Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Accepting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, based on the judge’s consent, the Arizona Supreme Court censured a former, non-lawyer judge who had (1) released a defendant on the defendant’s own recognizance, given the defendant some money and the telephone number to his store, and offered the defendant a ride in his car; (2) when the defendant was arrested again, told the sheriff’s office that he did not give “a f###, flying s###” what had prompted the second arrest and that he “didn’t give a f###” that the officer did not like his language; (3) ordered a police officer to arrest another officer “for interfering with judicial proceedings” when the first officer refused to get a blanket that was to be presented to the judge as the owner of the winning horse at a race at the county fair; (4) asked an assistant magistrate if he could take her place as duty judge while the horse races were being held because, looking at the race stewards, he wanted to “get those sons of bitches” and suggested that she tell the authorities she could not sit because she was having her menstrual period; and (5) during proceedings in a case involving sex-related crimes, remarked to prosecutors and law enforcement officers that he did not think much of the charges because “everyone knows that the girls in Duncan are easy.” In the Matter of Lehman, 812 P.2d 992 (Arizona 1991).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Board of Examining Officer, the Delaware Court on the Judiciary suspended for 6 months without pay and censured a justice of the peace who had (1) frequently attended political fund-raising events, (2) distributed tickets to such functions to court personnel, (3) made a practice of being late for court despite warnings by the deputy chief magistrate, (4) purchased jewelry from a defendant at the courthouse while court was in session and allowed other court personnel to make purchases from the defendant at the same time, and (5) made gratuitous title searches for 3 police officers and 3 members of court staff. In the Matter of Barrett, 593 A.2d 529 (Delaware Court on the Judiciary 1991).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which the judge did not contest, the Florida Supreme Court reprimanded a judge who had (1) collected money due for medical services rendered to his clients while in private practice and failed to timely pay the funds to the service providers after becoming a judge; (2) while in private practice, charged fees to clients that exceeded the fees he had agreed to charge; (3) while a judge, failed to disclose his continuing interest in his private law practice; and (4) while a judge, failed to inform clients of and obtain their consent to the division of legal fees between himself and another attorney. Inquiry Concerning Meyerson, 581 So. 2d 581 (Florida 1991).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court reprimanded a judge who had attempted to commit suicide after drinking alcoholic beverages heavily for 3 days when someone sent his 2 adult children a photograph allegedly depicting him engaged in a homosexual act. Inquiry Concerning Norris, 581 So. 2d 578 (Florida 1991).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a judge who had regularly failed to deposit court funds in his official account within 72 hours of receipt as required by state law; made no deposits in his official accounts from almost 5 months; failed to remit fines totaling $621 to the state comptroller by the tenth day of the month following collection as required by state law; failed to maintain a cashbook as required by state law; failed to issue and maintain proper records of the receipt of court funds as required by state law; and held hundreds of dollars in his personal possession, unsecured, rather than promptly depositing them in the bank as required by law. In the Matter of Hall, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 4, 1991).

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