Recent cases

  • Based on an agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly censured a judge for being impatient, discourteous, and undignified toward a public defender in a hearing, toward a deputy prosecuting attorney in 2 hearings in drug court, to a drug court litigant during a hearing, to probation officers, and to members of her court staff. Letter of Censure of McGowan (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission July 13, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation of facts and an agreed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for signing warrants based on affidavits by her relatives; dismissing petitions for orders of protection from domestic abuse without holding the hearings required by statute; presiding over the initial appearance of a relative on a possession of a controlled substance charge, setting the bond at $50,000, and subsequently reducing the bond to $5,000; waiving an expungement fee and directing the clerks to void the receipts and refund the money; and requesting that the county board of supervisors transfer the complainant from her position as justice court clerk because of the complaint. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Curry (Mississippi Supreme Court July 26, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and the judge’s consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly censured a judge and ordered him to pay a $1,500 fine to a law-related charity for (1) rudeness and sarcasm in 1 criminal case, including threatening to apply duct tape to the defendant’s mouth and (2) muttering under his breath to a defendant convicted of child abuse, “I hope this follows you to prison” in a second case. In the Matter of Smith, Stipulation and order of consent to discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline July 26, 2018).  The judge also agreed that he would complete a National Judicial College course entitled “Ethics and Judging:  Reaching Higher Ground” or a similar class and that his failure to comply with the order would result in his permanent removal.
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a non-lawyer judge for delaying and mishandling a small claims action and failing to mechanically record any court proceedings for more than 8 years. In the Matter of Skinner, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 26, 2018).
  • Following a trial de novo, a Special Court of Review Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court publicly admonished a judge for referencing his judicial title and position to promote a project with his wife called “divorce in peace” that included a book, website, and on-line referral service. In re Roach, Judgment and public admonition (Texas Special Court of Review July 24, 2018).
  • Based on an agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a court commissioner for requiring a defendant to “tattoo” his next court date on his arms in black ink. In re Ponomarchuk, Stipulation, agreement, and order of admonishment (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 20, 2018).


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