The Lawyer-Judge Bias in the American Legal System

where judges are judged

About RobeProbe


RobeProbe - World's most trusted judge rating site!

RobeProbe is here!!! The only comprehensive website that allows lawyers and litigants to rate the judicial performance of judges and bankruptcy trustees in a civilized, easy to use forum. RobeProbe will revolutionize the legal community and the courts. Did you ever walk into a courtroom totally prepared for your case, but completely unprepared for the curve balls a judge could throw at you? Did you ever go to court knowing very little about a judge, and come out knowing how great or how terrible that judge is by just spending five minutes before him or her? Well, with RobeProbe on your side you will be prepared for both your case and the judge--and you'll know the judge before you enter the courthouse. Read more

The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy, Judge Posner

Richard Posner


Richard Allen Posner (born January 11, 1939) is an American jurist and economist, who is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. He is a leading figure in the field of law and economics, and was identified by The Journal of Legal Studies as the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century.[1]


Posner is the author of nearly 40 books on jurisprudence, economics, and several other topics, including Economic Analysis of Law, The Economics of Justice, The Problems of Jurisprudence, Sex and Reason, Law, Pragmatism and Democracy, and The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy. Posner has generally been identified as being politically conservative; however, in recent years he has distanced himself from the positions of the Republican party.[2] Read more


Richard A. Posner, Judge, United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Senior Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School

Richard A. Posner, University of Chicago Law School

Mark Fuller

Federal judge resigns nearly a year after his arrest
ABA Journal
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Jun 01, 2015



Corrected: U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Alabama has announced he will resign effective Aug. 1, nearly a year after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his then-wife at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta.


Fuller announced the resignation on Friday, report the Montgomery Advertiser,, the Daily Report (sub. req.) and the New York Times.


After Fuller’s arrest, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reassigned his cases and appointed a special committee to investigate. Fuller received counseling for domestic violence as part of a pretrial diversion program, which led to dismissal of the battery charge against him.


Fuller’s lawyer, Barry Ragsdale, told the Daily Report that he couldn’t comment on the status of the judiciary’s investigation. "I cannot comment on the status of the investigation, where it is, or whether the committee has reported or not," Ragsdale said. The publication asked Ragsdale whether Fuller would receive any retirement benefits, and Ragsdale said he couldn’t elaborate.


Updated on June 2 to correct the location of the alleged assault to the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta. Read more



Mark Fuller Wikipedia


Mark Everett Fuller (born 1958 in Enterprise, Alabama) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Fuller is "most recognizable" for presiding over the controversial case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.[1] Fuller has tendered his resignation to President Obama, effective August 1, 2015. Read more

Judicial Council Order Mark Fuller June 1, 2015
Adobe Acrobat document [52.6 KB]
Committee on the Judiciary letter Carnes-Tjoflat
Adobe Acrobat document [142.7 KB]
Mark Fuller

Los Angeles Times
By Timothy M. Phelps
March 15, 2015


Federal District Judge Mark E. Fuller was controversial even before he was arrested on allegations of beating his wife last year.


The Alabama judge was criticized for sitting on cases brought by the government even as his aviation company was getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded business. Appointed by a Republican, he was denounced for putting a former Democratic governor in manacles after a corruption conviction.


He was the talk of the courthouse for having an extramarital affair with his courtroom assistant, and for his messy public divorce.


Fuller, 56, is now battling bipartisan calls to resign over a fight he had seven months ago with the same former courtroom assistant, whom he'd married. The argument started after she accused Fuller of cheating on her with his law clerk. Read more

Federal judges called upon state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris to respond to reports of a pattern of prosecutorial misconduct going undisciplined in state courts. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

U.S. judges see 'epidemic' of prosecutorial misconduct in state
Los Angeles Times
By Maura Dolan
January 31, 2015


The hearing seemed largely routine until a state prosecutor approached the lectern.


Deputy Atty. Gen. Kevin R. Vienna was there to urge three judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold murder convictions against Johnny Baca for two 1995 killings in Riverside County. Other courts had already determined that prosecutors had presented false evidence in Baca's trial but upheld the verdicts anyway.


Vienna had barely started his argument when the pummeling began.


Judge Alex Kozinski asked Vienna if his boss, Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris, wanted to defend a conviction "obtained by lying prosecutors." If Harris did not back off the case, Kozinski warned, the court would "name names" in a ruling that would not be "very pretty."


Judge Kim Wardlaw wanted to know why Riverside County prosecutors presented a murder-for-hire case against the killer but did not charge the man they said had arranged the killings.


"It looks terrible," said Judge William Fletcher.


The January hearing in Pasadena, posted online under new 9th Circuit policies, provided a rare and critical examination of a murder case in which prosecutors presented false evidence but were never investigated or disciplined.


The low-profile case probably would have gone unnoticed if not for the video, which attorneys emailed to other attorneys and debated on blogs.


In a series of searing questions, the three judges expressed frustration and anger that California state judges were not cracking down on prosecutorial misconduct. By law, federal judges are supposed to defer to the decisions of state court judges.


Prosecutors "got caught this time but they are going to keep doing it because they have state judges who are willing to look the other way," Kozinski said. Read more

No Gains Reported in Diversity of Federal Law Clerks

No Gains Reported in Diversity of Federal Law Clerks
ABA Journal Law News Now
By Debra Cassens Weiss
May 4, 2012

Concerns about the low number of minorities clerking for federal judges haven’t led to improvements.

The percentage of federal judicial law clerks who are black or Hispanic remained about the same for the last two fiscal years, according to new statistics released this week. The National Law Journal has the story.

The long-range federal statistics are even less encouraging. Between fiscal years 2006 and 2010, the percentage of African-Americans clerking for appeals judges dropped from 3.5 percent to 2.4 percent, while the percentage clerking for district judges dropped from 3.5 percent to 3.2 percent.

For those same years, the percentage of Hispanics clerking for appeals judges dropped from 3.1 percent to 2 percent, while the percentage clerking for district judges stayed the same at 3.3 percent. Read more

In wake of 'Taj Mahal' scandal, Florida Supreme Court approves new lobbying rules for judges

In wake of 'Taj Mahal' scandal, Florida Supreme Court approves new lobbying rules for judges
Tampa Bay Times
By Lucy Morgan
April 11, 2012

TALLAHASSEE — Stung by public reaction to judges who lobbied state lawmakers into a $50 million courthouse many have dubbed a "Taj Mahal,'' the Florida Supreme Court has established new rules that would muzzle individual judges who try to have their way with the Legislature.

And some judges are not happy. The state's circuit court judges have formally asked the state's highest court to rescind the rules and at least engage in a public discussion of rules that would constrain their right to speak out in public. Judges at the 5th District Court of Appeal also have filed a formal objection to a provision that would establish term limits on chief judges.

The rules, approved by a sharply divided court in February, would prevent individual judges from taking their budget requests and suggestions for changing the law directly to lawmakers without first getting approval from the Supreme Court and administrative committees that oversee the budget.

In addition, the state's highest court has imposed an eight-year term limit on the service of all chief judges and requires them to be selected on the basis of their managerial, administrative and leadership skills. Read more

Chief Federal Judge Richard Cebull sends racist joke about President Obama using court’s email

U.S. Chief Judge Richard Cebull

Chief Federal Judge in Montana Says He’s Not a Racist, Apologizes for Obama Email
ABA Journal Law News Now
By Debra Cassens Weiss
March 1, 2012

Updated: Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull of Montana is acknowledging he sent a racist joke about President Obama’s parentage in an email forwarded to six "old buddies."

The Great Falls Tribune obtained the email. It reads: "A little boy said to his mother, 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?' His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!' "

Cebull apologized for the email, telling the Great Falls Tribune and the Billings Gazette that he is not a racist. He forwarded the text from his office computer on Feb. 20.

The newspapers differ over whether Cebull's brother forwarded him the email, or whether Cebull forwarded it to his brother. The Great Falls Tribune says Cebull got the email from his brother, then forwarded it to his personal email address and six "old buddies."

"To say it's inappropriate and stupid is an extreme understatement," Cebull told the Billings Gazette. "There is no doubt it's racist. It wasn't forwarded for that purpose. If anything, it was political."

Cebull, nominated by President George W. Bush, admits he is not an Obama supporter. He told the Billings Gazette he doesn’t blame people if they think he’s racist, but it’s not true. "The fact is that isn't how I've conducted myself as a federal judge. Never has anybody asserted I was racist," he said.

On Thursday, Cebull reported his conduct to the Judicial Council of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and sent a letter of apology to Obama.

"I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded," Cebull wrote to the president. "I accept full responsibility; I have no one to blame but myself. I can assure you that such action on my part will never happen again. I have requested that the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit review this matter. Honestly, I don't know what else I can do. Please forgive me and, again, my most sincere apology."

Updated on March 2 to report that Cebull has reported his conduct to the 9th Circuit and written to President Obama. Read more

Richard F. Cebull

Richard F. Cebull

Richard Frank Cebull (born 1944) is a United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Montana… On February 20, 2012, Cebull used his official courthouse email address to forward to seven friends an email containing a racist joke about President Barack Obama. Cebull said he "didn't send it as racist," but rather "sent it out because it's anti-Obama." On March 1, 2012, Cebull initiated a misconduct complaint against himself with the Ninth Circuit and sent a letter of apology to Obama and his family. Several organizations and publications called for his resignation or impeachment. Read more

Chief Judge Rucker Smith arrested for D-U-I

Chief Judge Rucker Smith

Judge accused of driving under the influence reprimanded
by Sarah Bleau
March 29, 2012


A South Georgia Judge who was arrested last year for driving under the influence of alcohol was reprimanded. Rucker Smith, Chief Judge of the Superior Court of the Southwest Judicial Circuit, plead guilty in open court to a reduced charge of reckless driving in the Municipal Court in the City of Leslie.

In May 2011, officials say Smith self-reported his arrest to the Judicial Qualifications Commission; the commission says a personal conference with Smith about the facts and a resolution were held on June 24, 2011. In the Municipal Court for the City of Leslie, Smith submitted his guilty plea in open court to a reduced charge of reckless driving.

Smith's reprimand is private and the details cannot be released to the public, according to the commission.

The commission says on May 28, 2011, Smith was arrested by the Leslie Police Department for driving under the influence of alcohol. They say Smith was pulled over by a patrol officer for allegedly driving 63 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone on US Highway 280. They say Smith then refused the field sobriety tests and was arrested on charges of speeding, open container, and driving under the influence (refusal). Read more

Federal Judge Recommends Criminal Charges for Lawyers Who Questioned His Impartiality

Judge McBryde

Federal Judge Recommends Criminal Charges for Lawyers Who Questioned His Impartiality

ABA Journal Law News Now
By Debra Cassens Weiss

January 11, 2011

U.S. District Judge John McBryde of Fort Worth, Texas, has sanctioned three lawyers and recommended criminal charges against two of them for motions questioning his integrity in litigation over golf club patents.

McBryde said the plaintiff in the litigation, John Gillig, had used comments the judge had "jokingly" made about contingency fees to support a "fictitious scenario" of bias, according to his 114-page opinion (PDF) issued Jan. 5. McBryde imposed sanctions, even though he could have asked another judge to rule on the issue, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Read more

Federal Judge Busted with Stripper, Drugs and Guns


Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs


Friday, November 19, 2010



Senior U.S. District Court Judge Pleads Guilty to Possession of Controlled Substances and Conversion of Government Property


WASHINGTON – Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp Jr., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to possession of controlled substances and conversion of government property, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin of the FBI’s Atlanta office and Director Vernon Keenan of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Senior U.S. Judge Jack Camp

Camp, 67, a Senior U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Georgia, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of controlled substances and one count of conversion of government property. Camp’s guilty plea was accepted by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. Hogan for the District of Columbia, who was sitting by designation in the Northern District of Georgia.


Sentencing has been scheduled for March 4, 2011, at 11:00 a.m.

As part of his guilty plea, Camp admitted that between May 2010 and Oct. 1, 2010, he unlawfully possessed and used cocaine, marijuana and Roxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. Camp also admitted to giving an individual, whom he knew had a prior felony drug conviction, money to purchase cocaine, Roxycodone and marijuana. Camp admitted that he unlawfully gave the individual a U.S. District Court laptop computer for her personal use. Camp was arrested on Oct. 1, 2010, after attempting to purchase drugs from an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer.


The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Deborah Sue Mayer and Tracee Joy Plowell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI Atlanta’s Public Corruption Squad. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation provided substantial assistance in this case. 10-1328 Criminal Division. more


Wikipedia, Jack Tarpley Camp, Jr.

Former Federal Judge Edward "Naughty" Nottingham

Edward Nottingham

Edward Nottingham

Edward Willis Nottingham, Jr. (born 1948) is a former United States federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado having served in that office from November 24, 1989 until his resignation on October 21, 2008…

Inquiry and resignation

Nottingham drew controversy over two incidents in 2007-2008, when it was revealed in his divorce case that the judge "spent $3,000 on strippers in one night".

AP reported that the Diamond Cabaret manager Justin Frankell said the judge had visited the strip club on other occasions. They reported that 9 News reported that Nottingham said he could not remember the details of spending the $3,000 at the Diamond Cabaret on 9/05/05 because he had been drinking. The transcript also said Nottingham had paid $150 to use an Internet dating site, His ex wife reported that she learned of the dating service calls when she mistakenly opened a bill, and immediately confronted her husband in his chambers. "When I asked about the dating service, he turned around in his chambers, and he hit his computer and he told me all about the dating service; it was a porn site." Read more

Bill Moyers Journal: Justice For Sale

Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers Journal: Justice For Sale


How would you feel if you were in court and knew that the opposing lawyer had contributed money to the judge's campaign fund? This is not an improbable hypothetical question, but could be a commonplace occurrence in the 21 states where judges must raise money to campaign for their seats — often from people with business before the court.

Though many states have elected judges since their founding, in the past 30 years, judicial elections have morphed from low-key affairs to big money campaigns. From 1999-2008, judicial candidates raised $200.04 million, more than double the $85.4 million raised in the previous decade (1989-1998).

Because of the costs of running such a campaign, critics contend that judges have had to become politicians and fundraisers rather than jurists. In a poll by Justice at Stake, 97% of elected state Supreme Court justices said they were under pressure to raise money during their election years. Read more

Bill Moyers, Justice For Sale (part 1). YouTube


"We are in a system where [judicial] elections can be bought"


February 19, 2010 - Bill Moyers Journal takes a hard look at how campaign cash in judicial races may sway America's courts. The Journal revisits the 1999 FRONTLINE special "Justice for Sale" which looked at the growing concern - even among Supreme Court justices themselves - that campaign contributions may be corrupting the judicial process.

Bill Moyers, Justice For Sale (part 2). YouTube


February 19, 2010 - Bill Moyers Journal takes a hard look at how campaign cash in judicial races may sway America's courts. The Journal revisits the 1999 FRONTLINE special "Justice for Sale" which looked at the growing concern - even among Supreme Court justices themselves - that campaign contributions may be corrupting the judicial process.

Richard I. Fine & Associates

Richard I. Fine & Associates


Richard Fine is reestablished as a strategic consultant with Richard I. Fine & Associates. Unfortunately The State Bar of California shows Current Status: Disbarred for Richard Isaac Fine - #55259. This member is prohibited from practicing law in California by order of the California Supreme Court.


Unfortunately Mr. Fine paid a heavy price for exposing corruption.

Lawyer abruptly freed from jail
Los Angeles Times
By Scott Glover
September 18, 2010

Richard Fine, 70, had spent a year and a half behind bars on contempt charges.

A 70-year-old lawyer who was sentenced to jail "indefinitely" on contempt-of-court charges was abruptly released Friday evening after spending a year and a half behind bars.

Richard Fine was released from Los Angeles County Jail in downtown Los Angeles shortly after 9 p.m. but did not wish to speak to a Times reporter, said his daughter, Victoria.

Fine, an antitrust and taxpayer advocate attorney, was thrown in jail last year by Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe for failing to answer questions about his finances and for practicing law without a license.

The contempt charges stemmed from a case Fine filed on behalf of Marina del Rey homeowners who sued local developers.

Fine had been ordered to pay sanctions and attorneys' fees in the case. Fine contends he was being targeted by Yaffe because of his challenges to county-funded benefits that judges receive on top of their state pay.

Rather than comply with Yaffe's orders and be released from jail, Fine vowed to take his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In May, however, the court declined to take up his petition, meaning he could have remained in jail indefinitely as Yaffe had ordered.

The judge could not be reached for comment late Friday.

While in solitary confinement, Fine filed habeas corpus petitions for his release with the California Supreme Court, District Court and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, alleging that Yaffe was biased against him and should have recused himself from the contempt-of-court case.

His imprisonment was "the latest encounter in the 10-year campaign by Fine to restore due process in the California judicial system," the attorney, who has been representing himself, wrote in his petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Fine is the only attorney, of the approximately 208,000 California attorneys, with the courage to challenge the California judiciary," he wrote.

In a telephone interview with The Times in May, Fine said the U.S. Supreme Court had made the wrong decision by allowing him to remain in jail.

He said he would be filing another petition.

"I'm in fighting condition," he said. "They haven't broken me down, and they won't break me down." Read more

Attorney Richard Fine spent a year and a half behind bars on contempt-of-court charges. Is that justice?

Ex-lawyer jailed 14 months, but not charged with a crime
CNN Special Investigations Unit
By Abbie Boudreau, Emily Probst and Dana Rosenblatt
May 24, 2010

Once a dapper Beverly Hills attorney known for his bow tie, Richard Fine has been held in solitary confinement at Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail for 14 months, even though he's never been charged with a crime.

Fine, a 70-year- old taxpayer's advocate who once worked for the Department of Justice, is being held for contempt of court.

Superior Court Judge David Yaffe found Fine in contempt after he refused to turn over financial documents and answer questions when ordered to pay an opposing party's attorney's fees, according to court documents.

Fine says his contempt order masks the real reason why he's in jail. He claims he's a political prisoner.

"I ended up here because I did the one thing no other lawyer in California is willing to do. I took on the corruption of the courts," Fine said in a jailhouse interview with CNN.

For the last decade, Fine has filed appeal after appeal against Los Angeles County's Superior Court judges. He says the judges each accept what he calls yearly "bribes" from the county worth $57,000. That's on top of a $178,789 annual salary, paid by the state. The county calls the extra payments "supplemental benefits" -- a way to attract and retain quality judges in a high-cost city.

While the practice of paying supplemental benefits is common in California, most high-cost cities elsewhere don't hand out these kinds of benefits. Judges in Miami, Chicago and Boston receive no extra county dollars.

Judges in Los Angeles County not only have the highest state salaries in the nation, they also get tens of thousands of dollars in county benefits. These payments, Fine says, mean judges are unlikely to rule against the county when it is involved in a lawsuit. Read more

Full Disclosure website

Full Disclosure blog

Former LA Attorney Richard Fine Jailed Indefinitely


The Incarceration of Attorney Richard I. Fine (Part 1)

Richard I Fine "coercive confinement"
Full Disclosure
by Leslie Dutton
May 28, 2010

Los Angeles, CA Here is an exclusive five minute video update on developments in the Richard I Fine "coercive confinement" case following the U S Supreme Court's second denial of his petitions seeking to be released from the notorious L. A. County Jail. Fine has been held without charge or conviction of a crime for almost a year and a half following his attempt to disqualify the judge who has admitted in court testimony to have accepted payments from a party involved in the case before him.

Fine, is a former U S Department of Justice Anti-Trust Prosecutor who has been representing himself from his solitary jail cell in the notorious L. A. County Central Men's Jail. The video covers abuse of court procedures and the how all Civil Lilbertarian organizations have failed to engage in this case that involves a major threat to "Due Process" and "Civil Rights" in America.

Described here are the circumstances that led up to Dr. Richard Fine's decision to keep on fighting from his jail cell even after the Supreme Court refused to consider the illegal payments made to Judge David Yaffe who ordered Fine held indefinitely in contempt of court following Fine's exposing the court's corruption. Confident in his moral position Fine remains in jail and dedicated to what he believes is a moral and principled position. Read more

Was Sunny Sheu Murdered? Corruption Activist Dead

Sunny Sheu

Was Sunny Sheu Murdered? Judicial Corruption Activist Dead
From 4closureFraud

Sunny Sheu has been fighting judicial corruption since his home was stolen by mortgage fraud allegedly aided and abetted by Judge Joseph Golia of Queens.

Sunny was kidnapped, intimidated and threatened by two NYPD detectives at the Queens DA bureau. He was told by the detectives that if he took his case to the media or filed a complaint against Golia he would be killed.

Sunny was told by the Captain of the 109th pct that the cops detained him because he had put a letter in Golia’s mailbox, proving it was Golia that ordered the illegal detention.

Later, Sunny uncovered evidence of misrepresentations on Golia’s financial disclosure statements and on Thursday, June 24, 2010 he announced that he had evidence sufficient to have Golia arrested.


Two days later Sunny was found dead with trauma to the head, according to the Medical examiner that performed the autopsy:

Two months ago, Sunny made the above video, stating that if any harm came to him, Golia should be the main suspect.

Sunny also wrote a letter to FBI agent Rachel Rojas, asking for witness protection. Obviously his request was ignored. Read more. Also on Zero Hedge, Being Middle Class, and Parent Advocates

Citizens for Judicial Accountability
CJA goes beyond the facade

To show you the denial of fundamental rights by judges and lawyers who place themselves not only above the law, but beyond the law, with actual cases of individuals, stories of lawyers and judges who failed to conform, and with reports issued by courts and by organizations, demonstrating an urgent need for judicial reform in the civil justice system, that operates as an independent branch of government is wholly unaccountable, is broken, is totally unregulated, can be unjust and unfair and can ruin you. Read more

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory P. Holder

Judge Holder

Gregory Holder was elected county judge in 1994. In 1996 Judge Holder was elected Circuit Judge for Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, Florida. His latest assignment was in the family law division. Judge Holder has a reputation for speaking his mind and for being extremely open with the press. He has the attitude that the entire justice system belongs to the people, that there should be nothing to hide and that the public should know what is going on. Judge Holder refused to be drawn into "inside politics" by dishonest Hillsborough judges. Judge Holder was bent on rooting out and ridding the court system of corruption. Read more

Read the grand jury presentment

An Investigation Into Judicial Misconduct
Grand Jury Finds Judges Had Sex in Hillsborough Court
Presentment finds scandal, still no indictment
2000, 12-08-00, Grand Jury Presentment, [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [470.0 KB]

Report: Web of scandal at Hillsborough courthouse

Records describe accusations of sexual affairs and secret safe deposit boxes
St. Petersburg Times

TAMPA -- A months-long inquiry into the Hillsborough County courthouse has found accusations ranging from sexual affairs in a judge's chambers to death threats and secret safe deposit boxes. Read more

Judge Holder Seeks $1.92 Million Defending Self


Judge seeks $1.92-million in costs defending self
By CANDACE RONDEAUX, St. Petersburg Times, Published July 26, 2005

Judge Holder Awarded $70,000 by FL Supreme Court


Tampa judge to be reimbursed $70,000 in plagiarism case
By TOM BRENNAN, The Tampa Tribune
September 25, 2009

Judge Walker Asleep During Trial? Does Not Matter

Judge asleep? Doesn't matter
Tampa Bay Times
May 5, 2006

Unless an official complaint is filed, nothing will happen about Judge David Seth Walker's alleged nap.

DADE CITY - His own bailiffs say Judge David Seth Walker dozed off during part of a criminal trial this week, and it appears no one is going to do anything about it.

After the man on trial was acquitted Thursday, his attorney in the Public Defender's office dropped the issue.

"We're not going to complain of any errors whatsoever. We have no complaint," said Assistant Public Defender Dillon Vizcarra, who earlier this week gathered evidence of Walker's on-the-bench snoozing.

Walker, who is 65 and retired but handles some trials in Pasco's overflowing court docket, said he did not fall asleep.

Assistant State Attorney Phil Van Allen prosecuted the sexual battery case. He said the record supports Walker.

And neither Judge David Demers, chief of the 6th Judicial Circuit, nor anyone else will do anything unless an official complaint is filed.

"It's not up to the chief judge or the circuit or anyone else to deal with the judge or his actions in a courtroom," circuit spokesman Ron Stuart said. "It's not our policy - it's state law. One judge has no authority over another."

Here's what happened in Courtroom B on Monday during of State of Florida vs. Richard Hill , according to affidavits:

After the state's key witness finished testifying, Vizcarra and Van Allen both said they had no more questions. Walker, whose eyes were closed, didn't respond.

One bailiff called out, "Judge" but still got no response.

"I then walked up to the bench and nudged the judge on the arm 2-3 times before the judge finally opened his eyes and awoke," bailiff Jack Wolf wrote in an affidavit.

The words mirror affidavits given by Frank Inversso, the other bailiff, and two attorneys with the Public Defender's Office who were observing the trial.

Thursday afternoon, after deliberating for about two hours, the jury of five women and one man found Richard Hill of Shady Hills not guilty of capital sexual battery against a then-8-year-old boy.

Had Hill been convicted, the defense would certainly have raised the question whether the judge was sleeping at any point in the trial. What's uncertain is whether it would have mattered.

"The law about sleeping judges is fairly deferential to sleeping judges," said Robert Batey, a law professor at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg. "It's not just enough that the judge fell asleep during the trial."

But start asking around a courthouse, Batey said, and you'll hear that it happens.

"If you talk to lawyers, and they start telling war stories, then you do hear about jurors falling asleep, lawyers falling asleep, and also judges falling asleep," Batey said.

Jerold H. Israel, who teaches criminal procedure at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, said the issue is even less relevant during a jury trial and in moments when there's nothing to rule on.

"Whether the judge was awake or asleep becomes irrelevant because there was nothing for him to do," Israel said.

Walker, who retired in 2002 as the longest serving circuit judge in Florida, said he remembers the moments described in the affidavits, and remembers being awake.

"I remember when Mr. Vizcarra finished and Mr. Van Allen said, "I have no further questions.' I remember the bailiff coming up to me and I turned and looked at him when he came up right to my side," Walker said.

"In the past people have misinterpreted my quietness as inattentiveness."

While acknowledging the allegation is embarrassing, Walker praised Vizcarra for raising the issue.

"I think what he did was absolutely appropriate because it's his job to represent his client," Walker said.

Walker denied Vizcarra's motion for a mistrial and a motion seeking a hearing about the sleeping allegation. Because there had been no objections during the cross-examination, and Walker did not have to intervene at all, he said a hearing was unnecessary.

"There were no matters of law considered during the time. The jury listened and heard," he said.

"Without the robe," Walker he said, "a judge is just a normal everyday human being, and fallibilities exist." Read more

David Seth Walker is a senior judge up for comments, according to the Florida Bar News page 5 of the March 15, 2012 edition. 

A Most Disorderly Court: Scandal and Reform in the Florida Judiciary The Florida Squeeze

by Martin Dyckman, Author


In the 1970s, justices on the Florida Supreme Court were popularly elected. But a number of scandals threatened to topple the court until public outrage led to profound reforms and fundamental changes in the way justices were seated.


"This is a fascinating account of a sordid chapter in the history of the Florida Supreme Court. It reads more like a novel than a history book; the story is engagingly told and beautifully written." - Ann Piccard, Stetson University "A nice snapshot of a moment in Florida's history that provides a glimpse of how business and power can corrupt a legal system anywhere." - Elizabeth Dale, University of Florida" Judicial Branch Books


The shoddy history of politicized courts, Tampa Bay Times, By Martin Dyckman, Special to the Times, April 12, 2011

Dyckman to speak on 'A Most Disorderly Court', Tampa Bay Times, By Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor, July 24, 2008

Malaprops Book Store, A Most Disorderly Court: Scandal and Reform in the Florida Judiciary (Hardcover)


Martin Dyckman: Voters respond to politicians’ racist ‘dog whistles’, ContextFlorida


Special interests take special interest in judicial elections, The Florida Bar News, By Gary Blankenship, July 15, 2012

National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project

National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc.


Nearly three decades ago, Congress enacted what is now Title 28 U.S.C. §351 et seq., the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, by which anyone can file a complaint against a federal judge, charging him or her with misconduct or a disability impeding the judge's job performance. The statute is one component of a larger self-policing scheme for local, state and federal judges that apparent consensus deems ineffective. National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. (NJCDLP) was accordingly created to help regulate America's judiciary by duly increasing its exposure to professional discipline, civil damages awards, and/or criminal prosecution for the knowing participation of judges in abuse of the American legal system. Read more

"Our legal system has frankly broken down, it has become a cesspool" - Larry Klayman, Esq.

Larry Klayman

Larry Klayman, Esq., founder and former chairman of the successful non-profit foundations Judicial Watch and of Freedom Watch, has dedicated his career to fighting against injustice and restoring ethics to the legal profession and government.

Larry spoke to Book TV about his book "Whores, Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment", and claims

"Our legal system has frankly broken down, it has become a cesspool"

 "Judges not making decisions on the merits, but on the basis of feathering the nests of those who got them their jobs"

"Lawyers who don’t tell the truth"

Klayman has brought lawsuits against Hugo Chavez and OPEC, among others. Klayman details his legal battles with President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton (Chinagate and Filegate), Vice President Dick Cheney (secret energy commission meetings), and the Bush administration over illegal wiretapping of American citizens. His portraits of the likes of Janet Reno, Fred Thompson, Arlen Spector, Judge Denny Chin (who recently presided over the Madoff trial) and other Clinton insiders Klayman considers unethical, and who have come back to power in the Obama administration, reveal not always flattering sides of their well-cultivated images. Klayman also has choice words to say about media figures such as Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Paula Zahn, and he accuses media mogul Rupert Murdoch of sandbagging the original publication of WHORES by HarperCollins because of the book's negative portrait of Roger Ailes and Fox News. Above all, WHORES is an impassioned plea for reform of our judicial system with a number of provocative suggestions.

Larry Elliot Klayman is a member of the Florida Bar, ID number 246220, admitted December 7, 1977. Klayman was reprimanded by the Supreme Court of Florida, case SC11-247 on August 29, 2011.

Suing Judges: A Study of Judicial Immunity

Prof. Olowofoyeku

Suing Judges: A Study of Judicial Immunity
Abimbola A. Olowofoyeku, Author
Professor of Law, Brunel Law School

Oxford University Press

"A straightforward comparative case law study of the liability at law of judges and other judicial actors for their acts and statements during the judicial process. This is an issue critical for the vital concept of an independent judiciary, a pillar of the U.S. system....Simply written and clearly organized."--Choice



Review by: Roderick Munday, The Modern Law Review

Vol. 58, No. 3 (May, 1995), pp. 451-454


Suing Judges: A Study of Judicial Immunity


When a person is injured by the act of someone else one response is to seek redress in the courts. When the person to be sued happens to be a judge, a number of potentially insurmountable obstacles often appear. This book presents an in-depth study of the substantive, procedural and theoretical issues that arise when a judge is sued. Drawn mainly from English and American Federal case law, the study also incorporates Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand case law.



Judicial Immunity,

Are Florida's Judges For Real?
The Liberty Sentinel of Florida

Jack Thompson says Florida judges were not legally eligible to hold office, citing a criminal violation involving loyalty oaths required by the state and U.S. Constitutions.


The Florida Bar v. John B. Thompson, Permanent Disbarment, September 28, 2008
The Florida Bar v. John B. Thompson, Per[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [38.0 KB]
The Florida Bar v. John B. Thompson, Public Reprimand, October 1, 1992
The Florida Bar v. John B. Thompson, Pub[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [663.2 KB]


Under Florida law campaign contributions by a lawyer to a judge before whom the lawyer appears are not considered  bribes. Search records

Special interests funnel $6 million to Florida lawmakers
By Steve Bousquet, Breanne Gilpatrick, Alex Leary, Marc Caputo and Mary Ellen Klas, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
March 15, 2009

TALLAHASSEE — In the latest election cycle, dozens of Florida legislators raked in $6 million in special-interest campaign money and spent a good deal of it on themselves for meals, rental cars, plane trips and hotels.

Some lawmakers are feeding at the trough of contributors, enjoying expensive dinners at upscale restaurants with donors' money at a time when one of every 10 Floridians is on food stamps. Others are churning cash from one political committee to another, using it to finance direct contributions and attack ads for other candidates, thereby strengthening their own clout in a virtually untraceable shell game.

All of this is legal. Florida law bans legislators from accepting so much as a cup of coffee from a lobbyist, and individual campaign contributions are limited to $500.

But there is no limit on the amount of cash lawmakers can collect from all manner of special interests in separate fundraising committees the lawmakers create to advance broadly defined public purposes, such as getting one another re-elected.

"If I do it over coffee, I have to pay for my own coffee, but I can accept a $10,000 check,'' said Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Democrat from Greenacres who has used political committees to recruit candidates and steer money to several Democratic legislative campaigns.
Read more here

March 15, 2009, Special interests funnel $6 million to Florida lawmakers
March 15, 2009, Special interests funnel[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [63.4 KB]

Confidential Judicial Feedback


This Confidential Judicial Feedback advertisement appeared May 15, 2010 in The Florida Bar News. The ad proclaims "How will judges know how you judge their performance in court if you don’t tell them? Here’s your chance…Go to… It’s simple! All you need is your Bar number and password to communicate to the judges you appeared before.

The public, and pro se nonlawyer litigants, cannot submit confidential judicial feedback. This gives members of The Florida Bar substantial influence over the judiciary. This is in addition to the usual influence lawyers already have over the judiciary, such as domination of the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC), campaign contributions, and the formation committees in support or opposition of judicial candidates.

The Confidential Judicial Feedback appears little more than an attempt by lawyers for undue influence over the judiciary. Its bad enough that judges are elected in Florida. This defacto job evaluation is beyond the pale.

The Judicial Administration and Evaluation Committee of The Florida Bar has responsibility for the feedback program. The stated goal is to provide a confidential means by which attorney members of The Florida Bar can communicate with appellate or trial court judges concerning their perceived specific strengths and weaknesses. Providing judges with confidential feedback, assists them with self-assessment and self-improvement. The voluntary, confidential feedback program for trial and appellate court judges began January 1, 1998. Read more


Link to the Confidential Judicial Feedback form

Confidential Judicial Feedback form
Confidential Judicial Feedback Form.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [40.7 KB]