Articles Posted in Lawyers and Law Librarians, News Humor Etc.

Judge Wesley E. Brown, is a spry, active 103 year old Federal District Court judge in Kansas. He still hears a full complement of criminal cases, but warns lawyers preparing for lengthly court cases that “he may not live to see cases to completion….” adding “At this age I’m not even buying green bananas.”

For more, see the September 16 New York times article: At 103, a Judge Has One Caveat, No Lengthly Trials by A. G. Sulzberger
For more information about Judge Brown go to Wesley E. Brown Inn of Court. This source includes both biographical information and a videw, made when Judge Brown was just 22 years old!

In an earlier posting on November 5 , 2009 we reported that on November 3, 1909 the criminal court building in Manhattan (bounded by Centre, Lafayette, Franklin, and White Streets) was declared unsafe for human occupancy and everyone in the building at the time was ordered to leave immediately. When the last man was out a squad of thirty policemen took charge of the building, roping it off on all sides and remaining on guard outside the building to forbid anyone to enter or even pass through any of the flanking streets”.

On March 2, 2010 for very different reasons the present criminal court building in Manhattan was evacuated due to smoke and water damage caused by an electrical fire in the basement.. When the last people were out, policemen, firemen and court officers took charge of the building and for a time did not permit anyone to enter the building except for business related to coping with the emergency situation..

As noted earlier there were many differences in the two events. By most accounts the old criminal courts building was in very poor condition by 1909. The present Criminal Courts buiilding is perfectly safe and in good condition with lingering smoke and other residual damage from the fire causing the building to remain closed until March 8.

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David Badertscher*

A giant of New York politics and law enforcement recently retired from public office– Robert Morgenthau. Scion to a powerful family, Robert Morgenthau’s grandfather served as United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and his father was Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. While his famous name and lineage may have helped to open doors, Robert Morgenthau was determined to find a profession where he could navigate his own path in life.

After honorable combat service in the navy during World War 2, where his ship was torpedoed, Robert Morgenthau proceeded to law school and rose to partner in a major law firm. However, Robert Morgenthau largely dedicated his professional career, and indeed his life, to public service. He served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for an eight year period from 1961 -1969. But he will surely best be remembered for his longstanding and legendary tenure as New York County District Attorney that spanned a thirty-five year period from 1974 – 2009. In this latter capacity, he resuscitated the office which was ravaged by budget problems and made it, what many law enforcement officials consider, the finest district attorney’s office in the nation and possibly the best overall law enforcement office in the nation.