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March 20, 2017


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Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Frankly, I don't blame Fox for this one. I blame our legal profession. We have become a veritable "used car lot" of titles, monikers, and descriptors for what we are: Attorneys. We have Leading Lawyers and Super Lawyers and the slick magazines that go with the title. We have AV rated (whatever the hell that means) and Martindale Hubble Lawyers. Throw in AVVO too. I guess it's not good enough any longer to just be an advocate of the Constitution on behalf of an ordinary citizen.

Doug Richmond

This appears to be a fairly common practice among former judges. For example, Alberto Gonzales, who is now Dean of the Belmont University College of Law, is described as "Judge Gonzales" in his Belmont biographical sketch, even though his time on the Texas Supreme Court is long past. As an academic, however, his continued use of the title is unlikely to be misunderstood by anyone or to create unjustified expectations.

Steve L.

I do not recall Gonzales calling himself "Judge" while he was AG, so he evidently wasn't using the honorific in the course of law practice. I believe the Griffin Bell, however, was called "Judge" after serving as Carter's AG (he had [previously been on the Fifth Circuit); and Ken Starr was definitely addressed as "Judge" during the Clinton impeachment hearings.

Napolitano is not practicing law, as far as I know, so I am only proposing that reporters and commentators stop calling him Judge Napolitano. He can keep doing whatever he wants.

William Simpson

An official Honorific applies to a person throughout their life from that point onward if they opt to use it. Formal Opinion 95-391 is not violated in this case as a - it is an opinion and subject to contest and b - it is highly unlikely anyone will take legal advice from some guy jabbering on TV. The point of 95-391 was to dissuade former judges from swaying potential clients or client decisions because of the judge's legal status. Sure, the honorific is helpful to Napolitano's employment, but seriously, if you are taking legal advice form him or anyone else on cable news, his honorific is the very least of your problems. We should not trust Napolitano because he is frequently wrong and has some very odd opinions on history (FYI, I am neither a Napolitano or Trump fan, in fact, on both, quite the opposite) but not because he uses the term "judge" before his name.


I agree 100%, let us also stop using the honorific to former Governors, Secretaries, Presidents, et al. No more "Secretary Clinton" because she is no longer the Secretary of State.



And the use of the honorific "President" not preceded by "Former" is fairly common.

Who needs a watchdog that only barks at Republicans?

Bill Turnier

Maybe the title Citizen can come back into fashion!

Professor John Baron

This is a slippery slope. Next thing you know, Steve Lubet will want take away the "Judge" titles from Judge Judy, Judge Wapner, even Judge Dredd and Judge Reinhold, not to even mention Mike Judge.


Liberal will scream when they refer to ed kennedy as the late Theodore Kennedy.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Professor Baron at 2:27pm,

Like Kerry forgot POLAND, You forgot the Pontiac car.


I imagine that those who go along with Napolitano don't know any better. Many non-lawyers may be used to calling retired high-ranking military officers by their titles or calling retired doctors "Dr." -- as a sign of respect and because of normal social customs. People might assume--either because Napolitano asks to be called "judge" or just because they don't know any better that the same idea applies to former judges. Just my speculation.


To the NYT's credit? LOL the NYT calls EVERYONE "Mr." not just Napolitano. It's not like they are going out of their way to be moral genius's. And they call Presidents "Mr." which is incorrect they are PRESIDENTS, which is the opposite of respect. I have no expectation of increased superiority of Judge Nap, in other words who gives a fuck what he's called.


I'd call Nap unemployed at this point.

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