Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday and the Courts

By John DiMotto

For me, a Probate Judge, there is no court on Saturday. The only courts that are open are intake courts for criminal matters. So what does a judge, who has no court on Saturday, do? Whatever he or she wants to do!

Judges are no different than anyone else. We have private lives off the bench. We have family, friends and the everyday little things live everyone else. We are no more or less special than anyone else.

For me, between September and into early January, it is following college football. First and foremost, I am a HUGE University of Wisconsin football fan. I have attended almost every home game since 1972 when I started at UW law school. I have seen the good (Rose Bowl teams - even attended the 1999 Rose Bowl with my daughter), the bad (Don Morton era) and the ugly (students getting injured when they rushed the field after a tremendous victory over Michigan). There is nothing like spending a Saturday in Madison, enjoying a brat and beer on Regent Street before the game and then sitting in the stands with 80,000 other fans watching the festivities on the field (the game) and off the field (the band and the student section). It is invigorating both physically and mentally. Of course, when the Badgers are on the road I will watch them on TV.

I did say that "first and foremost" I am a UW fan. My second football team is the University of Maryland. Yes, I am a Terp fan in addition to being a Badger fan. My daughter attend UMD and for four years my wife and I would travel to College Park to visit Anne - and always did so on a football weekend. UMD has experienced some rough times on the field of late but I do not abandon my teams. UMD will rise again.

My dream game would be UW v. UMD. They are not on each other's schedules but there is always the chance they could meet in the Champs' Sports Bowl in Orlando one year.

So, now you have a bit of an insight into one judge's Saturdays.

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