A Colorado lawyer is in hot water for a series of sexual innuendos made to a magistrate judge and other court employees. Phillip Malouff Jr. was publicly censured following a conditional admission of misconduct.
According to the censure, the inappropriate comments began in 2016:
In November 2016, Malouff was present in a courtroom while a magistrate observed another judge’s docket. As the magistrate walked toward the bench, Malouff asked her to approach him. When she did, Malouff stated, “When you get back from your vacation I better be able to see your tan lines.” He punctuated his statement with a wink. A month later, Malouff entered the magistrate’s chambers, upset about some scheduling matters. When she instructed Malouff to speak with someone else, he stated, “Ask your husband a question for me when you get home tonight. Ask him what it’s like to have relations with someone who wears the robe. It has always been something I’ve wanted to do, but there have never been any women judges until now.”
How are you like a grown-ass, functioning person in this world and think this is an okay thing to say in any professional context?
An investigation by the State Court Administrator’s Office commenced as a result of this behavior. Malouff had to write an apology letter, and the matter was considered closed.
But that wasn’t the end. According to the censure, it wasn’t just this judge who received inappropriate comments from Malouff. He continued with his behavior:
In July 2019, Malouff met with a clerk and a judicial assistant prior to a termination of parental rights hearing. Malouff asked the judicial assistant to check whether the mother in the case had an outstanding warrant, to which she replied, “Yes.” Malouff then stated, “Yes, she does have a warrant? Yes, I can check.” The clerk responded, “She is good, but she needs time to check.” Malouff then replied, “Her husband told me that she is good.” Prior to that incident, the judicial assistant recalled speaking to Malouff on the phone where she set a case for a Friday at 8:00 a.m. Malouff asked her if he would get to spend the night with her since he had an early morning meeting at the courthouse.
Malouff has since undergone online sensitivity training. And he remains in counseling regarding “appropriate boundaries.” Let’s hope this time he actually changes his behavior.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).