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Some marauding ducks got the best of a Macon, Ga. judge earlier this month, landing the jurist in front of, rather than behind, the bench. A run-in with the waterfowl at his subdivision’s lake sent Robert W. Gerson, a worker’s compensation administrative law judge for seven years, to the same courtroom where he presides. Gerson was charged with violating a ban on discharging a weapon onto the property of another person, or more specifically, taking aim at the ducks with his .22-caliber rifle. Gerson’s neighbors in the posh north Macon condominium sub-division had complained, so police charged the judge. “I shot the ducks on my property as a last resort. They are nasty and a health hazard. They poop all over your deck and land,” Gerson says. The 20-pound birds terrorized his dog, a third their size, he says. His neighbors weren’t impressed. The judge decided not to fight his predicament. Gerson, handling everything with a sense of humor, appeared in court wearing a tie, sold by the National Wildlife Federation, with loons on it. “They look like ducks,” he says. He then entered a nolo contendre plea to the misdemeanor charge. Gerson was fined $300 by State Court Judge William Adams and placed on probation for two months. “I do not have to report once a week and I cannot violate the law,” Gerson says. And, he adds, he discovered that “I like sitting behind the bench a lot more than I do standing before it.”

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