A nationwide survey of judges, attorneys general, Bar Association presidents and prosecutors results in a slap on all wrists...

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DISORDER IN THE COURT: Report of the Special Committee on Courtroom Conduct of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York

A nationwide survey of judges, attorneys general, Bar Association presidents and prosecutors results in a slap on all wrists for courtroom conduct. The authors fear mob rule and the wrecking of the judicial system, but tabulations of the incidence of courtroom disorders compels them to admit that disturbances are extremely rare. Of the 630,000 trials held each year, the nation's judges could report only 112 outbreaks in their entire careers. Nonetheless, the Bar Association feels the public must be reassured, proper courtroom rules must be defined, contempt laws must be reexamined, and social injustice outside the courtroom must be taken into account. Judges and prosecutors ""should have a better understanding of the outrage that many representatives of political outgroups have. . . ."" Courtroom ""ground rules"" are needed. Lawyers must act responsibly and prosecutors should avoid making damaging remarks. Judges should not be arbitrary or interfere with counsel, and contempt powers, particularly summary contempt, ought to be curbed. Such recommendations, many from trial lawyers, are carefully annotated with statutes. Appendices include questionnaires, state laws, and a log of disorders. A complete package, but a rather sterile one.

Pub Date: Jan. 29, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1973