Judiciary looking for a pay raise.

Judicial pay increases

In an article in today’s Lawyer’s Weekly it is claimed that the judiciary is looking for a pay raise for the justices. They have not received a pay increase for the last five years, while the rest of us have been living the life of Riley.

It should be noted that the justices each earn a six figure salary, have next to no chance of being laid off, and have fantastic benefits that the rest of us can only dream of.

It’s an example of the 1% percenters again asking for more, more, more.

True our courts have suffered under budget restraints and the courts have cut hours in response, but the cuts in jobs have been at the lower end.  The workers as usual have to pay the price.  Paying judges more will not improve the flow of justice.  Giving the justices back the support staff they once employed will increase their productivity.  The justices on the other hand claim they are doing the best they can and a pay increase for the justices will not change nor improve services.

The judiciary is well aware of their need for support staff so it comes as a disappointment that they are seeking a pay increase for themselves, putting their needs before that of the courts itself.

As an advocate who has watched the process of appointing judges for some time, it is clear that most people that become judges experience a pay increase, in most cases a very large pay increase, that the judiciary is now asking for more money, at a time when most of us have to deal with less is disappointing.

Also of concern should be the number of judges that are not judges, performing functions that could be easily performed by others at a lower cost.  Judges like doctors don’t like working with people that are not equal to their station in life, so we have judges performing routine administrative tasks that could be as easily performed by someone that is better trained and paid less.

While I have no issue with the amount of money judges are paid, I am concerned that at a time when there is so much unemployment that the focus is feeding those on the top of the pyramid


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Anne Burke November 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM
In looking up salaries for judges in MA, the range is $150,000-$200,000. How is it that that salary means a pay raise when accepting a judges position as the average attorney salary starts around $150,000 in Boston? I think it is only fair that if you intend to complain that the judges in MA make enough already, you should be more clear about what you think is too much. It is also important to insure that the pay scale remain competitive or we will lose our most talented, experienced and efficient judges. Sometimes, there is a small price to pay for that. Often, that small increase in salary (likely to be little more than 2-4%) is significantly less than the cost to replace a judge. Have you really thought about what you said?
Patrick McCabe November 10, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Interesting comment, however most people that seek a nomination to the bench are not receiving the salaries that you list. They receive far less. For most judges a place on the bench is a big pay increase. Your argument does make sense if is to attract higher paid attorneys however that does not appear to be the point of the recommendations being put forth, if it was they might wish to only increase the pay of new judges. Furthermore your point does not appear to have any bearing on the way judges are chosen. Political considerations appear to play a much larger role than seeking the "most talented, experienced and efficient judges". On occasion an attorney will apply for a judgeship that is willing to take a pay cut, but that is the exception not the rule. The point I was trying to make was that the budget cuts, cut the support staff making it more difficult to perform the functions of the court. Restoring the support staff would give more jobs to more people and increase the effectiveness of the courts. Giving a pay increase to judges at this time would only increase the benefits to the judges without addresses the problems the courts face. I don't fully understand your claim regarding the cost to replace a judge. Perhaps you would wish to clarify.
Claudia Nowicki January 18, 2013 at 04:17 AM
150,000, -200,000????????? Are you kidding me? Judges made 129.000 in 2006 and STILL do, NO judge in Mass, makes anywhere near what you stated. Sadly, they should. No raise for the most important position in government, in SEVEN years


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