Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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October 22nd, 2010

Bar association has no credibility

The Sullivan County Bar Association claims Cindy Barber is not qualified to be our County Court Judge while an independent State Judicial Panel says she is.

This survey should surprise no one. They did the same thing to Barber when she ran against Burton Ledina three years ago.

The Sullivan County Bar Association has a reputation of dealing in politics.

This is the same group that back in 1996 slapped then County Court Judge Candidate Frank LaBuda in the face saying he was “unqualified” when he ran against Ledina.

Imagine that, the Sullivan County Bar Association survey concluded Frank LaBuda was “unqualified” to serve us as our County Court Judge. Are these same lawyers saying that now?

Both Cindy Barber and Michael McGuire clearly have the qualifications to be our next County Court Judge. They both would bring different types of expertise to the bench.

The purpose of this column is not to sway votes one way or another, but to discuss issues.

The seat being vacated is not only that of County Court Judge, but also that of Surrogate and acting Supreme Court. Because the judgeship is considered one of a “multi-hat judge,” McGuire can legally run and serve if he wins, but will not be able to serve as Acting Supreme Court Judge until he is an attorney for at least ten years under state law.

I am shocked Bar Association members have no concerns over what potential harm this can do to our other members of the judiciary. I know the argument is a new Judge might not be called upon to hear Supreme Court cases, but what if there was a need?

I do not bring this up as an attempt to sway votes away from McGuire. I bring this up because I question what research Bar Association members conduct when they rate judicial candidates.

If they do not take into account potential job requirements, I wonder if they review caseloads, or if they base their votes on politics, friendships, or even potential personal gain? It is common knowledge courts reward “favorite” attorneys with overseeing trusts and other lucrative items.

Of course there is always the question of ethics. Do they dive into cases and research defense arguments or proper conduct? Do they take into account the public at large or even victims of crime?

I don’t think ethics is an issue that matters much to lawyers even though it does to the general public. Lawyers will argue lawyers should accept all types of cases because they want to insure everyone who is accused of a crime is provided with constitutional protections.

The bottom line is this, an independent State Judicial Panel saw fit to rate both Barber and McGuire qualified after an extensive review process, and this was not a survey or straw poll.

It is mind-blowing how the Bar Association can conclude McGuire is qualified to be our County Court Judge while Barber is not. Give me a break. Either they are both qualified, or they both are not.

2 comments to Bar association has no credibility

  • Diane

    I hope the Democrat publishes the Sullivan County Bar Associations list of attorneys and their votes on who is qualified and who is not. It should be public knowledge.

  • Bill
    How can Barber serve, my understanding as a 20+ year Trooper is that you have to serve as a county court judge for at least two years before you can be considered to hear Supreme Court cases?