5 years ago this month:
- Based on a stipulation, the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) failing to follow the law in 6 cases, (2) improper ex parte orders in 4 cases, (3) chronic tardiness and related misconduct, and (4) discourtesy to court staff; the Board also required the judge to comply with conditions, including submitting a plan to address the causes of his misconduct and identifying a mentor. In the Matter of Cahill, Public reprimand and conditions (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards April 21, 2014).
- The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) failing to supervise his law clerk and approving inaccurate time sheets, (2) refusing to allow a defendant to withdraw his plea, (3) trying a defendant in absentia, and (4) discourtesy to a psychologist; the Board also imposed conditions on the judge including completing an anger management program or therapy, identifying a mentor, and writing a letter of apology to the psychologist. In the Matter of Walters, Public reprimand and conditions (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards April 22, 2014).
- Agreeing with the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, to which the judge consented, the Nebraska Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for instructing jail personnel to release a friend, who had been arrested on a felony drunk driving charge, from jail on his own recognizance before arraignment. In re Complaint Schatz, 845 N.W.2d 273 (Nebraska 2014).
- Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee publicly reprimanded a former judge for statements in a meeting with public defenders that could reasonably be interpreted as manifesting bias based on gender. Lewis, Reprimand (New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee April 1, 2014).
- The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for (1) riding in a police car with a defendant after arraigning him, recommending that the defendant hire an attorney who was the judge’s business partner, giving him legal advice, and presiding over the case; (2) using his judicial title to promote his law firm and business; (3) imposing fines that exceeded the maximum authorized by law; and (4) making improper political contributions. In the Matter of Burke, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct (April 21, 2014).
- The Tennessee Board on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a former child support magistrate for changing a child’s name from “Messiah,” applying her own religious beliefs in her decision, and publicly commenting on her decision while the case was still pending. In re Ballew, Opinion (Tennessee Board on Judicial Conduct April 25, 2014).
- The Utah Supreme Court approved the implementation of the Judicial Conduct Commission order, based on a stipulation, publicly reprimanding a judge for yelling at a grandfather in an adoption hearing. In re Andrus, Order (Utah Supreme Court April 23, 2014).