Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a court commissioner for becoming angry with a party during a hearing, arguing with him from the bench in a condescending and accusatory manner, and raising her voice in a manner inconsistent with the obligation to be patient, dignified, and courteous. Parks, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct February 20, 2007).
  • The Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a former judge from the practice of law for 1 year and 1 day for (1) while a judge, frequently issuing orders and directives, both verbal and written, instructing the sheriff’s office to perform actions when there were no cases pending, no motions filed, and no hearings set and (2) sending a letter on his official court stationery to the chief disciplinary counsel in support of a disbarred lawyer. In re Whitaker, 948 So.2d 1067 (Louisiana 2007).
  • The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for directing a non-litigant to accompany his bailiff to “the back” to contact a defendant to tell him she would go to jail if he did not “get his butt down here,” which led to the bailiff handcuffing the non-litigant based on the judge’s “normal” way of doing things. In the Matter of Assad, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Imposition of Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline February 8, 2007).
  • Adopting the presentment of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly censured a former judge for a pattern of improper conduct on 1 date that included pursuing a defendant who had fled from the courtroom, accusing a defendant of being a liar at a pre-trial conference, dismissing charges only after ascertaining that a defendant’s attorney had been paid, and making sarcastic remarks on the bench about a cell phone policy set by the chief judge. In the Matter of Maisto (New Jersey Supreme Court February 9, 2007).
  • Granting a petition filed by the Commission on Judicial Standards based on stipulated findings of fact, the New Mexico Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for endorsing a mayor for re-election and authorizing the use of his name in an endorsement that was published in the local newspaper. Inquiry Concerning Vincent, 172 P.3d 605 (New Mexico 2007).
  • Granting the petition of the Judicial Standards Commission, the New Mexico Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $500 for improperly delegating his judicial duties to his secretary. Inquiry Concerning Griego, Order (New Mexico Supreme Court February 8, 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge who made public statements to the town board that explicitly linked his discretionary ability to set fines to a proposed salary increase for himself, his co-justice, and court clerk. In the Matter of Tauscher, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 5, 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge who, while running as a candidate for town justice, continued to serve as chair of the local Republican Party, participated in the political campaign of another judicial candidate, and publicly endorsed other candidates. In the Matter of King, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 14, 2007).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge who repeatedly made inconsistent, evasive, and misleading statements during the Commission’s investigation of her involvement in a defense fund established for a friend against whom the Commission had filed charges. In the Matter of Doyle, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 26, 2007).
  • Approving a consent to censure based on stipulated facts, the Oregon Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for sitting on a case involving a defendant charged with spitting on a guard at a prison where his brother is a guard and asking defense counsel not to disclose his brother’s employment to the defendant. Inquiry Concerning Mendiguren, 154 P.3d 720 (Oregon 2007).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former part-time judge for inappropriate comments to a defendant and calling another magistrate about the case. In the Matter of Bethune, 642 S.E.2d 575 (South Carolina 2007).
  • Adopting the findings and conclusions of law of a judicial conduct panel based on a stipulation, the Wisconsin Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for presiding over 2 cases in which a family member was a defendant, presiding over a case in which the defendant was a client he was representing in his private practice, and identifying himself as a municipal judge in an advertisement for his private law practice in the Yellow Pages. In the Matter of Laatsch, 727 N.W.2d 488 (Wisconsin 2007).

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