Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Granting the application for discipline filed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Iowa Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for a series of inappropriate and unnecessary characterizations of persons appearing before him, for example, describing a witness as a “beer-bellied, full-bearded, unemployed, seedy, coverall-clad lout.” In the Matter of Jenkins, 503 N.W.2d 425 (Iowa 1993).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court involuntarily retired a judge who had continued to hold office beyond the mandatory judicial retirement age of 70. In re Wingerter, 621 So. 2d 1098 (Louisiana 1993).
  • The New Jersey Supreme Court suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for a pattern of sexually harassing behavior that was personally offensive to an employee. In the Matter of Seaman, 627 A.2d 106 (New Jersey 1993).
  • Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge for twice signing his dead mother’s name to a credit card application to procure a user’s card for himself and, when questioned by bank investigators, repeatedly implying his mother was alive. In the Matter of Mazzei, 618 N.E.2d 123 (New York 1993).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge who used a shotgun, physical threats, vulgarities, and verbal intimidation in a personal dispute over property rights, which led to his convic­tion on menacing, trespass, and criminal mischief charges. In the Matter of Gloss, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 27, 1993).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) filing his 1990 financial disclosure statement 10 months late despite 2 notices from the Ethics Commission, (2) filing an incomplete 1991 statement and failing to complete it for over 6 months even after 2 notices and even though he knew the Commission was investigating him, (3) failing to answer letters from Commission staff about his financial disclosure statement, (4) failing to open a letter from the Commission and, consequently, failing to appear as requested, and (5) failing to open 9 letters received in his chambers from attorneys, litigants, and witnesses concerning matters pending before him and failing to have his staff open the letters.  In the Matter of Burstein, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 27, 1993).
  • Agreeing with the findings of the Board of Commissioners on Judicial Standards, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) twice disclosing to newspapers confidential correspondence from the Board regarding its investigation; (2) allowing signs favoring 2 candidates for the Republican nomination to the state senate to be placed on his property, sponsoring and attending a barbecue for one of the candidates, and allowing his photo to appear in a newspaper endorsement for the second candidate; and (3) interrupting a town council meeting, levying accusations of criminal conduct against the town police chief, and calling on the council to suspend the chief. In the Matter of Martin, 434 S.E.2d 262 (South Carolina 1993).

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