25 years ago this month:
- The Arizona Supreme Court censured a former judge who had (1) used a telephone in his courtroom to obtain advice on cases from “friends of the court,” including arresting officers, and (2) refused to recuse himself from numerous cases in which one of the parties was a hospital on whose board of directors he sat. In re Anderson, 814 P.2d 773 (Arizona 1991).
- Adopting the recommendation of the Judicial Performance Commission, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) calling an officer with the Bureau of Narcotics an “s.o.b.,” knowing that the statement was likely to be published in the newspaper; (2) allowing clerks and other officials to dismiss tickets without an adjudication; (3) regularly failing to timely sign dockets; and (4) entering into plea negotiations by dismissing tickets in exchange for information on other crimes. Judicial Performance Commission v. Hopkins, 590 So. 2d 857 (Mississippi 1991).
- The New Jersey Supreme Court reprimanded a judge who had attended a widely publicized picnic hosted by a convicted felon, his friend for 18 years, held 2 days before the sentence was to have begun and attended by approximately 150 to 200 people. In the Matter of Blackman, 591 A.2d 1339 (New Jersey 1991).
- Accepting a joint recommendation, the Ohio Supreme Court reprimanded a former part-time judge who, for 25 years, had used the courtroom as his private legal office, whose court lacked a formal docket for judgement entries, and who had made no judgement entries in criminal cases unless the prosecutor prepared one. State Bar Association v. Dye, 572 N.E.2d 666 (Ohio 1991).