Some advice for the new year: Don't get into trouble in New Jersey. The judges there are really tough.
How tough? Well, they've got Barry Fisher rattled, and that isn't easy. A Los Angeles human-rights lawyer, Fisher has tussled with some of the toughest of the tough. But those New Jersey judges are something else.
Last week, two federal judges in Newark separately decided to throw two Holocaust-related lawsuits out of court. Kaput. Both cases were class-action lawsuits by Holocaust survivors against German companies that used them as slave laborers. Both judges decided, for different reasons, that the cases couldn't be tried in court. This could be trouble.
Barry Fisher, director of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department crime laboratory, showed up in Jerusalem this week, invited by the Israeli Police Department to give a couple of lectures and the benefit of his 30 years' experience to the forensics people of the Jewish state. In a wood-paneled room at National Police Headquarters, along with about 25 Israeli police officers, I caught his second lecture, "Forensic Science After O.J. Simpson." (I will assume that, despite so many breathlessly absorbing high-profile murders and sex scandals since then, you still vaguely remember O.J. Simpson.)