Recent cases

  • Based on a stipulated resolution and the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Arizona Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for failing to decide a petition for post-conviction relief for over 2 years and filing statements falsely certifying that he did not have any matters under submission that were pending and undetermined for more than 60 days. Inquiry Concerning Jantzen, Order (Arizona Supreme Court June 15, 2018).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for mocking a litigant in posts on his Facebook page; the Commission also ordered the judge to delete the posts and to review an Arizona advisory opinion about social media. Urie, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct June 12, 2018).
  • Based on an agreement, the Georgia Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for demanding in a telephone call that a car dealership return a repossessed car and advising the woman from whom the vehicle was repossessed to file a lawsuit that was inconsistent with the law. Inquiry Concerning Anderson (Georgia Supreme Court June 29, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and the judge’s resignation and agreement not to serve in judicial office, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications concluded its investigation of allegations that a judge had inappropriate relationships with court employees and attorneys during court hours and on court property. In the Matter of Shoulders, Stipulation and agreement for resolution of investigation (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications May 2, 2018).
  • Based on an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for sharing a news story on her Facebook account with the comment, “This murder suspect was RELEASED FROM JAIL just hours after killing a man and confessing to police.” In re the Matter of McLaughlin, Agreed order of public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission June 12, 2018).
  • Based on an agreement, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 3 months without pay, publicly censured him, and fined him $1,000 for failing to supervise a judicial assistant who was not performing duties; failing to follow established court practice and procedure and cooperate with other judges and court staff by hiring the judicial assistant; failing to perform his own administrative duties and to answer his phone when on call; and failing to timely respond to phone calls from the Commission’s investigator; the Commission also ordered that the judge attend a National Judicial College course on effective case management. In re Humke, Stipulation and order of consent to discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline June 8, 2018).
  • Following a hearing, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for holding a mother in contempt of court without notice and an opportunity to be heard and changing custody of a child to sanction the mother; the Commission also ordered that the judge attend a course on managing challenging family law cases at the National Judicial College. In the Matter of Hughes, Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and imposition of discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline June 18, 2018), appeal filed.
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for entering a property without the owner’s permission, taking photographs, posting the photos on Facebook with disparaging comments about the owner, and failing to promptly remove the offensive Facebook post despite assuring the Commission that he would do so. In the Matter of Fisher, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 26, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and affirmation not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded a complaint alleging that a non-lawyer judge had been rude to the defendant in a civil case and engaged in an ex parte conversation with the claimant. In the Matter of Kline, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 13, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and affirmation not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded (1) its investigation of a complaint that a judge had failed to re-register as an attorney or to pay the required biennial registration fee and (2) a proceeding in which there was a pending recommendation that the judge be removed for failing to timely report or remit court funds to the comptroller and the town and failing to cooperate in the Commission investigation. In the Matter of Siegal, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 14, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and affirmation not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded an investigation of a complaint that a non-lawyer judge was not maintaining a residence in the town where he presides, as required, but was residing in his mother’s former house. In the Matter of Brooks, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 13, 2018).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate based on his arrest for possession of a substance that he believed was oxycodone. In the Matter of Drose (South Carolina Supreme Court June 13, 2018).
  • Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement to be disqualified from judicial service in the state, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue further disciplinary proceedings against a former judge; the Commission had initiated formal proceedings alleging that the judge had intentionally or knowingly possessed Tussinonex, ecstasy, and marijuana; facilitated the purchase of Tussinonex without a prescription; knowingly engaged in sexual misconduct based on the payment of a fee; and failed to cooperate with Commission investigations. Green, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 18, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for posting campaign advertisements for other candidates on his Facebook page and sitting in the campaign tent of 3 candidates during the election. Public Reprimand of Lopez (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 6, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for participating in a joint campaign fund-raising event with the elected district attorney and authorizing the use of his name, title, and photograph on advertisements for the event. Public Warning of Duhon (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 28, 2018)
  • Adopting a judicial conduct panel’s undisputed findings of fact and conclusions of law, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended a court commissioner for 15 days without pay for speaking with the police chief about a petition for a harassment injunction and reviewing the police file about the conflict between the parties, who are neighbors, and falsely telling the parties that law enforcement and the municipal court judge had agreed that any further calls to the police would result in disorderly conduct tickets to all involved that would be sustained by the judicial system regardless of the circumstances. In the Matter of Calvert (Wisconsin Supreme Court June 15, 2018).

Recent cases

  • Following a trial, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended a judge for 180 days without pay and publicly reprimanded her for a pattern and practice of unreasonable and unjustifiable delay in managing her family court docket. In the Matter of Kelly, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary May 11, 2018).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) stating in open court that the defendant’s attorney in a criminal case had been “disparaging of” and “unprofessional” to a witness, had been extremely unprofessional and disrespectful to the judge, and had a “temper tantrum;” (2) failing to disclose improper ex parte communications received from her bailiff; and (3) telling other judges at a judges’ meeting that she had found that a sheriff’s officer had committed perjury. In the Matter Concerning Novak, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 30, 2018).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for entering numerous ex parte orders to produce a defendant’s records to his public defender without notifying the prosecution and for speaking with the public defender on multiple occasions without the prosecution’s knowledge. In re Cunningham, Public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission May 22, 2018).
  • Accepting the parties’ stipulation of facts, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court suspended a judge indefinitely without pay and publicly censured him for his sexual relationship with a member of the drug court team; the Court ordered that a copy of its order be delivered to the governor and the legislature. In re Estes, Order (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court May 24, 2018).
  • The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for driving while impaired and identifying himself as a judge to the arresting officer. In the Matter of Atwal, Public reprimand (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards May 30, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly censured a judge for failing to be attentive to his administrative duties, to properly manage and supervise his staff, and to oversee the daily operation of his court, resulting in inordinate delays and confusion in the processing of cases; the judge also agreed to complete a course at the National Judicial College on effective caseflow management. In the Matter of Gunter, Stipulation, order of consent, and agreement (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline May 18, 2018).
  • Accepting the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, based on a stipulation and the judge’s agreement, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to issue a ruling for more than 2 years on a motion for attorney’s fees and expenses and failing to respond promptly to party and attorney inquiries about the status of the ruling. In re Henderson, Order (North Carolina Supreme Court May 11, 2018).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for interfering in a traffic stop and for dismissing citations issued by the highway patrol without the request of law enforcement authorities or the district attorneys’ office and without taking proof of the facts. Re Hinson (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 9, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, during sentencing in a domestic violence case, addressing the defendant in a confrontational and angry tone, repeatedly calling the defendant “an animal,” and, near the conclusion of the hearing, refusing to let the defendant speak, telling him, “You don’t have the integrity to talk to me.” In re Wilson, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 11, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and a former judge’s agreement not to seek or serve in any judicial office without the Commission’s consent, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct dismissed a pending disciplinary matter alleging that the judge had failed to complete 10 hours of courses in judicial ethics within 2 years as required by a 2014 stipulated agreement in which she had been censured for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and gratuitously identifying herself as a judge to the arresting officer. In re Hitchcock, Stipulation, agreement, and order of dismissal (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 11, 2018).

Recent cases

  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for making public comments to a reporter about a domestic violence case and making a discourteous remark about the victim in court. In the Matter Concerning Lord, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance April 11, 2018).
  • Based on the findings of a referee, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge from office for (1) in 2 cases, being discourteous to lawyers who responded “okay” to their witnesses’ answers, striking the witnesses’ testimony, and dismissing the cases; (2) being discourteous to lawyers in 3 other cases; (3) sua sponte awarding “fees” to counsel in 9 civil actions without affording an opportunity to be heard; and (4) failing to cooperate with the Commission’s investigation. In the Matter of the O’Connor, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 30, 2018), review requested.
  • Based on the findings of a referee following a hearing, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge for (1) operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, resulting in her conviction for driving while intoxicated; (2) asserting her judicial position to try to avoid the consequences of her arrest; (3) repeatedly and willfully violating the terms of her conditional discharge; (4) arraigning a former client; and (5) making discourteous, undignified, or otherwise inappropriate comments while presiding over 3 criminal matters. In the Matter of Astacio, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 23, 2018), review requested.
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and agreement not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct closed its investigation of allegations that a judge, in an eviction proceeding, signed a warrant of eviction without holding a hearing and engaged in ex parte communications and other misconduct. In the Matter of LaFave, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 12, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and affirmation not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct closed its investigation of a judge facing state felony charges based on allegations he and another attorney stole over $1,000,000 from trusts. In the Matter of Sherwood, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 12, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) hiring a woman with whom he had an intimate relationship and making inappropriate comments about her during office hours and (2) issuing an amended judgment without providing the parties with notice and setting an appeal bond that was over the amount specified by rule. Public Reprimand of Jasso and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 18, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) referring to a man who was the subject of a guardianship proceedings as “Mr. Maggot,” “Maggot Man,” or words to that effect; (2) comparing the assessed IQ of a woman who was the subject of a guardianship proceeding to the IQ of a pen; and (3) interacting with litigants in 3 guardianship cases in a manner that reasonably led them to feel disrespected, demeaned, and frustrated. Public Admonition of Cross and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 18, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for stating “this is a redneck court.” Public Warning of Lee and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 18, 2018).

 

Recent cases

  • Based on his resignation and agreement to never hold judicial office again, the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission closed its investigation of allegations that a judge had issued warrants and made other rulings contrary to clearly established law, including issuing arrest warrants for criminal defamation in violation of a statute held unconstitutional in 1982 and formally repealed. In re Todd, Report of disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission January 4, 2018).
  • Accepting the parties’ agreement with the masters’ proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended sanction, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 days without pay for barring the county clerk from the courthouse for 6 days after a hearing at which she was not present and of which she had not been adequately notified; holding a hearing that did not reflect patience, dignity, or courtesy and did not promote public confidence in judicial impartiality; commanding 2 deputy clerks to appear for the hearing without written notice of its purpose; and presiding over the hearing even though he had a specific interest in the   In the Matter of Young, 92 N.E.3d 628 (Indiana 2018).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Kansas Supreme Court publicly censured a former magistrate for revoking a defendant’s probation based only on a motion and without providing the defendant an opportunity to respond and failing to cooperate with the Commission. In the Matter of Trigg (Kansas Supreme Court April 6, 2018).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for the use of inmates from the county detention center and publicly owned equipment in the reconstruction of the church he attended and at which he had a leadership role; personally observing community services work and signing documents verifying community services work by criminal defendants on probation in his court; misconduct related to the ankle monitoring program; failing to decide a motion for 3 years; failing to decide motions for shock probation within the statutory time limit; and employing to work on his property a man who was under supervised probation for a guilty plea over which the judge had presided. In re Langford, Agreed order of suspension (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission April 2, 2018).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for a pattern of stalking and harassing his ex-wife. In re Sachse, Opinion (Louisiana Supreme Court March 13, 2018).
  • Adopting the findings of the Judicial Standards Commission and based on its recommendation and the commissioner’s agreement, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a deputy commissioner of the Industrial Commission for driving under the influence of an impairing substance. In re Shipley, Order (North Carolina Supreme Court April 6, 2018).
  • The Oregon Supreme Court suspended a judge for 3 years without pay for (1) making a false statement to the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability during its investigation of his conduct at a soccer game and (2) having inappropriate out-of-court contacts with a probationer in the veterans treatment court; twice permitting the probationer to handle a gun despite the prohibition on possession of firearms that was a condition of his probation; and making a false statement to the presiding judge in a meeting about the gun-handling incidents. Inquiry Concerning Day, 413 P.3d 907 (Oregon 2018).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a former judge for angrily confronting court staff about complaints to the Judicial Conduct Board. In re Tidd, Opinion (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline April 4, 2018).
  • Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement to be disqualified from judicial service in the state, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue further disciplinary proceedings against a judge; the Commission had been investigating allegations that the judge had signed warrants for the arrest of 2 men in unrelated incidents without affidavits of probable cause to support the charges, resulting in their illegal arrest and detention. Leal, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 13, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for refusing to permit a man to inspect and copy judicial case files and for engaging in a heated conversation with the man; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 4 hours of instruction with a mentor on judicial demeanor and public access to judicial case files. Public Warning of Smith and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 21, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for engaging in an intimate relationship with the city prosecutor. Public Reprimand of Berry and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 21, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for posting on his Facebook page a meme endorsing the extermination of Muslims and statements “railing” against liberals. Public Reprimand of Burkeen (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 21, 2018).
  • Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement to be disqualified from judicial service in the state, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue further disciplinary proceedings against a judge; the Commission had been investigating allegations that the judge had been arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and lied to the media about it, in addition to other misconduct. Burkeen, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 29, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for presiding over a case in which she had represented the defendant before becoming a judge and making statements about the defendant’s character during sentencing. In re O’Rourke, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 9, 2018).

 

 

Recent cases

  • Based on a report by the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for failing to disqualify himself from a child support and guardianship case even though the judge knew that his wife had directly contacted the mother through social media postings and he acknowledged that he had a personal bias that required disqualification. In the Matter of Nadeau (Maine Supreme Judicial Court January 25, 2018).
  • The Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly reprimanded a judge for taking a guilty plea from a defendant the judge knew or reasonably should have known was probably too intoxicated to enter a competent, knowing, and voluntary guilty plea. In the Matter of Barrett, Public reprimand (Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications January 23, 2018).
  • The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered a former judge never to hold any judicial office in the state, accepting the judge’s resignation as his sanction and adopting the Judicial Standards Commission’s findings that the judge, for approximately 4 years and using state owned equipment, received and forwarded from his court e-mail address e-mails that were offensive, degrading, pornographic, racist, and sexist and used his court e-mail address to conduct personal business and communicate about political and religious activities. In the Matter of Castaneda, Order (New Mexico Supreme Court February 12, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and agreement not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct closed its investigation of a non-lawyer judge; the Commission had apprised the judge that it was investigating complaints that she had mishandled a town code proceeding by, inter alia, permitting unsworn testimony, failing to advise the defendant of the right to apply for assigned counsel, and making statements on the record that indicated she had prejudged the defendant as guilty before trial; mishandled matters involving unrepresented, minor defendants; required a defendant in a summary proceeding to present her defense before the presentation of the plaintiff’s case; engaged in ex parte conversations and/or elicited incriminating statements from parties; reduced and dismissed charges without notice to, or consent of, the prosecution; failed to advise defendants of the right to assigned counsel or to a preliminary hearing; and failed to have court proceedings audio-recorded in full as required. In the Matter of Castine, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 5, 2018).
  • Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement to be disqualified from judicial service in the state, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue further disciplinary proceedings against the judge; the Commission had initiated an investigation after receiving a letter from the judge’s attorney describing events the attorney believed would be made public in an article in D Magazine, which, in April 2017, published an article entitled “Ardor in the Court” detailing the judge’s alleged affair with an attorney who was serving as counsel for a party in a high value probate matter over which he was presiding. Peyton, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 26, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to disqualify himself from the case of a former client and directing the Department of Public Safety not to test DNA evidence in the case; the Commission also ordered the judge to complete 4 hours of instruction with a mentor on recusal/disqualification and judicial independence. Public Reprimand of Muncy and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 10, 2018).

Recent cases

  • Approving a stipulation for discipline by consent and based on the judge’s agreement to resign, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) making a material misrepresentation to the Commission during a prior investigation; (2) improperly using her court credit card 14 times in violation of court policies; (3) frequently arriving to court after the calendar over which she presided was scheduled to start; (4) twice revising the local court rules without providing the notice of and opportunity to comment required by the California Rules of Court; and (5) appointing her former law partner to represent a conservatee in a matter without disclosing the relationship or disqualifying herself from the case. In the Matter Concerning Johnson, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance January 16, 2018).
  • The Illinois Courts Commission retired a judge who was mentally unable to perform her duties. In re Turner, Order (Illinois Courts Commission December 1, 2017).
  • In lieu of formal disciplinary proceedings and based on the judge’s consent, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for 2 incidents involving his estranged wife and firearms that prompted law enforcement investigations. Public Admonition of Day (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications December 29, 2017).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge for undermining the right to counsel in 3 cases, conveying an appearance of bias, eliciting incriminatory responses from a defendant at arraignment, making discourteous and threatening comments, destroying court records without authorization, and holding extra-judicial positions (court clerk and fire police officer) that were incompatible with judicial office. In the Matter of Kline, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 26, 2017).
  • Agreeing with the findings and recommendation of a panel of the Board of Professional Conduct based on a stipulation, the Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a magistrate for asserting her status in an attempt to avoid arrest during a traffic stop. Disciplinary Counsel v. Williams (Ohio Supreme Court December 19, 2017).
  • The Ohio Supreme Court indefinitely suspended a former judge from the practice of law for his conviction, based on a guilty plea, to 1 count of attempted felonious assault and 1 count of domestic violence. State Bar Association v. Mason (Ohio Supreme Court December 28, 2017).
  • Based on the unanimous report and recommendation of the Disciplinary Board, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court disbarred a former judge from the practice of law for using cocaine he stole from the evidence locker in his courtroom. Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Pozonsky, Opinion (Pennsylvania Supreme Court January 18, 2018).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement with an investigative panel, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a part-time judge and suspended him from judicial duties for 120 days without impairment of compensation for failing to timely file a petition for a client and making false statements to the client and/or her daughters; the Tennessee Supreme Court had suspended the judge from the practice of law for 3 years, with 120 days active suspension and the remainder on probation, for the same conduct pursuant to his conditional guilty plea to a petition for discipline. Letter to Boyd (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct January 11, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) setting a $4 billion bond for a murder suspect and (2) magistrating her own son; the Commission also ordered that the judge receive 2 hours of instruction on magistration with a mentor. Public Reprimand of Brown and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 19, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished 3 hearing officers for strictly following directives not to issue personal bonds to defendants per the instructions of the judges in whose court the cases were assigned; the Commission also ordered the hearing officers to obtain 4 hours of instruction with a mentor on magistration and bond setting. Public Admonition of Licata and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 10, 2018); Public Admonition of Hagstette and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 10, 2018); Public Admonition of Wallace and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 10, 2018).

Recent cases

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for referring to a defendant as “dumb-ass” during a sentencing hearing. Ditsworth, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct November 13, 2017).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Arizona Supreme Court censured a judge for taking the questions and the answer key for a written assessment from her mentor’s papers during new judge orientation. In the Matter of Aboud, Order (Arizona Supreme Court December 4, 2017).
  • The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 60 days without pay, ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine to an anti-bullying organization, and ordered him to submit to a psychiatric exam for (1) making comments to a reporter about 2 pending cases to protect his re-election bid; (2) refusing to vacate a hearing in a case in which a motion for recusal was pending and advising a party to file a complaint against opposing counsel with the State Bar; and (3) failing to accord plaintiff’s counsel the right to be heard during a hearing, repeatedly using intemperate language and virtually yelling at her, directing that she be handcuffed, and holding her in contempt. In the Matter of Potter, Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and imposition of discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline November 22, 2017).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, after arraigning a defendant and entering an order of protection, receiving unsolicited ex parte information from 2 sources claiming that the defendant had violated the order of protection by taking trips with the complaining witness, failing to disclose the communications, repeating the information as fact during a pre-trial conference, and reiterating the accusations when he accepted a plea agreement, sentenced the defendant, and issued a 6-month order of protection. In the Matter of Curran, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 14, 2017).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and agreement not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct closed its investigation of a complaint alleging a non-lawyer judge made public comments on Facebook criticizing public officials and a state gun regulation and conveying bias in favor of law enforcement and against a political organization, a social activist group, and members of a religious group. In the Matter of Clarkin, Decision and order (December 8, 2017).
  • Affirming the Court of Judicial Discipline, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the removal of a judge for seeking the advice of another judge about her son’s case and acquiescing in his offer to communicate ex parte with the judge who was handling the case. In re Roca (Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 22, 2017).
  • Affirming the Court of Judicial Discipline, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the removal of a judge for listening to another judge’s requests for favorable treatment for parties in 3 cases, finding in favor of those parties, and calling the other judge to let him know of her compliance with his requests. In re Segal (Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 22, 2017).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) threatening to end a house arrest program if a defendant’s attorney did not withdraw an objection and (2) entering an order giving 30 days credit toward completion of a sentence to any male inmate who received a vasectomy and any female inmate who received a birth control implant. Letter to Benningfield (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct November 15, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for his treatment of prospective jurors and his use of the contempt power against lawyers; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 8 hours of additional education. Public Reprimand of Aguilar and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 6, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) communicating ex parte with the judge presiding over her nephew’s criminal case and voluntarily testifying as a character witness on her nephew’s behalf at his probation revocation hearing and (2) shaming and reprimanding jurors who found a defendant guilty. Public Reprimand of Hawthorne (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 9, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to comply with a statute requiring courts to follow a rotating system of appointments for attorneys ad litem, mediators, and guardians. Public Admonition of Ginsberg (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 15, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for his exchange with an umpire at his son’s baseball game in which he inappropriately and unnecessarily injected his judicial position; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 2 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Warning of Warren and Order of Additional Education (November 10, 2017).
  • The Virginia Supreme Court removed a judge from office for contacting 2 potential witnesses prior to his wife’s trial. Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission v. Pomrenke (Virginia Supreme Court November 27, 2017).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for stating during a hearing, “we don’t know whether he’s some white guy like me making a threat or somebody who’s, you know, more likely to be a gangster.” In re North, Stipulation, agreement, and order of admonishment (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 8, 2017).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence. In re Dingledy, Stipulation, agreement, and order of reprimand (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 8, 2017).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a judge for posting on his Facebook page a photo showing him conducting an initial appearance. Public Admonishment of Hall (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission October 31, 2017).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a judge for (1) failing to give a defendant a jury trial as he had timely requested and to respond to the allegations and (2) publicly endorsing a candidate for appointment for magistrate and commenting on an impending matter against a former magistrate. Public Admonishment of Halloran (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission November 2, 2017).