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From: http://www.redressinc.org/CasesofJudicialMisconduct.html
Free on-line articles search - http://www.findarticles.com.

We are not attorneys.  These cases have been collected through multiple sources, including newspaper articles, books and web sites.  Although some would say these reprimands prove that the judges are being held accountable, we feel they are the tip of the iceberg, and only when public outcry or political offense are noted by the media is any action really taken.  Of the taken actions, generally, they are inadequate, and the punishments are often weak, and not reflective of the nature of the crimes.  They cost society a great deal of money. 

Our position is that our courts are our highest form of accountability; that their failures harm all of us; that they represent their best knowledge of the laws, codes and rules and often violate them regardless.  Further, we know that the vast majority of complaints are completely ignored as without merit when they are, in fact, representative of an entire sociological issue regarding the breakdown of trust and accountability in our society.  We often have no credibility in our complaints.  The bias is pervasive and destructive to us all.  Each judicial act of misconduct harms the very fabric of our society.

Note:   Redress, Inc. maintains a file of these cases, with full case summaries.  Where an (*) is noted, those cases are not yet on file in our offices.


Approximately 99 judges (or former judges) were disciplined in 1999 as a result of judicial discipline proceedings.  22 judges were publicly reprimanded, an additional five were publicly reprimanded and fined, and an additional three were publicly reprimanded and suspended.  34 judges were publicly admonished, 20 were publicly censured, and one more was publicly censured and suspended.  2 judges were given public warnings, 5 were suspended, and 7 were removed.  (Source:  AEJE).


  • Robert W. Archbald, Judge of the U.S. Commerce Court (1913)
  • Joseph A. Bevilacqua, Rhode Island Supreme Court (1985) - Resigned amid impeachment proceedings.

He was suspended for four months without pay and publicly censured by the Rhode Island Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline for "bringing his judicial office into serious disrepute."  The Commission's actions stemmed from Bevilcqua's frequent socializing with reputed mobsters and meeting women at a motel purportedly owned by men linked to drug smuggling and illegal gambling.  After Bevilacqua served his suspension, the governor and legislators initiated an investigation into whether Bevilacqua's actions constituted grounds for impeachment.  In 1986, while impeachment hearings were taking place, Bevilacqua announced he was retiring from the bench because of "ill health".  (Source:  AEJE)

  • Harry E. Claiborne, U.S. District Judge, Nevada (1986)
  • Thomas Fay, Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (1986) - Resigned amid impeachment proceedings.

Thomas Fay was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court shortly after Joseph A. Bevilacqua (above) resigned.  In 1993, Fay also resigned under threat of an impeachment investigation.  Fay was being investigated for allegedly using court funds to pay for personal expenses, choosing a business partner to arbitrate contract disputes, using court secretaries for private business, and writing letters to municipal judges on official stationery asking them to fix parking ticks for friends and family members.  In 1994, Fay was convicted of fraud in criminal court for using court funds to pay personal expenses and received a suspended sentence.  (Source:  AEJE).

  • Alcee L. Hastings, U.S. District Judge, Florida (1989) - U.S. v. Hastings, 881 F.2d 706 (11th Cir. 1982).
  • James Heiple, Illinois Supreme Court (1997)

In 1997, he was the subject of an impeachment investigation by the Illinois House of Representatives.  In April 1997 the Illinois Courts Commission had censured Heiple for failing to cooperate with law enforcement officials during four traffic stops, one of which resulted in an arrest.  In May 1997, a ten-member committee of the Illinois House of Representatives concluded its impeachment investigation by recommending that no articles of impeachment against Heiple be referred to the Senate.  The investigation included charges that when the other justices were voting on whether to make Heiple chief justice, Heiple failed to disclose to them the fact that the Judicial Inquiry Board was investigating him; Heiple failed to recuse himself from voting on the appointment of a fellow justice as chair of the Illinois Courts Commission even though he knew the chair would preside over a hearing if the Board filed a complaint against him; and Heiple improperly avoided jury duty.  (Source:  AEJE).

  • West H. Humphreys, U.S. District Judge, Tennessee (1862)
  • Rolf Larsen, Pennsylvania Supreme Court (1994)

Removed from the bench and barred from holding any public office in 1994 after being convicted by the Pennsylvania Senate of improper conduct with an attorney.  Larsen was acquitted of six additional charges in the same proceeding.  (Source:  AEJE)

  • Walter L. Nixon, Jr., U.S. District Judge, Mississippi (1989)
  • John Pickering, U.S.  District Judge, New Hampshire (1803)
  • Halsted L. Ritter, U.S. District Judge, Florida (1936)


Aetna Life Insurance Co. Lavoie, 475 U.S. 813 (1986)


Alabama Supreme Court jurist failed to reveal conflict of interest; reversed, held such amounted to denial of due process.

Ex Parte v. Bradley, 74 US (7 Wall) 764


Malicious conduct by judges not allowed.

Kimes v. Stone, 84 F. 3d 1121 (9th Cir. 1996)


Trial judge Stone conspired with trial lawyers to steal estate; not mentioned in the opinion is that presiding USDC judge James Ware sat on same county bench with Stone; they were colleagues.

Liljiberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp., 486 U.S. 847 (1988)


USDC judge failed to reveal conflict of interest; reversed, held such amount to denial of due process.

McDonald v. Alabama, 329 So. 2nd 583 (1975)


Sex for leniency.

Salde v. United States, 85 F. 2d 786 (10th Cir. 1936)


Judge bribed a juror to acquit defendant; judge convicted.

U.S. v. Campbell, 684 F. 2d 141 (DC Cir. 1982)


Judge accepting gratuities to fix traffic tickets.

U.S. v. Conn, 769 F. 2d 420 (7th Cir. 1985)


Greylord Scandal, corruption.

U.S. v. Devine, 787 F. 2d 1086 (7th Cir. 1986)


Greylord Scandal, corruption.

U.S. v. Frega (With judges Adams & Malkus), 179 F. 3d 793 (9th Cir. 1999)


Frega bribed judges; judge Greer rolled, pled guilty and testified against his co-horts; see also Adams v. Commission on Judicial Performance, 8 Cal. 4th 630; 34 Cal. Rptr. 2nd 641; see also Adams v. Commission on Judicial Performance, 10 Cal. 4th 866 (1995); 42 Cal. Rptr. 2nd 606.

U.S. v. Glecier, 923 F. 2d 496 (7th Cir. 1991)


Greylord Scandal, corruption.

U.S. v. Hastings, 681 F. 2d 706 (11th Cir. 1982)


USDC pretrial appeal, lost; later acquitted at trial; impeached; went on to be elected to U.S. Congress.

U.S. v. Holzer, 816 F. 2d 304 (7th Cir. 1987)


Greylord Scandal, corruption.

U.S. v. LeFevour, 798 F. 2d 977 (7th Cir. 1986)


Greylord Scandal, corruption.

U.S. v. Maloney, 71 F. 3d 645 (7th Cir. 1995)


Greylord (see also Bracy v. Warden, 520 U.S. 899 (1997) ) - habeas corpus petition regarding "compensatory bias" by Maloney.

U.S. v. Manton, 107 F. 2d 834 (2nd Cir. 1939)


Appellate court judge involved in bribes to influence decision.

U.S. v. Murphy, 768 F. 2d 1518 (7th Cir. 1985)


Greylord Scandal, corruption.

U.S. v. Nixon, 816 F. 2d 1022 (5th Cir. 1987), 821 F. 2d 1305 (5th Cir. 1989)


USDC judge convicted of bribery.

U.S. v. Reynolds, 821 F. 2d 427 (7th Cir. 1987)


Greylord Scandal, Corruption.






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