Recent cases

  • Based on an agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly censured a judge for (1) leaving the bench while a public defender was questioning a witness during a hearing, refusing to let her make her record when she attempted to respond to an objection, and using a curt voice and displaying an alarming demeanor and (2) in a separate proceeding, making statements about the way a public defender was conducting voir dire, asking if her client had a defense, and stating that he would still accept a guilty plea.  Re Sims (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission May 21, 2021).
  • Approving a stipulated disposition, the Colorado Supreme Court accepted the retirement of a judge and publicly censured her for 2 convictions for driving under the influence.  In the Matter of Gunkel (Colorado Supreme Court May 13, 2021).
  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) telling community members that he was supporting an incumbent judge’s opponent in a judicial election and asking some of them to support his favored candidate, and (2) failing to designate a campaign account and treasurer with the Division of Elections before receiving campaign contributions or issuing funds, as required by the state campaign financing statute.  Inquiry Concerning Cupp (Florida Supreme Court May 13, 2021).
  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for attempting to dissuade a judicial candidate from running against an incumbent judge and to run against a different incumbent judge or not to run at all.  Inquiry Concerning Howard (Florida Supreme Court May 20, 2021).
  • Following a trial de novo, a Texas Special Court of Review affirmed the public admonition of a judge for approaching a legal assistant in his courtroom, touching her on the arm or shoulder, and admonishing her for sitting in a section of the courtroom reserved for attorneys; the Court also ordered the judge to complete 2 hours of instruction about decorum with a mentor.  In re Wilson (Texas Special Court of Review May 4, 2021).
  • Based on an agreement, which included the judge’s resignation, the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a former magistrate for touching a court employee.  In the Matter of Cole, Public admonishment (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission April 29, 2021).

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