L.A. County batting .889. Is it cheating?

L.A. County wins almost all its court cases — 8 out of 9 in the past two years — “according to Steven Estabrook, the county’s litigation cost manager”.

L.A. County also pays its judges much more than anyone else.

Coincidence?

A lawyer crusading against what he considers judge bribery has been locked up by L.A. County judges for 14 months without being charged with any crime:

Once a dapper Beverly Hills attorney known for his bow tie, Richard Fine has been held in solitary confinement at Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail for 14 months, even though he’s never been charged with a crime.

Fine, a 70-year- old taxpayer’s advocate who once worked for the Department of Justice, is being held for contempt of court.

Superior Court Judge David Yaffe found Fine in contempt after he refused to turn over financial documents and answer questions when ordered to pay an opposing party’s attorney’s fees, according to court documents.

Fine says his contempt order masks the real reason why he’s in jail. He claims he’s a political prisoner.

“I ended up here because I did the one thing no other lawyer in California is willing to do. I took on the corruption of the courts,” Fine said in a jailhouse interview with CNN.

For the last decade, Fine has filed appeal after appeal against Los Angeles County’s Superior Court judges. He says the judges each accept what he calls yearly “bribes” from the county worth $57,000. That’s on top of a $178,789 annual salary, paid by the state….

Judges in Los Angeles County not only have the highest state salaries in the nation, they also get tens of thousands of dollars in county benefits. These payments, Fine says, mean judges are unlikely to rule against the county when it is involved in a lawsuit.

Posted by James on Monday, May 24, 2010