Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for abruptly dismissing a jury when defense counsel had not arrived in the courtroom by 8 a.m. even though he knew the building was still locked; failing to inform the defendant and defense counsel there was a way to get into the locked courthouse, which facilitated an impression of bias in favor of the prosecution who knew from previous experience that they could knock on the door to be admitted; refusing to allow defense counsel to explain what had happened on the record; and abruptly disqualifying himself, causing the parties substantial delay and inconvenience. Chiles, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct April 9, 2012).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for taking action in 2 cases following ex parte communications from the defendants’ parents, 1 of whom was a court employee and 1 of whom was a former client. Letter of Reprimand (Karren) (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission April 27, 2012).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly censured a judge for delay in several cases. Letter of Censure (Keaton) (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission April 27, 2012).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance severely admonished a judge for making denigrating and undignified comments to litigants and related parties in 5 family law proceedings; inappropriately commenting on complaints made against him; viewing litigants’ web posts about matters pending before him; independently investigating facts; and failing to disclose on the record information that was reasonably relevant to the question of disqualification. In the Matter of Friedenthal, Decision and Order (California Commission on Judicial Performance April 3, 2012).
  • Approving the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence and crashing the vehicle she was driving. Inquiry Concerning Nelson, 95 So. 3d 122 (Florida 2012).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for holding a hearing on a motion for disqualification alleging a conflict between the attorney and the judge’s wife, communicating ex parte with his wife about the motion, calling his wife as a witness, questioning the attorney’s clients, and threatening to file a complaint with The Florida Bar. Inquiry Concerning Cohen, 99 So. 3d 926 (Florida 2012).
  • Accepting the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission based on a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) being habitually tardy for hearings, first appearances, and trials and (2) making a statement introducing his religious beliefs into decision-making. Inquiry Concerning Singbush, 93 So. 3d 188 (Florida 2012).
  • Granting an application filed by the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Iowa Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. In the Matter of Block, 816 N.W.2d 362 (Iowa 2012).
  • Affirming the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) inappropriate financial transactions and practices, including misappropriating public funds; (2) failing to ensure that a business-attire policy was properly enforced and did not deny people access to the court; (3) knowingly rehiring an unqualified magistrate, misrepresenting that he was qualified, and requiring him to sign bench warrants, contrary to statute; (4) hiring her niece; and (5) making misrepresentations during the investigation and hearing, including lying under oath. In re James, 821 N.W.2d 144 (Michigan 2012).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly admonished a judge for his conduct when his former bailiff was charged with domestic violence. In the Matter of Melville, Finding of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Consent Order (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline April 13, 2012).
  • Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge from office for presiding over 8 matters involving his paramour’s relatives without disclosing the conflict; engaging in ex parte communications with his paramour and her relatives concerning 4 of the matters; and making dispositions in 5 of the matters that conveyed an appearance of favoritism. In the Matter of Young, 974 N.E.2d 658 (New York 2012).
  • Based on a stipulation of facts and consent, the Oregon Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for a 16-month delay in issuing a decision in a divorce case. Inquiry Concerning Avera, 283 P.3d 923 (Oregon 2012).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for telling a defendant, “I’ll beat your ass if you call me a liar.” In the Matter of Martin, 734 S.E.2d 165 (South Carolina 2012).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for releasing his son on his own recognizance after his arrest for driving under the influence. Smith, Letter of Reprimand (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary April 2, 2012).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, to which the judge agreed, the Wyoming Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for comments he made at a city council meeting about towing charges. In the Matter of Lopez, 274 P.3d 405 (Wyoming 2012).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s