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Judge has them laughing in Roanoke

He announced he would deliver a lecture on the Rule in Shelley’s Case, but the remarks from Chief Circuit Judge Clifford R. Weckstein rarely touched on points of law as he reminisced with the Roanoke Bar Association this week about his experiences in and out of court.

Even a wry comment on the “grim” prospects for hiring replacements for retiring judges drew a laugh. “Sometimes it’s darkest just before the dark,” Weckstein said.

Among his courthouse memories, Weckstein recalled a hearing where a relative had agreed to put up his house as security to bond a criminal defendant out of jail. Surprised to learn he could lose his house if the defendant failed to show for trial, the man asked the judge, “You do feed him down there, don’t you?”

Not all the sound guidance for attorneys comes from law books, Weckstein concluded as the laughter died down. He said he saw some good advice for young lawyers on the back of a mayonnaise jar. It read, “Keep cool, but don’t freeze.”

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