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Judicial Misconduct

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2007 | Ashley Surdin, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald M. Sohigian was publicly admonished Thursday for mistreating an attorney and abusing his judicial authority. Sohigian, 69, was disciplined for treating an attorney in a "belittling, rude and sarcastic manner" in 2006, when he ordered the attorney -- who did not have a document with him -- to go across the street to the law library, research an issue and return in 20 minutes.
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NATIONAL
April 20, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended District Judge Sue Carol Browning without pay for 15 days for jailing 17 Latino immigrants for traffic infractions and then denying them bail. Some of the 17 were held as long as three weeks before another judge freed them. Circuit Judge Tyler Gill ruled in October that the men were "jailed without reason."
WORLD
March 23, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Politicians and Muslim leaders condemned a German judge who cited cultural norms in turning down a Muslim woman seeking a fast-track divorce on grounds she was abused by her husband. Judge Christa Datz-Winter said in a recommendation earlier this year that both partners came from a "Moroccan cultural environment in which it is not uncommon for a man to exert a right of corporal punishment over his wife," according to the court. The woman had been granted a restraining order.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2007 | Maeve Reston, Times Staff Writer
By his own admission, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Robert G. Spitzer's chambers were so messy and disorganized that it frequently took him weeks, if not months, to find his own court orders. Spitzer would stack overdue orders on the courtroom's windowsills and banisters without making sure his clerk had processed them. As a result, some cases were delayed a year or longer -- or never resolved, according to the California Commission on Judicial Performance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2007 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
When an appeals court sent a drug case back to Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald, it gave him a chance to get the law right. But when Fitzgerald could not get it right a second time, the court overturned the conviction and issued a stinging rebuke of the judge. "Appellate courts go out of their way not to criticize trial courts," said Jan Stiglitz, appellate law professor at California Western School of Law in San Diego.
NATIONAL
December 30, 2006 | Michael J. Goodman, Special to The Times
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has launched an investigation of a federal judge who awarded more than $4.8 million in judgments and fees without apparently disclosing his personal, political and business ties to those who benefited, two sources close to the inquiry told The Times. U.S. District Judge James C.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2006 | David Haldane, Times Staff Writer
Retired Orange County Superior Court Judge Susanne S. Shaw was barred permanently from courtrooms Thursday after a state investigation concluded she had been "abusive and demeaning" toward defendants, attorneys, witnesses and a prospective juror. Shaw, who left the bench in September after 21 years, received the maximum penalty for a retired judge.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2006 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
A state panel on Tuesday ordered a Santa Barbara County judge removed from her job after a series of offenses, including driving drunk and hiding the source of campaign funds. The conduct of Superior Court Judge Diana R. Hall, 56, shows "an alarming disrespect for authority" and "an inability to control her behavior," the Commission on Judicial Performance concluded in a harshly worded 30-page decision.
NATIONAL
December 8, 2006 | From the Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, FLA.. -- A judge who jailed 11 people because they were late for traffic court after being directed to the wrong courtroom was removed from the bench Thursday by the state Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision, the court said the jailing and strip-searching of the 11 motorists capped a series of conduct complaints against Seminole County Judge John Sloop, 57.
NATIONAL
November 23, 2006 | Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
Competition for the post of chairman of the House Intelligence Committee intensified Wednesday with the release of a letter by Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.), who says he deserves the job despite the fact that as a federal judge he was convicted by the Senate and removed from the bench after being impeached for involvement in a bribery plot.
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