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).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for being “terse” with the litigants at the start of a judgment debtor’s examination, making mocking and demeaning comments to the judgment debtor, and continuing with the judgment debtor exam even after learning that the judgment debtor had filed for bankruptcy prior to the hearing date. Williams, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct June 22, 2015).
  • Based on a stipulated resolution, the Arizona Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for failing to disclose that he jointly owned property with a litigant in 2 protective order proceedings. Bravo, Order (Arizona Supreme Court June 26, 2015).
  • Based on a stipulation and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay for using social media to a ask her friends to help her husband, at the time a judicial candidate, correct perceived misstatements by his opponent. Inquiry Concerning Krause, 166 So. 3d 176 (Florida 2015).
  • Accepting a stipulation and approving the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for, at the inception of her judicial campaign, failing to follow Florida law when she opened her campaign account and lent money to her campaign prior to filing the necessary qualification paperwork. Inquiry Concerning Griffin, 167 So. 3d 450 (Florida 2015).
  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court removed a judge for her deceptive conduct as an attorney toward her clients and co-counsel in the settlement of multi-party litigation. Inquiry Concerning Watson, 174 So. 3d 987 (Florida 2015).
  • The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended a judge for 15 days without pay for holding a hearing to resolve issues concerning the internal operation of the county’s attorney’s office at which he demeaned and denigrated his election opponent, a chief assistant criminal court prosecutor. In re Popovich, Findings, conclusions, and order (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission June 18, 2015).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a chancellor for 30 days without pay, fined him $1,000, and publicly reprimanded him for ignoring a supersedeas bond that stayed execution of a judgment pending appeal, holding the appellant in contempt, and ordering him incarcerated. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Littlejohn, 172 So. 3d 1157 (Mississippi 2015).

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for injecting herself into a traffic case involving her son by approaching a court administrator and a hearing officer. Segal, Amended order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct June 17, 2010).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for informality and attempted humor in the courtroom that gave the appearance that he did not take the defendant’s case seriously. Gaines, Amended order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct June 22, 2010).
  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Georgia Supreme Court removed a non-lawyer judge for (1) routinely stating to criminal defendants that they had the burden of proving their innocence; (2) allowing criminal defendants to “buy out” their community service, placing the proceeds into a bank account from which he judge would authorize the release of funds by court orders he signed, and failing to disclose the bank account or turn over the money to the county; (3) abusing and insulting parties appearing in court; (4) routinely initiating and considering ex parte communications; (5) disposing of criminal cases in which the defendants were charged with crimes that were beyond the jurisdiction of his court; (6) involving himself in a matter not properly before his court and using the prestige of his office to improperly influence a litigant; (7) issuing orders that prohibited the sheriff from awarding “good time” in accordance with a statute; and (9) allowing unqualified persons to serve as interpreters in his court. Inquiry Concerning Fowler, 696 S.E.2d 644 (Georgia 2010).
  • The Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Press release (McEvoy) (Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct June 9, 2010).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge from office for 30 days without pay, publicly reprimanded him, and fined him $1,500 for inappropriately touching a court clerk and using a racially derogatory term to refer to an African-American department of corrections employee. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Brown, 37 So.3d 14 (Mississippi 2010).
  • The Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly reprimanded a judge for displaying an impatient, discourteous, angry, and condescending tone and demeanor during a child support hearing. In the Matter of Silverman (Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications June 4, 2010).

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for driving under the influence and failing to report the criminal charges and his conviction to the Commission.  Public Admonishment of Ryan (California Commission on Judicial Performance June 20, 2000).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) making comments to a deputy district attorney concerning the attorney’s alleged drinking habits and those of her future father-in-law; (2) making an ex parte comment to 2 deputy district attorneys; and (3) making a statement to a thin white defendant that was reasonably understood to infer that he might be vulnerable to sexual assault in jail. Inquiry Concerning Shaw, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance June 26, 2000).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly censured a judge for (1) touching his bailiff’s breasts and staring at and asking to see her breasts; (2) making a sexually suggestive comment to a female deputy sheriff; (3) making a derogatory reference to a female deputy district attorney; and (4) telling a clerk that he wanted her to “sit in the courtroom and look pretty” and puckering his lips and kissing at her from afar. Inquiry Concerning Willoughby, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance June 27, 2000).
  • Accepting the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Qualifications Commission based on a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for making several comments to police designed to obtain favorable treatment after being arrested on a charge of solicitation for prostitution. Inquiry Concerning Richardson, 760 So. 2d 932 (Florida 2000).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Kansas Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for recusing from some cases involving a law firm and a sole practitioner but refusing to recuse from other cases and requiring an informed consent by the lawyers’ clients, rather than obtaining waiver. In the Matter of Platt, 8 P.3d 686 (Kansas 2000).
  • Granting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $500 for contacting the officer who arrested the judge’s son for DUI and asking the judge assigned to his son’s case for her help in getting the case dismissed. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Brown, 761 So. 182 (Mississippi 2000).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge for 90 days and fined him $1,500 for harassing and intimidating a minor female who had accused the judge of engaging in sexual relations with her and for intimidating a high school student who had made suggestive remarks to the minor. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Bishop, 761 So. 2d 195 (Mississippi 2000).
  • Accepting an agreement, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) holding tickets in abeyance and (2) presiding in preliminary matters in a case involving her grandson. In the Matter of Johnson, 532 S.E.2d 883 (South Carolina 2000).
  • Accepting an agreement, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate for (1) failing to promptly deposit money collected from defendants for bail; (2) incurring insufficient funds charges against his magistrate’s account; (3) stating on his disclosure statement that he had no extra-judicial income when he had income from conducting a shoplifting prevent seminar; (4) acting in a loud, disorderly manner with staff of the county detention center; (5) releasing defendants based on ex parte communications; (6) issuing an order involving child custody when he did not have authority to do so; (7) making inappropriate comments to a female deputy; and (8) failing to transmit funds collected for bonds to the other magistrate. In the Matter of Nelson, 532 S.E.2d 609 (South Carolina 2000).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and the judge’s agreement to resign, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct public censured a judge for using court computer equipment, a state-provided computer, and state-provided Internet services to access Internet sites for his personal benefit, including “adult-only” sites, on-line auction sites, personal financial sites, shopping sites, and personal travel sites. In re Furman, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 2, 2000).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Accepting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed from office a judge who had openly lived with a fugitive charged in Georgia with several drug-related felonies, allowed the fugitive to drive her car with a suspended license, actively participated in the felony case in Georgia, and married him after he was convicted; the Court also fined the judge the salary she had received since the date on which she had agreed to resign.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Milling, 657 So. 2d 531 (Mississippi 1995).
  • Concurring in the determination of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a part-time judge for permitting a fax transmission to be sent from his law office to the judge of another municipal court about a matter pending in that court.  In the Matter of Carton, 658 A.2d 1211 (New Jersey 1995).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a part-time judge for delaying for approximately 13 months in deciding a small claims case and misplacing the file in his law offices.  In re the Matter of Linde, Stipulation and Agreement and Order of Admonishment (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 1, 1995).

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for having an ex parte conversation about a family law case with a Department of Child Safety caseworker and, without allowing the parties an opportunity to be heard, issuing a ruling that discussed and cited the ex parte conversation as a basis for denying the relief sought by the mother.  Garcia, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 12, 2015).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) being aggressive and heavy-handed when interacting with a member of court administration regarding the re-assignment of another judge’s courtroom clerk and (2) summoning an attorney to his chambers and suggesting that a declaration should not be filed due to his concerns about the court’s reputation and the other judge’s family.  Public Admonishment of Fielder (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 14, 2015).
  • Based on a stipulation for discipline by consent and the judge’s irrevocable resignation, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly censured a former judge and barred him holding judicial office for failing to disclose on financial disclosure forms the $250,000 he had received from the dissolution of a joint venture in a county contract for indigent defense and failing to disclose or disqualify when attorneys who had an interest in the contract appeared before him.  Inquiry Concerning Garcia, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 18, 2015).
  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed a judge from office and fined him $3,500 for (1) failing to follow the law in drug court; (2) attending a meeting between a suspended bail bondsman and the sheriff; and (3) depriving a drug court participant of her right to counsel of her choosing by threatening to hold her retained counsel in contempt if she did not sit down.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Thompson, 169 So. 3d 857 (Mississippi 2015).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for abusing her contempt power and failing to be honest with the Commission; the judge also agreed to take a minimum of 2 courses at the National Judicial College and to familiarize herself with the statutes and rules governing the contempt power.  In the Matter of Leavitt, Stipulation and order (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline May 8, 2015).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) holding a “marathon” court session lasting until 4:00 a.m.; (2) describing the district attorney as a “New York Jew;” (3) expelling the district attorney from her courtroom; and (4) telling a prosecutor his beard made him look like a “Muslim;” the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 4 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Admonition of Schildknecht and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 11, 2015).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a former judge for failing to provide public documents and information to citizens regarding cases in her court; failing to timely execute the business of the court; failing to hold jury or bench trials; failing to reduce her rulings to final, written, appealable judgments; failing to maintain proper records; and failing to conduct proper fiscal management.  Public Admonition of Johnson (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 14, 2015).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a former part-time judge for under-reporting income she received as a judge and as a result collecting unemployment benefits to which she was not entitled.  In re Johnson, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 1, 2015).

 

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).