Judge Jock: Bogus Judges Named, Judge No-Friends Moans, Two Nights in Gore, Legal (S)crap Heap

Don't Forget
Do lawyers really contribute more than accountants? Or do bean counters rule? Find out at the ASB Great Debate on August 31. Read more here: Good cause debate aims to stimulate Auckland intellect http://www.nbr.co.nz/node/143073/

Silly Bedfellows
It’s not only decent, trained and skilled court reporters who don’t know “which judge is that”.

Those who purport to run the Auckland district law society (ADLSi) are also confused.

After various media jumped the gun in July to find embattled lawyer Davina Murray guilty – a week before trial judge Russell Collins had done so himself – (Media find Davina Murray guilty) http://www.nbr.co.nz/node/143265/  the New Zealand Herald compounded the c*ck-up when Judge Collins released his decision by converting him into someone it called Judge Davies.

There is no Judge Davies.

Last month the ADLSi newsletter LawNews told its members the guest speaker at this week’s employment law dinner would be a Judge Jenkins.

Last week LawNews admitted its mistake, saying the after-dinner speaker was “in fact” Judge Mark Perkins.

There is no Judge Jenkins.

Why Frank Didn't Get What He Wanted
When lawyers fall out there is no end of wrangling over how much one cost the other and who should cough up what to whom.

The strange case involving warring Auckland briefs Frank Deliu and Boon Gunn Hong is no exception.

Mr Deliu, a barrister, and Mr Hong, a solicitor, have been at each other’s throats now for some years, raising all manner of sometimes bizarre and abusive allegations, one against the other.

What began as a client complaint against Mr Hong over a house purchase escalated into what observers reckon is little more than a slanging match.

Chief High Court judge Helen Winkelmann – getting on for two years ago – described the affair as a “mutual exchange of inappropriate communications” which involved the court in the waste of a lot of public resource.

Details have been well recorded here: (The price of righteous self-beliefhttp://www.nbr.co.nz/node/106966/

The latest episode comes this month from associate High Court judge Rob Osborne, who, in an interlocutary pre-trial judgment (yes, a trial is pending), ordered Mr Hong to pay Mr Deliu $14,328, plus disbursements of $1942.15 – reduced by $398 if Mr Hong paid up within three working days.

Mr Deliu initially wanted $58,108, plus disbursements, but cut that back to $48,158, plus $2233.47 disbursements.

Associate judge Osborne said Mr Deliu claimed costs on some things which had either been disallowed or awarded earlier by another judge, so slashed the claim further – referring to some of Mr Deliu’s costs claims as attempts to claim “double recovery”.

Meanwhile, Mr Deliu has promised Judge Jock the following: “4-day jury trial at the end of October, fireworks like this legal system has never seen before… ”

A Puzzled Judge Writes
"As a regular reader of your erudite and impeccably well-informed articles I was taken aback the other day when I noticed what was clearly a serious mistake.

In fact, a number of grave geographical errors appear in your otherwise informative item headed Judges Score More Jaunting Time. http://www.nbr.co.nz/node/143628/

Yes, we judges do often go on modestly-priced “jaunts”, as you so cheekily put it.

This is necessary to further out judicial knowledge and understanding of how many beans make three.

Myself, I make no secret of having been to Taihape, Gore, Hokitika, Kaikohe and a couple of times to Waipukarau on important judicial fact-finding missions.

I certainly have never been to any of the exotic destinations you claimed Judges swan off to – the Bahamas, Florence, Milan, Prague, Paris, Barcelona or Rome.

In discussing your extravagant claims with my fellow judges they confirm they, too, have been on gruelling assignments.

However, pressure of judicial work does not permit them to immediately recall which destinations they went to or for how long and at what cost.

I’m sure they would have said if they been larking it up in any of the foreign places you mentioned!

Anyway, two nights in a Gore B&B with a dog-eared Gideon would beat a week in Florence any time, so there…

And yes, breasting the bar on one’s own gives one time to reflect on one’s self and one’s achievements…

Signed
His Honour Justice No Friends” (real name withheld by request)

Judge Jock Replies
“Dear Justice No Friends,

I fear your colleagues may be tugging your judicial chain. They are on the global junket-go-round all the time. Why aren’t you? Is there something they are not telling you?
Don’t bother me again.
Jock J.”

OMATB Does Lunch
“Tell me, Your Honour, what do you make of Judy’s (Honourable Justice Minister Judith Collins) plan to do away with crime by Christmas? What’s in it for the Bench?” said Our Man At The Bar, hacking into his Ladies & Escorts budget lunch special of mini-steak, fried eggs and chips ($12.50 with handle of selected house beer)

“Good question, OMATB. Pass the sauce, there’s a good chap… As you know, we are a progressive lot in the higher courts these days, taking most things in our stride and with an eye for the main chance.”

“I say, don’t you find these damned tomato sauce squirters fail to deliver the goods in a timely and orderly fashion these days… Ooops, sorry, old chap… It will sponge off… Where was I? Oh yes… 

“While the Honourable Jude’s plan for crime termination is long overdue, welcome and to be applauded, it has raised a few broader issues around how we fill in our extremely valuable and constitutionally inviolate judicial time… ”

“How so, Learned One,” said OMATB, chasing a chip through his runny egg.

“For starters, most of us had already made our holiday and sabbatical leave arrangements before the Honourable Jude dropped this one on us.

To make matters worse, the unavoidable global judicial conference and very important fact-finding mission circuit has been set in stone for at least a couple of years.

But while it will be tricky to extend every attendance at these events from the usual one or two weeks to more than a month – with the inevitable hassle of carting more luggage and packing more Bermudas – I am confident Our Collective Honours will rise to the occasion, shoulder the burden and soldier on… ”

Your tab, OMATB?”

Lawyers Are Concerned
Lawyers are concerned by government plans to teach prison inmates how to read and write.

“An educated criminal class is bad for business,” said Lawyers Are Concerned spokesman Some Bloke, speaking exclusively from a top-level damage control five-star conference in Queenstown.

“Politicians and their petty bureacratic lapdogs are blindly Hell-bent on reducing criminal offending.

“If this insidious socialist practice is not nipped in the bud who knows what price will be paid? Educated criminals will get jobs and there is a serious risk they will stop committing crime,” Mr Bloke raged.

“Mark my words, Justice Minister Judith Collins’ plan to do away with crime by Christmas will see us all on the (s)crap heap of negative billing hours...

"And then what will happen to the children of Range Rover saleschaps???”

“Pinch a bike,” said The Scunner.

Coming Soon
How to recognise tell-tale signs a Judge is loony. An insider talks…

janderson@nbr.co.nz