Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for driving a vehicle in a reckless manner while under the influence of alcohol and with a blood alcohol level of approximately 0.09%. Public Admonishment of Guy-Schall (California Commission on Judicial Performance September 5, 2008).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for denying motions for disqualification in a murder case without giving counsel a reasonable time to prepare the motions in writing and threatening counsel with contempt. Inquiry Concerning Aleman, 995 So. 2d 395 (Florida 2008).
  • Approving the finding and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission to which the judge stipulated, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for calling the police to secure a defendant’s release in response to a phone call from the defendant’s brother, with whom the judge had previously practiced law. Inquiry Concerning Maxwell, 994 So. 2d 974 (Florida 2008).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s consent, in lieu of filing formal disciplinary proceedings, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for accusing a prosecutor of using drugs. Public Admonition of Jessup (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications September 18, 2008).
  • Based on a stipulation and joint recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Performance suspended a judge from office for 60 days without pay, publicly reprimanded him, and fined him $2,000 for engaging in ex parte communications with members of the community regarding removal of part of a fence around a cemetery plot, threatening the person who removed the fence pieces, and, although there were no criminal or civil charges, ordering that person to return the fence pieces to the cemetery. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Carr, 990 So.2d 763 (Mississippi 2008).
  • Based on joint stipulations of fact, the Oklahoma Supreme Court disbarred a former judge for (1) submitting travel claims that misrepresented that his personal travel was for court business; (2) contacting a judge who would be sentencing his son, requesting department of corrections employees to testify on his son’s behalf, and writing a letter on court letterhead that criticized a probation officer who wrote an unfavorable report in his son’s case; (3) submitting requests for reimbursement of personal expenses that should not have been paid by the state; and (4) interfering with the arrest on drug charges of his assistant, with whom he was involved in a romantic relationship. State ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Lile, 194 P.3d 1275 (Oklahoma 2008).
  • The Oklahoma Supreme Court disbarred a former judge based on his conviction on 4 felony counts of indecent exposure for acts in the courthouse while he was a district judge. State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Thompson, 194 P.3d 1281 (Oklahoma 2008).
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for (1) referring to his judicial office in a dispute with a motorist and (2) his actions during a foreclosure action on his residence. In the Matter of Anderson, 668 S.E.2d 413 (South Carolina 2008).
  • Accepting the findings and recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for denying due process to defendants in 3 criminal cases in flagrant disregard of the law. State Bar Association v. Goldie, 894 N.E.2d 1226 (Ohio 2008).

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for delaying a decision in a case for approximately 2 years. Admonition of Keaton (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission September 22, 1998).
  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission imposed an informal adjustment on a judge for presiding over a trial in which one of the litigants was represented by an attorney who leased office space in a building owned by the judge and his wife without disclosing the relationship. Informal Adjustment of Ford (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission September 22, 1998).
  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) making numerous rude and improper remarks in 6 cases; (2) refusing to recuse himself in 4 cases until the party filed a petition for writ of prohibition or the court of appeal granted the party’s petition; (3) in 1 case when he did recuse himself, going beyond the legal sufficiency of the recusal motion and making derogatory comments about counsel who filed the motion; and (4) making comments in 2 cases that the parties perceived to be rude and insensitive and that caused them humiliation and embarrassment. In re Wood, 720 So. 2d 506 (Florida 1998).
  • Approving the report of the hearing panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court removed a former judge for (1) virtually abandoning her law practice and neglecting several client matters while she ran for county court judge; (2) giving inaccurate, incomplete, and misleading testimony in a domestic violence proceeding against her ex‑husband; and (3) in her dissolution of marriage action, failing to produce the tapes when ordered by the court to do so and failing to provide a sufficient reason for her failure. Inquiry Concerning Hapner, 718 So. 2d 785 (Florida 1998).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed a judge from office for using his position to benefit a corporation, engaging in the practice of law, engaging in ex parte communications, and being financially and legally involved in a matter pending before him. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Jenkins, 725 So. 2d 162 (Mississippi 1998).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed a judge from office for engaging in ex parte communications; demonstrating outrageous, erratic conduct and hostile demeanor toward litigants, court staff, witnesses, lawyers, and others; failing to perform his duties, and sexually harassing court staff. Commission on  Judicial Performance v. Spencer, 725 So. 2d 171 (Mississippi 1998).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • In a letter issued with the judge’s consent, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly reproved a judge for deflating a tire on a van parked in his parking space at the courthouse. Letter to Slater (California Commission on Judicial Performance September 13, 1993).
  • Affirming the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $5,000 for failing to resign from his judicial office while running for the office of circuit clerk. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Ishee, 627 So. 2d 283 (Mississippi 1993).
  • Accepting the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Performance based on stipulated facts, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to pay part of a hospital bill and his involvement in a dispute about the sale or trade of a car. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Cantrell, 624 So. 2d 94 (Mississippi 1993).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge for (1) during a break in a case, stating that he recalled a time when it was safe for young women to walk the streets “before the blacks and Puerto Ricans moved here” in order to hurt an attorney in the case whom the judge believed was Hispanic and who was involved in a controversy with the judge’s friend, another judge; (2) making comments indicating that he had ruled against a part-time judge’s law firm after the part-time judge had found a driver who had been in an accident with the judge not guilty in the traffic case arising out of the accident; and (3) failing to keep adequate records of the disposition of more than 600 criminal cases and to take prompt action to remedy the inadequate records or remit surplus money despite repeated requests to do so from his court clerk and from the police chief. In the Matter of Schiff, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 15, 1993).
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate who had pled guilty to embezzlement of public funds. In the Matter of Carmichael, 437 S.E.2d 63 (South Carolina 1993).
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge who had been convicted for conspiracy to commit extortion and extortion under color of official right, had pled guilty to conspiracy and possession of cocaine, and had entered a plea of nolo contendere to other charges relating to the knowing and intentional possession of cocaine. In the Matter of Ferguson, 437 S.E.2d 72 (South Carolina 1993).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Following a hearing on a complaint by the Judicial Inquiry Commission, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended a judge for 90 days without pay and publicly reprimanded her for, in 5 domestic relations cases, failing to properly exercise her contempt power and entering unlawful orders for arrest and detention that resulted in 5 witnesses and 2 litigants being jailed, or put in fear of immediate incarceration, for an indeterminate amount of time and without notice or a hearing. In the Matter of Batiste, Final Judgment and Order (Alabama Court of the Judiciary August 6, 2013).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to disqualify himself from a case involving a man who contributed to his campaign and whose business took over a debt owed by the campaign and granting the man’s request to serve as his granddaughter’s representative during mediation even though, as a non-attorney, the man was not legally permitted to do so. Jayne, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct August 21, 2013).
  • The Kentucky Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former senior status special judge for (1) refusing to allow a pro se defendant in a civil case to present any argument because he was not a lawyer, summarily entering an injunction against the defendant, and awarding attorney’s fees of $11,579.20 and (2) his statements to defense counsel and the defendant in a criminal case, for example, that ineffective counsel motions in general are “distasteful to the court.” In re McDonald, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Final Order (Kentucky Commission on Judicial Conduct August 12, 2013).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 30 days, publicly reprimanded him, and fined him $1,000 for, with full knowledge that he had recused himself from a case, re-inserting himself and issuing arrest warrants for indirect criminal contempt. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Skinner, 119 So. 3d 294 (Mississippi 2013).
  • Based on a stipulation, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for during a murder trial (1) recessing court in the early afternoon on 6 days to attend her daughter’s high school soccer games and (2) to accommodate her personal schedule and for other reasons, conducting proceedings continuously from approximately 1:12 p.m. on December 16, 2010, until the jury returned a verdict at approximately 6:47 a.m. on December 17. In the Matter of Vega, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 29, 2013).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for presiding over a speeding charge against his nephew by marriage. In the Matter of Marbot, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 6, 2013).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for (1) serving as a fiduciary in several matters while a full-time judge and (2) falsely responding to a question about his financial liabilities in 4 applications for appointment as a fiduciary prior to becoming a judge. In the Matter of O’Connor, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 12, 2013).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge for, in a statement during a town board meeting, linking his disposition of a ticket received by the daughter of a board member to his pay raise. In the Matter of Torregiano, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 26, 2013).

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Granting the petition of the Judicial Standards Commission, the New Mexico Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) having an ex parte conversation with the complaining witness in a domestic violence case and altering a court document; (2) promising a couple he would help them in court with their landlord/tenant case and advising them on how to excuse the other magistrate judge, and (3) giving testimony at the Commission hearing that was not forthright. Inquiry Concerning Rodella, 190 P.3d 338 (New Mexico 2008).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for (1) significant delays in 3 small claims actions and (2) staying a warrant of eviction in a landlord-tenant case based on an ex parte communication and failing to require the holdover tenant to make a deposit with the court, as required by law. In the Matter of Baldwin, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 22, 2008).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for making sexually inappropriate comments to and having unwanted physical contact with several female detention officers. Public Warning of DePena (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 29, 2008).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a former judge for her intimate relationship with a public defender and presiding over matters in which the public defender appeared, becoming highly intoxicated in front of her court staff and revealing details of her sexual encounter with the public defender, and apparently attempting to conceal her misconduct in conversations with the Commission staff and on a voice message to the court administration; the former judge agreed not to perform judicial functions again without the Commission’s approval. In re Hartl, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 1, 2008).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for requiring a litigant to remove a head covering the litigant maintained was for religious purposes without any inquiry as to the sincerity of the claimed religious belief. In re Stolz, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 1, 2008).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a former judge for, while a judge, contracting with a public university to teach a class for compensation and discussing legal representation with persons after announcing his pending resignation. In re Moberg, Stipulation and Agreement (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 6, 1993).

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Adopting the factual findings of a master, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for communicating his desired disposition of his son’s case to a clerk and participating in a favorable disposition of the matter in chambers with the pro tem judge. Inquiry Concerning Mills, Decision and Order (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 30, 2013).
  • Granting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Iowa Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a part-time judge for wearing his judicial robes and referring to his position as a magistrate in an advertisement for his services as a private attorney. In the Matter of Meldrum, 834 N.W.2d 650 (Iowa 2013).
  • Based on stipulations and the judge’s agreement, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a former judge for conducting a traffic stop of a teenager, using a badge issued to him as a retired highway patrol officer, seizing her driver’s license and directing her to follow him to a sheriff’s sub-station, then re-directing her to a convenience store, and identifying himself as a judicial officer before returning her driver’s license. In the Matter of Bauer, Order (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline July 12, 2013).