While not Bankruptcy related, the issues decided by the Georgia Supreme Court affect all areas of law. Lately, the candidates have also succeeded in giving people (including lawyers) a reason to question the profession. One one hand, we have a challenger, Michael Wiggins, who has made many allegations that Justice Carol Hunstein is a "judicial activist," and that she ignores the law and sets criminals free. Much has been made of the fact that his campaign has been financed by special interest groups. An ethics complaint has been filed against his campaign. Steve Korn, publisher of the Daily Report, in an editorial in today’s issue taking both candidates to task, provides the following –
A Daily Report analysis of the Supreme Court’s rulings reveals something altogether different: In close criminal cases Hunstein sided with the government 39 percent more often than the court as a whole. Facts. They can be so annoying.
For her part, Justice Hunstein decided to hit back, and hit hard. Her ads about Wiggins’ lawsuit with his family, while technically true, were extremely and intentionally misleading. In a sit-down with the Daily Report —
At her session with a Daily Report editorial panel, Hunstein was asked about these pleadings, which her staff had provided to us that morning. She refused to talk about them other than to state repeatedly “the documents speak for themselves.” I know that we lawyers love that phrase, but this is a political campaign, not a deposition or answers to interrogatories. As a political candidate, if you level charges at your opponent based on court records, repeating that “the documents speak for themselves” is just not acceptable.
Justice Hunstein, in a previous interview stated “If I’m defeated, it will affect the entire court.” I’d say that entire court is already affected in the public’s view, if that counts for anything, because the public will likely see these ads as coming from the Court as a whole.
I fully agree with Steve’s final observation —
As citizens of Georgia aren’t we entitled to more from our judicial candidates? As lawyers and officers of the court shouldn’t we demand more of those who seek to lead our judiciary?
One would think the answer is "yes."
The Daily Report has all of the articles, Wiggins family lawsuit pleadings, Wiggins ethics complaint, and other related documents online.