Posted On: May 13, 2008 by Ronald V. Miller, Jr.

Judge Lamdin's Suspension by the Maryland Court of Appeals

In December, I wrote about concerns that had been raised regarding Baltimore County Bruce S. Lamdin’s conduct on the bench. Today, the Maryland Court of Appeals suspended Judge Lamdin for 30 days.

The court’s opinion provides over a dozen comments for which Judge Lamdin was disciplined. The comments seem to fall in one of five categories:

(1) Disparaging children - Judge Lamdin said that he does not like children and does not want them in his courtroom. You cannot tell from the transcript whether he is serious, half-serious or kidding. I have three kids but I really don’t take offense to someone saying they don’t like kids. His loss, but I don’t find such remarks offensive. Maryland Lawyer Blog Score: Who cares?

(2) Disparaging Pennsylvania – He said “What’s the big rush to get back to Pennsylvania. It’s an ugly state.” If you are offended by this, you need to get a life. Does anyone really take real umbrage over their entire state being called ugly? Maryland Lawyer Blog Score: Double who cares?

(3) Mocking Baltimore City’s Efforts to Control Prostitution – Judge Lamdin gave a long speech mocking Baltimore’s efforts to curb prostitution concluding that Baltimore “treats prostitution like spitting on the sidewalk.” I’m not sure he said anything that was factually incorrect. I love Baltimore, but we all saw The Wire, right? Maryland Lawyer Blog Score: Truth is an absolute defense (on this one).

(4) Mocking the Work Ethic of Baltimore County Circuit Court Judges Not Named Judge Cahill – Judge Lamdin made a few disparaging comments, the gist of which is that Baltimore County Circuit Court judges are having cocktails in the afternoons. When questioned about these comments, he admitted he should not have said what he said but that he believed that little was going on in Baltimore County Circuit Court in the afternoon, essentially saying: I should not have spoken the truth. My guess is that some Baltimore County Circuit Court judges would tell you some judges are hard-working and some are not. This is the case in just about every decent sized courthouse, law office, or any other workplace in America. Maryland Lawyer Blog Score: Inappropriate. But can we lighten up a bit?

(5) Treating Criminals with Contempt and Disrespect – Finally, you have gotten my attention. I have a problem with this. I think people with power have to treat other human beings with respect. This maxim has even greater force when the authority is vested in a governmental office. An element of most criminal offenses is contempt for society. When a judge representing the state of Maryland - all of us - returns that contempt, that evens out the score and just sends the wrong message. Moreover, if you do not have some compassion for the criminals in front of you, you should not be a judge. But this speech is easy for me to give sitting in my office, never having handled a criminal case. I do appreciate that criminals do wear on judges like they do on police, prosecutors and even criminal lawyers. Moreover, and again I don’t handle criminal cases, if we start pulling the transcripts of judges with respect to the respect they show criminals, I’m guessing Judge Lamdin may be in the minority, but he has a lot of company. Maryland Lawyer Blog Score: Awful, but I wonder if Judge Lamdin is not being singled out. I really don't know.

In the end, the larger problem is that Judge Lamdin has not appeared repentant for his conduct. He clearly argued with the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities during the investigation of his conduct to the point where Judge Lamdin later argued that the Commission was motivated by their personal dislike for him. Worse still, when questioned about whether he has changed, he indicated that he now talks to people more in chambers. Arguably, this is code for “I’ll say what I want when the record is turned off. “

Maryland Lawyer Blog Final Score: I really don’t know.

You can find the entire opinion here.

Comments

I don't blame him for his comments on prostitution and crime. It is ridiculous the amount of crime piling up in this Country,. And if I were him, I would be sick of dealing with prostitutes and other scum bags. That’s right, I said it,. SCUM BAGS. I get so sick of the patting on the back of these people – like, oh you’re a prostitute? No big deal,.. see you next time you’re caught so you can pay another fine and go whore again. I mean come on people. It is to the point that the perpetrators have more rights than the victims, especially when someone was murdered. Let’s stick the murderer on death row for 30 years or forever, even though we have dna proof, who cares? Let’s financially support this murderer’s needs until he dies of old age,. Let’s not kill him because that would be as inhumane as what her did to his victim,. Poor murderer, no let’s let him live out his life, although he didn’t give his victim that courtesy. In a perfect system, dna proven murderers would by executed immediately, and the money what would be spent by tax payers in supporting the criminal would go directly to researching pre-dna cases, to release people who may have been wrongly convicted, and also to give proper funerals to the victims.

If someone wants to act like they have no morals and do whatever they want to do when they want to do it, why should they be treated like civilized people?? Judge Lamdin is a good example of someone who is frustrated about the state of the judicial system in this Country. We need more education for people so that they don’t turn to drugs and prostitution as their “professions”. We need more people working with kids so that they don’t fall though the cracks. We need to teach our children the importance of working hard and not to believe that robbing a convenience store or shoplifting are acceptable ways to acquire money. I had a rough childhood and have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a kid and I ended up leaving school in ninth grade because of it. I can tell you that I have NEVER stolen anything, I have never sold my body, I have never sold drugs, and no matter how hard things have been for me, I have always taken the high road. I am not saying I am "better" than other people who have not, but I am saying that they have the choice. When people make that wrong choice – maybe they shouldn’t be given the same respect as those who choose to not lead lives that harm the other people around them. Think about it.

I believe that if the defendants infront of a judge are wearing on him then he should be removed from the bench and find a new job.

I thought a judge was there to rule on the law, not waste peoples time with his personal opinions of children, ugly states, etc.

Who really cares what the judge thinks, rule on the law and save your personal opinions for after noon cocktails.

This judge needs some serious anger management help. I have seen people who were the victims and were treated like dogs in his court.

He is hated by most attorneys as I know a few dozen that dislike him. When I say a few dozen, I'm being nice. Unlike our fine Judge.

The fact that he is still allowed to be on the bench is amazing considering he is the same person that he was in May 2008 that he is today in 2009.

This "honorable" judge gets off on sending first time offenders, especially young men, to serve jail time. This scared straight tactic may have limited benefit, but it's certainly costing the county a hefty penny and this chronic practice has crossed the line into a gross abuse of power. At the end of the day, Lamdin's rulings pack the detention center. Maybe he wouldn't be so quick to abuse his power of incarceration if he was personally presented with a bill for the transportation, meals and other associated expenses at the end of the year. The citizens of Baltimore County should toss this glory hound off the bench and on his keister as fast as he slams his gavel down sending another shocked defendant to experience the horrors of the broken "justice" system.

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