When we here at http://www.corruptWA.com witness one of our public servants doing “public service” in the spirit of their oath, WE must celebrate that event.
Today was such a day. The event was a court hearing to decide if a citizen has a right to a jury trial. The defendant, Marcus Carter, was asking for a jury, and the plaintiff, State of WA, was arguing the defendant has no such right.
After being seated, Judge Holman said he read the briefs; then stated the questions he felt were at issue and needed to be resolved. While I have always heard a judge say he “read the briefs”, I immediately thought, from my personal experience, yeah sure you did. But when Judge Holman laid out the two issues needing resolution and asked both parties if they agreed that these were the issues, I did a ‘double-take’. Something didn’t match with what I was accustom to hearing; and it only became more and more different as the proceedings when on.
After the short introduction of the issues, Judge Holman had both parties argue their respective points. Then something really different occurred, Judge Holman began to ask both parties questions about their arguments — why did you choose this case to support your argument… what is the analogy you want me to consider … why do you think this way about this … and so on. I have NEVER been questioned by a judge, PERIOD, in any hearing to which I was a party. I don’t know such “civil discourse existed in WA courtrooms. But it kept getting more different from any experience I ever had before any Kitsap Judge.
After all the back-n-forth with the judge about each parties respective argument came the all familiar …
I am ready to rule
While I would like to have the “transcript” to speak for itself, which I don’t have, I’ll describe what occurred by this general statement … when the people of this state, as expressed by Article 1, Section 10, provided for “Justice in all cases shall be administered openly, and without unnecessary delay”, Judge Holman fulfilled that obligation as never, ever before witnessed.
Judge Holman, before issuing his ruling, went into a discussion of the constitution, the case law, court rules, and the implications that one discerns from the history of pleadings in the case itself. Judge Holman even went to the point of pulling up a cited case on his desktop computer so he could read the whole case (to himself) and then critique each parties argument in relation to that cited case.
At this point, still awaiting his actual ruling, I had tears in my eyes JUST BECAUSE OF THE EFFORT to explain and educate us all “openly,” not behind closed doors; and then issue, weeks later, a one sentence order that only the parties hear, which is the custom I’m most familiar. Today, we all learned how and why he arrived at his still to-be-announced ruling. This alone shows RESPECT for his office and the people he serves.
All I can say was that it was not only interesting but from my experience — it was remarkable.
Bravo Judge Stephen Holman and thanks for bringing hope to me that one day I’ll find a man of character as I found you to be today.
And yes, a citizen, when there are issues of fact to be decided, has a right to a jury trial, but not at public expense and only if such jury demand is consistent with “procedure”. Despite the right to a jury trial, payment must be made for the cost of the jury which is recoverable if you win.
Just for the record, I disagree with Holman’s “procedural” argument that must be followed once the Jury demand is made…. It is the Lawyer who “perfects” procedural issues. The lawyer takes an oath mandated by law, to ‘truth and honor.’ NO lay citizen party should be penalized for a procedural error when a lawyer represents another party to the action.