Lawyers give Sotomeyar low grades on temperment
It sounds like she may suffer from ADHD. Impatience is a characteristic in adults who have the problem. As one who has arbitrated cases over a 30 year time period, I know that it is sometimes difficult to listen to repetitive points. I think one of the biggest mistakes lawyers make is to start arguing with each other, instead of arguing to the judge. Still I found that it was usually better to let the lawyers present their case without interruption.
Lawyers who have argued cases before Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor call her "nasty," "angry" and a "terror on the bench," according to the current Almanac of the Federal Judiciary -- a kind of Zagat's guide to federal judges.
The withering evaluation of Judge Sotomayor's temperament stands in stark contrast to reviews of her peers on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Of the 21 judges evaluated, the same lawyers gave 18 positive to glowing reviews and two judges received mixed reviews. Judge Sotomayor was the only one to receive decidedly negative comments.
Judge Sotomayor's demeanor on the bench will be one of the issues the Senate Judiciary Committee tackles when she appears for her confirmation hearing. A lack of a good temperament has been used as a line of attack against nominees in the past - most notably conservative Judge Robert H. Bork, whose nomination to the Supreme Court was defeated.
But several lawyers and legal scholars on a call organized by the White House said the criticism is misplaced and that Judge Sotomayor's legal acumen is overwhelming.
"She does not suffer fools gladly," said Kevin Russell, a partner for Howe & Russell P.C. who argued a case before Judge Sotomayor about respiratory ailments suffered by the men and women who cleaned up ground zero after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "I guess it is predictable that some of those fools would then complain about it."
Much of the public vetting of Judge Sotomayor, whom President Obama nominated to be the first Hispanic woman to sit on the nation's highest court, has focused on her range of rulings on hot-button social issues.
Although the same lawyers who chastised her temperament gave her high marks on her legal abilities, Judge Sotomayor was the only member of the 2nd Circuit to receive a universally negative review of her temperament.