Archive for July 26th, 2017

To the Followers of this Blog

posted by Judge_Burke @ 20:34 PM
July 26, 2017

Today marks 33 years on the bench. Thanks to Governor Perpich, who appointed me; the people of Hennepin County, who elected me; family, friends, and colleagues who supported me.

The challenges to the judiciary today are serious. We need to have courage to speak about injustice, and we need to focus on making sure our courts are fair. It is not an easy task. Each generation of judges has likely claimed theirs was among the most critical of their democracy. The answer to that debate can’t be agreed upon, but what can be agreed upon is the judges in the United States and Canada have the capacity to make our courts the best they can be. Some of our excuses for why we fail are, frankly, tired and lame:  ”We simply have too many cases to do a quality job.” Volume should be viewed as one of our strengths, not as a weakness. Each case gives us the opportunity to show litigants and their supporters that there is a fair and responsive justice system. So what we need…what each judge needs…is to take a deep breath, reflect for a moment, and then rededicate ourselves to achieving excellence.



Is the Civil Justice System in India Speedier Than in Washington DC?

posted by Judge_Burke @ 14:30 PM
July 26, 2017

A woman who sued the Washington, D.C., Department of Corrections for sexual discrimination is still awaiting the final resolution of her lawsuit 27 years after it was filed.

The Washington Post reports:

The length of the suit filed by Deborah Jean Bryant “may set a record for the court system in the nation’s capital and is likely among the most protracted in the history of American jurisprudence.”

The case has been before nine judges; a 10th will consider her dispute over interest this week.

Bryant had claimed in her suit that she was denied a promotion because she refused the advances of her former supervisor. The Washington, D.C., Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development ruled in Bryant’s favor, and the corrections department appealed.

The appeal lasted 11 years, and a dispute over whether Bryant was entitled to interest on her back wages lasted nine years. After she was awarded interest in 2012, Bryant claims the department miscalculated the amount.

Bryant’s lawyer, Robert Adler, told the Post that the case has dragged on because the Washington, D.C., legal system is slow-moving.

“This is not a hard case. It’s really pretty easy,” Adler said. “These people just don’t work that hard. That’s what the fact of the matter is.”

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley agreed that delays are a problem in government workplace cases in Washington, D.C., where a mix of administrative law judges and superior court judges preside at different stages.

“Each one of these case transfers has built into it months, even years, of delay,” he told the Post. “A litigant can find themselves ping-ponging between the court and the administrative office.”