North Carolina candidate wants me to elect him to its high court

October 19, 2010
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I don’t live in North Carolina. I never have, and I’m pretty sure I just briefly drove through it once on my way to Florida. Yet, somehow, a North Carolina judge’s campaign has decided to send me an e-mail on why Judge Bob Hunter should be a North Carolina Supreme Court justice. Sorry, Judge Hunter, but I can’t vote for you as I live in Indiana and don’t care about your campaign.

I can’t figure out how I ended up the recipient of this campaign e-mail. I wonder what company sold my e-mail address to his campaign. They must have sent out a mass e-mail to any e-mail address they had and that’s how I ended up with it e-mail in my junk folder.

Out of curiosity, I searched for Judge Bob Hunter’s name online and got his campaign site to see if this was even a legit e-mail. Judge Hunter is on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He has oodles of endorsements, from police organizations, former North Carolina chief justices and other judges, newspapers, and former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt.

This is why electing judges makes me uneasy. What if there is a case involving one of those newspapers that endorsed him that makes it all the way to the Supreme Court, where he could perhaps be a justice. What if Judge Hunter finds himself ruling on a case involving one of the sheriff’s departments that have endorsed him?

When you mix money and politics, it can be a recipe for appearances of impropriety or partiality. If you’ve got a lot of endorsements from various groups, will you be forced to recuse yourself a lot from court? That doesn’t seem very effective.

I’m happy with Indiana’s appointment and retention system for filling our appellate courts. I’d be happier if Indiana went to a uniform system of appointing judges instead of electing lower-court judges. And my inbox is also happy it isn’t filled with e-mail from judicial candidates vying for the bench.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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