NYCLA Letter to Staten Island Advance Editor
Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC
565 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10017
212-880-9540 • Fax 212-856-9494
Lewis F. Tesser
Carol A. Sigmond
Donald M. Zolin
Stephen C. Lessard
Stewart D. Aaron
August 21, 2013
Re: Staten Island Advance, “Stop-and-Frisk Legal Fight Is Far from Over” (August 20, 2013)
Daniel Leddy should know better than to devote his column this week to a scathing attack on U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who recently held that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies violate New Yorkers’ constitutional rights. The column utterly fails to address the merits of the decision; indeed, it never mentions the evidence submitted at trial. Instead, Leddy argues that Judge Scheindlin must be biased because she ruled against the NYPD. This kind of logic does nothing to help the public understand the issues or fairly evaluate judicial behavior.
Just three weeks ago, Leddy—himself a former judge—criticized a political candidate for accusing two Staten Island judges of bias. “It takes no courage to make baseless attacks on judges who, by ethical constraints, cannot respond to them,” he wrote, adding that “all members of the bar . . . ought to be working hard to instill public confidence in a judiciary unquestionably worthy of it.” The New York County Lawyers’ Association agrees. If only Leddy had re-read that column before writing this one!
The merits of Judge Scheindlin’s decision are properly subject to debate—and appeal. But judge-bashing has no place in such a debate. And Leddy knows it.
New York County Lawyers’ Association
14 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10007 • Tel. 212-267-6646 • Fax: 212-406-9252 • www.nycla.org