Recent cases

  • Approving a stipulation for discipline by consent and based on the judge’s agreement to resign, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) making a material misrepresentation to the Commission during a prior investigation; (2) improperly using her court credit card 14 times in violation of court policies; (3) frequently arriving to court after the calendar over which she presided was scheduled to start; (4) twice revising the local court rules without providing the notice of and opportunity to comment required by the California Rules of Court; and (5) appointing her former law partner to represent a conservatee in a matter without disclosing the relationship or disqualifying herself from the case. In the Matter Concerning Johnson, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance January 16, 2018).
  • The Illinois Courts Commission retired a judge who was mentally unable to perform her duties. In re Turner, Order (Illinois Courts Commission December 1, 2017).
  • In lieu of formal disciplinary proceedings and based on the judge’s consent, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for 2 incidents involving his estranged wife and firearms that prompted law enforcement investigations. Public Admonition of Day (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications December 29, 2017).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge for undermining the right to counsel in 3 cases, conveying an appearance of bias, eliciting incriminatory responses from a defendant at arraignment, making discourteous and threatening comments, destroying court records without authorization, and holding extra-judicial positions (court clerk and fire police officer) that were incompatible with judicial office. In the Matter of Kline, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 26, 2017).
  • Agreeing with the findings and recommendation of a panel of the Board of Professional Conduct based on a stipulation, the Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a magistrate for asserting her status in an attempt to avoid arrest during a traffic stop. Disciplinary Counsel v. Williams (Ohio Supreme Court December 19, 2017).
  • The Ohio Supreme Court indefinitely suspended a former judge from the practice of law for his conviction, based on a guilty plea, to 1 count of attempted felonious assault and 1 count of domestic violence. State Bar Association v. Mason (Ohio Supreme Court December 28, 2017).
  • Based on the unanimous report and recommendation of the Disciplinary Board, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court disbarred a former judge from the practice of law for using cocaine he stole from the evidence locker in his courtroom. Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Pozonsky, Opinion (Pennsylvania Supreme Court January 18, 2018).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement with an investigative panel, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a part-time judge and suspended him from judicial duties for 120 days without impairment of compensation for failing to timely file a petition for a client and making false statements to the client and/or her daughters; the Tennessee Supreme Court had suspended the judge from the practice of law for 3 years, with 120 days active suspension and the remainder on probation, for the same conduct pursuant to his conditional guilty plea to a petition for discipline. Letter to Boyd (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct January 11, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) setting a $4 billion bond for a murder suspect and (2) magistrating her own son; the Commission also ordered that the judge receive 2 hours of instruction on magistration with a mentor. Public Reprimand of Brown and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 19, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished 3 hearing officers for strictly following directives not to issue personal bonds to defendants per the instructions of the judges in whose court the cases were assigned; the Commission also ordered the hearing officers to obtain 4 hours of instruction with a mentor on magistration and bond setting. Public Admonition of Licata and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 10, 2018); Public Admonition of Hagstette and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 10, 2018); Public Admonition of Wallace and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 10, 2018).

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