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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Law and You

It's funny how work-related words and phrases infiltrate your civilian life.  They pop out, without even realizing it.

I spend a lot of time in court.  There's a phrase judges use quite often:  duly noted.

It means, essentially, "I hear you ."

A health care professional had me on the phone yesterday.  She was giving me a list of instructions.  I'll write more on that in the near future.  At the close of her comments, it came out.  I said "duly noted."

I listened, and I understood, although I got the distinct feeling that the person on the other end of the phone had no idea what I was talking about.  It was likely her first experience with duly noted.  A simple "OK" would have sufficed.   Maybe even an "okey doke."  "Got it" would have worked nicely.  No.  I had to be different.

Duly noted.

And then, there is Governor Rendell's plan to use a merit selection system for county judges, rather than an election.  There are many pluses and minuses.

I'm hesitant to take any decision away from the voters.

There's nothing to stop even an appointed judge from going bad.  It's happened many times before.

Let's take last year's judicial election in Luzerne County, for example.  There were more than a dozen candidates on the ballot.  Did the best ones win?  Maybe not.  The ones with the best campaigns won, and that does not necessarily mean they will become the best judges.  Point for merit selection.

Of course, this whole thing would be a moot point, if certain members of the bench were able to behave themselves, and some other court officers and county officials were too stupid, or too lazy to see something was going wrong.