Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Accepting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Alaska Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for going outside the merit selection process to appoint as coroner an individual who had not applied during the application period; whose name was suggested by the chief justice; whom the judge knew to be a friend of the chief justice; on the basis of criteria (legal training and experience) that were not part of the position’s stated qualifications; and on terms that were significantly different from those advertised to the general public.  In the Matter of Johnstone, 2 P.3d 1226 (Alaska 2000).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, the Arkansas Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) continuing to represent 2 clients in litigation after becoming a judge; (2) willfully failing to honor a subrogation agreement with a union for medical expenses paid on a client’s behalf; (3) failing to properly report attorney’s fees, referral fees, and income from a trust on the financial interest statement required to be filed with the secretary of state; (4) writing 59 insufficient funds checks between 1993 and 1997; (5) failing to pay federal income taxes in 1994; (6) placing the license tag for his Toyota on his Ford pickup truck; and (7) depositing client funds in a personal account rather than a trust account.  Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission v. Thompson, 16 S.W.2d 212 (Arkansas 2000).
  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for accepting free tickets to baseball games from members of a law firm whose lawyers appeared before him.  Inquiry Concerning Luzzo, 756 So. 2d 76 (Florida 2000).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge who, while a judge, had been routinely abusive, demeaning, and sarcastic to litigants, witnesses, and attorneys.  Inquiry Concerning Newton, 758 So. 2d 107 (Florida 2000).
  • Based on a stipulation, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a part-time judge for 6 months and publicly reprimanded her for serving as a referee for a township justice court and alternate municipal court judge while her membership status with the State Bar of Nevada was “inactive” because she had failed to obtain the required annual continuing legal education.  In the Matter of the Ungaro, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Decision and Imposition of Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline May 17, 2000).
  • Based on a stipulation, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a part-time judge for 6 months and publicly reprimanded him for serving as a referee for a township justice court and alternate municipal court judge while his membership status with the State Bar of Nevada was “inactive” because he had failed to obtain the required annual continuing legal education.  In the Matter of Morrison, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Decision and Imposition of Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline May 17, 2000).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) knowingly convicting a defendant who was charged with DWI of careless and reckless driving when the defendant had not been charged with that offense and the offense was not a lesser included offense; and (2) taking a guilty plea in the hallway.  In re Brown, 527 S.E.2d 651 (North Carolina 2000).
  • Adopting the findings and conclusions of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for engaging in ex parte communications with employees of the county department of children and family services.  Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Ferreri, 727 N.E.2d 908 (Ohio 2000).

 

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