10 years ago this month:
- Based on an agreement for discipline by consent, the Maryland Court of Appeals suspended a judge without pay for 5 work days for deflating a tire on an automobile parked in his reserved parking space at the courthouse. In the Matter of Nalley, 999 A.2d 182 (Maryland 2010).
- Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, to which the judge consented, the Michigan Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for releasing a county commissioner on his own recognizance on a day he was not scheduled to do arraignments after calls from another county commissioner. In re Logan, 783 N.W.2d 705 (Michigan 2010).
- Adopting the findings of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 14 days without pay and publicly censured him for dismissing 30 family law cases as the time guidelines threshold approached to avoid those cases being identified as out of compliance, but continuing to work on the cases. In re Halloran, 783 N.W.2d 709 (Michigan 2010).
- Based on the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Nebraska Supreme Court removed a judge from office for interfering in a criminal case against a softball coach and a juvenile case involving a softball player. In re Florom, 784 N.W.2d 897 (Nebraska 2010).
- Agreeing with the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline based on the parties’ stipulations, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a judge from the practice of law for 1 year (with 6 months stayed with conditions) for (1) investigating a criminal matter pending in his court; (2) failing to be patient, dignified, and courteous; (3) using his position to pressure the city law director’s secretary to bring the law director’s file on a defendant to the court; (4) improperly handling proceedings to appoint counsel for indigent defendants; (5) comments that gave the impression that 3 defendants were remanded into custody due to a failure on the part of the county commissioners; (6) placing a defendant in a holding cell until he was ready to discuss her case; (7) creating the appearance that he was trying to force the mayor to execute a law director’s contract; (8) involving himself in the formulation of charges against a defendant; and (9) badgering 2 defendants about their eligibility for appointed counsel. Disciplinary Counsel v. Campbell, 931 N.E.2d 558 (Ohio 2010).
- Accepting the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a former judge from the practice of law for 1 year (with 6 months stayed with conditions) for (1) failing to maintain or provide complete records of the proceedings in his courtroom; (2) unreasonably delaying compliance with a mandate of the court of appeals on remand; (3) engaging in an improper ex parte communication with a prosecutor; (4) expressing an opinion on an issue of fact in the jury’s presence, berating defense counsel during closing argument, and refusing to grant a mistrial based upon his own prejudicial conduct; and (5) refusing to accept a guilty plea for a misdemeanor speeding violation based on his mistaken belief that the prosecutor was statutorily required to charge the defendant with a greater offense. Disciplinary Counsel v. Plough, 931 N.E.2d 575 (Ohio 2010).
- The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for “scary” conduct “akin to stalking” toward 4 female lawyers (2 of whom occasionally appeared before the judge and 1 of whom was another judge’s clerk) and toward a 17-year-old girl who had appeared in his court; the Court also placed him on probation. In re Alonge, 3 A.3d 771 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2010).
- Based on an agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for hiring her daughter as her court officer without considering other qualified applicants and authorizing a salary for her that was commensurate with the position even though she had no experience or training. In re Dumas, Reprimand (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary July 16, 2010).