20 years ago this month:
- Granting the application by the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Iowa Supreme Court suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for (1) being dilatory in filing rulings and in making reports on unfinished rulings as required by a supreme court rule and (2) having an intimate relationship with an assistant county attorney who regularly appeared before him without recusing from or disclosing the relationship in cases in which she appeared. In the Matter of Gerard, 631 N.W.2d 271 (Iowa 2001).
- Modifying the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for (1) inappropriately handling an arraignment; (2) attempting to induce a defendant to waive a jury to expedite a second case; and (3) constantly and repeatedly adjourning trials without good cause; repeated unnecessary and unexcused absences from judicial responsibilities during normal court hours; and overall lack of industry and proper management of her court docket; and an unwillingness to take corrective action or accept constructive suggestions or assistance to improve case management. In re Hathaway, 630 N.W.2d 850 (Michigan 2001).
- Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $765 for ex parte communications and dismissing speeding tickets without conducting any hearing or notifying the officers who issued the citations. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Warren, 791 So. 2d 194 (Mississippi 2001).
- Pursuant to the presentment of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended a judge for 3 months without pay for publicly confronting a man with whom she had had a romantic relationship and his companion at a saloon, giving false and misleading information to police when she talked to them during the incident, and coming “dangerously close to impersonating a police officer” when she called the saloon. In the Matter of Williams, 777 A.2d 323 (New Jersey 2001).
- Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time non-lawyer commissioner who had publicly endorsed both Republican and Democrat candidates for county commissioner and identified herself as a member of a political party in an advertisement for one of the candidates. In re Walters, Stipulation, Agreement and Order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 5, 2001).
- Based on a complaint brought by the Judicial Commission, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended a judge for 75 days without pay for threatening to make public his allegations against the county’s chief judge, the chief judge’s daughter (an attorney in the county district attorney’s office), and the district court administrator unless the chief judge dropped his attempts to regulate the judge’s court hours. In the Matter of Crawford, 629 N.W.2d 1 (Wisconsin 2001).