When partner Allan Gordon spoke out for judicial independence

August 13, 2014

In the wake of the corruption charges swirling around Philadelphia Police Officer Perry Betts, the Philadelphia City Paper has published a thought-provoking review of public officials criticising local judges—especially when those judges appeared to question the veracity of the testimony of some police officers.

In fact, back in 2008, Court of Common Pleas Judge Lisa Rau was heavily criticised when she seemed to question the testimony of the same Officer Betts, as the article points out.

Among the few who spoke out publicly back then—not specifically endorsing Judge Rau’s actions, but rather to support the sometimes unpopular idea that judge need a degree of independence to do their jobs properly—was our own Allan Gordon. At the time, Mr. Gordon held the prestigious and influential position of Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

As quoted in the City Paper article last week, Mr. Gordon wrote at the time:

Further public outcries are inappropriate…Neither the justice system generally, nor the judiciary particularly, are well served by repeated efforts to ‘embarrass’ judges publicly.”

Wise words that seem all the wiser in the face of recent developments.