Judging the judge
Your November 9 story ["The judge lawyers love to hate"] attempts to explain Judge Candace Tyson's low bar poll ratings. Miriam Rozen's investigative reporting suggests this is the result of the following:
1. She drives a Mercedes Benz;
2. She favors tight-fitting, brilliantly colored outfits of the "'Dynasty' day wear" style that are better suited for a "younger, slimmer woman";
3. She is uneasy with newspaper reporters;
4. She was married for a month to then-Dallas County Sheriff Don Byrd;
5. She frequents "tony Park Cities haunts";
6. She filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son, who had been disqualified from participating in an athletic event;
7. She was an hour late to court due to the delay of her airline flight from a weekend vacation;
8. She encourages the parties to discuss settlement during trial;
9. She is a very good fund-raiser;
10. She initially utilized visiting judges to reduce the over-loaded docket she inherited from her predecessor;
11. She requires lawyers to sit while they cross-examine a witness (a practice that many judges in Texas have adopted) and becomes upset when that policy is violated seven times during a 10-minute period;
12. She over-reacted to a witness who, in the judge's opinion, perjured himself in her presence;
13. She became angry when a racial slur was utilized in her courtroom; and
14. She sanctioned an attorney for threatening to ignore a written court order and refusing to "stop talking" when ordered to do so by the judge.
If this is the Dallas Observer's explanation for Judge Tyson's low ratings by attorneys, then it is understandable as to why the general public has chosen to ignore the attorneys' bar poll!
While Judge Ashby has done well in the bar poll, she achieved that result by being the perfect judge. Unfortunately, if a female civil district judge in Dallas County is anything less than "perfect," she is subjected to the disdain of the white, male-dominated Dallas bar and tasteless newspaper articles and rumors.
John M. Skrhak
The obvious conclusion that evades Miriam Rozen in her article about Judge Candace Tyson involves why the judge is always reelected despite her low ratings from the silk-stocking lawyers who vote in the Dallas Bar Association poll.
Those who have practiced in Judge Tyson's court for very long know one thing: Whether you are the head honcho at Gardere and Wynne or an unknown, whether your client is rich and influential or poor and powerless, Judge Tyson will level the playing field. Certainly, she will be tough on you; she'll be equally tough on the other side. Sure, she will expect you to prepared. So what? The jury will, too.
What more does anyone have a right to expect?
H.K. Wasoff, Jr.
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I have practiced law before Judge Candace Tyson since the time she became a judge in approximately 1981. I have always found Judge Tyson to be knowledgeable of the law, courteous to the attorneys and litigants, honest, sincere, fair, and impartial.
Robert G. Boomer
Boozers are losers
The presence of Josh Alan Friedman's cautionary tale "Winedale nation" [November 9] in the Observer moved said paper one step closer to, say, The New Yorker or The Paris Review. And Friedman may be the Jean Shepherd of the '90s, and God knows we need one. I made copies for friends and relatives all over the country and will be mailing them tomorrow. I laughed my ass off and counted my blessings.