Thinker in Residence Blog

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Hail to the Chief

Posted by peggyhora on August 21, 2009

One of the things I really enjoy about travel is celebrating the foreigness of a new place so you know you’re not in Kansas any more, Dorothy. The opposite is also true. The similarites among people are always more abundant that the differences. Last night I dined with the Chief Justice of South Australia, an Associate Justice, a Supreme Court (read “Superior” Court for California) judge, a District Court judge, The Chief and Deputy Chief Magistrates and the Court Administrator. We were in a private room in a restaurant called The Treasury. It was located in a 19th C. historical building on King William Street. We started with chatting and champagne, always a nice combination. We then ordered dinner and buckeled down to the task at hand. I wanted to know what the judges saw as possible outcomes of my residency and they were quite forthcoming. I learned loads. We then drifted to how we do things in CA, especially instructing the jury. They almost fainted when I told them it took me less than an hour in most cases. They take 3-5 because they also have to sum up the facts and note how they apply to the law. They were shocked and I was shocked and thus, we had a culture clash understanding. We told great stories, laughed regularly and generally had a fabulous time. They want me to come to their judges’ training in April and do a presentation. Of course I’d be delighted. I finally knuckled down and finished all my Power Point presentations for Melbourne so I’m ready for my trip on Monday. Today, Gourmet Festival. I can’t wait.

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