Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, May 28, 2010

New York State Supreme Court Judges make $136,700 a year, and haven't had a raise in ten years. There is a case to be made that this state of affairs has led to a decline in the caliber of judicial candidates, although you don't hear the same thing about federal district court judges often, and they make $174,000. Is the extra $37k that meaningful? Federal judges do bitch about their paychecks, but they don't bring lawsuits and they don't threaten to join unions.

I suppose it is true that many people who are judges could make more money elsewhere, but nobody put a gun to anyone's head. On the contrary, in New York the tradition is that if you want to be a judge you get your friends to give you money, with the more or less implicit understanding that it is good to be a judge's friend. We've got five open Supreme Court spots here in the Eighth Judicial District this year. That's a lot of fund raisers. If the job is so crumby, how come my mailbox is full of invitations to parties for people who want me to be their friend?

| Comments:
Well, I've always said you would make a great judge, on any level. You are very intelligent, very fair minded (about most things) and tremedously ethical. I know you say you can't afford to take the pay cut but money is nopt everything. You'd be very good at this.

And we'd be your friend and could help you find more.

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