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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Judicial Candidate Michael Koury Shows His Humility

Easton lawyer and magistrate Michael Koury is making his third run for one of three Northampton County judge slots. He's running for judge and magistrate, two incompatible offices, simultaneously. In his two failed attempts, he has a history of disgusting last-minute smearslike the one he hurled at Emil Giordano (now a judge) in 2003. That resulted in a rare condemnation from the bench. Koury lashed out at the end of each campaign, proving that the voters were right.

Now he's demonstrating a complete lack of humility. In a four-page letter being sent to Northampton County voters, Michael Koury devotes an entire page to describing a three hundred lawyer Wall Street law firm where he was briefly employed. Koury tells us it's a very important firm that handles "complex litigation matters, including securities, commercial, corporate governance, media and entertainment, insurance, antitrust, environmental, civil rights, real estate, intellectual property, blah, blah, blah, blah blah."

Then Michael goes on to tell us about the sacrifice he makes for us, the little people. "Michael decided to leave the opportunity of a multi-million dollar per year career as a Wall Street lawyer ... ."

Wow! How magnanimous of him! I guess everyone else must be chumps.

Is Michael's claim even accurate? According to a salary study I've seen, an attorney who's been employed at that firm for seven years might make $240,000. That's good money, but is not exactly in the multi-million dollar range. Legal tabloid Above the Law also reports that Koury's old law firm is in the midst of a round of hushed up layoffs. Interestingly, they follow a round of layoffs in the 90's, which coincides with when Koury left that firm.

According to one tipster, the firm does pay top dollar, but "money ... is not everything; being a 'classy' and 'prestigious' firm also requires acting with integrity and in an aboveboard manner."

So exactly what did Koury learn at this prestigious Wall Street firm?

24 comments:

lighthouse said...

Light response day so far on LVR. Folks must be nursing their bruises from the slug fest that took place on yesterday's.

Regarding Koury, while I appreciate that it is not unusual for a candidate to need a few election cycles to win that type of election, his mailings last time around (and apparently starting this time from you post, though I haven't rec'd any yet) did give the perception that he was perhaps a little too eager for the position. I can not quite put my gut feelings to words, but there is something of that perception that doesn't appeal to me as a voter.

He has a lock on a very comfortable DM job (no opposition, good pay)....how does the old Stone's song go, "can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need."

Anonymous said...

The experience he's demonstrated to me is that he's a vicious thug of a politician who possesses very poor judgment, abhorrent temperament, and a desperation to win at any and all cost. Not exactly judicial timber. He should take a lesson from Jack Panella and learn to be a respectful gentlemen.

lighthouse said...

Anon 4:39

yes, judicial tempermant and class. You expect that from a CP judge. I know his fliers last time were a major turn-off, as what you approve as a candidate speaks volumes about your character and your appropriateness for the position (or lack there-of). I know those negatives from his last campaign linger in my memory banks, so I would never even consider him, especially seeing that qualified candidates have thrown their hat in the ring.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's a major point against him. Koury is running against the cream of the crop, and that makes his deficiencies stand out a little more than might otherwise be the case.

I was a bit put off by his "multi-million dollar per year career" remark, which I consider less than humble. I am also put off by a full page to describe a Wall Street law firm. The firm is not running for judge.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I was a bit put off by his "multi-million dollar per year career" remark"

I recall that during a debate in what I believe was his first run for the Court of Common Pleas, he not only referenced the multi-million dollar salary sacrifice he made moving back to the area, but also commented: [and I'm paraphrasing here] "I was an associate when I left, but had I stayed I would have made partner."

That struck me as a presumptious, and quite unnecessary, clarification, given that his employer (according to him) was a prestigous Wall Street firm. I don't believe he was there that long; and I'm guessing that he had several years to go before he was up for consideration.

From most of what I've read he has discharged his duties as Magistrate admirably; and in fairness to him, he is in all likelihood competent to fulfill the duties of a county judge. The question that lingers in my mind is, has he matured?

Anonymous said...

Khoury should demonstrate the same humility that you do. After all, you are the conscience of good government in Allentown. Yet, you once forged your client's name to settlement sheet that your client had no idea you agreed to. You once settled a million dollar lawsuit while you were working for the government without the permission of the government. Your wife threw you to the curb, and your barely employed. You live off the good graces of people who remember your Dad fondly. So, yes you are in a great position to criticize Mike.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be a post designed to smear the only candidate for judge who has removed the P2P issue. Who has not and will not take money from other lawyers who may appear before him or is that only an important issue when it has to do with candidates you support.

lighthouse said...

Anon 9:03

your comments only go to reinforce one of my comments made during the March 20 post discussion on P2P:

"Self-funded does not make one inherently more moral in governance. Neither does accepting contributions make one inherently a corrupt P2P."

I doubt if MK is totally self-funded, and I will acknowledge a slippery slope of temptation (or at least perception of it) when one accepts contributions. However, the mere fact that he is not accepting from lawyers (you fail to mention developers, businesses, or any other Joe willing to plop some money down, all of whom could conceivably be before the Court of CP) does not in and of itself make him more qualified than the others who also have their hat in the ring.

lighthouse said...

Besides your implications are a re-direction away from what I thought was the original point of the post.

Jazza said...

I don't like Michael from when I briefly worked at Josie's YEARS ago. I must say that your posts certainly are not helping to change my mind about him or making me consider voting for him. His parents were wonderful people however.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This appears to be a post designed to smear the only candidate for judge who has removed the P2P issue."

If I wanted to smear Koury, this post wouild be much harsher. I'm making an observation that when he walks around claiming to have turned down a multi-million dollar per year contract, what he's really saying is, "I'm better than you." Call me cRaZy, but I don't want a guy like that on the bench.

As far as P2P goes, I beliecve very strongly that the pernicious influence of money is corruptin our system. But I would never vote for or against a candidate on a single issue.

And are lawyer contributions really P2P? Perhaps a lawyer is looking for favorable rulings, but lawyers are usually in the best position to judge their peers. Koury may be taking this stance bc he knows most lawyers won't contribute to him.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if MK is totally self-funded, and I will acknowledge a slippery slope of temptation (or at least perception of it) when one accepts contributions. However, the mere fact that he is not accepting from lawyers (you fail to mention developers, businesses, or any other Joe willing to plop some money down, all of whom could conceivably be before the Court of CP) does not in and of itself make him more qualified than the others who also have their hat in the ring.”


Regarding P2P, the letter that I got yesterday from MK says he is not accepting campaign contributions from any attorneys and he would disqualify himself from any case in which any contributor to his campaign appears before him. That looks like it covers contributions from everyone – developers, business people, etc.

Also, I never knew MK’s education and qualifications before I got the letter yesterday. I can honestly state that as a lawyer I was a bit surprised and impressed.

Anonymous said...

Jazza’s parents too were wonderful people although her father died when she was very young. Jazza you should tell everyone who you are and why you are making such comments about Mike Koury – it is because your cousin is running for judge – hint hint Bernie’s man crush. Last call for alcohol – a shot anyone????

An Exorcist said...

Hey anonymous!,

You want to be a bully. Why don't you belly up and sign your name.

But instead you are going to be a coward, take pot shots, and pick on women.

Just the kind of comments needed on a judicial campaign. I hope someone can pin you down to a candidate. Let them do a better tongue lashing. Get some manners!

~~Alex Joseph

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't know who Jazza is, but I do know that she attaches her name to what she says. Incidentally, what is up w/ the homophobic remark? Is that appropriate in a judicial race? Can we expect Judge Koury to treat gay people differently?

Anonymous said...

I think a lecture on humility is awesome coming from a guy who actually wrote a missive defending his right to take sponge baths totally without clothing in public courthouse restrooms.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I just change in the rest rooms. I do the sponge path thing in the fountain.

Jazza said...

Anon 10:28:

Both of my parents are still living thank you. None of my cousins live in this area and are not running for judge. I am just your average person. I am just expressing my personal opinions, which I believe is acceptable. I have read much worse comments about people here, mostly from anonymous posters. And I am not an alcoholic either. Thanks for your nasty comments.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jazza, An opinion from someone who identifies herself is infintely more valuable than some anonymous snark.

Anonymous said...

Did Koury use Severson?

Bernie O'Hare said...

So far as I know, the only judicial candidate using Severson is Narlesky.

Anonymous said...

Please join my campaign NMK (No More Koury) and tell them to keep their stupid signs. Same signs, same sad campaign, and same result, Allah willing. Will three losses finally tell this mannerless Enta ahbal that we don't want him? Even his own people are tired of his nonsense.

An Exorcist said...

Anonymous,

You say "mannerless," but yet you call Mike an "enta ahbal?"

Hoefully, you didn't send this post on a work terminal or during work hours.

No matter what language you use, (Arabic, English, Hebrew, or Jerk) you are still a coward for throwing anonymous pot shots.

Let us hope I never find out who you are. I will shame you in front of the entire community.

Peace be with you, ~~Alex Joseph

Kevin Brown said...

Wow I read all these posts and can we just remember on thing? This is America and everyone has the right to free speech, whether we like their thoughts or not. The idle threats are saddening and I would expect much more from some of you.