Too much pressure?

July 16, 2008
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We see them as the authority behind the bench, applying the law and dispensing justice on a daily basis. But what happens when a judge crosses the line – criminal conduct or not – and allows work or personal pressure to cloud judgment enough that it has a direct impact on their career?

A trial judge in Indiana faces misconduct charges for apparently going to a colleague’s courtroom during a sentencing hearing, while wearing his judicial robe, then causing a disturbance with a deputy prosecutor and verbally berating the defendant’s family. Earlier this year, another trial judge and his commissioner had several counts lodged against them alleging delays and dereliction of duty, including charges that the judge didn’t adequately supervise his staff and allowed delays in at least one case that resulted in a man being kept in prison almost two years longer than he should have been.

Don’t forget about other examples where judges have been disciplined for drinking and driving. Or high-profile examples of when a New York judge was tossed from the bench after jailing 46 people because a cell phone interrupted his courtroom proceedings. Or a federal bankruptcy judge in Massachusetts who resigned a week after he was arrested for driving drunk while reportedly wearing a woman’s dress, heels, and stockings.

What is the effect these examples have on the legal community and judiciary?
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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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