3 responses

  1. MOK
    January 19, 2017

    Your comments are well-stated, informative, and welcome. The Marshals’ service personnel have a difficult, important, and too often, thankless job. I’m betting that most common citizens’ knowledge of the Marshal service is gained during security checks at the front door of our Federal Courthouses, where the Marshals raise the hackles of those of us with libertarian stripes who detest being treated like common criminal suspects or worse to enter the peoples’ courthouse. Yes, yes, it is all in the name of security, but it must be a hell of a job for otherwise “nice” guys and gals to perform. I heartily thank them for their faithful and effective service, but must confess I do not look forward to their smiling faces barring the courthouse doors. But hey, I’m still complaining that I’m required to have an e-mail to practice my profession and I can’t walk into the courthouse with a Complaint or other document and file it in person with a smile from the Clerk. 🙂 All this electronic stuff is quite efficient, however. (Still screaming and being drug by the feet into the 21st Century.)


    • Richard G. Kopf
      January 19, 2017


      I hate it that we have to screen people entering federal buildings that have our courtrooms in them. At least in Lincoln (and I think Omaha), the Court Security Officers are pleasant and decent to people who are patient with young, old, and dumb whether they be lawyers or lay people. I know that is not true in other federal courthouses, and that is a stain on the US Marshal in that district.

      The foregoing said screening is necessary. Consider the following:

      The 2010 Las Vegas courthouse shooting was an attack on January 4, 2010, in which a gunman opened fire in the lobby of the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada. Around 8 a.m., the gunman pulled a Mossberg 500 shotgun from underneath his black coat and started firing indiscriminately from outside the security areas where visitors pass through metal detectors and x-ray machines.

      Two people were killed in the attack, including the gunman, who was identified by authorities as Johnny Lee Wicks, a 66-year-old man disgruntled over cuts to his Social Security benefits. Stanley W. Cooper, a 72-year-old court security officer, was also killed after a shotgun blast struck him in the chest. A 48-year-old deputy U.S. Marshal named Richard Gardner was shot in the upper arm, chest, and head, with a total of eight pieces of buckshot entering his body, and hospitalized at the University Medical Center, but survived.

      All the best.



      • MOK
        January 19, 2017

        Sadly, such events as you describe are proof of why the security is needed. However, as we have seen in recent airport attacks, it appears security is now needed outside the premises. One wonders where it will end. The crazy part of me sees a metal detector or scanner and the smiling face of a security guard outside my front door as I leave home with my suitcase or briefcase. Sigh . . . . .

        A local state district judge (Iowa), noting the installation of security cameras at the entrances to the court area of a courthouse a few years ago (without any other security devices, except for locked doors to the hallway leading to the court’s chambers), said, “Well, at least now they will have a video of the shooter after he plugs us.” Subsequent efforts have put full-scale security in effect with jovial county sheriff personnel running the show. The observant Judge is now retired.


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