News About Judicial Reform Archives

November 2009
  • 11/30/2009, Did Patterson violate judicial ethics?Austin Chronicle, "Former Austin Democratic state Rep. Glen Maxey this morning filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, arguing that 3rd Court of Appeals Judge Jan Patterson violated judicial ethics when she told the Chronicle last month that Gov. Rick Perry had approached her to apply for an appointment to the Travis Co. civil court bench."
  • 11/30/2009, Civil cases against judges involve emotional suffering,  the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Former Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan are awaiting trial on 48 charges of racketeering, fraud, and bribery in connection with an alleged $2.8 million "kids-for-cash" kickback scheme, but they are also the lead defendants in four civil cases brought by the JLC and three private attorneys on behalf of the youths who were sentenced."
  • 11/25/2009, Court denies Lokuta request on pay, benefits, Times Leader, Harrisburg PA, "The state Supreme Court has denied former judge Ann Lokuta’s request to reinstate her pay and benefits pending a ruling by the state Court of Judicial Discipline regarding her attempt to be reinstated to the bench."
  • 11/21/2009, Judge Thomas Porteous' case is a window into a culture of corruption: An editorial, NOLA, "Members of a House Judiciary Committee task force this week heard testimony from attorneys Robert Creely and Jacob Amato Jr., who said they gave Judge Porteous more than $20,000 in cash, including while they had cases pending in front of him."
  • 11/21/2009, 24th Judicial District Judge Joan Benge asks state Supreme Court to reconsider her removal, NOLA, "Justices unanimously called for Benge's removal Nov. 6, finding she threw a civil case in 2001 based on relationships with a fellow judge and an attorney instead of the evidence."
  • 11/21/2009, Decision based on state, county duties, Times-Leader (Pennsylvania), "[U.S. District Court judge Richard Caputo] outlined the allegation that former judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan “abused their positions as judges of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas by accepting compensation in return for favorable judicial determinations...” 
  • 11/19/2009, Commission recommends reprimand for Lamar judge, Hattiesburg American [Mississippi], "The recommendation, issued late this afternoon, cited nine specific instances of misconduct, including failing to issue rulings in cases and issue timely rulings, relying on “ex parte” information to issue an arrest warrant, improperly holding a defendant without bond and behaving improperly or create the appearance of behaving improperly toward a litigant involved in a pending case."
  • 11/19/2009, DA Craig Watkins defends wife's consulting firm, says opposition shouldn't attack his family in e-mail to supportersDallas News, "exploring whether it was a conflict of interest for the wife of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins to have a political consulting firm that included seven judges who preside over criminal courts."
  • 11/19/2009, Justice Department Has Grassroots Reform Groups Hot Under The Blue Collar, Earth Times, "POPULAR, Inc. publicizing its first report card on the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division for the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The division section got high grades for good manners but “incompletes” and an “F” in substantive performance areas as well as an “F” for persistence due to its limited prosecutions of 18 U.S.C. sections 241 and 242 violations."
  • 11/18/2009, Gilpatric: I'm not the only one late, The Times Union, "ALBANY -- Attorneys debated before the state Court of Appeals Tuesday over whether Judge James Gilpatric should be disciplined for slowness in handling cases."
  • 11/17/2009, 7 Dallas judges hire DA's wife, Houston Chronicle, "DALLAS — Seven judges who preside over criminal cases have hired the wife of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins as a political consultant for their 2010 re-election campaigns, a newspaper reported Tuesday."
  • 11/14/2009. Why isn't Peters facing prison too? ,The Greenwood Commonwealth, "But DeLaughter was a skunk as a state judge, letting his ambition to be appointed to the federal bench and his backroom coziness with his former boss tangle him in a web of corruption."
  • 11/14/2009, Book: ‘I’ll take care of it’ sinks Scrugg, The Sun Herald, "With five words, 'I’ll take care of it,' famed asbestos- and tobacco-suing billionaire Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs was 'transformed into a felon,' say authors Alan Lange and Tom Dawson in 'Kings of Tort,' a nonfiction book set for release on Dec. 2."
  • 11/14/2009, Judicial Standards panel: Ban BelkCharlotte Observer, "But last month, Belk announced that the judicial commission had informed him of its plan to seek his removal. He has suggested he was targeted because of his efforts to reform the state's justice system."
  • 11/13/2009, DeLaughter sentenced to 18 months in prison, The Sun Herald, "Bobby DeLaughter, a history-making prosecutor who became a judge, was sentenced Friday to 18 months for federal obstruction in a case that ended his career and brought down some of the most powerful lawyers in Mississippi."
  • 11/13/2009, Famed Miss. judge faces prison for lying to FBI, Associated Press,"[DeLaughter] His storied career came crashing down in the bribery scandal that also snagged Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, the chief architect of the multibillion-dollar tobacco litigation of the 1990s, depicted in the movie "The Insider," starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe."
  • 11/13/2009, Lawyers to ask Louisiana Supreme Court to change its mind about removing Judge Joan Benge, The Times-Picayune, "In a unanimous decision, justices found 'clear and convincing' evidence that she ruled on a lawsuit in 2001 based on her relationship with then-Judge Ronald Bodenheimer and an attorney instead of the case's merits."
  • 11/12/2009, Group calls for judge to resign over inappropriate remarks, Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, Minn., "A court watchdog group has demanded the resignation of Hennepin County Judge Stephen Aldrich, after the judge allegedly made a joke about murder during a hearing on a domestic violence restraining order"
  • 11/12/2009, Ga. DA asks for special prosecutor in judge's case, Atlanta (AP) -"Superior Court Judge Oliver Harris Doss Jr. was charged Monday with 11 counts of judicial misconduct."
  • 11/12/2009, Luzerne officials deny knowing of abuse, Philadelphia Inquirer, "a special panel investigating judicial corruption in Luzerne County, yesterday's testimony gave off the steady and unmistakable sound of the buck being passed."
  • 11/07/2009 Juvie Justice hearing to resume here, TimesLeader.com, "State panel continueing probe into how cash-for-kids scandal could occur and how to prevent it from happening again."
  • 11/07/2009 The Best Politicians Money Can Buy, Miami Herald, "Rothstein donated piles of money to different candidates, but Crist was one of his faves. . .for his generosity, Rothstein was rewarded by Crist with an appointment to the Fourth District Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Commission."
  • 11/05/2009 Olszewski goose cooked by photo, analyst contends, TimesLeader.com, "Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski’s bid for retention was essentially doomed the day a photo of him posing with a convicted drug dealer and disgraced former colleague was made public, a local political analyst said.'
  • 11/05/2009 Jury Convicts ex-judge of fraud, money laundering, Miami-Dade
  • 11/05/2009 Indonesians Rise up against 'Judicial mafia'," Voice of America.
  • 11/04/2009 Decisive meeting on corruption: 141 governments meet in Doha starting 9 November2009. Transparency International, Berlin.
October 2009
  • 10/30/2009, Complaints against judges turn into lengthy probes, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "The judge expressed bias from the bench, misstated the law to defendants and engaged in ex parte communications, according to the commission’s Notice of Formal Proceedings. He referred to black people in court as “colored” and screamed at a defendant to 'shut up.'"
  • "Community Meetings on Judicial Oversight set to Begin," PRWeb press release, October 29, 2009.Community meetings are set to begin across America on the topic of judicial oversight and accountability. The National Forum On Judicial Accountability (NFOJA) is coordinating this historical effort. In addition to deterring judicial misconduct, NFOJA's proposed legislation would provide venues for addressing alleged judicial misconduct "... that do not rely almost exclusively for effectiveness on judicial integrity.