10 years ago this month:
- The California Commission on Judicial Performance severely censured a judge for (1) failing to decide 21 causes submitted to him for decision within 90 days, (2) executing and submitting numerous salary affidavits falsely stating that he had no causes under submission for more than 90 days, and (3) failing to act on over 200 fee waiver applications within the time allowed by law. Inquiry Concerning Freedman (California Commission on Judicial Performance June 26, 2007).
- Based on the findings of the Judiciary Commission and stipulations, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 15 days without pay for setting an excessive bond to retaliate against the mayor’s opponents. In re Adams, 959 So.2d 474 (Louisiana 2007).
- Based on the findings of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 60 days for abusing her contempt power in 2 matters, abusing and exceeding her authority by revoking the defendant’s bond in 2 matters, and treating an attorney in a rude, impatient and sarcastic manner. In re Sassone, 959 So. 2d 859 (Louisiana 2007).
- Adopting the findings of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Supreme Court admonished a former judge for (1) failing to tell a defendant he had the right to be represented by an attorney during a hearing on an outstanding fine; (2) finding a woman in contempt when she paid a parking fine with a check that had “assholes” written in the memo area; (3) paying a fine to his own court clerk when his failure to respond to a parking summons led to the suspension of his license and asking a member of the court staff to fax a request to the motor vehicle commission to have his license reinstated; and (4) refusing to release a defendant on bail until the defendant produced valid identification or verified he was not being sought by federal immigration officials. In the Matter of Gordon, 924 A.2d 512 (New Jersey 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).
- The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission publicly reprimanded a court of appeals judge who had entered a plea of guilty to impaired driving. In re McCullough, Public Reprimand (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission June 27, 2007).
- The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for discussing the merits of a criminal case with witnesses outside the presence of the defendant and a prosecutor; conducting her own independent investigation of the allegations; failing to take a plea from the defendant; failing to advise the defendant of his constitutional rights; proceeding to trial in the absence of a prosecutor; finding the defendant guilty with no prima facie proof presented by a prosecutor; ignoring the defendant’s rights to a jury trial, to confront and cross-examine his accusers and witnesses, and against self-incrimination; failing to render her judgment in open court; and failing to reduce the judgment of conviction to writing. Public Admonition of Gomez (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 15, 2007).
- Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Utah Supreme Court approved the implementation of an order of censure for a former judge who (1) submitted forms to the administrative office of the court misrepresenting the number of hours of continuing education he had attended and (2) failed to make unemployment insurance contributions required by law for a company he owned. In re Cox, Order (Utah Supreme Court June 13, 2007).
- Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to properly advise criminal defendants of their constitutional and procedural rights at arraignments and probation review hearings; failing to accept guilty pleas in accordance with court rules; and engaging in a practice that appeared to coerce criminal defendants to waive their right to a jury trial. In the Matter of Odell, Stipulation, Agreement, and Order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 8, 2007).