Pubdate: Sat,  30 Nov 2002
Source: Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI)
Copyright: 2002 The Traverse City Record-Eagle
Author: Robert Steadman


He deserves better Judge Gilbert deserves better than demands for 
resignation. He committed an incredibly dumb act but it is hardly fair to 
judge him on this single incident. A short time ago, this community elected 
him to the office of judge.

His election was based upon his years of experience as an attorney, his 
intelligence, his exemplary character and his record of public service.

He has been a very good judge.

He has balanced sternness and compassion as required. I have practiced law 
for 50-plus years and have yet to meet a judge who was a perfect human being.

We do not elect perfection to the bench, we elect men and women who have 
demonstrated their ability over years rather than moments in time. It is 
not fair to demand that, upon election, they suddenly become perfect and 
capable of conducting their private lives without mistakes. Judge Gilbert 
is currently battling an admitted problem of alcohol abuse.

The difficult and demanding regimen he has undertaken will do nothing but 
add to his knowledge and understanding of the people who come into his court.

A substantial percentage of defendants in district court have had their 
lives affected or destroyed by alcohol abuse. He will do a better job on 
the criminal bench because of his appreciation of those problems; however, 
his colleagues will be able to use his talents in handling civil litigation 
if there is reluctance to have him handling criminal matters. Judge Gilbert 
should not resign.

He should be allowed to win his battle and serve out his term. It will be 
up to him and the voters whether he will seek or receive another term as 
one of our district judges.

Robert Steadman

Traverse City
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