10 years ago this month:
- The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for using disparaging speech to refer to a defendant in court and then asking the courtroom gallery to weigh in on his own conduct and that of the defendant. Press Release (Spicer) (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards February 5, 2009).
- Accepting an agreed statement and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for repeatedly using her secretary for personal, non-governmental purposes and directing her secretary to check a confidential family court database for information about a defendant based on an ex parte request by her husband, an assistant district attorney. In the Matter of Ruhlmann, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 9, 2009).
- Accepting an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a part-time judge who (1) had significant delays in disposing of criminal cases attributable in large part to his failure to properly administer the court and supervise court staff, resulting in misplaced files, poor record-keeping, and poor case management; (2) in 6 cases, delayed reporting final dispositions to the state comptroller for from 8 months to 3 and a half years; and (3) failed to disqualify himself from a case in which the defendant was a friend and schoolmate of his daughter. In the Matter of O’Donnell, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 5, 2009).
- Accepting the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the license of a former judge for misappropriating funds from a humane society and impermissibly practicing law while a domestic relations court magistrate. Disciplinary Counsel v. Kelly, 901 N.E.2d 798 (Ohio 2009).
- Based on the recommendation of a panel of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for failing to meet continuing legal education obligations, to timely file the required annual CLE reports, and to petition the court for reinstatement following his suspension before resuming his judicial duties. In the Matter of Hall, 673 S.E.2d 429 (South Carolina 2009).
- The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for failing to conduct a trial prior to finding a traffic defendant guilty, changing the defendant’s plea from “not guilty” to “guilty,” and failing to enter a written judgment reflecting the decision in the case. Public Warning of James (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 12, 2009).