Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I have been liberal enough with my criticism of Kings County Supreme Court in the past, so I think it is only fair to comment when I encounter something positive. When your case is on the calendar in Brooklyn it is called in a central jury part, where it is assigned for jury selection, and then sent out to an IAS judge. Back when I was in Kings more often the part was called Trial One, but they call it something else now. It is an unruly room. Typically there are over a hundred cases a day on the trial calendar, plus motions and miscellaneous business. The judge assigned to the part has to get the oldest cases out to pick, or settled, or otherwise disposed of. It is certainly a challenging job to move the calendar there, and over the years it has seemed to me that the favored tools for doing this were bullying and intimidation. It also has always seemed to me that Kings is the county where being an insider is the the most valuable-- hardly surprising, given the heritage of corruption at 360 Adams. That said, the judge that is presiding there presently, the Hon. Allen Hurkin Torres, impresses me as being everything that I have never seen there before. Although the Part is unruly, there is an atmosphere of civility. Although the calendar is huge, he moves through it and doesn't seem to be giving anyone short-shrift. He seems to be interested in the law. I'm really impressed by the guy, and I'm not alone. An interesting site called The Robing Room allows users to rate New York judges, and people there, who are before Justice Hurkin Torres more than I am, rave about the guy. Brooklyn caught a break when he took the bench is what I'm thinking.