Judges don’t have regular work hours. As elected officials, we are judges — 24/7.
For example, I am available any time day or night to handle law enforcement requests, like issuing emergency protective orders in domestic violence cases, or issuing emergency arrest or search warrants. For instance, the police have contacted me at night at my home, gym, restaurant, movie theater, church, and even in the hospital.
I need to be at court by 9 am in order to take the bench on time. However, I usually arrive by 7 am. When I finish all of my cases for the day, and my in-box is empty, I leave early.
At our branch court in Westminster, I was on the top/third floor. The judge next to me had a full view from his chambers of the back judges’ parking lot.
This judge felt guilty about leaving before 5 pm. He acted like a shift worker rather than an elected official. As he watched other judges leave early, he e-mailed snide comments to them. He felt guilty about leaving early, but he was envious of other judges who did.
Finally, some anonymous court personnel got tired of his constant complaining. When this judge returned to work one Monday morning he sensed that his chambers/office was darker than usual. He glanced out the window and saw – nothing. Over the weekend, someone had set up scaffolding and painted the outside of his third-floor chambers’ windows black. It was a professional paint job. (It wasn’t me.)
The judge stopped complaining and stopped sending snide e-mails to the rest of us.
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