Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Video: How not to conduct a hearing

Yesterday, the ABA Journal posted a copy of a video (apparently a big hit on You Tube) in which a judge totally loses control during a divorce hearing and starts yelling at one of the parties.  The judge was complete out of control because, according to him, the husband in the case had posted a story about the judge (which included a photo of the judge's house) on a website.  Since the hearing, the husband has filed a complaint against the judge before the Judicial Investigation Commission.  It will be interesting to see what is decided.

Assuming the accusation made by the judge is true, I think he had reason to be upset, but that does not excuse his behavior.

Professor Jonathan Turley has published a short comment on the story here in which he concludes that "[t]he ethics charge has obvious merit given the judge’s personal interest and anger — not to mention his loss of composure and demeanor. Regardless of the merits of the allegations, [the judge] was no longer a disinterested or neutral party."  You should read the readers' comments too.