Archive for the ‘Judge’ Category

Sacramento Judge Gerrit Wood Condoned Trust Misconduct Says Decendent’s Daughter

November 15, 2012

Jamie Lamborn, whose victimized elderly father set up a living trust to distribute assets after his and his wife’s deaths, has authorized Elder Abuse to publish in its victim stories section a scathing letter that Ms. Lamborn wrote to Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Gerrit W. Wood.

In her February 9, 2011 letter, Ms. Lamborn told Judge Wood, who was handling the trust administration case in the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse in Sacramento, California, that he had exhibited blatant bias against her and toward an unethical and inept professional fiduciary acting as trustee of the living trust. Ms. Lamborn, who lives in the Sacramento area, said to Judge Wood that he had essentially condoned abusive and corrupt practices by the professional fiduciary and an unethical, less-than-honest attorney associated with the fiduciary. Ms. Lamborn also said that Judge Wood had failed to make fair rulings according to the wishes of the creators of the living trust.

“I have pointed out the numerous unethical and inexcusable acts committed by Carolyn Young as trustee, with attached supporting documentation, in my past filings,” Ms. Lamborn wrote Judge Wood. “You have allowed and ordered Young to stay in place,” she continued, “ignoring the facts I presented and the wishes of the creators of this trust, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Johnson.”

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Sacramento Judge Gerrit Wood Condoned Trust Misconduct Says Decendent’s Daughter
See Also:
TX Judge William Adams Under Investigation


TX Supreme Court Reinstates Judge Who Beat Disabled Daughter

November 14, 2012

The Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted the suspension of an Aransas County judge who was caught on video beating his 16-year-old disabled daughter.

Judge William Adams was suspended with pay last year while the State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated the allegations against him. In September, the commission issued a public warning, stating that Adams conduct discredited the judiciary because he had regularly presided over child custody, child abuse, and family violence cases. He will no longer preside over some cases brought by the Texas Department of Family and Protective services.

The Corpus Christi Caller Times noted it is typical for judicial suspensions to be lift after the commission issues a censure, unless that censure calls for the judge to be removed from the bench.

Adam’s disabled daughter, Hillary, uploaded the video to YouTube last year, claiming the recording from 2004 showed only a snippet of the abuse she had endured from her father.

Full Article and Source:
Texas Supreme Court Reinstates Judge Who Beat Disabled Daughter

Accused Georgia Probate Judge, Shirley Wise, Still on Bench

November 9, 2012

Shirley Wise continues to serve as Camden County’s associate probate judge despite being accused of nine ethical violations by the state’s judicial watchdog group.

Probate Judge Martin Gillette said this week he has no intention of suspending Wise until the Judicial Qualifications Commission’s (JQC) investigation is complete. The JQC accused Wise on Oct. 19 of multiple ethics charges, including receiving kickbacks, ordering a county employee to forge Gillette’s signature, pre-signing marriage licenses and refusing to perform weddings she is sworn to officiate, instead referring the parties to local private wedding companies.

“We don’t send people to prison unless they are convicted of something,” Gillette said. “This is the same theory.”

Gillette, who will retire as probate judge in January and is slated to be replaced by Wise, declined to comment when asked about the possibility that illegal activity could be occurring in his office.

Gillette also said he does not believe the charges against Wise are true.

“This is all a bunch of crap as far as I’m concerned,” he said, noting his knowledge of the situation is limited. “You don’t treat people that way unless they are found guilty of something, would be my policy.”

No judge has ever successfully defended themselves against JQC charges, according to records found on the commission’s website, Gillette also declined to comment on whether that fact changed how he perceives the situation.”

Full Article and Source:
Accused Probate Judge Still on Bench

Partisan Judicial Elections and the Distorting Influence of Campaign Cash

October 30, 2012
Today the Center for American Progress released “Partisan Judicial Elections and the Distorting Influence of Campaign Cash,” showing that the eight states that still elect or nominate judicial candidates in partisan races—Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan—all rank among the top 10 in total judicial campaign contributions. As the amount of money has increased, these states have seen more divisiveness and partisanship reflected in the justices’ votes. The problem could be spreading, as state parties are now intervening at an unprecedented level in judicial races in two states—Montana and Florida—that have nonpartisan elections.

“As voters across the country go to the polls and are asked to vote for judges just like any other political candidate for president or the legislature, you have to stop and think about how it’s possible that judges can be impartial and fair to everyone if they are elected in partisan elections and funded by special interests,” said Andrew Blotky, Director of CAP’s Legal Progress Program.

Bad Behavior Behind the Bench

October 27, 2012

Mary Chrzanowski is a no-nonsense judge. Some have called her “Scary Mary”, accusing her of being out of line on many occasions.

FOX 11 Legal Analyst Robin Sax says it may be hard to believe, but bad behavior behind the bench is not an isolated problem. She says, “Over and over, I’m seeing cases where judges love to grand stand and love to make the opportunity to make their own career. You can’t forget that judges before they were judges were lawyers, and while we expect them to act with dignity when they put on the black robe. Sometimes they just act like lawyers.”

In order to fix this, Robin says, “My advice to people out there who are experiencing bad judges is to tell their story and tell it often on websites, blogs, judicial committees, is to file complaints, talk to the media, and tell your story until someone listens. Because the only way the public knows about these outrageous cases is by people who have suffered through to talk about them.”

Judge Scary Mary: Bad Behavior Behind the Bench

Former Judge Joan Benge can practice law again, Supreme Court says

October 25, 2012

Former Judge Joan Benge, removed from the 24th Judicial District Court bench in Jefferson Parish because of a ruling she made in a personal injury lawsuit more than a decade ago, will be able to practice law again, the state Supreme Court decided Tuesday in closing what appears is the final chapter on her discipline. Justices barred Benge from practicing law for three years, but they applied it retroactively to February 2010, when she volunteered to suspend her license on an interim basis until the state Supreme Court could decide on the future of the profession she has had since 1991.

The ruling means that Benge, 55, of Kenner, should be able to resume practicing law in five months. She could not be reached immediately for comment Tuesday.
Only months after Benge was elected to the state bench in Jefferson Parish in 2001, she ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Philip Demma, who fabricated a claim that he cracked a tooth during a car accident in Metairie in 1998.

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Former Judge Joan Benge can practice law again, Supreme Court says

Five Year "Anniversary" of Court-Ordered Hell

October 24, 2012

It was five years ago today that David E. Tate, Petitioner, along with notorious attorney Paul T. Housch, entered “Judge” Randy Kennedy’s court to conduct an “emergency” Ex Parte hearing “petitioning” the court for a conservatorship over brother John Daniel “Danny” Tate. With nothing but grossly perjured hearsay testimony, Kennedy “glad to do it” entered orders of conservatorship, administered the fiduciary oath to David E. Tate and ordered Danny Tate’s Vanguard account seized.

No evidence whatsoever was presented:
1. No medical evidence
2. No financial evidence
3. No crime(s)
4. No 911 reports
5. No complaints from the neighbors

Pauper vs Probate: October 23, 2007 Ex Parte Hearing 5 Year Anniversary

See Also:
Danny Tate’s Home Auctioned Off to His Former Lawyer!

Modena to Announce Discipline on Judge’s DUI Stop

October 5, 2012

Bibb County’s sheriff will announce Thursday whether he’ll discipline the officers who reportedly let a judge drive home after he failed a DUI test.

Jerry Modena has scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. Thursday, according to a spokesman Sean DeFoe.

He said Modena is meeting Wednesday with the officers involved in the traffic stop for Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms. The sheriff says Simms registered a .083 on a breathalyzer test — above the normal standard for drunken driving.

Full Article and Source:
Modena to Announce Discipline on Judge’s DUI Stop

Federal judge dismisses Arkansas judge’s lawsuit

October 2, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal civil rights lawsuit by an Arkansas Circuit Court judge against the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and the commission director has been dismissed.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled that Judge L.T. Simes (SIMS) has no pursuable claim because the Arkansas Supreme Court twice refused to remove Simes from the bench — despite the commission’s recommendations.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports ( ) that Simes — who is black — claimed that the commission and Executive Director David Stewart treated him differently from white judges.

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Federal judge dismisses Arkansas judge’s lawsuit

Judicial Discipline: Commission right to expose judge’s sordid secret

August 27, 2012

Thanks to the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, the reason for Onondaga County Family Court Judge Bryan R. Hedges’ abrupt retirement April 5 is no longer a mystery.

Hedges walked off the job when confronted with allegations that he had a sexual encounter with his niece 40 years ago, when she was just 5.

By quitting, Hedges may have thought he could keep his sordid secret forever, escape public humiliation and remain an upstanding member of the judicial fraternity. The commission, to its credit, decided it had an obligation to the public to remove Hedges from office so that he could never serve again.

There is little disagreement about the facts of the case. Hedges admits that in 1972, when he was 25 years old and staying at his mother-in-law’s house in Albany, his 5-year-old niece — who is deaf and, at the time, could not communicate — walked into the bedroom while he was masturbating. The commission says he motioned her into the room and put her hand on his penis as he masturbated. Hedges disputes some of the details, but admits the encounter happened.

Hedges appears to have brushed off the incident.

He went on to become a lawyer and an assistant district attorney in Onondaga County and then, in 1985, a Family Court judge. Among his responsibilities was overseeing cases involving the sexual abuse of children. The public rightly wonders whether his own history colored his decision-making on the bench.

The victim, Ellen Cantwell Warner, has had a harder road.

As a hearing-impaired child who hadn’t yet learned American Sign Language, she could not tell her parents what had happened. When she finally told, as a teenager beginning to understand sexuality, nothing happened to Hedges. Painful memories resurfaced when the Penn State and Syracuse University sexual abuse cases blew up earlier this year. Warner courageously decided to go public to empower other victims of sexual abuse, especially deaf victims, to come forward.

Hedges continues to be in denial about the seriousness of his actions. He issued a statement saying the allegation against him was untrue and that he was not given a fair hearing. Neither claim is supported by the exhaustive record of the case. What the record does show is Hedges basely attacking the victim and her motives.

The former judge had two allies on the commission. Joel Cohen, in a dissent (pdf) joined by Paul Harding, said it was enough that Hedges resigned. (Shades of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, where reassigning priests was thought to be punishment enough.) Cohen further complained the commission’s catalog of Hedges’ misconduct will “publicly and permanently stigmatize him.”

What about the victim, who has been permanently harmed and stigmatized by Hedges’ actions?

Full Article and Source:
Judicial Discipline: Commission right to expose judge’s sordid secret