Recent cases

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for threatening to hold 2 police officers in contempt for failing to comply with his order to arrest a woman for violating a harassment injunction entered in a proceeding from which the judge had recused himself; the Commission also directed the judge to complete a judicial ethics course at his own expense.  Guerrero, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct March 29, 2019).
  • Approving a stipulation and the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for, during a felony criminal trial, ordering his courtroom deputy, loudly and in front of the jury, to remove one of the defendant’s attorneys from a sidebar conference and then denying the defendant’s disqualification motion.  Inquiry Concerning Bailey (Florida Supreme Court April 11, 2019).
  • Approving a stipulation and the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for introducing partisan political activity into his re-election campaign by identifying himself as a registered Republican while being interviewed by a newspaper’s editorial board and touting his endorsement by a partisan political organization affiliated with the Democratic Party at a judicial candidate forum.  Inquiry Concerning Kollra (Florida Supreme Court April 18, 2019).
  • Based on a settlement agreement, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 45 days without pay based on her guilty plea to disorderly conduct–littering and her admission to careless driving, a civil infraction.  In re McDonald (Michigan Supreme Court April 25, 2019).
  • Granting a joint motion for approval of the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance based on stipulations of fact, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $1,683.34 for (1) failing to timely rule in 28 civil cases and (2) entering a judgment in favor of a plaintiff without holding a hearing on the merits of the case.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. McGee (Mississippi Supreme Court April 4, 2019).
  • Based on a stipulation of facts and agreed recommended sanction, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $500 for ordering a deputy clerk to rescind a warrant for the arrest of his former girlfriend that had been issued by another judge based on his own affidavit.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Burton (Mississippi Supreme Court April 25, 2019).
  • Granting a petition to accept a stipulation agreement and consent to discipline, the New Mexico Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for a conflict with his next-door neighbors.  In the Matter of Guthrie, Order and public censure (New Mexico Supreme Court April 8, 2019).
  • Granting a petition to accept a stipulation agreement and consent to discipline, the New Mexico Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for, in a conversation with the county manager, threatening to have the governor veto funds for the county if the courthouse security measures the judge thought were necessary were not provided.  In the Matter of Mitchell, Order and public censure (New Mexico Supreme Court April 8, 2019).
  • Adopting the findings of the Board on Professional Conduct based on stipulations of facts, the Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) presiding over numerous cases in which he had served as attorney of record and (2) failing to timely notify multiple clients that he was terminating his representation following his appointment to the bench.  Disciplinary Counsel v. Rusu (Ohio Supreme Court April 3, 2019).
  • Based on stipulations, the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline severely reprimanded a former judge and fined him $5,000 for engaging in sexual relations with the girlfriend of a treatment court defendant, sending salacious text messages, and presiding in cases in which the attorney representing him in the investigation appeared.  In re Shaw, Opinion (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline July 18, 2018), Order (April 23, 2019).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for affirmatively allowing a photo constituting an endorsement of a candidate for county commissioner to be posted on his Facebook page.  Public Warning of Madrid (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 3, 2019).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a former judge for being unnecessarily confrontational toward litigants during hearings on 2 petitions for anti-harassment orders on the same day, including criticizing a domestic violence survivor for her choice in relationships.  In re Meyer, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 26, 2019).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for delays of 392 days and 132 days in deciding 2 family law cases.  In re Fennessy, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 26, 2019).

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