Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Have Gavel Will Travel: A Judge Tells it All

You may or may not know that I worked as a Foster Care worker for the Division of Child and Family Services when I was first out of college.  It was a crazy job needless to say.  The things I saw, the things I dealt with, will never be forgotten.  As part of my job, I routinely had to go to court with my cases.  This wasn't a big court case with a jury and all the bells and whistles like you see in the movies, but was family court.

The first few times I sat at the table by the Assistant Attorney General, who was my lawyer, I admit I felt totally intimidated and unsure what to do.  By the end of my career, it was pretty second nature.. well except for when I had to go in front of one particular judge who you just never knew what he was going to do.

When I was asked if I would like to receive a copy to review of Have Gavel Will Travel by Robert Braithwaite, a judge's true story of being a court judge, I thought it sounded fascinating.

The Book:
What happens in a national park doesn’t stay in a national park. It often ends up in Robert Braithwaite’s courtroom—or sometimes on his kitchen table. Over a lifetime of administering justice, he saw everything from canoodling nudes to sheep hunters with drones to downright dangerous drug cartels. This collection of cases is so outrageous and bizarre you’ll have to read it to believe it.

My Review:
Robert Braithwaite, a magistrate judge, uses humor and a great story telling ability to relate his true feelings and experience as a court Judge. I loved his honesty and humility when telling who he was and who he saw himself as. It was fascinating to get the insiders perspective of what happens in courts. 

The book flowed very quickly and felt was honest and real. It didn't feel like he was trying to make himself seem superior because of his position, yet he still impressed the importance of having a honest, competent judges. I don't often read autobiographies or even much non-fiction, but I did really enjoy this book. He is a great story-teller.

--Oh and a fun little side note, this was not Robert's first attempt at writing a book, he also wrote a book about he and his daughter's road trips, unfortunately the publisher said his daughter was too much of a good stable girl, so the books weren't exciting enough-- that daughter, is Ally Condie the author of the Match Trilogy, which I love.

You can get your own copy of the book at: 
Amazon//Barnes and Nobel//Books and Things

Have you ever had to go to court? 


  1. Is it bad that I want to read it just based on the name?!

  2. I've had jury duty. Does that count?

    Oh, and I also had to testify at a hearing in family court once. That's not an experience I'm keen to repeat ever.

    Sounds like an interesting book!

  3. I really didn't know that about you, I got mad respect for people that work with foster care. As for the book, it sounds like a fun read even for those who aren't in the legal field.

  4. I've always been interested in law so I'll have to add this to my wishlist!

  5. I need to read more. This sounds great