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The judge cannot be a comedian

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You might recall an article from this past spring, South Hackensack Municipal Court Judge is a comedian, discussing the case of His Honor, Vince A. Sicari, also known as comedian Vince August, and the fact that the New Jersey legal ethics committee thought it inappropriate for him to appear as an actor and comic on ABC-TV's Primetime: What Would You Do?, The Onion News Network, As the World Turns, in his own comedy special Vinsanity, as a warm up act for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and in clubs such as Carolines on Broadway. The New Jersey Supreme Court has now agreed with the ethics committee, giving Sicari the choice between ending his tenure on the bench and abandoning his career in entertainment.

His entertainment career earns him considerably more than the meager thirteen thousand dollar annual salary he gets as a municipal judge, and comes with health care benefits, so he has reluctantly announced his resignation from the bench. He will continue to run his law practice in the Ridgewood/Paramus area.

The Court expressed the opinion that viewers of his various television appearances might not be able to distinguish the fictional characters he plays on such shows from his real self, and so believe that he holds the views expressed or portrayed by those characters. Apparently the court thinks that defendants in the New Jersey court system are idiots. At least, it seems likely that the honored justices are able to make such distinctions themselves and consider themselves above the norm; perhaps they ruled so because they found the distinction between truth and fiction too confusing.

On the bright side, if Vince August is no longer a judge, he is probably free to include stories from his court experiences in his future standup routines.

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