Take physic, pomp

Attention Argentina: Judge Griesa, according to his colleagues at bar

Via @HealeyParera , this page of the lawyers website The Robing Room, which gives those at the bar the opportunity to comment anonymously on the qualities of peers, makes for most interesting reading and should be taken into consideration by readers from the merry republic of Argentina. Rather than use the comments left on the Argentina vs Vulture funds case, let’s see what lawyers, barristers and judges said about him in the years prior to today’s high-profile judgment and on different cases to the hot-topic one:

6/27/2006Criminal Defense Lawyer
Unpleasant personality. Does the government’s bidding.


9/21/2007OtherJudge Griesa is shockingly lazy and irresponsible. He simply never reads briefs or letters to the court, so everything is decided at oral argument. He puts off making the simplest decisions for months and is constantly cancelling hearings, often at the last minute. Things that should take a few weeks instead take years with him. 
On top of all that, he is clearly biased towards certain lawyers, particularly those from high-profile firms. He is impatient with the others and gives them little opportunity to change his mind. 

10/11/2007Civil Litigation – PrivateJudge Griesa sat on my case for two and a half years without reading any of my pleadings, motions or briefs. The defense wasn’t required to comply with discovery or even local filing rules. He then swiftly granted the defense’s summary judgment without giving any serious consideration to my opposition.


Civil Litigation – Private

Should have retired long ago and should be ashamed to continue to collect a paycheck. A judge fully worthy of contempt. 

5/13/2008OtherJudge Griesa is extremely lazy and doesn’t bother reading any briefs or letters. He must have the shortest trial days in the Southern District- stops at 4:30 on the dot even if in the middle of closing arguments. He should be ashamed to be on the bench.

11/5/2013Criminal Defense LawyerIn 2009 there were public hearings held at the State Capitol concerning the level of public dissatisfaction at the Appellate Division First Department Disciplinary Committee (the Committee that oversees attorneys in New York) and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (the Committee that oversees judges’ misconduct). I testified. 
I testified concerning attorneys at the DDC. I had requested the DDC’s assistance because attorneys I had retained were not sending me copies of checks that they were required to send. One of the attorneys was formerly employed as an attorney at the DDC; the other was a former Chief Counsel at the DDC. The DDC attorneys were claiming they were obtaining the copies of the checks from the bank — the DDC attorneys were telling me this for three years. Everyone knows it does not take a bank three years to send checks. When I realized that the DDC attorneys were not being honest, I filed a complaint in the NY State Court in order to obtain the copies of the checks. The presiding judge was the Hon. Joan Kenny, and she dismissed the case, calling me frivolous by attributing cases to me that were not mine, and then publishing the decision on the front page of the NY Law Journal. The checks that the DDC eventually turned over to me were forged. The Chief Counsel of the DDC, Thomas Cahill, closed the case and stated that the attorneys had turned over the checks to the DDC when I filed the complaint with the DDC. This was inconsistent with what the DDC attorneys were telling me for three years. 
At the hearing, I testified about the expert’s report I obtained concerning the forged checks. The expert also investigated the curriculum vitae of Judge Kenny, which she found on the judge’s campaign website; she found material misrepresentations such as: inaccurate and false information about participation in law school activities, her licensure date and legal employment, and her professional experience. 
Many people who testified filed Federal Court cases. I filed a federal complaint, and the case was assigned to the Hon. Thomas P. Griesa. 
Judge Griesa called me and the Attorney General in for a conference, prior to me serving the complaints. At the conference, a court reporter was present and Judge Griesa said the following: 
“And what I wanted to tell you is that the complaint appears to be without merit; we’ve reviewed it and I am not going to authorize service upon all of these defendants.” 
It is not clear to whom he is referring to when he says “we.” He goes on to say: “When there are many defendants, such as state court judges and so forth, there is nothing to be gained by having a lot of people served, not that it’s a huge burden, but, you know, if the marshals have to do it and so forth, why, I don’t want to engage in that.” 
Judge Griesa further guides the Assistant Attorney General by saying: “I would think that there could be an appropriate motion, but what do you think?” She starts speaking, but Judge Griesa then interrupts her and advises her how to proceed, saying, “No, don’t do a letter motion,” adding, “I mean, it doesn’t- it is not a lot of trouble to have a formal notice of motion and a brief memorandum.” He then interjects his personal strategy on how to view the case: “But what I would do is, to anybody who communicates with you about the case, if they have received something by mail, “ then catches himself and says, “why, you use your judgment as to what you want to advise them.” 
Judge Griesa is clearly guiding the Assistant Attorney General to take his advice and do what he believes is right. He has abandoned his role of being a neutral and detached judge, and instead has become an advocate, thereby violating Canon 2A of the Code of Conduct for United States judges. 
In the complaint, I also questioned the constitutionality of a state statute. Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution of the State of New York established the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) to receive, initiate, investigate and hear complaints with respect to the conduct, qualifications, fitness to perform or performance of official duties of any judges and may determine that a judge be admonished, censured or removed from office. The powers of the SCJC are a constitutional obligation. The State Statute, Section 44 of the Judiciary Law, was unconstitutional, in that it violated the due process and equal protection clauses, since unbridled discretion had been given to the SCJC to determine which allegations of a complaint are without merit, and whether to dismiss them. It allowed for complaints filed against a judge with the SCJC not to be made public, and therefore the legislature abrogated its constitutional responsibility by giving a constitutional obligation to an organization that is not subject to review or oversight. 
Judge Griesa is ignoring a truism central to American Constitutional jurisprudence: that state laws that are repugnant to the Constitution are absolutely null and void, and of the well-established principle of American Constitutional Law that Federal courts have jurisdiction to evaluate the constitutionality of challenged state laws. However, Judge Griesa was preventing me from serving my complaint. 
I withdrew the case, and refiled it. The case was consolidated with many others and assigned to Judge Shira Scheindlin. Read my review concerning Judge Scheindlin to see what happened next


1/1/2014Criminal Defense LawyerThis judge should have retired a long time ago. I tried a criminal case before him, and it was unbelievable. He was a second prosecutor doing the government’s bidding. He is the worst judge ever. 

6/12/2014Criminal Defense LawyerMuch like the president that appointed him (Nixon) Griesa obviously believes he is above the law. He has dragged out a copyright/fair use case that should have been decided by summary judgment at the onset of the lawsuit and managed to drag it out to over three years now which included a five day JURY TRIAL- these kinds of copyright cases are almost always decided by a judge- rarely if ever by a jury. Griesa spent two years denying summary judgment motions in perfunctory “opinions” which cited cases to “back” his opinions- problem was the cases he cited had nothing whatsoever to do with the opinion he was espousing- not even remotely. 
But here is the kicker: at the trial- after two years of handling this complex copyright case- he was completely disoriented and kept asking lawyers and even a witness what the law was. He had no idea. Then when he was told by the lawyers, he dismissed the laws as “meaningless.” In his jury charge, he instructed the jury on completely erroneous law, introducing a brand new and utterly absurd legal concept that totally undermines the very foundation of copyright law- a principle that has not one case in the history of the U.S. court system to back it but has dozens – decided by the 2nd Circuit- which directly oppose the concept. He then went on to describe the four factors the jury should consider when deciding ‘fair use’- except he only described one- the factor about the amount and substantiality of the portion taken- basically saying there was no limit- and then he didn’t bother to mention the other factors because according to him the other factors were “without content or meaning.” 
There are three possibilities that might explain the behavior of this judge: 1) he is maniacally insane and power crazed, 2) He is extremely corrupt or 3) he is succumbing to what many people his age (84) suffer from- dementia (senility as it is also called). 
I don’t say this out of spite- as someone who just witnessed an aging parent begin exhibiting signs of dementia, it is a serious issue for me and I don’t speak of it lightly. Judge Griesa clearly is exhibiting signs of deteriorating mental abilities very often (not always) associated with aging. 
Look at the mess he created with the Argentina case- wherein the U.S. Government, the IMF, the Federal Reserve, England, France and many other countries all submitted amicus briefs on the side of Argentina urging the 2nd Circuit to overturn Griesa’s draconian ruling which threatens the whole world of international finance. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has to deal with it. UNBELIEVABLE…..and in 2008 the 2nd Circuit had to reverse a decision because Griesa did not instruct the jury properly, calling the well established precedent a waste of time.” Judging from the comments below Judge Griesa has been wreaking havoc with the law for some time now……and guess what- nobody can do anything about it because these federal judges can sit on the bench until they die and there is no recourse to monitoring them, never mind retiring them. They could sit there sentencing people to death for shoplifting and there isn’t a goddamn thing anyone- including the courts can do about it. Federal judges cannot be fired and have no mandatory retirement age. 
Because of this I have been trapped in a surreal and Kafkaesque legal abyss where statutory law is twisted into a grotesque inversion of itself and case law is simply disregarded. Early on when we tried to appeal to the higher courts for a summary decision Griesa wouldn’t allow it. If we tried to change judges- he definitely would not allow it. You can’t appeal pre-judgment decisions without the consent of the judge who make the decision! There is no recourse. You get stuck with a senile judge or a judge who’s power has so gone to his head that he thinks he is above the law. And there is no way out. THIS SYSTEM MUST CHANGE. The number of judges over the age of 80 has tripled in the last twenty years. Does the justice system really believe these people are some kind of deities who are immune to natural human frailties. No doubt many of these octogenarian judges are still sharp as tacks but there must be some acknowledgement that not all judges are resistant to the normal claims of aging. There has got to be some accountability and some quality control installed in the court system. 
There are several more examples of absolutely illogical rulings and bizarre behavior by Judge Griesa- for instance at the end of the trial he emphatically urged us for a new trial on the jury award that he thought was outrageously high and then denied our motion for the new trial when we submitted it. He can’t even follow his own opinions consistently never mind the opinions of the higher courts. And yes there more but I will stop now. 
It’s just to disgusting and demoralizing to think about….. 

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