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Professor testifies about impeachment of judge

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Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor Charles G. Geyh appeared before the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on the Judiciary Tuesday as a witness in its hearing on the possible impeachment of U.S. District Judge Thomas G. Porteous of New Orleans. This is the second time in less than a week the professor has appeared before the House.

In his testimony Tuesday, Geyh delivered his opinion on what he called "ethical concerns of the most extreme sort" by Judge Porteous. The judge is accused of accepting cash and other gifts from attorneys who appeared before his court. Judge Porteous also refused to recuse himself from a case where the defendant had a close relationship with the judge's friend.

Geyh testified Judge Porteous' conduct entailed a gross abuse of judicial power that showed a complete disregard for the core ethical qualities a judge should display.

"Having improperly solicited thousands of dollars from a lawyer while he was representing a party in a case pending before him, the need for Judge Porteous to disqualify himself was even more plain, rendering his erroneous failure to withdraw more obviously willful," Geyh said. "It is utterly inconceivable that a reasonable person would not question the impartiality of a judge who solicited thousands of dollars from a lawyer in a pending matter."

Geyh was one of three national experts called to testify during Tuesday's hearing. He also testified regarding judicial disqualification before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Dec. 10.

If Judge Porteous is impeached by the House, it would be the first time in more than 20 years a federal judge was impeached. The U.S. Senate would then hold a trial to determine whether the judge should be removed.

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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