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Judicial Ethics Group Shuns ‘Schmucks!’

Posted Apr 17, 2007 7:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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New York’s Commission on Judicial Conduct and its chair are both exploring their options following a spat over a book called Schmucks!

Divorce lawyer Raoul Felder co-wrote the humorous book with comedian Jackie Mason. The commission labels its content "crude, biased, vulgar and otherwise demeaning,” the New York Law Journal reports.

The commission issued a no-confidence vote in Felder on Friday and said it is exploring its options in terms of removing him from his position as chairman. For his part, Felder says he is also researching his legal options.

"I wrote a book,” Felder told the legal newspaper. “This is America—I thought I had a right to write a book."

The commission says parts of the book "undermine the appearance of impartiality, and the dignity and probity” required of the commission and its chair.

One phrase the commission pointed to as unacceptable was "anytime you hear the word 'allegedly,' you can bet it's true."

The New York Sun reports that First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams said he would consider providing legal counsel to Felder, although he hasn't spoken to him.

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