25 years ago this month:
- Following the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the California Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) being habitually tardy in starting court sessions; (2) failing to report several loans on her annual statement of economic interests; (3) failing to list at least 6 creditors on the voluntary petition of bankruptcy she filed with her husband; (4) becoming personally involved as an advocate for her former gardener in a felony case over which she was presiding; (5) presiding over misdemeanor cases against a woman from whom she had borrowed $4,500 and the woman’s nephews, making statements or taking action in those cases to ingratiate herself to the woman, and telling the woman she (the judge) could not repay the loan but would “work off” the debt by helping to prepare a petition for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the woman’s husband, who had been convicted of federal felony narcotics trafficking offenses; and (6) asking the woman and her husband not to cooperate in the Commission’s investigation. Doan v. Commission on Judicial Performance, 902 P.2d 272 (California 1995).
- Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for issuing a bench warrant for the immediate arrest of a witness whom the judge should have known had not been properly served. Inquiry Concerning Graziano, 661 So. 2d 819 (Florida 1995).
- Following the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Georgia Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) refusing to set appeal bonds for 2 misdemeanor defendants when the law clearly obligated her to do so, (2) issuing bench warrants for the arrests of 2 misdemeanor defendants when their attorney had been late even though the defendants had been in court, and (3) forcing a defendant to enter a plea of guilty in the absence of his counsel. In the Matter of Vaughn, 462 S.E.2d 728 (Georgia 1995).
- The Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications ordered a judge to cease and desist based on findings that the judge had asked witnesses in a criminal trial inappropriate questions, treated the defendant’s lawyers inappropriately, and injected her personal opinion. Inquiry Concerning Watson, Cease and Desist Order (Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications October 10, 1995).
- Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for comments from the bench in a number of proceedings that reflected a pattern of inappropriate, insensitive, and/or offensive comments. In the Matter of Warren, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 13, 1995).