Recent cases

  • Granting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Disabilities, the Maryland Court of Appeals removed a judge from office for (1) her conviction on charges of driving while impaired by alcohol, speeding, negligent driving, reckless driving, and discarding trash outside of her car; (2) during the traffic stop, failing to be truthful and cooperative, injecting her judicial position, and mentioning the officer’s superior; and (3) failing to comply with the terms of a conditional diversion agreement and reprimand issued by the Commission and failing to cooperate during the investigation.  In the Matter of Nickerson, Per curiam order (Maryland Court of Appeals March 26, 2021). 
  • The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for endorsing or opposing candidates for the presidency and U.S. Senate on his Facebook page by, for example, “liking” Donald J. Trump’s Facebook page, including photographs of himself piloting a boat in the Trump Boat parade, and “liking” a newspaper endorsement in the Senate race.  In the Matter of Quinn, Public reprimand (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards March 9, 2021).
  • Based on a stipulation the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for, during voir dire in a criminal case, throwing a book against the wall and cursing, berating, yelling at, and threatening a prospective juror for expressing her belief that she could not be impartial, which led to reversal of the jury verdict on appeal.  In the Matter of Scotti, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline March 15, 2021).
  • Based on a stipulation of discipline by consent, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a part-time judge for failing to maintain an IOLTA account and to maintain professional liability insuranceIn the Matter of Killen, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court March 11, 2021).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s affirmation that he has vacated his office and will not seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded an investigation of allegations that a non-lawyer judge (1) had repeatedly sent text messages to his then-girlfriend that contained threats about a former girlfriend and that were “vulgar, crude, demeaning and/or featured extreme gender-based slurs and profanity;” and (2) after arraigning a defendant, repeatedly engaged in unauthorized ex parte communications with the defendant and other individuals and, during one of the defendant’s appearances in court, advised the defendant how to avoid having his firearms confiscated by law enforcement.  In the Matter of DiVietro, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 18, 2021).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for posting on his Facebook page 2 photographs of himself wearing a sheriff’s uniform and comments expressing his appreciation for law enforcement officers and describing his appearance at a “Back the Blue” event.  In the Matter of Peck, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 19, 2021).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for editing political opinion essays and letters to the editor intended and/or submitted for publication by a candidate for non-judicial elected town office and offering advice by email to the candidate about issues raised in his proposed submissions.  In the Matter of Rana, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 19, 2021).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for finding a friend not guilty of a traffic violation without a trial, plea, or appearance and asking a police officer to dismiss a ticket issued to his brother-in-law.  In the Matter of Mendelsohn (South Carolina Supreme Court March 31, 2021).
  • Based on the magistrate’s agreement to resign and never seek judicial office again, the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished the former magistrate for making numerous inappropriate sexual, homophobic, and racist comments to 2 individuals verbally and by text message and sending indecent photos, cartoons, and at least 1 video by text message.  Public Admonishment of Poe (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission March 12, 2021).

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