Throwback Thursday  

25 years ago this month:

  • The Connecticut Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 15 days for failing to disqualify himself from the criminal case against a member of a family that had a history of contentious relations and litigation with a partnership in which the judge was a partner and counsel before becoming a judge and for signing an arrest warrant for that same person in an unrelated matter in 1990. In re Zoarski, 632 A.2d 1114 (Connecticut 1993).
  • Adopting the findings, conclusions, and recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge who twice made hostile and unprovoked comments that could reasonably be interpreted as threats of professional reprisal against individuals for what the judge perceived to be their disloyalty to and betrayal of him in connection with his divorce case. In re Hair, 436 S.E.2d 128 (North Carolina 1993).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for sarcastic comments he made during 2 oral arguments in appeals from justice court convictions. McClennen, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct October 4, 2013).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for a standing policy that failed to comply with the statutory requirements for waiver of personal service of a citation. Mapp, Disposition of complaint (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct October 22, 2013).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for his statements during a sentencing hearing that suggested the 5 under-age victims were complicit or at fault in their teacher’s sexual offenses. In re Fletcher, Agreed Order of Public Reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission October 7, 2013).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $500 for failing to disclose on the record in an asbestos case the history of asbestosis claims by his parents or to disqualify himself from the case and refusing to identify his father when asked. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Bowen, 123 So. 3d 381 (Mississippi 2013).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for publicly stating he would not perform same-sex marriages in his judicial capacity but continuing to perform opposite-sex marriages. In re Tabor (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 4, 2013).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a commissioner for his argument with a defendant in a hearing and the appearance that he set bail based on his displeasure with the defendant, rather than on the merits. In re Parise (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 4, 2013).

 

Throwback Thursday  

10 years ago this month:

  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a former judge for failing to be patient, dignified, and courteous in 5 cases. In the Matter of Bryant, Decision and Order (California Commission on Judicial Performance October 27, 2008).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance based on an agreed statement of facts and proposed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former part-time judge for representing a defendant after presiding over proceedings concerning the same defendant on the same criminal charges. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Pittman, 993 So. 2d 816 (Mississippi 2008).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge and fined her and levied costs of $7,782.06 for repeatedly entering unlawful orders resulting in a man’s incarceration. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Boland, 998 So.2d 380 (Mississippi 2008).
  • Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge from office for (1) presiding over cases in which his step-grandchildren were the defendants, (2) initiating an ex parte communication with the judge handling his step-grandson’s case, (3) arraigning a former co-worker’s son and changing a bail decision after an ex parte call from the defendant’s mother, and (4) asserting his judicial office after a car accident. In the Matter of LaBombard, 898 N.E.2d 14 (New York 2008).
  • Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge for violating the fundamental due process rights of litigants in 5 cases. In the Matter of Jung, 899 N.E.2d 925 (New York 2008).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge who, in the absence of counsel and with good cause to believe that the defendant was intoxicated and incapable of understanding and asserting his rights, accepted a guilty plea at arraignment and sentenced the 19-year-old defendant to 90 days in jail without making any significant inquiry into whether the defendant was capable of entering a plea or appreciated the disadvantages of waiving the right to the assistance of counsel. In the Matter of Dunlop, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 28, 2008).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge who presided over 2 cases in which his personal attorney appeared. In the Matter of Ambrecht, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 28, 2008).
  • The North Carolina Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) awarding spousal support in a domestic violence protective order case when none had been requested and no evidence had been presented, ordering the bailiff to search the husband’s wallet and turn his money over to the wife; (2) making statements that created the appearance of bias; and (3) during the investigation, making untruthful, deceptive, and inconsistent statements to a State Bureau of Investigation agent and attempting to influence the recollections of a deputy clerk and the plaintiff’s attorney; the Court also disqualified him from holding further judicial office in the state and declared him ineligible for retirement benefits. In re Badgett, 666 S.E.2d 743 (North Carolina 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).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to make findings of fact required by law in a juvenile proceeding and signing 2 orders in the case after recusing. Complaint against Rich (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary October 10, 2008).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former judge for (1) allowing a grand jury he had appointed to be influenced by a friend and political supporter seeking indictments against political opponents based upon information that had been rejected by multiple independent investigative agencies and (2) requesting a court of inquiry to investigate a political opponent based on affidavits that were not credible and did not constitute probable cause. Public Reprimand of Davis (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 31, 2008).

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for his method of handling the misdemeanor pretrial calendar, for leaving the courthouse prior to completion of the pretrial calendar once when no other judge was available to cover the calendar, and for occasionally running on the stairs near his chambers during his pretrial calendar. Inquiry Concerning Sheldon, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance October 23, 1998).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) inappropriate conduct towards his courtroom clerk and (2) giving his clerk $250 to donate to a candidate for non-judicial office. Public Admonishment of Hiber (California Commission on Judicial Performance October 23, 1998).
  • Adopting a consent agreement, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge who had appointed 2 attorneys who rented office space from him and 1 attorney who had a social relationship with him to represent criminal defendants in numerous cases. Inquiry Concerning Shook, Decision and Order Imposing Public Admonishment (California Commission on Judicial Performance October 29, 1998).
  • Adopting a consent agreement, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for failing to rule in 7 cases within 90 days as required by law. Inquiry Concerning Rogers, Decision and Order Imposing Public Admonishment (California Commission on Judicial Performance October 29, 1998).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) making comments about 2 pending cases to a newspaper reporter, (2) taking a straw poll of the courtroom audience regarding the guilt of a defendant, and (3) chastising a juvenile in the courtroom. In re Best, 719 So. 2d 432 (Louisiana 1998).
  • Affirming the findings of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for first offense driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Thomas, 722 So. 2d 629 (Mississippi 1998).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge who had failed to fulfill his statutory duties to report dispositions and remit court funds to the comptroller; failed to maintain a docket of motor vehicle cases; failed to maintain a docket of criminal cases; failed to maintain a cashbook; failed to issue duplicate receipts; and in 111 cases, failed to send fine notices to defendants who had pleaded guilty by mail, failed to schedule trial for defendants who had pleaded not guilty, and failed to suspend the driving privileges of defendants who had not answered summonses, paid fines, or appeared for trial. In the Matter of Sohns, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 19, 1998).
  • Based upon an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge who had pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired. In the Matter of Burns, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 20, 1998).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge who had reached out to have the criminal charges against a family friend brought before him, knowing that he should not handle the case, then granted a favorable disposition. In the Matter of Jarvis, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 20, 1998).

 

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge who had been charged with misdemeanor driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages and with careless driving for being at fault in an accident. Inquiry Concerning Gloeckner, 626 So. 2d 188 (Florida 1993).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for (1) summarily convicting and jailing 2 men for criminal contempt without affording them procedural due process and without a factual or legal basis, (2) after agreeing to release a defend­ant, re-committing him based on ex parte information, and (3) immediately after arraignment, accepting a guilty plea from a 16-year-old unrepresented defendant whose mental stability he questioned, refusing to set bail as required by law, and denying repeated requests to allow the defendant to withdraw the plea and go to trial, even though the prosecutor consented. In the Matter of Meacham, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 28, 1993).
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate who had pled nolo contendere or guilty to 6 counts of misconduct in office, 2 counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and 1 count of assault of a high and aggravated nature. In the Matter of Lee, 437 S.E.2d 85 (South Carolina 1993).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for writing a letter on official stationery and an affidavit on behalf of a child living in his home, a minor of no relation, to the American Schools of Correspondence, representing himself as a judge in the documents, and providing legal representation for the minor in the documents. In re Moynihan, Stipulation and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 1, 1993).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement with a judge, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for using his chambers telephone to make numerous long distance phone calls for personal matters and for having court personnel prepare his personal correspondence using county equipment and supplies on 3 to 5 occasions over 8 years. In re Eiesland, Stipulation and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 1, 1993).

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission issued an informal adjustment to a judge for using her title in a threatening text to the ex-husband of a family member. Letter of Informal Adjustment (Hendricks) (Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission September 20, 2013).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $1,000 for a verbal altercation with a probation officer, including threatening to hold her in contempt of court and having police officers escort her from the clerk’s office. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Fowlkes, 121 So. 3d 904 (Mississippi 2013).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for acting as an attorney for an alleged rape victim and her family after presiding over proceedings in the underlying criminal case. In the Matter of Fleming, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 30, 2013).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent in an attorney discipline proceeding, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate for, at the conclusion of a bond court session, kissing the clerk who had been working with him on the forehead. In the Matter of Hatcher, 748 S.E.2d 220 (South Carolina 2013).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for magistrating a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship. Public Reprimand of Nicholds (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 17, 2013).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for an ex parte communication with an attorney about a contested issue in the attorney’s suit for fees against a former client, which resulted a judgment in favor of the attorney without the former client being given the right to be heard. Public Admonition of Koetter (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 17, 2013).

 

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).