Judge Debra James, who issued a confused ruling Monday that essentially said citizens can't sue to force governments to enforce health, safety and other public codes, has a long history of befuddling rulings that make little – and sometimes no – legal sense.
Above: Judge Debra James
Judge Debra James, who issued a confused ruling Monday that essentially said citizens can't sue the city to force it enforce health, safety and other public codes, has a long history of befuddling rulings that make little – and sometimes no – legal sense.
At least that's what anonymous attorneys say about James on the judge-rating website the Robing Room.
Here's a sample comment:
Judge James is one of the scar[i]est judges to appear before. She does not have a clue on the law and does not recognize precedence when it is handed to her in a neatly organized binder. Every time we have a case to which she is assigned, my firm tries to find new and inventive ways to work against the ignorance. In a recent Full Faith & Credit Clause Case, Judge James actually said on the record that precedent by the United States Supreme Court with regard to the application of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution did not bind her as she was not sitting in a federal court. That was her ruling on the record, I kid you not. While the client did not have the money to appeal this ignorance, I really wanted to appeal it just to hear the First Department's reaction to such a level of ignorance that is a disgrace to the bench. I know that New York Judge's salaries are not the greatest, but if this is what we are left with then our justice system is doomed to fail. Oh, and pack a lunch when you have to appear before her as she has oral argument on every single case on the docket even though she often does not understand the words coming out of the attorneys' mouths, so plan on being there all day long. If you do appear before her, you will note that she often closes her eyes and repeats what the lawyer just said to her as if she is trying to, herself, understand the legal concept before her. Very scary.
If true, this is very sad.