You can be legally crazy and be a judge!

Judge Cynthia Brim. The new face of judicial insanity in America. Literally.

There’s good news for all you crazy people out there. You have to move to Chicago, but if you do you can be a Judge. Sounds insane, you say? Of course it is. And so is she. I’m referring to, ahem, ‘The Honorable’ – and legally insane – Cynthia Brim.

That “legally insane” part in the last sentence is a direct quote from her lawyer.

If you haven’t heard, Judge Brim was on the bench for about 18 years up until she recently admitted she was legally insane. The local Chicago papers say her time as a Judge was “marked by controversy” and ten out of eleven local bar associations have given her negative ratings or recommended that she should not be a Judge. In fact, the Chicago Bar Association rated her as ‘not recommended’ in the past two elections. The Chicago Council of Lawyers found her ‘not qualified’ (ouch!) and said that most lawyers “lacked confidence in her legal abilities.” The Council also said that even though her legal cases are “generally non-complex . . . her rulings are often described as unpredictable and delayed. . . . The consistently negative reports about Judge Brim’s judicial performance … raise serious questions about whether she can remain effective on the bench.” Other local bar groups say she is late to the bench, rude and unaccommodating of counsel who are on call in multiple courtrooms, slow to rule, and her judicial findings are unpredictable.

Judge Brim’s mug shot, courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois.

Ouch again! Talk about being judged by your peers. On two occasions one local Chicago newspaper awarded her the dubious distinction of being the ‘Judge of the Day’ for crazy courtroom antics and her dumb judicial decisions. I suppose newspapers are known for over the top articles about public figures, especially in Chicago. They’re probably even capable of making stuff up, but not even the yellow press could have invented what happened recently.

You see, in March of 2012 Judge Brim was working when she started in on a rambling 45-minute crazy tirade in the middle of traffic court. Apparently she started walking around her courtroom saying things that were “racial in nature” and accusing suburban police officers of conspiring to get her fired, according to the police. The other judges removed her from the bench because she was going crazy. The next day she came to work and shoved a Sheriff’s Deputy. In the courthouse. A little while later she threw a pair of keys at another Sheriff’s Deputy during a scuffle at a security checkpoint. Also in the courthouse.

Judge Brim was charged with misdemeanor battery and a panel of supervising judges barred her from entering the county’s courthouses without a police escort. They also took her off the bench until her cases were resolved. Luckily for her she was still paid her $182,000 a year salary even though she could not go to work.

Her lawyer said Judge Brim has bipolar disorder and was in the midst of a manic episode when it happened. Well I guess that makes it OK. But this is also what he said:

“At that point she is absolutely psychotic in the sense of not having the ability to think straight or to even organize her thinking or to really remember a darn thing that happened. A [court appointed] psychiatrist already has found Brim was legally insane at the time … my client was simply not in a mental state that is sufficient for her to ever be found guilty, so we’re wasting valuable judicial time.”

Wow. Lawyers are supposed to help their clients, not tell everyone that they are raving lunatics. Well I guess crazy is as crazy does, huh. She picked a defense lawyer who is just like herself.

This is Judge Brim campaigning in 2006 when ten of eleven local bar groups gave her the thumbs down.

The eighteen top Chicago presiding judges all personally signed an order suspending her. She was taken off the dockets and has basically done nothing ever since. Except take her meds, I hope. Then of course her election came around on November 6, 2012.

And she won! Not just by a little bit, mind you. 63.5% of her constituents voted for her!

The day after she was re-elected she went to court as a defendant facing criminal charges for battery against the police officers. Judge Brim told reporters as she left a criminal courtroom that she was pleased by the election results, which she watched at home Tuesday night.

“I’m just happy the people voted me back in,” said Brim. I bet she was. Crazy people are the happiest I have ever seen, especially when they get all those happy meds. Her lawyer said this as they left court:

“I don’t know why they are wasting good, precious judicial resources and Judge Brim’s money on this case.”

Right, buddy. I suppose you think she should just hop right back up on the horse and start handling cases. What happens when someone is judged to be guilty of a crime but legally insane is that they go to the looney bin for a little while and then the psychiatrists keep on top of them for up to 20 years.

Of course this happened in Chicago so I suppose its better that the people elected a crazy judge rather than a corrupt politician. Oh wait, they just did that one too when they re-elected Jesse Jackson Jr. But still, Judge Brim is the poster child for not electing judges.

-Samuel Owen

© Samuel Owen 2012. All rights reserved. Please read important notices and disclaimers by clicking here.
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Author: Samuel Owen

This is my Lawyer Rant. I've put up with new associates trying to kill me, clients being dangerous idiots, and Judges being rude for far too long. It's time for me to tell it like it really is, and it feels good to give back.

2 thoughts on “You can be legally crazy and be a judge!”

  1. Are you kidding me?! She’s too insane to be found guilty of attacking police officers, yet sane enough to preside over cases??! Are you kidding me??! I am horrified that she was re-elected, yet not surprised. Judgeships are not public offices that the public pays attention to or even cares about. Her courtroom antics give new meaning to kangaroo court!

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