Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for serving on the board of directors of an organization to which her court referred litigants for services. Lorona, Disposition of Complaint (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 19, 2014).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a former judge for treating attorneys in a sarcastic and belittling manner in 2 cases. Public Admonishment of Sohigian (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 13, 2014).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission based on a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence. Inquiry Concerning Sheehan, 139 So. 3d 290 (Florida 2014).
  • Based on a complaint filed by the Judicial Inquiry Board, the Illinois Courts Commission removed a judge from office for a mental disability that persistently interfered with the performance of her judicial duties. In re Brim, Order (Illinois Courts Commission May 9, 2014).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended a judge without pay for 30 days for (1) permitting ex parte communications from defense attorneys about whether defendants would be arrested under warrants or summoned to appear in court; (2) entering orders in cases in which she was acquainted with a party; (3) addressing parties in court in an undignified and discourteous manner; (4) threatening the sheriff and his deputies with contempt and jail time in an attempt to influence the assignment of bailiffs in her court; and (5) ordering 2 individuals held for U.S. immigration and custom enforcement without legal basis. In re Ward, Agreed Order of Suspension (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission May 12, 2014).
  • The Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 60 days for engaging in numerous ex parte communications with the parties in a small claims case, having her constable obtain the police report of an altercation between the parties, failing to disqualify herself despite the ex parte communications and independent fact-finding, and allowing her constable to “assist” in the proceedings before her and in her decision-making. In re Foret, 144 So.3d 1028 (Louisiana 2014).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which were accepted by the judge and based on stipulations, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for pursuing a personal relationship with the victim in a domestic violence matter pending before him and fielding questions from the victim concerning the matter. In the Matter of Montes, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court May 22, 2014). The Court’s order does not describe the judge’s misconduct; this summary is based on the Committee’s presentment.
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement with an investigative panel, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to disqualify herself from a case in which an attorney who had been her campaign treasurer and her personal attorney appeared and for her comments in several cases. Re Solomon, Letter of reprimand (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 16, 2014).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) an adversarial relationship with the director of the county community supervision and corrections department that improperly influenced his conduct and judgment and (2) his demeaning treatment of a prosecutor during a trial, including threatening to use duct tape on her, failing to rule on prosecution motions, and preventing her from conducting voir dire. Public Reprimand of Tittle (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 21, 2014).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former judge for (1) entering orders of deferred disposition that did not include an assessment of court costs as required by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and failing to maintain court records, receipts, or bank statements to document the court costs allegedly collected by court staff; (2) entering orders dismissing cases without notice to or a motion from the city prosecutor, as required by law; (3) entering orders indicating that he was holding trials and finding defendants not guilty without notifying the city prosecutor of trial settings and/or giving the prosecutor an opportunity to appear; (4) conducting his own independent investigation about whether there was probable cause for a citation; and (5) failing to supervise his staff and ensuring that the court’s business was conducted in a timely, efficient, and lawful manner. Public Reprimand of Cedillo (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 15, 2014).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a former judge for failing to disclose expenditures made by others on behalf of her campaign and to file campaign finance reports, as required by law. Public Warning of Cruz (Texas State Commission on Conduct Judicial May 16, 2014).
  • The Vermont Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for a 14-month delay in scheduling a hearing on a grandfather’s motion to terminate a father’s parental rights. In re Balivet, 98 A.3d 794 (Vermont 2014).

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