Recent cases

  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for, in 4 cases, making remarks reflecting poor demeanor and engaging in conduct that gave an appearance of bias and, in 3 of those cases, denying the parties a full right to be heard.  Public Admonishment of Hunt (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 5, 2022).
  • Based on the judge’s retirement and agreement not to seek, request, or accept any judicial office in the future in the state, the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission resolved a complaint against a former judge; a preliminary investigation had been started to determine whether, as chief judge of a county probate court, the judge had failed to properly supervise employees in their management of courts funds, employed unqualified individuals to assist with court-related tasks, improperly used notary services, improperly issued marriage licenses, and failed to regularly attend to his duties.  In re Brazier, Report of disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission July 7, 2022).
  • In lieu of filing formal disciplinary proceedings and with the referee’s consent, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a former referee for temporarily suspending a father’s parenting time with his minor daughter based, in part, on interview notes she received from a Guardian Ad Litem without circulating the notes to the father and his counsel or allowing them to review the notes when they asked to do so.  Public Admonition of Johnston (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 1, 2022).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement that included the judge’s resignation and affirmation that she will not seek office or accept judicial office in Indiana state courts or perform judicial duties in the state, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications concluded its investigation of allegations that had resulted in the judge being arrested and charged with domestic battery in the presence of a child; the judge also agreed to relinquish her attorney license for 150 days by going on inactive status with the condition that she retake and pass the multistate professional responsibility examination prior to reactivating her law license.  In the Matter of Bell, Stipulation and agreement (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 25, 2022).
  • Adopting the findings and commendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Supreme Court permanently disqualified a former judge from judicial service and publicly censured him for, while he was a part-time judge, grabbing a client’s representative in his private law office without her consent and for his “pervasive dishonesty” when testifying before the Committee.  In the Matter of Falcone, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court July 19, 2022).
  • The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct suspended a judge with pay for 30 days for (1) media interviews and social media posts about a case against a pharmaceutical company that resulted in his disqualification from the case; (2) communications and a physical relationship with a female litigant and failing to disqualify himself from her case; and (3) failing to respond to the Board’s notices.  In re Young, Order (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct July 26, 2022).
  • Reviewing a stipulation, agreement, order, and recommendation, the Washington Supreme Court suspended a judge for 10 days without pay and publicly censured her for (1) telling a litigant who was contesting a traffic infraction that, given the evidence and his admission, it was clear he had committed the infraction; engaging in an off-the-record discussion with him; and when she came back on the record, dismissing the infraction without giving a reason or explaining the interruption in the recording; and (2) awarding a judgment as a counterclaim in a case in which the defendants had not filed a counterclaim.  In re Burchett, Order (Washington Supreme Court July 19, 2022).
  • The Washington State Bar Association Disciplinary Counsel accepted a former judge’s permanent resignation from the bar in lieu of discipline; pursuant to a plea agreement, the judge had pled guilty to intentionally touching with sexual motivation 2 court employees.  In re Gallina, Resignation form (Washington State Bar Association April 25, 2022) (). 
  • Adopting the findings of a special committee, the Judicial Council of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit publicly reprimanded a judge for entering into a separation agreement that created the appearance that he had received “a large payment on the eve of taking the bench for no coherent reason” or had agreed to practice law while serving as a judge.  In the Matter of Dawson, Memorandum and order (4th Circuit Judicial Council July 29, 2022).

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