“Judge Straniere is the bard of the Staten Island courts”

January 24th, 2011

The New York Times has this profile of Staten island Civil Court Judge Phillip S. Straniere, titled One Judge’s Biggest Decision: Which Movie to Quote. Here is a sample:

Many judges have been known to sprinkle their decisions with mentions of great minds like Jefferson or Shakespeare.

But when New York lawyers see rulings citing authorities like SpongeBob SquarePants, Laurel and Hardy, and Flip Wilson, some of them have come to recognize the unmistakable hand of a prolific, if unorthodox, judge who presides in Staten Island Civil Court: Philip S. Straniere.

In 14 years on the bench, Judge Straniere has built a following for entertaining judicial writing that tends to take some twists and turns. He has been known to opine for no obvious reason that Papa John’s does not sell what New Yorkers call pizza and that Clark Kent “was in fact only a person who understood the difference between right and wrong.”

Oy vey. The Times calles Judge Straniere the “the bard of the Staten Island courts.” He really should add some Jersey Shore references to his opinions. The Situation, Vinnie, and Angelina are all from my former home.