Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge who had motions in 1 criminal case under submission for 7 months and demurrers in 2 misdemeanor criminal cases under submission for 13 months and who, while he had those cases under submission, executed salary declarations under penalty of perjury stating that he had no cases pending and undecided for longer than 90 days to continue to receive his judicial salary. Public Admonishment of Oliver (California Commission on Judicial Performance June 16, 1998).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for, while one of the first prosecutions under the state’s new capital punishment statute was pending before him, giving a speech to a group of police officials that noted constitutional problems with the statute, questioned the need for the capital defenders office, stated that murder cases can cost as much as $2 million and that half of the convictions are overturned on appeal, and criticized defense lawyers for using “technicalities” to block prosecutions and obtain appellate reversals. In the Matter of Bruhn, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 24, 1998).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part time, non-lawyer judge for implying in campaign materials that he was a lawyer. In the Matter of Fiore, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 25, 1998).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for reducing the charges in 2 traffic cases based on conversations with the defendants and without notice to or the consent of the prosecution. In the Matter of Hooper, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 29, 1998).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for (1) speaking in 2 cases to defendants whom she knew to be represented by counsel to urge them to enter guilty pleas; (2) engaging in ill-placed humor, minimizing charges before her, and making remarks concerning the reliability of prosecution witnesses; (3) engaging in ex parte communications; and (4) suggesting that the conduct of one member of an ethnic group reflected on all members of that group. In the Matter of Smith, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 29, 1998).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a former judge for consuming beer on court premises with jurors and attorneys following a driving while under the influence case. In re Baldwin, Stipulation, order, and resignation (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 5, 1998).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and consent, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge pro tempore for serving while suspended from the practice of law for non-payment of dues. In re Seidlitz, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 5, 1998).
  • Accepting an agreement, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals publicly censured a judge, who had also agreed to resign, for “initiat[ing] a physical confrontation” with a criminal defendant in his courtroom. In the Matter of Troisi, 504 S.E.2d 625 (West Virginia 1998).

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