Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

I know, it’s been a week since I last posted here; sorry but there was a lot going on in the last week before the Town Meeting break. Of interest to you, of course, is the public hearing on the retention of the seven judges and one magistrate. Let me just say that one litigant from Orleans County had some negative comments about Judge Gerety and Magistrate Zander. She said that the judge needed more training on dealing with people with “hidden disabilities”. She maintained that he did not let her speak and only did so reluctantly after she objected, giving her only two minutes.

Attorney Doug DiSabito, a former judiciary employee in Grand Isle County, testified in favor of Judge Tomasi. He praised him for his vast knowledge of the law and a real insight into people. He said the judge’s findings a re well written and he is respectful of litigants and the lawyers.

Two witnesses spoke in favor of Magistrate Zander. They were Caledonia and Essex Superior Court Clerk Kathleen Pearl and former ADAP and current Washington County Deputy Sheriff Dick Powell. Dick Powell spoke to the difficulty in dealing with self represented litigants during an emotional hearing at a difficult time in their lives. Both witnesses spoke to her respect for the people appearing before her and her willingness to listen to both sides of the issue. Kathleen Pearl spoke to the other duties Magistrate Zander performs. She cited examples of working on internal issues in the courthouse, serving on committees, etc.

Finally Teri Corsones and Steve Dardeck testified in favor of the retention of Judge Cohen. Steve told the committee that Judge Cohen stands out in patience, courtesy, and willingness to listen and shows no gender bias to either litigants or lawyers. Teri echoed the comments about patience and spoke to his support of the “low bono” project in Rutland County. She referred to Judge Cohen as an “exemplary model of professionalism and cooperation”.

So, now the legislature takes a week off; when they return on Tuesday, March 12th, the retention committee will be meeting with Judge Cohen and Magistrate Zander. After that the committee will take its votes on whether to recommend retention of the each of the eight. The joint assembly vote is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th at 10:30.

Thanks for reading. Check back after March 12 for more updates.

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