Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • With the judge’s consent, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly reproved a judge for playing jokes on 2 defendants. Letter to Judge Friedman (California Commission on Judicial Performance June 21, 1993).
  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for sending a letter on his judicial stationery to 2 newspapers responding to the opposition to the retention of the chief justice, praising the chief justice and supporting his retention. Inquiry Concerning Glickstein, 620 So. 2d 1000 (Florida 1993).
  • Approving the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) repeatedly using his position to make allegations of official misconduct and improperly criticize fellow judges, elected officials, and others without a reasonable factual basis or regard for their reputations; (2) imposing improper sentences and improperly using the contempt power; (3) acting in an undignified and discourteous manner toward litigants, attorneys, and others appearing in his court; and (4) closing and attempting to close public proceedings. Inquiry Concerning Graham, 620 So. 2d 1273 (Florida 1993).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a former judge for a pattern of subjecting subordinate women in the court system to uninvited sexual activity, touching, and crude and suggestive comments and for taking advantage of his position as a judge and employer in a series of sexual encounters with his young court reporter and secretary. In the Matter of LoRusso, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 8, 1993).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time town court justice for (1) considering an ex parte communication concerning a case pending before her; concluding on the basis of that conversation that the defendant’s purported diabetic condition was a justification for the criminal conduct alleged; initiating an ex parte contact with the complaining witness that conveyed the impression that she wanted him to withdraw his complaint; having an ex parte conversation with the arresting officers that gave the impression of prejudgment and partiality; and failing to disqualify herself until she learned that defense counsel had complained about her meeting with the complaining witness; and (2) being employed as a secretary and paralegal for an attorney who appeared regularly as a prosecutor in her court, although not before her. In the Matter of McCormick, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 9, 1993).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge who had barred an attorney from sessions of juvenile court over which she would be presiding because he had initiated the Commission’s preliminary investigation of her. In re Bissell, 429 S.E.2d 731 (North Carolina 1993).
  • Pursuant to the former magistrate’s consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate for using a credit-type card issued to him in his official capacity to purchase vehicles for his personal use through the state surplus property office. In the Matter of Ulmer, 432 S.E.2d 481 (South Carolina 1993).
  • The Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) threatening to cancel the public defender contract of an attorney who had filed several affidavits of prejudice against him; (2) after a deputy prosecuting attorney presented an agreement with defense counsel that would dispose of the charges in a case, arresting the deputy prosecuting attorney and holding him in contempt for refusing to arrest a state trooper who was a key witness; (3) visiting a defendant in jail after the defendant was arrested for failure to appear; releasing the defendant without setting an appearance date; and instructing one of his staff to talk to the arresting officer about the identity of the person who received the ticket; and (4) dismissing sua sponte a DWI charge against a defendant who had had knee surgery and could not get into the courtroom when there were other reasonable alternatives for taking the plea. In re Junke, Decision (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 4, 1993).


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