Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Adopting the findings of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly admonished a judge for releasing a relative on her own recognizance.  In the Matter of Council (New Jersey Supreme Court May 3, 2010).
  • The Utah Supreme Court approved the implementation of the Judicial Conduct Commission’s order, based on a stipulation, publicly reprimanding a judge for changing a defendant’s sentence after the defendant stated he intended to request a trial de novo.  In re Ridge (Utah Supreme Court May 12, 2010).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for comments to 2 female attorneys.  In re Henry, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 14, 2010).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for delay in 2 cases.  In re Sheldon, Stipulation, Agreement, and Order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 14, 2010).

 

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Accepting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Alaska Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for going outside the merit selection process to appoint as coroner an individual who had not applied during the application period; whose name was suggested by the chief justice; whom the judge knew to be a friend of the chief justice; on the basis of criteria (legal training and experience) that were not part of the position’s stated qualifications; and on terms that were significantly different from those advertised to the general public.  In the Matter of Johnstone, 2 P.3d 1226 (Alaska 2000).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, the Arkansas Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) continuing to represent 2 clients in litigation after becoming a judge; (2) willfully failing to honor a subrogation agreement with a union for medical expenses paid on a client’s behalf; (3) failing to properly report attorney’s fees, referral fees, and income from a trust on the financial interest statement required to be filed with the secretary of state; (4) writing 59 insufficient funds checks between 1993 and 1997; (5) failing to pay federal income taxes in 1994; (6) placing the license tag for his Toyota on his Ford pickup truck; and (7) depositing client funds in a personal account rather than a trust account.  Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission v. Thompson, 16 S.W.2d 212 (Arkansas 2000).
  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for accepting free tickets to baseball games from members of a law firm whose lawyers appeared before him.  Inquiry Concerning Luzzo, 756 So. 2d 76 (Florida 2000).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge who, while a judge, had been routinely abusive, demeaning, and sarcastic to litigants, witnesses, and attorneys.  Inquiry Concerning Newton, 758 So. 2d 107 (Florida 2000).
  • Based on a stipulation, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a part-time judge for 6 months and publicly reprimanded her for serving as a referee for a township justice court and alternate municipal court judge while her membership status with the State Bar of Nevada was “inactive” because she had failed to obtain the required annual continuing legal education.  In the Matter of the Ungaro, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Decision and Imposition of Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline May 17, 2000).
  • Based on a stipulation, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a part-time judge for 6 months and publicly reprimanded him for serving as a referee for a township justice court and alternate municipal court judge while his membership status with the State Bar of Nevada was “inactive” because he had failed to obtain the required annual continuing legal education.  In the Matter of Morrison, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Decision and Imposition of Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline May 17, 2000).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) knowingly convicting a defendant who was charged with DWI of careless and reckless driving when the defendant had not been charged with that offense and the offense was not a lesser included offense; and (2) taking a guilty plea in the hallway.  In re Brown, 527 S.E.2d 651 (North Carolina 2000).
  • Adopting the findings and conclusions of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for engaging in ex parte communications with employees of the county department of children and family services.  Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Ferreri, 727 N.E.2d 908 (Ohio 2000).

 

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for eliminating the suspended portions of a sentence and immediately remanding a defendant to the custody of the sheriff to punish the defendant for his attorney’s announcement in open court that they would appeal the original sentence.  Letter to Evitts (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission May 24, 1995).
  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for failing to decide a case for more than a year.  Letter to Reynolds (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission May 24, 1995).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge who, at a second judge’s request, had allowed the second judge’s relative to attend traffic school after failing to complete it when first ordered to do so and had dismissed a failure to appear citation received by the same relative after the other judge indicated that he was responsible for the relative’s failure to appear and that he would take care of the inadequate muffler with which the relative had also been charged.  Public Admonishment of Bjork (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 30, 1995).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for writing, on his official court stationery, a character reference letter for a personal friend who was awaiting sentencing in federal court.  Inquiry Concerning Ward, 654 So. 2d 549 (Florida 1995).
  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge who had been charged with DUI.  Inquiry Concerning Esquiroz, 654 So. 2d 558 (Florida 1995).
  • The Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications ordered a judge who had been arrested for and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol to cease and desist from any act or acts that could be found to violate the state law, including those relating to the consumption and use of alcoholic beverages.  Inquiry Concerning Beasley, Order (Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications May 4, 1995).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) for approximately 8 months after taking office, allowing his former law partner to use and/or share the court’s secretary/receptionist, telephone system, post office box, office supplies, and law library; (2) filing a candidate’s report that failed to list cash contributions of $2,300; (3) hiring a law clerk knowing that she was also working as an independent contractor for a private law firm and allowing her to do research for him in a case in which the firm had been counsel for the plaintiff/appellee; and (4) writing a letter on personal judiciary stationery to a U.S. District Court judge recommending leniency in the sentencing of a friend.  In re Decuir, 654 So. 2d 549 (Louisiana 1995).
  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court removed from office a judge who had pled guilty to 1 misdemeanor count of failing to file a federal income tax return and was sentenced to a 12-month prison term.  In re Huckaby, 656 So.2d 292 (Louisiana 1995).
  • Pursuant to a report filed by the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court disbarred a former judge who had been found liable for fraud committed while a judge.  In re Cox, 658 A.2d 1056 (Maine 1995).
  • Adopting the findings of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court publicly censured a judge who, during a dispute with another driver over a parking space at a mall, accelerated his car and struck a security officer who had waved a third driver into the parking space.  In re Bradfield, 532 N.E.2d 711 (Michigan 1995).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, instead of immediately scheduling a trial as the law requires when a defendant in a traffic case pleads not guilty by mail, routinely required those defendants to appear before him for pre-trial “conferences” without notifying the prosecuting authority.  In the Matter of Cavotta, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 3, 1995).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) initiating a series of ex parte communications with law enforcement and court personnel concerning a friend’s son who had been taken into custody for breaking and entering a store, informing them that the juvenile was “a good kid,” asking for help on behalf of the juvenile, and stating that the matter was not one for court; and (2) initiating ex parte communications with a law enforcement officer concerning an automobile accident that resulted in charges being filed against the driver of a car in which the daughter of the judge’s friend was a passenger, expressing his opinion that the matter was civil rather than criminal and that if the case came before him he would so declare it, and suggesting to the officer that he reconsider his assessment as to fault.  In re Martin, 456 S.E.2d 527 (North Carolina 1995).
  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for comments he made in 2 rape cases.  In re Greene, 456 S.E.2d 878 (North Carolina 1995).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former judge from office and declared him to be ineligible for judicial office for violating laws that prohibit knowingly maintaining devices used for gambling purposes and knowingly permitting premises to be used for unlawful gambling.  In re Chesna, 659 A.2d 1091 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 1995).
  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended a judge for 15 days without pay for remaining as a judge in a criminal case pending against a friend; expressing publicly, from the bench and on the record, his personal views concerning the criminal charge pending against his friend and similar charges pending in other cases; criticizing the gambling investigation in which he himself figured; failing to reveal that the defendant had contacted him; and misrepresenting that the defendant had not contacted him or sought special treatment.  In the Matter of Carver, 531 N.W.2d 62 (Wisconsin 1995).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Approving a stipulation, findings of fact, and recommended discipline, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for giving incomplete and inaccurate answers about her driving record in interviews with a judicial nominating commission.  Inquiry Concerning Recksiedler, 161 So. 3d 398 (Florida 2015).
  • Granting a stipulation agreement and consent to discipline, the New Mexico Supreme Court placed a judge on supervised probation with a formal mentorship until the end of her term and imposed numerous conditions; the Commission had alleged a wide variety of misconduct, including record-keeping failures, ex parte communications, taking action in cases from which she was recused, and denying defendants due process.  In the Matter of Torres, Order (New Mexico Supreme Court April 27, 2015).
  • Adopting the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the Board of Professional Conduct, based on stipulations, the Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.  Disciplinary Counsel v. Marshall, 34 N.E.3d 110 (Ohio 2015).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) treating attorneys from the State Counsel for Offenders office and one of their expert witnesses in a less than patient, dignified, and courteous manner; and (2) statements during a presentation about sex offenders before the Texas Patriots PAC; the Commission also ordered that the judge obtain 4 hours of instruction with a mentor judge.  Public Reprimand of Seiler and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 24, 2015).

 

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for making numerous sarcastic and improper remarks in a case.  Gaumont, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct April 12, 2010).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) failing to require a potential juror to remove a tinfoil hat; (2) being absent from court and causing the absence of the court clerk; (3) dismissing cases without authority; (4) taking action in 2 cases from which he was disqualified; (5) delays; and (6) a discourteous comment regarding the district attorney.  In the Matter Concerning Edwards, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance April 12, 2010).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay and publicly reprimanded him for, in a tenant-removal action, trying to negotiate the sale of the property at issue instead of hearing evidence and failing to disqualify himself even though he had known one of the parties her whole life, had spoken with her father about the property, and had done landscaping work on the property.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Hartzog, 32 So. 3d 1188 (Mississippi 2010).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to render timely decisions in 26 cases over more than 3 and 1/2 years.  In the Matter of Gilpatric, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 27, 2010).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge for (1) apparently out of personal animus, threatening to impose bail for routine traffic charges against a defendant and allowing the defendant half the time he customarily gave for paying a fine and, after learning that the defendant had complained to the Commission, refusing to give him an extension of time to pay the fine and (2) threatening a defendant and his father out of pique after being advised by the court clerk, who was his wife, that the defendant’s father had been “very rude” when he called to request an extension for paying a fine.  In re Tripp, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 20, 2010).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court removed a former judge from office for remaining on the board of directors of a corporation and making intentional misrepresentations during the Commission investigation.  In re Belk, 691 S.E.2d 685 (North Carolina 2010).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for finding a defendant guilty in absentia.  In the Matter of Holmes, 692 S.E.2d 905 (South Carolina 2010).

 

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) a pattern of abusing the prestige of judicial office and using court resources in connection with personal matters, (2) a pattern of impatient, undignified, and discourteous conduct toward court staff and persons appearing before him, and (3) an ex parte communication with jurors in which he denied a request for a transcript.  Public Admonishment of Coates (California Commission on Judicial Performance April 12, 2000).
  • Accepting the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge from office for (1) during a conversation at a charity event, urging a prosecutor to “be reasonable” in offering pleas in a murder case and not to worry about “giving away” the case because no one cared because the victim was “just some old n****r b***h;” (2) making disparaging remarks about Italian Americans at a charity dinner and during his election campaign; (3) during jury deliberations in a rape case, pressing a prosecutor to offer a plea to a misdemeanor charge so that he could “get out of this f***ing black hole of Utica” and threatening to declare a mistrial if she refused; and (4) testifying during criminal proceedings that he had discussed the defendant with 2 attorneys when he had not.  In the Matter of Mulroy, 731 N.E.2d 120 (New York 2000).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge for (1) requiring indigent defendants to pay for assigned counsel by performing community service, (2) failing to advise defendants of their right to counsel and taking action against them without notice to their lawyers when he knew that they were represented, (3) exhibiting bias before conviction by threatening defendants with jail and calling them names, (4) repeatedly using intemperate language, (5) jailing without bail defendants who were statutorily entitled to bail, (6) summarily convicting on criminal contempt charges individuals whom he concluded had violated a court order, (7) failing to disqualify from cases in which he was the complaining witness and in which he had knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts, and (8) frequently engaging in ex parte communication.  In the Matter of Buckley, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 6, 2000).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for writing an intemperate letter to another judge advancing the prosecutor’s position in a criminal case pending before the other judge.  In the Matter of Howell, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 6, 2000).

 

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Accepting an agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for nepotism and entering into a contract that created the perception that the court’s business was based on the exchange of favors.  In the Matter of Goodman, 649 N.E.2d 115 (Indiana 1995).
  • The Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications ordered a judge to cease and desist from any act that could be found to violate the laws including those laws relating to the consumption and use of alcoholic beverages; the judge had been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and entered into a diversion agreement.  Inquiry Concerning Stewart, Order (Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications April 23, 1995).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to render timely decisions regarding 2 estates and 19 petitions for termination of parental rights.  In re Fischer, 657 A.2d 535 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 1995).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 7 calendar days without pay and publicly reprimanded him for (1) accepting and using 4 tickets to a college football game from a husband involved in divorce proceedings pending before him and (2) a pattern of unreasonable and unjustifiable delay in the disposition of cases.  In re Daghir, 657 A.2d 1032 Opinion (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 1995).

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants.  Addington, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct March 16, 2010).
  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for dismissing a DWI charge for a relative within the 3rd degree after it was determined and agreed that the state could not prove the charge.  Re Johnson, Letter of Admonishment (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission March 19, 2010).
  • The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for granting a writ of error coram nobis to facilitate the testimony of a witness whose criminal case had been closed to support the prosecution in a separate pending criminal case.  Re Sims, Letter of Admonishment (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission March 19, 2010.
  • Pursuant to a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 60 days for, during an investigation into a shooting at her home, asking a law enforcement officer to dispose of potential evidence; the Court also ordered the judge to disqualify herself for 1 year from any cases in which any of the witnesses who appeared for the state at her criminal trial are involved and to satisfy therapeutic treatment and reporting requirements.  In the Matter of Koethe, 922 N.E.2d 613 (Indiana 2010).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court removed a former judge from office following his guilty plea to charges of obstructing, influencing, and impeding an official federal corruption investigation and grand jury proceeding.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. DeLaughter, 29 So.3d 750 (Mississippi 2010).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge had accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) comments about a defendant who did not speak English and was in the country illegally and (2) calling a defendant pathological liar and comparing him to O.J. Simpson.  In the Matter of Citta (New Jersey Supreme Court March 8, 2010).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge had accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) comments that created the appearance he was making fun of a litigant and (2) and asking an attorney “when did you become an illegal alien?”  In the Matter of Convery (New Jersey Supreme Court March 8, 2010).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge for using his judicial title in communications asking prison officials to confiscate documents that contained information detrimental to his interests in a personal injury lawsuit against an inmate and for failing to be forthright when questioned.  In re Calderon, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 26, 2010).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for his policy of scheduling trials based on the availability of the issuing police officers, resulting in a failure to efficiently and promptly schedule trials in more than 500 traffic matters.  In re Barlaam, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 15, 2010).
  • The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for intimidating and inappropriate outbursts at prosecutors in 2 cases in another judge’s courtroom in which his wife was the defense attorney.  Public Reprimand of Smith (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission March 4, 2010).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for accepting tickets to San Antonio Spurs basketball games from a lawyer who wrote bail bonds and/or practiced in her court and writing a letter of recommendation for a person with a pending criminal case.  Public Admonition of Guerrero (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 26, 2010) .
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) mishandling a case in which a defendant did not pay a fine; (2) finding numerous individuals in contempt of court without legal authority and ordering them arrested and incarcerated without first issuing a written finding of contempt and/or commitment order; (3) failing to reduce orders and judgments to writing; (4) mishandling truancy cases; (5) ordering truancy defendants to relinquish their cell phones without legal authority; (6) including directives in emergency protective orders outside his legal authority; and (7) presiding over 2 matters involving family members who were the sons of his immediate supervisor and giving them favorable treatment; the Commission also ordered the judge to get 20 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Reprimand of Garza and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 30, 2010).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for having 7 adults (a caseworker, her supervisor, the CASA volunteer, the reintegration project coordinator, the Texas Family Support Services parent coach and mentor, and a juvenile’s mother) locked in in-take cells for approximately 20 minutes after becoming angry and frustrated with their recommendation that a juvenile be detained.  Public Admonition of Meurer (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 30, 2010).

 

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Affirming the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court removed a judge who had engaged in a pattern of conduct in which he acted with hostility towards attorneys, court personnel, and fellow judges, including (1) intimidating 2 attorneys into withdrawing from representation of a client by threatening to recuse from all of their cases; (2) entering an order directing a litigant to show cause why she should not be held in indirect criminal contempt for writing a letter to the governor complaining of the judge’s handling of her case; (3) seeking to hold a guidance clinic counselor in contempt and threatening to put the clinic out of business; (4) limiting the rights of pro se petitioners with domestic violence complaints by requiring employees of the domestic abuse shelter to submit affidavits that stated that they did not furnish any assistance to the petitioners, which chilled the willingness of victims and staff to come forward with legitimate claims, and falsely stating in a letter to a newspaper that the staff of the shelter agreed to use the forms; (5) engaging in a pattern of antagonism with court staff and other judges; (6) independently investigating a bailiff by interviewing a witness without notice to the bailiff and without counsel on his behalf, intending to release the information to a newspaper; (7) slamming a door in a bailiff’s face; (8) inappropriately criticizing a bailiff; (9) entering an order in a capital case improperly implying that 2 attorneys were guilty of unethical conduct without allowing an opportunity to respond and threatening that he would refer any failure of counsel to comply with his directives to the chief justice; (10) denying a motion for recusal and then entering an order inaccurately criticizing defense counsel without affording them an opportunity to respond; (11) suggesting that attorneys in a domestic violence case were encouraging their client to disobey his orders when they filed motions for a stay and finding the client in contempt; (12) falsely accusing an assistant state attorney of attempting to make ex parte contacts with him and threatening to report him to The Florida Bar; (13) falsely accusing an assistant state attorney of stating that he had engaged in ex parte communications; (14) improperly seeking to involve third parties in an internal dispute concerning court administrative matters by publicly disseminating his version of events; (15) verbally attacking fellow judges in a judges’ meeting; (16) violating the confidence of another judge by disclosing the contents of a confidential memorandum; and (17) threatening to assess attorney fees against the clerk of the circuit court.  Inquiry Concerning Shea, 759 So. 2d 631 (Florida 2000).
  • Approving a recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission based on stipulated facts, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded an appellate judge for berating 2 legal interns who were presenting arguments before the court, cutting short their oral arguments, and making discourteous remarks about the professor who was supervising their arguments.   Inquiry Concerning Schwartz, 755 So. 2d 110 (Florida 2000).
  • Acting on an application of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Iowa Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) holding a hearing to set aside a temporary injunction that another judge had issued while counsel for one of the parties was engaged in the trial of a previously scheduled matter in the same courthouse, (2) failing to recuse from an attorney fee application after announcing his bias toward an attorney who opposed the application, (3) subverting the Commission’s authority to rule on a discovery request by serving on the complaint a subpoena issued by the clerk for the judge’s court, and (4) showing disrespect toward the Commission chair.  In the Matter of Stigler, 607 N.W.2d 699 (Iowa 2000).
  • Adopting the findings of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended from the practice of law for 6 months a judge who, after observing a car being operated erratically, had written the owner a letter on court stationery telling her to contact the court and held an inquisitory hearing without legal authority; the Court stayed the entire 6 months suspension provided the judge engages in no further violations.  Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Hoague, 725 N.E.2d 1108 (Ohio 2000).
  • Adopting the findings, conclusion, and recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge who, while a judge, had used invitations to pool parties at his residence that were undignified, lacking in taste, and may have been offensive to many of the invitees.  Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Mascio, 725 N.E.2d 1111 (Ohio 2000).

 

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Georgia Supreme Court removed a magistrate from office for her handling of a dispute with the sheriff and county board.  Inquiry Concerning O’Neal, 454 S.E.2d 780 (Georgia 1995).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a non-lawyer judge for handling 365 cases, including committing defendants to jail in 36 cases, without successfully completing the training course required by statute before he could assume the duties of office.  In the Matter of Yusko, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 7, 1995).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for presiding while intoxicated and, in 2 small claims cases, entering judgements based on his conversations with litigants outside of court.  In the Matter of Bradigan, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 10, 1995).
  • Pursuant to an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for, at a number of arraignments, failing to advise the defendants of their rights, and, in 7 cases involving defendants charged with patronizing a prostitute, eliciting potentially incriminating statements, making remarks that presumed guilt, and making sarcastic and inappropriate statements.  In the Matter of Austria, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 10, 1995).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for dismissing a series of cases without according the prosecutor the opportunity to be heard and, in 3 cases, initiating and considering ex parte communications on the merits.  In the Matter of More, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 13, 1995).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, after receiving an inquiry from the Commission concerning his handling of a criminal case, telling the defendant in that case to lie to the Commission.  In the Matter of Menard, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 13, 1995).
  • The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals publicly reprimanded a judge for giving ex parte advice to an assistant prosecuting attorney about an on-going criminal trial.  In the Matter of Starcher, 457 S.E.2d 147 (West Virginia 1995).