The Judicial Ethics Forum (JEF)

An Academic Discussion of Judicial Ethics, Discipline & Disqualification

State Judicial Discipline in 2008

Posted by judicialethicsforum on Wednesday, February, 4, 2009

In 2008, as a result of state discipline proceedings, 12 judges were removed from office.  In addition, one judge was permanently disbarred (effectively removing him from office), one former part-time judge was permanently barred from serving in any judicial capacity, one judge was found to be permanently disabled, one judge was permanently retired, and two judges were suspended without pay until the end of their terms.  11 judges resigned (or retired) in lieu of discipline pursuant to agreements with judicial commissions that were made public.  114 additional judges (or former judges in approximately 23 cases) received other public sanctions in 2008.  In 77 of those cases, the discipline was imposed pursuant to the consent of the judge.


There were 12 suspensions without pay in 2008, with the length of the suspensions ranging from three days to three years (three suspensions also included censures; one also included a public reprimand and $2,000 fine).  In addition, there were 17 public censures, 41 public reprimands (one also included a $7,780 fine), 28 public admonishments, four public warnings (one was a dismissal with warning made public with the judge’s consent), three cease and desist orders, two required public apologies, one case in which a judge accepted a commission’s finding that he had committed misconduct, and one decision ordering a judge to take corrective action.  Bar discipline authorities sanctioned three former judges for conduct on the bench and two judges for pre-bench conduct.  (For further details, click here.) 


By: Cindy Gray, Director, Center for Judicial Ethics, American Judicature Society



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