Thursday, March 24, 2011

Novel Solution to Judicial Funding Crisis -- Pay Judges to Work Faster!



I swear this year's legislative proposals affecting the judiciary are among the most bone-headed in memory.

Take this doozy:
Republican Sen. J.D. Alexander, the influential budget chairman from Lake Wales, wants to pay trial court judges up to an additional $12,000 a year if they meet specific numerical quarterly performance goals. The extra money would be dished out in $3,000 increments.

“I’m very serious about it,” Alexander said. “What we’re trying to do is create some incentives for the courts that are fair and reasonable and save us a lot of money.”

Alexander’s so-called Judicial Workload Incentive Plan is expected to be part of the proposed Senate budget to be considered next week, but it’s already receiving a mostly hostile reception among senators who directly oversee the judicial branch’s budget.

Despite Alexander’s unmatched clout when it comes to legislative spending, senators aren’t shy about openly lampooning his idea.

“Judges don’t need this,” said Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton. “I think they like to claim they’re professionals. I don’t think they need to be rewarded for managing their dockets.”
What is this, Glengarry Glen Ross?

I find the details interesting:

Every time a judge denies a continuance, we shtup them a hundred bucks.

If a judge grants an sj we give them a nice flat-screen TV.

Our motto:  Justice is fine, but a ruling is quicker!

Here's a suggestion -- how about instead of paying judges more to move cases faster, we simply hire more judges?

3 comments:

  1. I personally would welcome an anonymous payment system where litigants could (via the clerk's website) pay an extra $1,000 or so per case per year (maybe more or less) if it assures that the judge will actually read the materials sent in advance of a specially-set hearing. A part of that could go directly to supplement the jurist's income, perhaps some could be used to help the clerk's office.

    Obviously this should not supplant the jurist's obligation to read in advance of a hearing, but the payment would assure it happens, so while it will benefit litigants with money, it won't screw over litigants who don't pay it.

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  2. Second prize - set of steak knives. Third prize - you're fired.

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  3. Put. That coffee. Down.
    [pause]
    Coffee's for closers only.

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