Legal Law

Decide Cratering: Judges and attorneys are nonetheless misbehaving and nonetheless ruining careers

What's your worst nightmare Keep a limitation period? Losing a big case in court and getting the verdict upheld on appeal? What about a lawsuit for wrongdoing over political boundaries and beyond?

These are all sorts of terrible things, but I think what's worse is the cratering of your career based on your own silly, thoughtless, and / or arrogant behavior. This applies to both lawyers and judges.

I don't understand (and probably never will) how a judge or attorney can ruin their career and reputation in funny or other ways. After years in the trenches, being called to the bank is a big deal, and they should be viewed as such. Likewise, setting the bar is not an easy task, nor is developing a practice or a reputation.

I am surprised that judges do not learn not to dismiss the prosecutor. Regardless of disagreement, judges must understand that the D.A. has a different task than that of the court. (Why this wasn't learned years ago is a mystery to me. Executive versus judiciary. We could probably all take a civics refresher course these days.)

The California Judiciary Commission has agreed with Nevada County's Supreme Court, Robert Tamietti, that Tamietti should pay Tamietti in return for a public warning of misconduct and rude comments on the D.A. has agreed to retire from the bank and never seek judicial office again. All that hard work in the pipes.

As I flipped through the list of judicial officers disciplined by the commission over the years, I saw the name of a judge who had received several public admonitions prior to his retirement. He was an evil, degrading, sarcastic judge. Nobody wanted to appear before him. And if attorneys wanted to bring a compulsory lawsuit against another judge, there was a fear that the case would be assigned to that judicial officer. (One peremptory and done.)

This judge did not slip as a judge; He was a lawyer first, and the practitioner's lack of understanding and empathy was amazing. I sat in his courtroom in shock and horror while he tossed almost every lawyer who appeared before him. It's a shame for all of us that it took so long for him to be publicly disciplined and then to withdraw. The most egregious case of Robe-Itis I've ever seen. Here's the dilemma: do you complain of judicial misconduct and fear retaliation, or do you (and your client) suffer in silence?

I digress. I think social media is dangerous for judges who are supposed to be neutral, at least we pay them for it. A judge in Tennessee was charged with "flirtatious and overtly sexual messages" sent to a number of women on social media. Some of the messages were accompanied by a photo of the judge in his court robe. Several of the recipients of the messages were lawyers with cases pending in that court. What did this judge think? The knowledge gained? Do not send such messages (a piece of cake) or do anything that could compromise the neutrality of the judiciary (another piece of cake). Isn't it the essence of what judges are supposed to do? H. To be neutral?

Another Tennessee judge was reprimanded for commenting on masks. The judge used the term "Grand Wizard" when referring to the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court who had given a mask mandate in court.

In addition to neutrality, the judges' conduct should be above reproach. Sometimes it isn't like that. A longtime Washington, DC Supreme Court judge retired three days after the Washington Post asked him about long ago sexual assault on a 16-year-old daughter of friends of his. These attacks lasted for some time.

Here is a classic case of arrogant judicial behavior. A dispute in the neighborhood escalated with a shirtless judge trying to push his weight against the police, who were called to the scene.

What do you think? Do you think judges are entitled to special treatment? Robe-it is personified and he wasn't even wearing his robe.

Several recent attorney escapades re-raise the age-old question, "What did you think?" Lawyers and judges don't seem to have to answer this question.

The naming hit new highs (or new lows) when the Ohio Supreme Court suspended an attorney for criticizing opposing attorneys as "excessive" criticism and derogatory comments on court decisions, including a custody decision that the attorney had "insane order in." all his years as a lawyer.

The test, the court said, was not how the attorney viewed the judgments, but rather his behavior in hotly contested litigation and how he responded to adverse judgments. Before the attorney can be reinstated, the attorney must be evaluated by the Ohio Lawyers Legal Assistance Program. It's a good idea to have it examined before you return it to the general legal service.

We've heard of driving while drunk, but how about driving naked? The bare truth? (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) This lawyer had ridden naked in the past. The Ohio Supreme Court imposed a two-year suspension but upheld it with conditions imposed. The court found that the attorney's conduct did not harm any clients. I wonder if he ever zoomed in on the nude.

An Indiana attorney with five drunken arrests has been suspended for 180 days. Five previous drunk driving arrests? Is this the first time the Indiana Bar has noticed? What took so long

Word restrictions exclude other examples. However, I'd be a failure if I didn't say two words: Jeffrey Toobin. What did he think? Moral of his story? Or should I say morals of his story?

Jill Switzer has been an active member of the State Bar of California for over 40 years. She remembers working as a lawyer in a friendlier time. She had a varied legal career, including as a deputy public prosecutor, as a solo practice and as senior in-house gigs. She now teaches all day what gives her the opportunity to see dinosaurs, millennials, and the people in between – it's not always bourgeois. You can reach them by email at [email protected].

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