20 years ago this month:
- The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for delays ranging from 13 months to 34 months in deciding 13 cases. In the Matter of King, Final Decision and Order (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission May 21, 1997)
- The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission imposed an informal adjustment on a part-time judge for a delay of almost 32 months in rendering a decision after trying a case. Letter to McKimm (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission May 21, 1997)
- Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge who was rude, abusive, and insulting to 2 assistant state attorneys and refused to allow a victim to make a statement as was her right, addressed the victim in an improperly raised voice, acted in an overbearing and dictatorial manner, had the victim escorted to the rear of the courtroom, and mimicked a shooting gun as she was led away. Re Wright, 694 So. 2d 734 (Florida 1997).
- Based on a joint statement of circumstances and conditional agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay for (1) failing to disqualify himself from a case in which he had submitted written materials, which were highly critical of the defendant, in support of an attorney against whom the defendant had filed a grievance or to disclose that fact to the defendant; (2) imposing a lengthier sentence on a defendant who demanded a jury trial than he would have imposed if she had submitted to a bench trial or pleaded guilty; and (3) misrepresenting the law to a defendant and forcing her to choose between proceeding without counsel or exercising her right to counsel and facing contempt and incarceration. In the Matter of Cox, 680 N.E.2d 528 (Indiana 1997).
- Accepting the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured a court of appeal judge for failing to disqualify herself from an appeal by a party with whom the judge had a close, personal relationship. In re Cooks, 694 So. 2d 892 (Louisiana 1997).
- Agreeing with the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Nebraska Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for offensive and unwelcome conduct that amounted to sexual harassment toward female court personnel, citizens having business in the courts, and student interns and for disseminating religious materials to jurors. In re Empson, 562 N.W.2d 817 (Nebraska 1997).
- Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge for (1) presiding over cases involving his friends notwithstanding that he had been previously cautioned by the Commission against doing so and (2) confronting a woman, in the presence of her employer, after she sent a letter to the editor of the local newspaper criticizing him. In the Matter of Robert, 680 N.E.2d 594 (New York 1997).
- The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge who had issued a warrant of eviction without any notice to the tenant and without conducting any court proceeding based solely on the ex parte request of the landlord. In the Matter of Holmes, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 29, 1997).
- Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a judge who had stated, “Oh, it’s been a rough day — all those blacks in here” and had conditioned his disqualification from a case on the withdrawal of complaints against him. In the Matter of Jensen, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 29, 1997).