Monday, February 3, 2014
Stayed Suspension For Improper Communication With Judge: Attorney Peeked Through Window At Judge's Wife
A recent order of discipline is reported in the February 2014 edition of the California Bar Journal
[An attorney] was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years’ probation with an actual 90-day suspension and ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect Dec. 13, 2013.
The State Bar Court found [the attorney] culpable of improper communication with a judge. [His] misconduct quickly escalated after he represented the plaintiff in a civil matter in San Diego County Superior Court. Judge Timothy B. Taylor presided over the matter and had rendered a decision in favor of the defendant. In March 2011, the plaintiff moved to appeal the judgment. Although [the attorney] was no longer involved in the matter, he sent a letter to Taylor the following month, which Taylor quickly handed over to his staff after concluding it amounted to improper communication.
A member of Taylor’s staff sent a letter to [the attorney] informing him that the letter constituted an improper communication. Undeterred, the attorney looked up the judge’s home address and sent him another letter there. He later went to the judge’s home and peeked in the window at his wife.