Recent cases

  • The Alabama Court of the Judiciary accepted an agreement and stipulation in which a former judge agreed to never again seek judicial office in the state and to pay over $2300 in costs and the Judicial Investigation Commission agreed to dismiss 1 count of its complaint against him; the parties stipulated that, while he was involved in a romantic relationship with an attorney, the judge had (1) appointed the attorney to cases, taken judicial action in cases in which she was attorney of record, and entered attorney’s fees declaration orders for her benefit and (2) gained access to courtroom surveillance footage to advance their private interests.  In the Matter of Kaminski, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary August 6, 2019).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former judge for dereliction of duty based on an operational review conducted by the Administrative Office of the Courts, which referred the matter to the Commission.  Martinez, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct August 13, 2019).
  • The investigative panel of the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission reported that its investigation of a magistrate who was under criminal investigation for a crime of moral turpitude had been disposed of with his resignation.  In re Hrabovsky, Report of disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission July 17, 2019).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and agreement not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded a proceeding against a former judge; a formal complaint alleged that the judge had signed an arrest warrant for a husband and a stay-away order of protection on behalf of a wife even though the judge was representing the wife in a divorce action and had assisted the wife file a family offense petition against the husband based on the same incident and then continued to represent the wife for almost a year after signing the warrant and the order of protection in the related criminal case.  In the Matter of Katz, Decision and Order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 9, 2019).
  • Accepting the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the Board of Professional Conduct, which were based on stipulations of fact, misconduct, and aggravating and mitigating factors, and agreeing with its recommended sanction, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a former judge’s license to practice law for 1 year, with 6 months stayed and credit for time served under an interim suspension, for (1) his conviction on crimes related to his failure to disclose on his annual financial disclosure statements his ownership interest in an LLC that owned an office building; (2) failing to disqualify himself from cases in which several tenants in the office building appeared as counsel; (3) making derogatory statements about proposed legislation and its sponsors in a letter on official court stationery to state representatives; (4) making improper comments from the bench; (5) talking ex parte to a defendant after he had pleaded guilty; (6) refusing to apply controlling precedent in a criminal trial; and (7) conducting a hearing in Spanish rather than appointing an interpreter.  Disciplinary Counsel v. Burge (Ohio Supreme Court August 13, 2019).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for closing his courtroom and draping black fabric over the door to protest the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Public Admonition of Lipscombe (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 8, 2019).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for refusing to allow a litigant to review and copy the charging documents in his case until he entered a plea and for her policy and practice regarding access to court’s files; the Commission also ordered the judge to receive 2 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Warning of Baggett and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 8, 2019).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for invoking her judicial position during a telephone conversation with a man she believed was the estranged husband of a woman she believed was cohabitating with her estranged husband; the Commission also ordered that she receive 2 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Admonition of Rocha and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a former judge for telling a woman that she should wait to file her complaint until he had an opportunity to discuss the case with the defendant, whom he knew, and failing to timely issue a citation.  Public Admonition of Crouch (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 8, 2019).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished 11 judges or former judges from the same district court for instructing hearing officers not to issue personal recognizance bonds in any cases and to strictly follow a bail schedule, contrary to the authority provided to the hearing officers by statute; the judges reportedly will request review.  Public Admonition of Barr (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Ritchie (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of McSpadden (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Brown (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Cabaniss (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Collins (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Ellis (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Evans (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Jones (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Powell (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019); Public Admonition of Wallace (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2019).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the Vermont Judicial Conduct Board publicly reprimanded a judge for directly asking attorneys, including attorneys who appeared before him, to be part of his campaign committee; the judge also agreed to participate in a mentoring program.  In re Glennon, Public reprimand with order (Vermont Judicial Conduct Board August 28, 2019).

 

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s