Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Approving the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for a pattern of rudeness and disrespect toward lawyers, parties, witnesses, victims, and court personnel. Inquiry Concerning Haymans, 767 So. 2d 1173 (Florida 2000).
  • Based on an agreed statement of fact, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, during his campaign for another court, implying in campaign advertisements that he was the incumbent judge, making statements that appeared to commit him with respect to abortion issues likely to come before his court, and making improper campaign contributions. In the Matter of Mullin, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 25, 2000).
  • Based on stipulations of fact in lieu of a trial, the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former judge from office and disbarred him for his conviction on a federal felony charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights. In re Melograne, 759 A.2d 475 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2000).
  • Agreeing with the findings and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former municipal court judge for (1) resigning from the California bar as a result of disciplinary action, (2) his conviction of credit card fraud, supplying false tax returns, false employment information, and false social security numbers in applying for a loan, filing false federal income tax returns, mail fraud, and money laundering, and (3) failing to respond to the investigation. In the Matter of Hamer, 537 S.E.2d 552 (South Carolina 2000).
  • Agreeing with the findings and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a non-lawyer magistrate for, while serving as a municipal judge, giving favorable treatment to 2 defendants. In the Matter of Sessions, 538 S.E.2d 1 (South Carolina 2000).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge who had converted $6,150 in court funds to his personal use. In the Matter of Sterling, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 8, 1995).
  • Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge who had served as an officer and director of 2 for-profit corporations while sitting as a full-time judge and failed to disclose his interest in the corporations on ethics forms. In the Matter of Bell, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 22, 1995).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for diverting funds from a not-for-profit corporation connected to the court to a law professor for research expenses that they had agreed to share in their private authorship of a hornbook on New York estates administration and failing to supervise the hiring of interns who worked in the court and were paid by corporate funds, which led to a patronage system for the relatives of full-time court employees. In the Matter of Radigan, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 22, 1995).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for his tone during an eviction trial, failing to afford either party a fair opportunity to be heard, and simultaneously entering judgment for the defendant and dismissing the case without prejudice. Fletcher, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct August 14, 2015).
  • Adopting the findings of 3 masters, the California Commission on Judicial Performance severely censured a judge for calling the county jail and ordering the own-recognizance release of a person he knew socially. Inquiry Concerning Petrucelli, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance August 18, 2015).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time judge for making improper contributions to political organizations and candidates directly and through his law firm. In the Matter of Sakowski, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 20, 2015).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time judge for improper contributions to political organizations and candidates through his law firm and his spouse. In the Matter of Fleming, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 20, 2015).
  • Based on the judge’s admission of the factual allegations, the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a judge from office for not filing state and federal tax returns for 5 years, failing to remit approximately $130 in sales tax owed by a shoe store she owned, opening the store without a license, and pleading guilty to 3 misdemeanors (for dismissing several of her own tickets) and 1 summary offense (the business license violation). In re Ballentine, Opinion and order (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline August 4, 2015).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former supreme court justice from office based on her conviction in state court of theft/diversion of service, criminal conspiracy, and misapplication of entrusted property. In re Orie Melvin, Opinion and order (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline August 14, 2015).

 

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • In consolidated appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed 2 decisions of the Judicial Conduct Commission (1) reprimanding a judge and suspending her for 45 days without pay for (a) summarily holding a husband in contempt of court for actions that occurred outside of her perception and (b) entering an order changing custody that denied the father due process and (2) reprimanding her for a “standing order” that prohibited child support modifications for Toyota employees. Gormley v. Judicial Conduct Commission, 332 S.W.3d 717 (Kentucky 2010).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly reprimanded a judge for accusing an attorney of publicly disparaging him and threatening the attorney with an ethics complaint if he did not apologize. In the Matter of McArdle (Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications August 18, 2010).
  • The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for a 2-year delay in entering an order; the judge accepted the reprimand. Public Reprimand of Black (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission August 13, 2010).
  • The Washington Supreme Court suspended a judge for 5 days without pay for a pattern or practice of deriding the intelligence of pro se litigants and rudely and impatiently interrupting them. In the Matter of Eiler, 236 P.3d 873 (Washington 2010).
  • Based on stipulations and the findings and recommendation of a judicial conduct panel, the Wisconsin Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for a substantial backlog of unadjudicated citations and refusing to adjudicate any parking ticket stipulation cases. In the Matter of Zodrow, 787 N.W.2d 815 (Wisconsin 2010).

 

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) ordering “instanter trials” in 18 criminal neglect of family cases immediately after the defendants pleaded not guilty and (2) violating the Commission’s confidentiality rules by asking if a litigant wanted him to recuse based on the complaint the litigant had filed against him. In re Aucoin, 767 So. 2d 30 (Louisiana 2000).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a part-time judge who had been convicted of 2 misdemeanors for physically abusing a mentally incompetent patient in a nursing home where she was employed as a licensed practical nurse. In the Matter of Stiggins, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 18, 2000).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the panel of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered a 6-month stayed suspension for a judge for, while a candidate, failing to closely supervise campaign activities; failing to report a township’s contributions of the use of a township garage for producing campaign signs and the value of labor of inmates and welfare workers; and exaggerating his endorsements. Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Evans, 733 N.E.2d 609 (Ohio 2000).
  • Based on stipulations of fact, the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline severely reprimanded a senior district justice, and ordered him ineligible to accept any assignments for contacting another district justice seeking favorable treatment for a friend in connection with a traffic violation. In re Kelly, 757 A.2d 456 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2000).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge and the Washington Supreme Court suspended him without pay for 5 months for (1) engaging in abusive and intemperate language and behavior toward court staff and colleagues, (2) improperly entering ex parte orders without a hearing or notice to parties, and (3) engaging in numerous ex parte contacts in a child custody dispute, including undertaking an ex parte investigation outside the courtroom. In re Tollefson, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 21, 2000). approved (Washington Supreme Court August 30, 2000).

 

 

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Granting a joint motion, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $1,450 for dismissing 18 speeding tickets involving 18 defendants after ex parte communications with the defendants and dismissing 13 other traffic tickets involving 12 defendants. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Bowen, 662 So. 2d 551 (Mississippi 1995).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for attending the premiere of a movie that was the subject of a lawsuit over which she had presided and making a public comment about the suit while it was pending on appeal. Public Admonishment of Chirlin (California Commission on Judicial Performance August 28, 1995).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Based on an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended a judge for 7 days without pay for raising a bond without notice and abusing her contempt power by holding the defendant’s mother in contempt for calling her a “b***h” outside her presence without a notice, a hearing, or the opportunity to have counsel present. In re Prewitt (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission July 10, 2015).
  • Accepting in part the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court removed a judge for a mental disability that prevented the performance of her judicial duties, failing to cooperate with the Commission in its investigation, and making intentional misrepresentations to the Commission, to her employer, and to courts in which she was involved in litigation. In re Sanders, 865 N.W.2d 30 (Michigan 2015).
  • Based on the judge’s agreement following a referee’s report, the New Hampshire Supreme Court suspended a judge for 60 days without pay and censured him for dismissing a petition for involuntary admission after becoming angry with the sheriff’s deputy for refusing to remove the respondent’s handcuffs and without giving the petitioner an opportunity to be heard and blaming the deputy in a subsequent order. In the Matter of Lyons, Order (New Hampshire Supreme Court July 10, 2015).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge for requesting leniency for his son from 2 law enforcement officers. In the Matter of Sullivan, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 14, 2015).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for requiring defendants to perform public service work in order to be granted appointed counsel; sentencing defendants to jail for contempt if they did not complete public service work required for the appointment of counsel; without regard for their personal financial means, denying appointed counsel or revoking individuals’ bonds if they requested appointed counsel; ordering cash-only bonds in violation of law; requiring the waiver of the constitutional right to counsel and a jury trial as a prerequisite for a continuance: allowing some defendants as a requirement of probation or to obtain appointed counsel to donate items to charities specified by the judge; and refusing defendants’ requests for appointed counsel without conducting an indigency hearing. In re Holley, Reprimand and agreed cease and desist order (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct July 6, 2015).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for exchanging ex parte emails with a prosecutor and continuing a hearing in a case. In re Kondo, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 17, 2015).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a former judge for receiving a discounted carpool parking rate when he did not carpool. In re Bonner, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 17, 2015).

 

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Based on an agreement for discipline by consent, the Maryland Court of Appeals suspended a judge without pay for 5 work days for deflating a tire on an automobile parked in his reserved parking space at the courthouse. In the Matter of Nalley, 999 A.2d 182 (Maryland 2010).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, to which the judge consented, the Michigan Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for releasing a county commissioner on his own recognizance on a day he was not scheduled to do arraignments after calls from another county commissioner. In re Logan, 783 N.W.2d 705 (Michigan 2010).
  • Adopting the findings of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 14 days without pay and publicly censured him for dismissing 30 family law cases as the time guidelines threshold approached to avoid those cases being identified as out of compliance, but continuing to work on the cases. In re Halloran, 783 N.W.2d 709 (Michigan 2010).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Nebraska Supreme Court removed a judge from office for interfering in a criminal case against a softball coach and a juvenile case involving a softball player. In re Florom, 784 N.W.2d 897 (Nebraska 2010).
  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline based on the parties’ stipulations, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a judge from the practice of law for 1 year (with 6 months stayed with conditions) for (1) investigating a criminal matter pending in his court; (2) failing to be patient, dignified, and courteous; (3) using his position to pressure the city law director’s secretary to bring the law director’s file on a defendant to the court; (4) improperly handling proceedings to appoint counsel for indigent defendants; (5) comments that gave the impression that 3 defendants were remanded into custody due to a failure on the part of the county commissioners; (6) placing a defendant in a holding cell until he was ready to discuss her case; (7) creating the appearance that he was trying to force the mayor to execute a law director’s contract; (8) involving himself in the formulation of charges against a defendant; and (9) badgering 2 defendants about their eligibility for appointed counsel. Disciplinary Counsel v. Campbell, 931 N.E.2d 558 (Ohio 2010).
  • Accepting the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a former judge from the practice of law for 1 year (with 6 months stayed with conditions) for (1) failing to maintain or provide complete records of the proceedings in his courtroom; (2) unreasonably delaying compliance with a mandate of the court of appeals on remand; (3) engaging in an improper ex parte communication with a prosecutor; (4) expressing an opinion on an issue of fact in the jury’s presence, berating defense counsel during closing argument, and refusing to grant a mistrial based upon his own prejudicial conduct; and (5) refusing to accept a guilty plea for a misdemeanor speeding violation based on his mistaken belief that the prosecutor was statutorily required to charge the defendant with a greater offense. Disciplinary Counsel v. Plough, 931 N.E.2d 575 (Ohio 2010).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for “scary” conduct “akin to stalking” toward 4 female lawyers (2 of whom occasionally appeared before the judge and 1 of whom was another judge’s clerk) and toward a 17-year-old girl who had appeared in his court; the Court also placed him on probation. In re Alonge, 3 A.3d 771 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2010).
  • Based on an agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for hiring her daughter as her court officer without considering other qualified applicants and authorizing a salary for her that was commensurate with the position even though she had no experience or training. In re Dumas, Reprimand (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary July 16, 2010).

 

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for issuing a temporary restraining order in favor of Wal-Mart while the judge and his wife owned approximately $700,000 worth of Wal-Mart stock. Letter to Huffman (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission July 24, 2000).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Iowa Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) conducting initial appearances in her office, preventing others from being present; (2) violating clear procedural requirements when conducting arraignments and handling no-contact orders; and (3) frequent conflicts with almost all of the people with whom she came in contact.  In the Matter of Holien, 612 N.W.2d 789 (Iowa 2000).
  • Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts and proposed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined her $861.50 for dismissing approximately 11 tickets based on her ex parte communications with the defendants or other persons without notice to the officer or a hearing or trial. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Boykin, 763 So. 2d 872 (Mississippi 2000).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for playing the role of a judge in a commercial motion picture. In the Matter of Wolfgang, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 5, 2000).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Pursuant to the judge’s consent, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for saying “good boy” to an African-American adult man during a hearing.  Public Admonishment of Flier (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 27, 1995).
  • Upholding the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the California Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) engaging in several business transactions with and accepting a gift from a litigant to whom he had awarded a substantial verdict, (2) advising members of a law firm on cases pending before other judges, (3) receiving gifts from attorneys whose interests had or were likely to come before him, (4) failing to disqualify himself or disclose his relationship with those attorneys or their firms when they appeared before him, and (5) making material misrepresentations and omissions to the Commission during its investigation.  Adams v. Commission on Judicial Performance, 897 P.2d 544 (California 1995).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for (1) in 10 cases, repeatedly issuing dispositive orders without making findings of fact or setting forth his reasoning, contrary to law, and despite criticism by the appellate court; (2) repeatedly refusing to accept reply papers on the day of oral argument for contested motions, even though the papers were served within the permissible period, despite appellate court decisions reversing his rulings on grounds of his refusal to accept such papers; (3) a heated verbal confrontation with a neighbor that resulted in the judge being questioned by the police; and (4) failing to fully disclose his income and liabilities for 1992 in the financial disclosure statement required by law.  In the Matter of Dier, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 14, 1995).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for imposing a sentence in a case to retaliate against the defendant for firing her from her other employment. In the Matter of Lindell-Cloud, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 14, 1995).
  • The North Dakota Supreme Court publicly censured a former judge for serving as a member of a municipal airport authority while serving as a judge and drafting agreements between the authority and 2 individuals.  In the Matter of Grenz, 534 N.W.2d 816 (North Dakota 1995).