Recent cases

  • Approving the findings and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Florida Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay and publicly reprimanded him for failing to disqualify himself from cases involving an attorney with whom he had an adversarial and contentious professional relationship. Inquiry Concerning Yacucci (Florida Supreme Court November 2, 2017).
  • The New York Court of Appeals removed a non-lawyer judge for (1) repeatedly trying 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 letters 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 (New York Court of Appeals October 17, 2017).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s retirement and agreement never to seek or accept judicial office, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded a matter against a non-lawyer judge; the Commission had apprised the judge that it was investigating a complaint that he dismissed sua sponte a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated after an ex parte investigation and that, in 5 additional matters, he appeared to have engaged in ex parte communications and/or dismissed matters without a statutory basis. In the Matter of Maclaughlin, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 30, 2017).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for unexplained tardiness for her court dockets. Letter to Little (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct October 31, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for his treatment of prospective jurors and his use of the contempt power against lawyers. Public Reprimand of Aguilar and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 6, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) communicating ex parte with the judge presiding over her nephew’s criminal case and voluntarily testifying as a character witness on her nephew’s behalf at his probation revocation hearing and (2) shaming and reprimanding jurors who found a defendant guilty. Public Reprimand of Hawthorne (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 9, 2017).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a magistrate for (1) failing to give a defendant a jury trial as he had timely requested and failing to timely respond to the allegations and (2) publicly endorsing a candidate for appointment for magistrate and commenting on an impending criminal matter against a former magistrate. Public Admonishment of Halloran (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission November 2, 2017).

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