Article maligned good judge

Published 10:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2009

To the Editor:

Lawyers all over this Commonwealth are saddened by the retirement of Judge Westbrook J. Parker.

Although there are many great judges in this Commonwealth, the overwhelming consensus is that Parker is the greatest trial judge of them all. He possesses the rare gift of civility, a desire to do things right, a desire to be fair, compassionate and understanding. Of all the people I know, including fellow lawyers, he is the least impressed with himself. If his ego matched his ability, he would be impossible to get along with.

With the above in mind, the article appearing Wednesday in The Daily Press represents the poorest journalism possible. Not only does the article not fairly report Parker’s resignation, but it strongly suggests that he is stepping down in reaction to the supervisor case in Gloucester. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In my opinion, Parker acted courageously in addressing a politically and emotionally charged situation. Not only is the article irresponsible, but it completely ignores the distinguished career and well earned reputation of this great trial jurist. If anyone needs to resign, it is the reporter who wrote that article.

Needless to say, he failed to investigate the phenomenally good reputation of Judge Parker and left the casual reader with a totally false impression.

Richard E. Railey Jr.