Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for speaking loudly to the complainant in a sharp, rude manner and threatening him with contempt and arrest during a hearing involving the complainant’s wife.  McCullar, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct February 2, 2010).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation for discipline by consent, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly censured a former judge for revising a settlement agreement to provide that payment to the class representative and attorney would be made in gift certificates.  Inquiry Concerning Klein, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance February 2, 2010).
  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for, during her 2008 campaign, using the term “re-elect” even though she had been appointed, not elected, and stating that she had 20 years of legal experience even though she had not been admitted to practice law until 1994.  Inquiry Concerning Dempsey, 29 So. 3d 1030 (Florida 2010).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) revoking a defendant’s bond and imposing a higher bond to punish the defendant for exercising his right to file a motion to recuse and (2) impeding the ability of pro se petitioners in domestic violence injunction proceedings to obtain relief by being unduly rigid and formulaic.  Inquiry Concerning Eriksson, 36 So. 3d 580 (Florida 2010).
  • The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge who had pled guilty to the gross misdemeanor for failing to file personal state tax returns for 5 years.  Public Reprimand of Venne (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards February 17, 2010).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for a campaign letter that conveyed bias and the appearance of bias in favor of pistol permit holders and that misrepresented his authority over pistol permits.  In re McGrath, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 5, 2010).
  • The Ohio Supreme Court suspended a judge’s license to practice for 1 year for 2 convictions of disorderly conduct because of physical altercations with his girlfriend; the Court stayed the suspension with conditions.  Disciplinary Counsel v. Russo, 923 N.E.2d 144 (Ohio 2010).
  • Based on agreement, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended a magistrate for 90 days without pay for failure to reconcile his accounts.  In the Matter Hudson, 690 S.E.2d 72 (South Carolina 2010).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate for ticket-fixing.  In the Matter of Woodham, 689 S.E.2d 605 (South Carolina 2010).

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Reviewing the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former appellate judge for (1) making a false or misleading statement during an attorney discipline proceeding and (2) failing to disclose that an attorney appearing before him was representing a member of his immediate family in highly contentious domestic litigation. Inquiry Concerning Frank, 753 So. 2d 1228 (Florida 2000).
  • Pursuant to consent, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 10 days without pay and publicly censured him for (1) knowingly executing a judgment that falsely stated that the defendant had pled guilty to 3 misdemeanors, and (2) knowingly making false and misleading statements to the Judicial Tenure Commission during its investigation. In re Milhouse, 605 N.W.2d 15 (Michigan 2000).
  • Adopting a substantial portion of the findings of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined her $1,500 for (1) improperly sentencing a defendant under the wrong statute, doing nothing to correct her error, and stating under oath in her answer to the Commission’s complaint that the defendant had not been sentenced for the crime for which she had sentenced him; and (2) having a reporter arrested for disobeying her order by publishing an article regarding a juvenile proceeding without following correct procedures. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Byers, 757 So. 2d 961 (Mississippi 2000).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former supreme court justice who had been found guilty of 2 felony counts of criminal conspiracy; the Court also ordered that the justice be ineligible to hold judicial office in the future. In re Larsen, 746 A.2d 108 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline February 2000).
  • Reviewing the findings of fact and conclusions of law of a judicial conduct panel, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for (1) recurring delay in deciding cases between 1991 and 1998, (2) filing certifications of status of pending cases that falsely represented that no cases were awaiting decision beyond the prescribed period, and (3) stating falsely to the Judicial Commission that he had no cases awaiting decision beyond the prescribed period. In the Matter of Waddick, 605 N.W.2d 861 (Wisconsin 2000).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Agreeing with the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Arizona Supreme Court removed from office a judge who had been convicted of soliciting prostitution; thrown a woman with whom he was living against a wall; after he was no longer living with her, verbally abused her friend, pushed the friend, and threatened his life, and pushed his ex-girlfriend with enough force to injure her; and yelled obscenities at another friend of his ex-girlfriend’s, pushed him backward, and threatened his life.  In re Koch, 890 P.2d 1137 (Arizona 1995).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the California Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for a pattern of inappropriate and offensive comments to female members of court staff and inappropriate and non-consensual touching or attempted touching of women he supervised.  Fitch v. Commission on Judicial Performance, 887 P.2d 937 (California 1995).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly reproved a judge for a pattern of failing to dispose of judicial matters promptly and efficiently.  Letter to Breen (California Commission on Judicial Performance February 28, 1995).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly reproved a justice court judge who (before justice court judges were prohibited from practicing law) abandoned a client for whom he was attorney of record.  Letter to Kelly (California Commission on Judicial Performance February 28, 1995).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly reproved a judge for abuse of the contempt power, interference in an attorney-client relationship in a driving under the influence case, and refusing to consider traffic school as a possible disposition in traffic matters.  Letter to Vassie (California Commission on Judicial Performance February 28, 1995).
  • Based on the presentment of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, to which the judge consented, the New Jersey Supreme Court removed a former judge from office for managing the affairs of a corporation while serving as a judge; receiving compensation from the corporation; and pleading guilty to theft from the corporation.  In the Matter of Imbriani, 652 A.2d 1222 (New Jersey 1995).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for his behavior while publicly intoxicated in Florida that resulted in his arrest and in a negotiated plea of nolo contendere to trespass after warning; his behavior while publicly intoxicated in North Carolina that resulted in his conviction for indecent exposure; and his continuing refusal, even after admitting psychological dependency, to abstain from consuming alcohol.  In re Leonard, 453 S.E.2d 521 (North Carolina 1995).
  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Judicial Standards and a panel of hearing masters, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for issuing a bench warrant against a process server who had served a summons and complaint on him after he was named as a defendant in a civil action.  In the Matter of Edwards, 459 S.E.2d 837 (South Carolina 1995).
  • Affirming an order of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, after a trial de novo, a Texas Special Court of Review publicly admonished a judge who held a litigant in direct contempt for criticizing the judge in the hallway of the courthouse and mischaracterized the events as taking place in open court in the contempt order.  In re Bell 894 S.W.2d 119 (Texas Special Court of Review 1995).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a former part-time judge for conducting a hearing in a case in which he had advised the defendant over the telephone regarding the implied consent law and, in a second case, representing a defendant who had been arrested pursuant to a bench warrant he had signed as a judge.  In re Monson, Order of admonishment (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 3, 1995).
  • The Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for initiating and considering ex parte communications regarding a petition for a name change pending before him; used words and descriptions that humiliated the petitioners in the name change case; and acquired personal knowledge of evidentiary facts from ex parte communications that contributed to a personal bias and/or prejudice.  In re Hutchinson, Commission decision (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 3, 1995).

 

Throwback Thursday

 5 years ago this month:

  • Based on an agreement, the Arkansas Commission on Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly censured a judge for (1) issuing arrest warrants for 4 persons without probable cause documentation presented by a law enforcement officer or the county prosecuting attorney and presiding or attempting to preside over the resulting criminal charges and (2) a pattern of rude, impatient, and undignified temperament.  Letter to Van Hook (Arkansas Commission on Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission January 16, 2015).
  • Accepting the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission based on an agreement, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for allowing plaintiff’s counsel to present advice and opinion on the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act of 2003 outside of the presence of the servicemember/litigant or anyone appointed to represent him, relying on that advice and opinion without independently researching the law, and inappropriately denying the servicemember/litigant the appointment of legal representation guaranteed under the Act.  In re Branch, 767 S.E.2d 47 (North Carolina 2015).

 

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, the Arkansas Supreme Court removed a judge from office for his relationships with probationers; his involvement with Cycle Breakers, a probation program run through a non-profit corporation; ignoring and by-passing laws that were an impediment to his interest in Cycle Breakers; and enforcing payment of unauthorized “civil fees” from defendants with jail or the threat of jail, knowing the money would go to Cycle Breakers.  Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission v. Proctor, 360 S.W.3d 61 (Arkansas 2010).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance severely censured a judge for terminating and abandoning the trial in a dissolution of marriage matter before the husband had completed his case and without offering the parties an opportunity to present additional evidence; threatening the husband’s attorney with contempt if her client did not produce his statement of economic interests; failing to disqualify himself after reporting the husband’s failure to disclose an economic interest to the husband’s employer, which terminated him; and being discourteous and impatient toward the husband’s attorney and repeatedly threatening a mistrial if the proceedings were not concluded quickly enough.  Inquiry Concerning McBrien, Decision and Order (California Commission on Judicial Performance January 5, 2010).
  • In lieu of formal disciplinary proceedings and with the judge’s consent, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a commissioner for invoking his office and using profanity while protesting a parking ticket.  Public Admonition of Pierce (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications January 26, 2010).
  • Reviewing the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission based on a settlement agreement, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 21 days and publicly censured her for acting as treasurer for her own campaign and running for mayor while a judicial candidate and after being sworn in.  In re Sanders, 777 N.W.2d 134 (Michigan 2010).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, to which the judge consented, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 90 days and publicly censured him for driving while intoxicated.  In re Nebel, 777 N.W.2d 132 (Michigan 2010).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a municipal court judge who had been suspended from the practice of law for failing to pay annual fees and, therefore, had not been an attorney in good standing for 4 years as required for municipal court judges.  Letter to Harrison (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission January 24, 1995).
  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a municipal court judge who had been suspended from the practice of law for failing to pay annual fees and, therefore, had not been an attorney in good standing for 4 years as required for municipal court judges.  Letter to Adams (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission January 24, 1995).
  • Granting the petition of the Judicial Standards Commission, the New Mexico Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) harassing and interfering with a court administrator, refusing to obey legitimate orders of the chief judge; verbally abusing a deputy sheriff, using profanity, and being discourteous, undignified, and disrespectful; deliberately failing to devote the number of hours required of a district judge; treating a hearing officer with discourtesy and disrespect and acting without dignity; and (2) his relationship with a not-for-profit organization.  In the Matter of Castellano, 889 P.2d 175 (New Mexico 1995).
  • Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for dismissing a case based on ex parte communications, sua sponte, without hearing any witnesses, stating that he could not ignore the “cry . . . raised up in the community” about the plaintiff, and ordering the plaintiff not to file any further actions without the court’s permission.  In the Matter of Frati, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 20, 1995).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for giving inaccurate testimony in an attorney disciplinary proceeding against his law assistant.  In the Matter of Bloom, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct January 20, 1995).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Based on a stipulated resolution, the Arizona Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for statements during her re-election campaign.  In the Matter of Segal, Order (Arizona Supreme Court December 11, 2014).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for driving while under the influence of alcohol.  Public Admonishment of Scott (California Commission on Judicial Performance December 30, 2014).
  • Based on a complaint by the Judicial Inquiry Board, which the judge admitted, the Illinois Court Commission reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence of alcohol.  In re Hettel, Order (Illinois Court Commission December 22, 2014).
  • Based on a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence of alcohol, ordered that he submit his resignation effective December 31, 2014, and ordered that he be ineligible for future judicial service in Indiana unless/until he successfully completes a 2-year monitoring agreement and treatment plan approved by Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.  In the Matter of Weber, 21 N.E.3d 92 (Indiana 2014).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission reprimanded a judge for unnecessary and undignified comments from the bench that were inconsistent with the presumption of innocence.  In re McLaughlin (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission December 29, 2014)
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay for (1) engaging in improper ex parte communications with counsel for a party regarding the judge’s disqualification and (2) taking an all-expenses-paid trip on a private jet to a hunting ranch with attorneys in a case shortly after the case was concluded.  In re Free, 158 So. 3d 771 (Louisiana 2014).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s waiver, the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities released its private reprimand of a judge for delay.  In the Matter of Carr, Private reprimand (Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities December 16, 2014).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to disclose that a key prosecution witness in a disorderly conduct case was the daughter of the court clerk; permitting the court clerk to perform her duties in the case and to be in the courtroom during the trial; and, after convicting and sentencing the defendant, sending a letter to the county court judge hearing the appeal that contained legal arguments and facts outside the record.  In the Matter of Gumo, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 30, 2014).
  • The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for filing a complaint against an attorney with the Board of Professional Responsibility in retaliation for the complaint the attorney had filed with the Board of Judicial Conduct.  In re Donald, Opinion (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct December 15, 2014).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for intervening in a private dispute between a contractor and an electrician when no case was pending in his court and meeting with a witness and the parties to the dispute; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 2 hours of instruction with a mentor judge.  Public Reprimand of DeLaPaz and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 19, 2014).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for his demeanor and comments in a private meeting with 2 court administrators that could reasonably have been interpreted as threatening, intimidating, and/or retaliatory.  In re Goodwin, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 5, 2014).