20 years ago this month:
- Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the California Supreme Court censured a judge who had, as a matter of routine practice during the in-custody misdemeanor arraignment calendar, failed to consider release of defendants on their own recognizance or to consider probation or concurrent sentencing for defendants pleading guilty or no contest at arraignment; refused to appoint counsel to assist defendants; and failed to inform defendants pleading guilty or no contest of the negative consequences a conviction could have on a non-citizen with regard to immigration. In re Whitney, 922 P.2d 868 (California 1996).
- Affirming an advisory opinion issued by the Advisory Committee on Extrajudicial Activities, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that a judge’s appearance on television to comment on cases pending in other jurisdictions violated the code of judicial conduct prohibition on judges’ commenting on pending cases, that the prohibition did not violate the First Amendment, and that the judge’s appearances lent the prestige of office to advance the private interests of others. In re Inquiry of Broadbelt, 683 A.2d 543 (New Jersey 1996).
- Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge who had engaged in a vituperative campaign against a lawyer with whom he had a personal feud; publicly disseminated a list of “13 suggestions for confrontational or intentionally offensive criminal defense attorneys;” publicly criticized a defense being raised in a pending proceeding before his court; filed a false report to a police official; and gave testimony during the Commission’s investigation that was false, misleading, and lacking in candor. In the Matter of Mogil, 673 N.E.2d 896 (New York 1996).