25 years ago this month:
- Adopting the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for writing a character reference letter on his official court stationery for a personal friend who was awaiting sentencing in federal court. Inquiry Concerning Fogan, 646 So. 2d 191 (Florida 1994).
- Adopting the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Performance, based on an agreed statement of fact, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a part-time judge for attempting as an attorney to reduce bail that he had set while acting as a judge. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Atkinson, 645 So. 2d 1331 (Mississippi 1994).
- Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) notarizing a signature and stating that the signatory had appeared before him even though the signatory had not done so; (2) directing that a prisoner held outside the county be returned to the county for a hearing when no case involving the prisoner was pending, no petition had been filed, and he had conducted no hearing; and (3) executing an instrument styled “authorization to remove personal property” when there was no related case pending before the court. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Hartzog, 646 So. 2d 1319 (Mississippi 1994).
- Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to deposit court funds in his official account within 72 hours of receipt as required by statute and failing to properly supervise his court staff or take necessary steps to ensure that his staff timely deposited court funds. In the Matter of Burton, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 1, 1994).
- Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for recommending 6 persons, including his wife and daughter, to attorneys to be used as process servers in civil actions in his court. In the Matter of Ellis, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 1, 1994).
- Agreeing with the findings and recommendations of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for touching a client while a lawyer and touching a clerk while a judge. Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Talbert, 644 N.E.2d 310 (Ohio 1994).
- Based on the report and recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, which the judge had accepted, the Rhode Island Supreme Court publicly censured a family court judge for making inappropriate comments in 5 cases; the Court also directed the chief judge of the family court to monitor the judge’s work load and the demeanor. In re O’Brien, 650 A.2d 134 (Rhode Island 1994).