Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Granting a joint motion to resolve charges, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded and censured a judge for making public comments about pending contempt proceedings against a lawyer on his Facebook page and in an email sent to all state court judges.  In the Matter of Allred, Reprimand and Censure (Alabama Court of the Judiciary March 22, 2013).
  • Approving the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for 4 incidents of intemperate courtroom behavior in criminal cases; the Court also ordered him to send letters of apology to individuals identified in the formal charges and to continue to obtain mental health treatment as recommended by his doctor and family therapist.  Inquiry Concerning Shea, 110 So. 3d 414 (Florida 2013).
  • The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for making approximately 30 sensitive and demeaning remarks to the jury pool and court staff during jury selection in a criminal case.  In the Matter of Spicer, Public Reprimand (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards March 26, 2013).
  • Concurring with the findings and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge from office for 30 days without pay and publicly reprimanded him for dismissing criminal charges in 38 cases in exchange for payments to a “drug fund” established by the city police chief.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Smith, 109 So. 3d 95 (Mississippi 2013).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for issuing a warrant and judgment in an eviction proceeding that did not comply with statutory requirements, a month after being cautioned for issuing a judgment that was inconsistent with the same statute.  In the Matter of Temperato, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 20, 2013).
  • Based on the judge’s consent, the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for becoming embroiled in a public feud about his son’s detention with the police chief, the assistant town manager, and the district attorney and engaging in actions that fell outside the legitimate exercise of the powers of his office; the judge also agreed to corrective action and additional terms.  Public Reprimand of Tillett (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission March 8, 2013).
  • After a trial de novo, a Texas Special Court of Review publicly reprimanded a court of appeals judge for contacting 3 individuals associated with the juvenile detention center, a district judge, and a county commissioner to try to secure the release of an acquaintance’s daughter, who was being held overnight after she was detained for shoplifting.  In re Sharp, 480 S.W.3d 829 (Texas Special Court of Review 2013).
  • Based on a stipulation, the Utah Supreme Court approved the implementation of the Judicial Conduct Commission’s public reprimand of a judge for ex parte communications with the parties in a small claims case after trial but before making his decision.  Inquiry Concerning Johnson, Order (Utah Supreme Court March 26, 2013).
  • Adopting the sanction recommended by the Judicial Hearing Board, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals suspended a judge without pay until the end of his term (December 2016) and publicly censured him for (1) refusing to promptly issue orders or hold hearings, even when ordered to do so by the circuit court and demonstrating contempt for the authority of the Court, the circuit court, the Administrative Director of the Courts, and the Judicial Investigation Commission; (2) being unable to properly manage his office and staff; failing to take corrective action when he and his staff repeatedly failed to conform to the statutes, rules, and regulations governing the family courts, and supporting the misconduct of his staff; and (3) demonstrating a lack of courtesy, civility, decorum, and judicial comportment in hearings; demonstrating intemperance in correspondence; using threats, intimidation, profanity, and shouting to deal with difficult litigants; and failing to control his anger and emotions.  In the Matter of Watkins, 757 S.E.2d 594 (West Virginia 2013).

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