Washington Lawyer - May 2017 - 17

GOVERNMENT & GAVEL
What is the caseload like?

We must assure first of all that everybody is safe
and still be open to the public.

Probate is the fastest growing division. We are
seeing a little uptick in criminal, and civil is always
a very large caseload. In the landlord and small
claims cases, most of the plaintiffs are unrepresented. The family division, where a lot of people
are also unrepresented, is also very important
because a lot of the cases affect children.

Where do you see the court going in the next
five years?
We are building a big new wing of the courthouse.
It is a complicated construction because at the
same time they are breaking through the walls,
we have to keep the courthouse going.

Being a judge, what is the demeanor you have
to strike on the bench?

How do you interact with the D.C.
government?

I think the majority of our job is having good
demeanor - letting lawyers try their case while
managing the courtroom so that everybody is
fairly given an opportunity to litigate their case.
As judges, we know after we've ruled that 50
percent of the contestants are going to be
unhappy. Our goal is that everybody is heard
and treated fairly, consistent with the law.

I rely on the advocates in front of me and the
arguments they are making. I don't have a preordained result for any case. I listen to the evidence,
make sure the evidence is being presented fairly,
and then let the evidence lead me to a conclusion.
You must decide what the law requires, not what
you think will be popular. The law will tell you what
the results should be based on the evidence.

What's your favorite book?

Congress funds us. We are a local court that is
federally funded, but we work closely with all city
agencies. We meet constantly to discuss certain
issues. In a way, we are an independent branch
of the city government. We are the judiciary and
we have that role to play.

What are your biggest challenges?

What do you need from Congress?

This is a big, busy, urban courthouse and we understand that a lawyer's time is valuable. We try to be
as efficient as possible and still be fair. It is hard to
hear as many cases as we do every single day. We
have 10,000 people a day coming into our building.

If we could get our judges approved that would
help. As of March, we [were] down six associate
judges. That's 10 percent. When you are as busy
as we are, it makes a huge difference. We are
doubling up on some of our work.

The road to retirement
is a journey.

When you make decisions yourself, as a judge,
how do you go about that?

I've been reading The Grand Design by Stephen
Hawking. It's about quantum physics.

And your favorite movie?
Twelve Angry Men with Henry Fonda. It's a story
about a jury. My all-time favorite movie, based
on my experience, is To Kill a Mockingbird with
Gregory Peck.
William Roberts is a regular contributor to Washington
Lawyer.
Read more about Chief Judge Morin
at dcbar.org/news.

Pick your herd wisely.
Whether you are just starting out,
or nearing the end of your career,
the road to a successful
retirement takes long-term planning. Pick a
provider that has been helping law professionals
prepare for retirement for over 50 years.
The ABA Retirement Funds Program is that
provider. Find out today how we can help lead
you on your journey to retirement.

Contact an ABA Retirement
Funds Program Regional
Representative today.
866.812.1510
www.abaretirement.com
joinus@abaretirement.com

The ABA Retirement Funds Program is available through The D.C. Bar. as a member benefit.
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and services.
CN1029-19104-1117 - 2015

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WASHINGTON LAWYER

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MAY 2017

17


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - May 2017

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Washington Lawyer - May 2017 - 1
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