Recent cases

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for posting on his Facebook page a photograph of a litigant’s request for an extension of time because his puppy ate his paperwork. Williams, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct March 21, 2022).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for meeting with 2 police detectives who were being investigated for misconduct in a case over which she had presided and sending 2 letters to the police chief on official court stationery about the matter. In the Matter Concerning Meyer, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance April 5, 2022).
  • Based on the judge’s retirement and agreement not to serve in judicial office in the state, the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission resolved its investigation of a former judge for conduct that failed to promote public confidence in the judiciary and for failing to be truthful during the investigation. In re Inquiry Concerning Brown, Report of disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission April 4, 2022).
  • Based on the judge’s retirement and agreement not to serve in judicial office in the state, the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission resolved its investigation of a former magistrate judge; the investigative panel had authorized formal charges alleging that the judge had engaged in ex parte communications and independently investigated the facts in a criminal matter pending in her court and used her judicial status to influence determinations in a criminal matter pending in her court involving a family member. In re Inquiry Concerning Dowling, Report of disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission April 4, 2022).
  • Following a hearing, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission removed a judge for (1) numerous actions to exert her influence to affect the outcome of her son’s criminal proceedings; (2) creating and failing to disclose conflicts of interest in the appointment of guardians ad litem and in cases involving certain attorneys; (3) retaliating against family services case workers who advocated actions contrary to her views; (4) using her court staff to administer drug tests; and (5) a lack of candor and misrepresentations to the Commission. In re the Matter of Gordon, Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and final order (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission April 22, 2022), on appeal.
  • The Louisiana Judiciary Commission publicly admonished a judge for 2 campaign ads, one that criticized her opponent and one that stated that a vote for her showed support for President Trump and the Republican party. Public Admonishment of Marchman (Louisiana Judiciary Commission April 26, 2022).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge from office for engaging in professional misconduct as an attorney as evidenced by 2 orders that suspended him from the practice of law in New York for a total of 24 months. In the Matter of Gonzalez, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 13, 2022).
  • Adopting the findings of the Board of Professional Conduct, based on stipulations, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months for berating a litigant for nearly an hour during a status conference after the litigant had criticized him at a board of commissioners meeting for not disqualifying himself from cases in which his daughter appeared as an attorney; allowing his daughter “to continue his line of intemperate interrogation;” and appearing at a commissioners’ meeting to accuse the litigant of “publicly disparaging and slandering him and [his daughter];” the suspension was stayed on the conditions that he commit no further misconduct and complete 6 hours of continuing judicial education. Disciplinary Counsel v. O’Diam (Ohio Supreme Court April 28, 2022).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a former judge for failing to cooperate in the Commission’s investigation of complaints against him. Public Admonition of Nolen (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 7, 2022).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for (1) posting and reposting racial, ethnic, and religious comments and/or memes on social media; (2) issuing peace bond warrants for President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci based on alleged “threats to commit an offense” against multiple anonymous complainants; and (3) lending the prestige of his judicial office to advance the private interests of a charitable organization he had created and soliciting funds for that organization. Public Warning of Black (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 7, 2022).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) during a protective order hearing, ordering an attorney escorted to the jury box where her bailiff shackled him to a chair and then continuing with the hearing; and (2) just over a week later, having a second attorney escorted to the jury box where her bailiff shackled him to a chair and instructing the attorney’s son, who had arrived to represent him, never to come into her courtroom again. Public Reprimand of Stalder (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 20, 2022).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for his outbursts during the trial in a divorce case and during an ex parte confrontation with one of the lawyers in his chambers; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 2 hours of instruction with a mentor. Public Admonition of Wells (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 20, 2022).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a former part-time judge for donating to the campaign of a mayoral candidate and introducing the candidate at the campaign kick-off rally. In re Bennett, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 22, 2022).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for reckless driving and telling the arresting officers that an arrest would damage his career. In re Imboden, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 22, 2022).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a magistrate for (1) making statements to a reporter in response to a police captain’s criticism of his bond in a case and a heated exchange during a meeting with police officers about the criticism; (2) swearing at a police officer during a telephone call about the bond in another case; and (3) asking lawyers who appear before him and a bail bondsman to submit letters in support of him to Judicial Disciplinary Counsel. Public Admonishment of Gaujot (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission April 25, 2022).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a magistrate for (1) when police officers responded to a neighborhood incident, swearing, invoking his position as a magistrate, making a demeaning stereotypical comment about his neighbor’s wife, and denigrating the homeless; and (2) serving as an administrator for a neighborhood watch Facebook page and an unseemly comment by his wife on that page that people thought the magistrate had posted. Public Admonishment of Weiss (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission April 25, 2022).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a judge for holding 2 correctional officers in contempt because they asked to contact their supervisor before transporting a prisoner to a different jail. Public Admonition of Murensky (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission April 25, 2022).

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