several states where I have resided over those years in Temple Hills, Md., Kingwood, W. VA, Washington, D.C., and San Diego, California, as well as Aviano, Italy for minor equipment repair, warning for bald tires, turning left-on-red, I have had the most unfortunate and most uncivil treatment in N.C., and West Virginia Courts, both in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
I must therefor take exception to Esquire, Martin Brinkley and president-elect of the 16,000 member N.C. Bar Association. As president-elect Mr. Brinkley, a lawyer with an undisclosed firm, Mr. Brinkley’s rhetoric seems to be self-serving, and more of a P.R. piece.
For example: he states the leaders of our state court system are "team players," has he not heard of Balance, Nifong, Easley, Hill, all lawyers, and called Officers of the Court.
Remember John Kennedy, former Clerk of the Wake County Courts, who was appointed to the position Director of Administrative Office of the Courts only to be removed by none other than the Judge who put him there--I Beverly Lake, Jr.Lake also appointed Robert Hoobgood, who reluctantly accepted, but promised he would only stay five years but left within months.
Another former director of the Administrative Office of the Courts is quoted as saying "‘Overall, I don’t think state employees are fairly compensated.’" [N & O 6/10/2001] Story by Joe Neff, and Bill Krueger.
Most blacks have a tale or two about treatment by N.C. Law Enforcement officers, and its courts; I can relate several, probably because I have had some--though limited--training in Court Management Techniques, Paralegal Duties/legal profession, Fire [arm] Science, Evidence, Calendar Management, Appellate Procedures/Finality of Judgment, Case Intake, Case Flow, Judicial Adminstration, Juvenile Court and the Law, Probation and Parole, and having taken a case to the U.S. Supreme Court: 92-6940.
Mr. Brinkley writes: "...[t]he people who staff the courts...in 100 counties have worked tirelessly to maintain the rule of law as a living reality for our citizens. A matter of opinion.
Now, I would ask Mr. Brinkley what would his rule of law say about credit unions that ask depositors: "What is the Check for? What is the purpose of the check." when a black member sought to deposit a check--made part of a confidential settlement agreement-- signed by a Judge in North Carolina, and case was dismissed?
How would Mr. Brinkley advise a black N.C. resident, whose brother dies 28 eight days after two different WVA doctors prescribe and offer samples of medication that the Physicians Desk Reference, and Fact Sheet disclose that the medication has been tested "...in relatively few blacks, and may cause swelling of the tongue, and medication filled at two different pharmacies?"
How would Mr. Brinkley advise a black N.C. resident, who seeks legal assistance from the court for the appointment of counsel in a libel action when the resident seeking political office in the primary is libeled by written news piece that: candidate: "... is not a serious alternative. His preoccupation is proving that the $25 fine he paid a decade ago for giving a cop the finger was a miscarriage of justice."
Professor Nichols, UNC-Chapel Hill has suggested "Why not counsel in Civil cases too." [N & O 11/23/2009], and in 2011: "Legal Services down and nearly out." The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts are responsible for appointing and paying for indigent defense services.
My view is that North Carolina’s budget gap could be ameliorated in one of two ways: Deny pensions to court employees for their lack of "Honest Services, or misconduct."
Secondly, by adjusting pension and salaries already given, such as to John H. Connell, Clerk State Court of Appeals, who is quoted in the News & Observer, June 10, 2001, "I went from November making $45,000, to December I was making $94,000...my salary doubled overnight. And Christie S. Cameron, a Supreme Court Clerk, who in 2001, her salary "equals that of a state Senior Resident Superior Court Judge.
Governor Easley, now a convicted felon, in 2001 the same year as Connell, and Cameron’s raises, and before stepping down as the Attorney General approved salary increases ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent for...28 employees." That’s my perspective. What’s yours?
Talk of the Town 919 610-5255