Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Approving the findings, conclusions, and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission based on a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for sending a letter to a university president and engaging in an ex parte communication with the chief assistant state attorney on behalf of a defendant over whose case he was presiding in veteran’s court.  Inquiry Concerning Holder, 195 So. 3d 1133 (Florida 2016).
  • Approving a revised consent judgment, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for finding the victim in a domestic violence case in contempt for failing to respond to the prosecution’s subpoena to testify at trial and being discourteous and impatient toward the victim; the Court also ordered the judge to complete an anger management course and attend a domestic violence course offered by the Florida Judicial College.  Inquiry Concerning Collins, 195 So. 3d 1129 (Florida 2016).
  • The Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission publicly admonished a judge for, in response to a defendant’s obscene remarks and display of utmost contempt for the court, making highly inappropriate remarks in a murder case.  Durham (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission July 29, 2016).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a former judge for making numerous mocking statements to criminal defendants in open court, making numerous inappropriate statements to criminal defendants in an attempt to influence their decisions, making numerous critical statements to defense attorneys, making numerous inappropriate statements regarding fellow judges and court personnel while on the bench, and failing to take adequate steps to apprise criminal defendants of their rights in open court.  In re Popovich, Public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission July 7, 2016).
  • Based on the finding of a hearing justice after a de novo review of a report of the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court suspended a part-time judge for 30 days and publicly censured him for statements he made in a letter to counsel regarding a court proceeding in which he was a party.  In the Matter of Nadeau, 144 A.3d 1161 (Maine 2016).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s waiver of his right to demand a formal complaint and public hearing, the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for accusatory, hostile, and discourteous comments he made in 2 family law cases.  Public Reprimand of Stacey (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards July 26, 2016).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for unilaterally amending a charging instrument, negotiating a plea with the defendant, and leaving a threatening, intimidating, and harassing voicemail message for the defendant.  Public Reprimand of Scales (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 18, 2016).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for driving while intoxicated and repeatedly invoking his judicial position during the traffic stop; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 2 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Admonition of Glicker and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 12, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a court commissioner for meeting privately with a former judge before a hearing in a case in which the former judge’s daughter was a litigant and failing to disclose that contact; allowing the former judge to argue a motion to the court; and voiding a valid court order despite the daughter’s absence from the hearing.  In re Anderson, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 15, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for refusing to allow a defendant to testify when he would not, for religious reasons, raise his hand while affirming he would tell the truth.  In re Parise, Stipulation, agreement, and admonishment (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 15, 2016).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to comply with state campaign reporting laws.  In re Tveit, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 15, 2016).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Inquiry Commission publicly admonished a magistrate for endorsing a judicial candidate and failing to respond to Disciplinary Counsel’s request for information and to be candid in her reply.  In the Matter of Campbell (West Virginia Judicial Inquiry Commission July 11, 2016).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a magistrate for posting bond for her granddaughter, having improper ex parte communications with the special magistrate presiding over the case, and accepting a discount from the bond company.  In the Matter of Viderman, Amended public admonishment (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission July 5, 2016).

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for numerous improper ex parte communications with the parties on 1 side of a case.  Jayne, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct July 26, 2011).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for making derogatory statements toward a litigant, who was also a hearing officer, and toward another judge on his court.  Parker, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct July 26, 2011).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission based on a stipulation, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for failing to immediately self-recuse from a divorce case despite his long-standing, close friendship with both parties, continuing to socialize with the husband and having ex parte conversations with him when a custody dispute arose, and signing an ex parte order giving the husband interim physical custody of their child that was contrary to statutory requirements.  In re Badeaux, 65 So. 3d 1273 (Louisiana 2011).
  • Based on a stipulation in which the judge agreed never to serve as a judge against, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline permanently prohibited a former judge from seeking or accepting judicial office in the state for repeatedly engaging in extremely inappropriate and offensive comments and actions with court staff even after being advised that his conduct was unacceptable and offensive.  In the Matter of EnEarl, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Consent Order Imposing Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline July 1, 2011).
  • The New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee publicly reprimanded a retired judge for his demeanor in 3 criminal cases.  Jones, Reprimand (New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee July 9, 2011).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of acts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time judge for taking judicial action in 9 cases in which a client of the judge’s law firm represented a party.  In the Matter of Shults, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 7, 2011).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge for presiding at an arraignment when the defendant was his co-judge’s son and the complaining witness was his co-judge.  In the Matter of Ridsdale, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 20, 2011).
  • The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for asking another judge to remit costs and a fine in traffic case against the county register of deeds; the judge accepted the reprimand and agreed to send a formal letter of apology to the other judge.  Public Reprimand of Hayes (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission July 26, 2011).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for, during the magistration of a college student charged with the alleged theft of an Aggie ring, displaying his own Aggie ring, advising the student that he should consider attending another school, and relying on information not in the probable cause affidavit to enhance the standard bond for a state jail felony from $5,000 to $50,000; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 10 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Reprimand and Order of Additional Education of Boyett (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 11, 2011).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for driving while intoxicated and hit and run.  In re Lyman, Stipulation, Agreement, and Order of Reprimand (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 8, 2011).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for summarily holding a domestic violence complainant in contempt after she recanted a statement she had given to the police; the judge also agreed to attend more training on domestic violence within 1 year.  In re Shelton, Stipulation, Agreement, and Order of Reprimand (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 8, 2011).

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Granting the application by the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Iowa Supreme Court suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for (1) being dilatory in filing rulings and in making reports on unfinished rulings as required by a supreme court rule and (2) having an intimate relationship with an assistant county attorney who regularly appeared before him without recusing from or disclosing the relationship in cases in which she appeared.  In the Matter of Gerard, 631 N.W.2d 271 (Iowa 2001).
  • Modifying the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for (1) inappropriately handling an arraignment; (2) attempting to induce a defendant to waive a jury to expedite a second case; and (3) constantly and repeatedly adjourning trials without good cause; repeated unnecessary and unexcused absences from judicial responsibilities during normal court hours; and overall lack of industry and proper management of her court docket; and an unwillingness to take corrective action or accept constructive suggestions or assistance to improve case management.  In re Hathaway, 630 N.W.2d 850 (Michigan 2001).
  • Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $765 for ex parte communications and dismissing speeding tickets without conducting any hearing or notifying the officers who issued the citations.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Warren, 791 So. 2d 194 (Mississippi 2001).
  • Pursuant to the presentment of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended a judge for 3 months without pay for publicly confronting a man with whom she had had a romantic relationship and his companion at a saloon, giving false and misleading information to police when she talked to them during the incident, and coming “dangerously close to impersonating a police officer” when she called the saloon.  In the Matter of Williams, 777 A.2d 323 (New Jersey 2001).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time non-lawyer commissioner who had publicly endorsed both Republican and Democrat candidates for county commissioner and identified herself as a member of a political party in an advertisement for one of the candidates.  In re Walters, Stipulation, Agreement and Order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 5, 2001).
  • Based on a complaint brought by the Judicial Commission, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended a judge for 75 days without pay for threatening to make public his allegations against the county’s chief judge, the chief judge’s daughter (an attorney in the county district attorney’s office), and the district court administrator unless the chief judge dropped his attempts to regulate the judge’s court hours.  In the Matter of Crawford, 629 N.W.2d 1 (Wisconsin 2001).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • With the judge’s consent, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) denying a defendant his right to appointed counsel based on the ability of others to pay for counsel and on the possibility of future employment; (2) acting unjudicially in handling peremptory challenges; (3) appearing to exhibit animosity toward the public defender’s office and certain attorneys in that office, making improper, derogatory comments about them and writing to the public defender and accusing his office of taking a case for improper reasons; and (4) acting in excess of his authority in a matter involving the imposition of sanctions.  Public Admonishment of Drew (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 1996).
  • The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for appearing to give preferential treatment to attorneys for collection agencies over individual litigants or their lawyers.  Admonition of Barnard (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 10, 1996).
  • The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for signing an inaccurate affidavit submitted to the court of appeals in an appeal from a case over which he had presided.  Public Admonition of Johnson (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 11, 1996).
  • The Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications entered an order requiring a retired judge to cease and desist from violating state laws, including those relating to the consumption and use of alcoholic beverages, after the judge had been charged with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence and entered into a diversion agreement in which he agreed to the facts in the police report.  Inquiry Concerning Barbara, Order (Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 2, 1996).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) becoming involved in a worthless check case in which the prosecuting witness was a personal friend and (2) entering improper orders in a child custody matter.  In re Ammons, 473 S.E.2d 326 (North Carolina 1996).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Hearing Board, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals publicly reprimanded a family law master for attempting to get litigants in a case to agree to become sales representatives for Amway.  In the Matter of Phalen, 475 S.E.2d 327 (West Virginia 1996).

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission based on stipulations, the Louisiana Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) in a collections case, rendering a judgment without giving the defendants a meaningful opportunity to be heard, without requiring the plaintiff to present any evidence or sworn testimony, and without giving the defendants written notice of the judgment against them; displaying bias or prejudice in favor of the creditor and/or against the defendants; (2) routinely notarizing power of attorney forms when the purported affiants did not appear before him, swear out an oath, or sign the forms in his presence; and (3) using a notary stamp that gave the incorrect impression he is an attorney.  In re Gremillion, 204 So. 3d 183 (Louisiana 2016).
  • Based on the findings of fact and recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, which the judge did not contest, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 15 days without pay for investigating a probationer’s background through ex parte communications, adjudicating the matter without the prosecuting agency, and making observations from the bench based on his acquaintance with the probationer through their involvement in the same church.  In re Best, 195 So. 3d 460 (Louisiana 2016).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 1 year without pay for (1) interrupting a private meeting between the family members of the victims and members of the district attorney’s office after a hearing in a criminal case before him and making an inappropriate comment; (2) abusing his contempt authority and failing to follow the proper procedures for the punishment of contempt in 2 cases; and (3) making inappropriate comments in 7 criminal cases and exhibiting a lack of proper decorum, demeanor, and temperament.  In re Free, 199 So. 3d 571 (Louisiana 2016).
  • Granting a joint motion for approval of a recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for endorsing a political candidate on social media, irregularities in her operation of the drug court program, deceptive responses in a newspaper interview, and routinely starting court late and exhibiting poor courtroom demeanor.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Clinkscales, 192 So. 3d 997 (Mississippi 2016).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Courtsuspended a judge for 1-month without pay for misusing his judicial office to access a confidential criminal history for personal reasons.  In the Matter of Batelli, Order (New Jersey Supreme CourtJune 16, 2016).

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and proposed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for ordering that an attorney be incarcerated for criminal contempt after the attorney refused to recite the pledge of allegiance in open court.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Littlejohn, 62 So. 3d 968 (Mississippi 2011).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and proposed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay and publicly reprimanded her for conditioning defendants’ release on bail on church attendance; ex parte communications; sua sponte reducing bonds and charges; presiding at her nephew’s initial appearance on domestic violence charges; and expressing her view on the sheriff’s handling of the county drug problem and inviting ex parte communications on the subject.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Dearman, 66 So.3d 112 (Mississippi 2011).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay, fined him $500, and publicly reprimanded him for fixing 9 citations and intervening, or attempting to intervene, in 3 cases assigned to another judge.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. McKenzie, 63 So. 3d 1219 (Mississippi 2011).
  • Based on the presentment of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge had accepted,  the New Jersey Supreme Court reprimanded a judge for, in a loud, hostile, angry, and antagonistic manner, making extreme and excessive remarks to a mother after she questioned a visitation schedule.  In the Matter of Baker, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court June 16, 2011).
  • With the judge’s agreement, the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for escalating a personal disagreement with the public defender into an unauthorized, closed proceeding that did not comply with due process and embroiled court personnel and the sheriff’s department.  Public Reprimand of Scarlett (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission June 15, 2011).
  • The Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of the Judiciary suspending a judge for 90 days “without impairment of compensation” for a 9-month delay in deciding a case, failing to disqualify himself from a related case, and asking a party through an attorney to drop the judicial complaint while the party had a case pending before him.  In re Bell, 344 S.W.3d 304 (Tennessee 2011).
  • Based on the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for appearing before the county commission to gain approval for a “Citizens Heritage Display” for the courtroom lobby of the Justice Center and becoming involved in fund-raising for the display.  In re Taylor, Agreed order (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary June 6, 2011).

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission based on a statement of stipulated facts, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a non-lawyer justice of the peace for 6 months without pay, followed by 2 years’ probation, for rendering a default judgment against a defendant in a small claims case without serving the defendant with notice of the suit and without convening a hearing or receiving relevant and competent evidence from the plaintiff to make a prima facie case.  In re Landry, 789 So. 2d 1271 (Louisiana 2001).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a justice court judge and fined him $100 for allowing 1 arraignment and 2 initial appearances to be photographed and electronically recorded by the news media, which broadcast the proceedings to the public.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Carr, 786 So. 2d 1055 (Mississippi 2001).
  • Adopting the findings of fact and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed a justice court judge from office for (1) accepting payment or partial payment of fines payable to the justice court; (2) suspending fines for violations of the implied consent law; (3) dismissing a DUI charge on his own motion; (4) engaging in ex parte communications and improperly dismissing traffic citations for 4 defendants who did not appear in court; (5) improperly dismissing a DUI charge ex parte, on his own motion, without the defendant being present and without any testimony; (6) rendering a verdict of not guilty related to a hunting violation; (7) engaging in ex parte communications and conducting justice court business at his tire and pawn shop; (8) rendering a not-guilty verdict following ex parte communications; (9) conducting a hearing concerning an alleged violation of probation in which the defendant did not receive notice and was not advised of his due process rights, his right to an attorney, or his right to remain silent; (10) suspending a fine without the authority to do so and without knowledge of the underlying charges; (11) utilizing a criminal process to collect a civil debt; (12) dismissing a criminal conviction and canceling the ordered restitution; (13) dismissing a case ex parte; (14) contacting a law enforcement officer regarding a criminal case; (15) contacting law enforcement officials during a criminal trial, engaging in other ex parte communications, and dismissing criminal charges; (18) issuing an arrest warrant for someone who did not actually owe any fines; (19) reducing the interest rate in a contract that was the subject of a civil action; (20) dismissing a speeding charge in the absence of both the arresting officer and the defendant; (21) conducting ex parte communications with a defendant regarding citations for hunting violations; (24) conducting a contempt hearing when there had been no sworn affidavit or warrant issued; (25) issuing a citation for contempt of court without providing any notice or advising of rights; (28) convicting a defendant without creating a file and without notice or hearing; (29) sentencing the justice court clerk to contempt without notice and refusing her repeated requests for an attorney; and (30) refusing to allow the justice court clerk or deputy clerk to appear in court when the judge was conducting court.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Willard, 788 So. 2d 736 (Mississippi 2001).
  • Agreeing with the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Nebraska Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for, while serving as a county attorney in 1984, altering a copy of a police report in a criminal case, providing the altered report to defense counsel, and asking the police officer who made the report to either alter his original report or alter his testimony to conform to the changes.  In re Krepela, 628 N.W.2d 262 (Nebraska 2001).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time judge for presiding over a small claims action brought by a client whom he had represented in a traffic case involving the same incident and whose father was the judge’s friend and court assistant.  In the Matter of Hayden, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 27, 2001).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a part-time lawyer judge who had angrily confronted his wife, waved a knife close to her throat, and threatened to run her through.  In the Matter of Roepe, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 27, 2001).
  • Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for (1) repeatedly violating the rights of 2 unrepresented 16-year old defendants, (2) refusing to accept a defendant’s not guilty plea to a charge of failure to license dogs and, without a trial, issuing an order to seize the dogs; (3) in 3 other cases, relying to the detriment of defendants on ex parte information from his daughter, the arresting officer, or the complaining witness; and (4) failing to correct the records of a case involving a mandatory youthful offender to reflect the correct disposition and to seal the records, as required by law.  In the Matter of the Rock, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 27, 2001).
  • Based on an agreement, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate for (1) communicating his personal interest in a case to the judge presiding over the case; (2) engaging in one or more communications with the arresting officers and other officers in the county sheriff’s department regarding traffic charges pending before him; and (3) negotiating the trade-in of his automobile for a new automobile with a defendant who was employed at a car dealership and later, while the charges were still pending, purchasing another vehicle from the dealership.  In the Matter of Looper, 548 S.E.2d 219 (South Carolina 2001).
  • Accepting an agreement, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended a magistrate for 9 months without pay for signing an order giving public notice of a judicial sale and issuing the bill of sale at the behest of another magistrate even though the magistrate knew the requirements of the statute were not met.  In the Matter of Lynah, 548 S.E.2d 218 (South Carolina 2001).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time commissioner for serving as a lawyer and a judge in the same or a related proceeding.  In re Fuller, Stipulation, agreement, and order of admonishment (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 1, 2001).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the California Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for making sexually suggestive remarks to and asking sexually explicit questions of female staff members, using crude and demeaning names and descriptions and an ethnic slur when referring to staff members, referring to a fellow jurist’s physical attributes in a demeaning manner, and mailing sexually suggestive postcards to staff members.  In re Gordon, 917 P.2d 627 (California 1996).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) failing to disqualify himself in 4 cases in which the Walt Disney company was a litigant although he owned 1000 shares of Disney stock valued at approximately $45,000 and (2) writing 2 letters on court letterhead to a collection service regarding a claim against a member of his family.  Public Admonishment of Stoll (California Commission on Judicial Performance June 3, 1996).
  • Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge from office for improperly jailing 2 individuals for their purported failure to pay fines and restitution obligations that he had imposed.  In the Matter of Hamel, 668 N.E.2d 390 (New York 1996).
  • Modifying the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, the Rhode Island Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) soliciting attorneys to purchase jewelry for the benefit of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in New Mexico; (2) permitting his chambers to be used for the sale of sweaters knit by a Russian immigrant nun for the benefit of an immigrant group; and (3) selling to several judges and approximately 40 attorneys who practiced in the court over $5,000 in raffle tickets for a spring weekend in Washington, D.C. that included a memorial regatta in honor of his deceased son.  In re Arrigan, 678 A.2d 446 (Rhode Island 1996).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a candidate for receiving 2 donations to his campaign prior to designating a financial agent or treasurer for his campaign committee and submitting the first campaign financial report in his name and not the committee’s name.  In the Matter of Robb, Public Admonishment (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission June 3, 1996).

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) telling the parents in a custody hearing, “I don’t know what the hell you two are thinking, but get it together.  All of you,” and “I don’t give a crap about any of you” and (2) in an unrelated severance hearing, telling litigants that “I honestly don’t give a crap about either one of these people.”  Hancock, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 12, 2016).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for immediately denying a litigant’s oral motion to dismiss a photo radar ticket; cutting him off when the litigant said the judge did not know what the motion was about; speaking throughout in an elevated tone and belittling fashion; and telling the litigant to “shut up” and “knock it off,” and that he could do what the judge asked or eat green soup at the jail that evening.  Forshey, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 12, 2016).
  • The Arkansas Commission on Judicial Disability and Discipline announced the resignation and permanent removal of a judge and concluded its cases based on allegations that, in addition to other misconduct, he used his judicial status to form sexual relationships with young Caucasian male defendants.  Press release (Boeckmann) (Arkansas Commission on Judicial Disability and Discipline May 9, 2016).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for ordering a witness in a criminal case incarcerated for contempt; ordering the payment of monetary sanctions, attorney fees, and costs in a family case; and granting ex parte relief in a custody case.  Public Admonishment of Román (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 16, 2016).
  • Granting the application of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Iowa Supreme Court publicly admonished a judge for signing an ex parte order presented by an attorney who had recently represented her in a personal matter without charge.  In the Matter of Howes, 880 N.W.2d 184 (Iowa 2016).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court removed a justice of the peace for failing to comply with the Court’s previous order to pay a civil penalty for violation of the financial reporting requirements imposed by law and disregarding the actions and legal proceedings connected with that order.  In re Myers, 189 So. 3d 1056 (Louisiana 2016).
  • Based on the decision and recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission and a settlement agreement, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 120 days without pay and publicly censured her for (1) following ex parte communications, reducing charges, dismissing charges outright, or modifying sentences in at least 20 criminal cases and dismissing at least 32 ticket cases without holding a hearing or explicit authority from the prosecutor; (2) meeting with a defendant and his counsel in the holding cell prior to a bench trial without a prosecuting attorney; (3) sending 2 ex parte texts to the judge who had been assigned to several cases after she had disqualified herself; and (4) declining to appoint a translator for the defendant when she should have.  In re Church, 879 N.W.2d 246 (Michigan 2016).
  • With the judge’s consent, the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee (1) publicly reprimanded a judge for independently investigating facts on Zillow and tax records and considering those facts in reaching her decision in a divorce case and receiving and considering a real estate flyer in a second divorce case and (2) cautioned her about delays.  In the Matter of Albee, Reprimand and caution (New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee May 9, 2016).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for driving while intoxicated and identifying himself as a judge to the state trooper who stopped him.  In the Matter of Baptista, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court May 19, 2016).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for, in chambers during a break in court proceedings, telling a deputy attorney general she was doing a great job and that he liked how she “shoves it up” or “rams it up” the law guardian’s “a**” and later in the hearing, complimenting a state’s witness while she was testifying.  In the Matter of Portelli, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court May 18, 2016).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) impermissibly delegating her judicial duties by failing to review or approve dispositions and sentences negotiated by the deputy town attorney with defendants in traffic cases and (2) altering original court records requested by the Commission by placing her initials on case files, next to the prosecutor’s notation of plea agreements.  In the Matter of Calano, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 9, 2016).
  • Based on the report of a referee following a hearing, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for speaking about her personal tort action with the judge presiding in the case and subsequently faxing and mailing that judge a letter that included details about her claim.  In the Matter of Dixon, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 26, 2016).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for characterizing the father in a custody case and/or his attorney as a “sneaky snake” who had connived, engaged in a “ploy,” and manipulated the court schedule when they filed a motion to transfer and for directing that a transcript of her comments be forwarded to the transferee court.  Re Davenport (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 18, 2016).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former judicial commissioner for failing to disqualify himself from a case in which one of the attorneys had recommended him for a part-time prosecutor position a month earlier or to disclose the relationship.  Re Cross (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 18, 2016).

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Based on a stipulated agreement, the Arizona Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for repeatedly abusing his contempt power and a pattern of interference with attorney-client relationships.  Chiles, Order (Arizona Supreme court May 25, 2011).
  • The Arkansas Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for conducting a Rule 11 proceeding before attempting to establish the falsity of the allegations in a motion for recusal and imposing sanctions on the attorney who filed the motion without establishing the allegations were false.  Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission v. Simes, 381 S.W.3d 764 (Arkansas 2011).
  • In lieu of filing formal disciplinary proceedings and with the judge’s consent, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for making inappropriate public comments to a television reporter after his son parked in a handicapped parking space in the court’s public parking lot without an appropriate placard.  Public Admonition of Hunter (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications May 5, 2011).
  • Based on a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for driving while intoxicated.  In the Matter of Hughes, 947 N.E.2d 418 (Indiana 2011).
  • The South Dakota Supreme Court ordered the retirement of a judge for mistreating court employees, insulting lawyers, insensitive racial and sexist jokes, conducting himself on the bench “with unconscionable arrogance,” and referring to law enforcement from the bench as a “bunch of racists” without evidentiary basis.  In the Matter of Fuller, 798 N.W.2d 408 (South Dakota 2011).
  • Based on an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for making an inappropriate comment to a law student at a county bar reception and having an inappropriate image on his cell phone that was viewed by the law student and others at the reception.  In the Matter of Hughes, 710 S.E.2d 75 (South Carolina 2011).
  • The Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for signing ex parte orders of dismissal and expunging convictions.  Letter to Hamilton (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary May 4, 2011).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) forcing a driver to appear before him so he could lecture her about her driving; (2) directing his court staff to accept payments from defendants on behalf of plaintiffs to discharge judgments and/or to comply with settlement agreements; and (3) directing his court staff to accept rental payments from tenants on behalf of landlords in eviction cases.  Public Admonition of Corbin (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 9, 2011).