Disillusioned from Judicial Politics, December 2002

by: Mace H. Greenfield

I grew up very idealistic about lawyers, judges, the courts and government, but then quickly became very disillusioned as an adult.

I have been a litigant for more years than I have been a lawyer. My own dissatisfied experiences in the Courts of New York put me on the track to become a lawyer. My divorce was in Virginia, where I was awarded custody and child support after trial in 1991. I had no complaints about lawyers judges or the courts at that time.
After moving back to New York in 1991, my post divorce litigation was in the Family Court in New York. I was the petitioner. I was mistreated every time I made contact as though I was a dirt-bag deadbeat dad. Then, the system here told me: that I was petty wanting the New York order of support corrected to reflect me as a man and my x-wife as a woman; that I should laugh at my x-wife when they went after her for arrears she did not owe; I could go on and on. I had never lost in Family Court in New York State as a litigant, but quickly became a very bitter disgruntled litigant. I then went on a tirade about the system on radio as “Mace in your Face.” A Judge then talked me into becoming a lawyer to fight the system from the inside.

Now I am even more disillusioned than ever. Senator Lack is now to be appointed to a Court of Claims Judgeship, with backing from the Judiciary, State Legislature and the Governor’s office. Senator Lack is a man who has demonstrated the art of road rage, is notorious on Long Island for being nasty and hotheaded (as reported in Newsday), who should have but refused to resign from the Senate. How can anyone who has to walk into his courtroom respect the bench? With his appointment, how can anyone respect the Judiciary, the State Legislature or the Governor’s office?

Something is severely “lacking.” I find it appalling that both the public and the integrity of the system are being ignored to fulfill what must be a political pay back. Just how long until Lack will be appointed an acting Supreme Court Judge to fulfill what must be his dream? The public good and the integrity of the system are being ignored, and the trust of the public is being further eroded and betrayed. In a time of high public mistrust of government, the courts and lawyers, such sentiments are now being justified by our public officials. Obviously, there is more politics in judicial appointments than in the election process, where the public can exercise its’ will.