5 years ago this month:
- Based on a stipulated resolution, the Arizona Supreme Court censured a former judge for (1) hearing cases involving an attorney with whom he had an intimate relationship, (2) unwanted sexual conduct toward an assistant public defender and retaliating against her when she rejected his advances, and (3) sending e-mails of a sexual nature to a third attorney. The Court also permanently enjoined him from serving as a judicial officer in Arizona and suspended him from the practice of law in Arizona for 2 years. In the Matter of Abrams, 257 P.3d 167 (Arizona 2011).
- The California Commission on Judicial Performance admonished a judge for revoking a criminal defendant’s pro per status, speaking to the defendant harshly, repeatedly stating that she did not believe him, grilling him on cases he had cited in his motion, and stating 3 times that he was lying to the court. Public Admonishment of Comparet-Cassani (California Commission on Judicial Performance August 16, 2011).
- Based on a joint recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 60 days and reprimanded her for ex parte conversations with a criminal defendant and the defendant’s husband, attempting to release the defendant from jail, and making comments during 2 hearings that clearly reflected their personal relationship. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Cowart, 936 So. 2d 343 (Mississippi 2011)
- Based on an agreed statement of facts, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge for 270 days without pay and reprimanded him for interfering with the prosecution of a defendant charged in a crime in which a relative of the judge was the victim and making statements in open court that encouraged others to engage in vigilante justice. Commission on Judicial Performance v. McGee, 71 So. 3d 578 (Mississippi 2011).
- Based on a stipulation, the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee reprimanded a part-time judge for angrily confronting a man who was putting up signs opposing his brother’s gubernatorial candidacy and contacting an attorney who was active in politics about the incident. Stephen, Reprimand (New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee August 25, 2011).
- Adopting in part the presentment of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Supreme Court censured a retired judge for failing to recuse from a case based on his relationship with a central witness and, after recusing himself, making 2 appearances in another judge’s courtroom during the trial. In re Perskie, 24 A.3d 277 (New Jersey 2011).
- The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission reprimanded a judge for striking 5 convictions at the ex parte request of an attorney who had represented that the district attorney approved the relief; the judge accepted the reprimand. Public Reprimand of Ammons (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission August 4, 2011).
- Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay for receiving supplemental payments from the police department that prosecuted cases before her. In the Matter of McKinney, 714 S.E.2d 284 (South Carolina 2011).