20 years ago this month:
- With his consent, the California Commission on Judicial Performance admonished a judge for (1) denying a defendant his right to appointed counsel based on the ability of others to pay and the possibility of future employment; (2) acting unjudicially in handling peremptory challenges; (3) appearing to exhibit animosity toward the public defender’s office and certain attorneys in that office, making improper, derogatory comments about them, and accusing the office of taking a case for improper reasons; and (4) exceeding his authority in the imposition of sanctions in a matter. Public Admonishment of Drew (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 1996) (http://cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/public_admon/Drew_07-96.pdf).
- Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications admonished a judge for appearing to give preferential treatment to attorneys for collection agencies over individual litigants or their lawyers. Admonition of Barnard (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 10, 1996) (http://www.in.gov/judiciary/jud-qual/files/jud-qual-admon-barnard-7-10-96.pdf).
- Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court censured a judge who became involved in a friend’s case and entered improper orders in a child custody matter. In re Ammons, 473 S.E.2d 326 (North Carolina 1996).
- Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Hearing Board, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals reprimanded a family law master who attempted to get litigants in a case to agree to become sales representatives for Amway. In the Matter of Phalen, 475 S.E.2d 327 (West Virginia 1996).