Monday, December 16, 2013

Four Judges

An attorney found to have made false allegations against four judges should be suspended for three years and until further court order, according to a recommendation of the Illinois Review Board.

The board found that the various statements were not protected by the First Amendment.

As to sanction

... Respondent continues, even with the benefit  of hindsight, to stand by his statements as "100% correct". He expresses little  comprehension of the harm caused by his conduct. While Respondent was not  previously disciplined, his conduct in the four matters outlined in the  Administrator's Complaint was not isolated and continued over the course of many  years. He repeated many of the statements at the hearing. The Hearing Board  stated, "An attorney who repeatedly takes adverse rulings in client cases  personally and who is inclined to believe he was racially discriminated against  whenever he feels he was treated unfairly poses a danger to our court system.  This is especially true when the attorney's response to these feelings is to  make insulting and offensive accusations about the court system and its judges."  We agree. Respondent's conduct does not serve the interests of his clients or  the legal system. We are concerned that Respondent, if allowed to practice,  would continue to engage in similar misconduct if faced with an adverse ruling  by a judge.

(Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2013/12/an-attorney-found-to-have-made-false-allegations-against-four-judges-should-be-suspended-for-three-years-and-until-further-co.html

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Comments

"None of the judges testified; the Attorney General's Office moved to quash the subpoenas issued upon the judges on the grounds that the judges could not testify about their judicial decisions and the Illinois Supreme Court quashed the subpoenas."

Central to the case was whether the attorney's accusations were factually correct or not. He should have been allowed to put on evidence to prove that they were. That was obviously the reason that he subpoenaed the judges and not to question them as to their decisions. Presumably he would have failed in those efforts but he should at least have been given the opportunity. So it was wrong to completely deny him the ability to question the judges. And if necessary, the judges could always have raised objections to specific questions during their examinations.

Stephen

Posted by: Stephen Williams | Dec 17, 2013 2:19:39 PM

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