Recent cases

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for multiple errors in an eviction proceeding. Carrillo, Order (February 6, 2017).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for, while a candidate, (1) obtaining and registering the domain name he knew his opponent intended to use for his campaign web-site and redirecting internet traffic from that web-site to his campaign web-site and (2) having a small image on his Facebook page with a logo that stated, “Andrew Hettinger Justice of the Peace” without “elect” prior to his name or “for” between his name and the position. Hettinger, Amended order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 31, 2017).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a pro tem judge for promoting the use of a company in which she has an ownership interest while presiding over settlement discussions in a family law case and including use of that company’s service as a term in the settlement agreement.  Sheldon, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 17, 2017).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) posting a statement about a judicial candidate on Facebook with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth and (2) being Facebook friends with attorneys who were appearing regularly before him. In the Matter Concerning Ferguson, Public admonishment (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 31, 2017).
  • Approving the recommendation of the hearing panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court suspended a judge for 90 days without pay and publicly reprimanded her for knowingly misrepresenting a newspaper endorsement for her 1994 legislative re-election campaign to make it appear the endorsement was for her 2014 judicial campaign. Inquiry Concerning Shepard (Florida Supreme Court May 4, 2017).
  • Based on stipulations, the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee publicly reprimanded a judge for revising a negotiated plea agreement sua sponte and refusing to allow the state to strike amendments to the charges; the Committee dismissed complaints about the judge’s handling of 4 other plea agreements with a caution and recommendation for prudent future conduct. In the Matter of DeVries (New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee April 7, 2017).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a non-lawyer judge for (1) multiple efforts to influence the disposition of a traffic ticket received by his daughter and being discourteous to the prosecutor in the case and (2) in connection with the appeal of his order of restitution in a case, sending 8 letter to the county court that contained factual and legal arguments and biased, discourteous statements about the defendant and his attorney. In the Matter of Ayres, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 4, 2017), review requested.
  • Adopting the findings and conclusions of the Judicial Standards Commission based on stipulations and accepting its recommendation based on the judge’s agreement, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for driving while substantially impaired and belligerent, offensive, and denigrating behavior towards law enforcement and emergency personnel. In re LaBarre (North Carolina Supreme Court May 5, 2017).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Board of Professional Conduct based on stipulations, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a former judge from the practice of law for 2 years, with the second year stayed on the condition that he commit no further misconduct, for soliciting prostitution and falsifying a court record. Ohio State Bar Association v. Jacob (Ohio Supreme Court May 10, 2017).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended for 45 days without pay a judge who had a physical altercation with another attendee following a meeting of a cotillion club. In the Matter of Johnson (South Carolina Supreme Court May 31, 2017).
  • Affirming the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Special Court of Review Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for engaging in an improper sexual relationship with his chief clerk. In re Casey (Special Court of Review Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court May 9, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for a Facebook post that stated, “Time for a tree and a rope . . .” in response to the arrest of an African-American man for the killing of a police officer. Amended Public Reprimand and Order of Additional Education of Oakley (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 8, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for refusing to allow a member of the public to inspect and copy judicial case files and physically escorting the man out of his office. Public Warning of Alford and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 28, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to provide the plaintiff in a small claims case with adequate written notice of his trial date, proceeding to trial without requiring the defendant to file a written answer to the lawsuit, communicating with the defendant regarding the merits of the case, failing to treat the plaintiff with patience, dignity, and courtesy, presenting a settlement offer in a way that give the plaintiff the impression the defendant was in a position to influence the judge and used the prestige of his office to advance the defendant’s interest, and using racially insensitive language while in the courthouse. Public Reprimand of DeLaPaz and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 17, 2017).
  • Adopting the decision of the Judicial Conduct Board, the Vermont Supreme Court ordered that a judge be immediately and permanently suspended from judicial office, prohibited him from holding judicial office in the state, and publicly reprimanded him for depositing payments on loans into his personal bank account even though the loans had been made with funds from his uncle’s wife and negotiating the forgiveness of the loans; making a facially implausible claim against her estate; failing to protect the assets of the estate; and making false statements during a probate court hearing. In re Kane (Vermont Supreme Court May 24,  2017).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge who solicited endorsements from court employees in support of his campaign. In re Federspiel, Stipulation, Agreement, and Order of Reprimand (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 12, 2017).

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