Judicial Discipline in 2003

Article excerpt

In 2003, as a result of state judicial discipline proceedings, 12 judges (or former judges) were removed from office, 20 resigned or retired in lieu of discipline pursuant to agreements with judicial commissions that were made public, and one judge resigned pursuant to an agreement that also included a public reprimand. (Two more removal decisions were pending on appeal at the end of the year.) Eighty-one additional judges (or former judges in 10 cases) were publicly sanctioned in 2003. In 51 of those cases, the discipline was imposed pursuant to the consent of the judge or former judge or based on stipulated facts. Ten of these cases involved former judges, and in five of those cases, the former judge either agreed not to serve as a judge again or was barred from doing so.

There were 15 suspensions without pay with the length of the suspensions ranging from one month to one year. (Four of the suspensions also included a censure, one required the judge to have his disability adequately treated before returning to judicial duties, one was followed by a one-year probation, one required the judge to complete 20 continuing legal education credit hours on ethics, and one provided that the judge not be allowed to resume judicial duties until he completes a course for judges of limited jurisdiction courts). …