Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Judicial Discipline for Criticism of Colleague

Howard Bashman has a good column up on a recent Florida disciplinary proceeding against an appellate judge who criticized a colleague for failing to recuse himself. Judge Michael E. Allen issued a concurring opinion in which he explained that because of press reports an other factors, Judge Kahn should have realized that an appearance of partiality existed. At base, it seems that Judge Kahn was very close with some of the defendants cronies and political allies. The disciplinary charges accuse Judge Allen of acting improperly in relying on newspaper articles, which were outside of the record on appeal and constituted hearsay. The charges further accuse Allen himself of undermining public confidence in the judiciary.

These seem to be pretty weak grounds for judicial discipline. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out.

No comments: