State judicial discipline in 2021

In 2021, there were approximately 116 public state discipline proceedings involving judges or former judges.  Approximately 55% of the cases were resolved pursuant to an agreement.

  • 2 judges were removed from office.
  • 1 judge was involuntarily retired.
  • 28 judges publicly agreed to resign or retire and never serve in judicial office again.
  • 7 judges publicly agreed to resign or retire and never serve again and, in addition, to receive a public censure (2 judges) or a public admonishment (4 judges) or to pay attorney’s fees and costs for the investigation and prosecution of the case, which were almost $74,500.
  • 20 judges were suspended without pay as a final sanction for from 7 days to 2 years, although 5 of those suspensions were deferred in whole or in part subject to the judge committing no further misconduct and other conditions.
    • 1 judge was suspended without pay for 2 years with all but 6 months deferred subject to the judge completing a lawyers assistance monitoring program.
    • 1 judge was suspended for 18 months and agreed to complete an on-line ethics course.
    • 2 judges were suspended for 1 year.  1 of those suspensions was stayed after approximately 2 months conditioned on the judge complying with a counseling and training plan.
    • 1 judge was suspended for 10 months with her resumption of duties conditioned on her compliance with a professional development plan.
    • 4  judges were suspended for 6 months.  2 of those suspensions were stayed with education requirements.  1 also required the judge to complete anger management training.  1 also placed the judge on probation, prohibited her from serving in the family court division during her probation, and ordered her to consult with a mentor and apologize to each person she had wronged.
    • 3 judges were suspended for 90 days or 3 months.  1 of those suspensions also included a censure and required the judge to obtain additional judicial education and to apologize.  60 days of 1 of those suspensions was stayed conditioned on the judge attending a class on mindfulness, patience, or civility and consulting with a counselor or life coach about how to treat the professionals appearing in his court.
    • 4 judges were suspended for 1 month or 30 days.  1 of those suspensions included a requirement of additional training, a mentorship, and probation.
    • 1 judge was suspended for 2 weeks and placed on probation until the end of his term.
    • 1 judge was suspended for 10 days, fined $37,500, and publicly reprimanded.
    • 2 judges were suspended for 7 days.
  • 52 judges (or former judges in approximately 12 cases) received public censures (7), reprimands (24), admonishments (16), or warnings (3), with education or mentoring required in 13 of the cases.  1 of the censures also included a $1,000 fine.  1 of the reprimands also included a $2,500 fine.
  • 2 judges and 1 former judge were ordered to cease and desist certain conduct.
  • 2 former judges received informal adjustments.
  • 1 judge was suspended with pay for 30 days in a state that does not have the option of suspension without pay.
  • 1 former judge had his law license suspended for 180 days in attorney discipline proceedings for conduct while he was a judge.
  • 1 former judge will be suspended without pay for 6 years if he is elected or appointed to judicial office during the next 6 years.

See also State judicial discipline in 2020

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