Tickets to sporting events

Judges have been disciplined for accepting free tickets to baseball, football, or basketball games because there is no sporting events exception to the gifts rule.

  • Approximately 15 times over 3 years, a judge accepted free tickets to Florida Marlins games with a face value of $16 to $18 each from 2 members of a law firm that were before him in at least 2 cases during that period.  Inquiry Concerning Luzzo, 756 So. 2d 76 (Florida 2000) (public reprimand).
  • A judge accepted and used 4 tickets to a college football game from a husband involved in divorce proceedings pending before him.  In re Daghir, 657 A.2d 1032 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 1995) (public reprimand and 7-day suspension without pay for this and other misconduct).
  • A judge accepted in open court 2 University of Michigan football tickets (worth $92) from an attorney appearing before him.  In re Haley, 720 N.W.2d 246 (Michigan 2006) (public censure).
  • A judge accepted 8 tickets to a Pittsburgh Steelers games from an attorney who appeared in numerous cases before him.  Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Lisotto, 761 N.E.2d 1037 (Ohio 2002) (public reprimand).
  • A judge accepted at least 1 free San Antonio Spurs ticket, valued at approximately $230, from an attorney who wrote bail bonds and/or practiced in her court, and the judge sat in the attorney’s reserve seats on several occasions.  Public Admonition of Guerrero (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 26, 2010).
  • A judge accepted 4 Seattle Mariners tickets (with a total face value of $232) from an attorney who regularly appeared before him.  In the Matter of Gaddis, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 10, 2004) (public reprimand for this and other misconduct).

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