Bench Behavior Beyond Belief: The National Law Journal Details Fourth Annual 'Stupid Judge Tricks'

Apr 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Lawyer Media, Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Law Journal(R) continues
 its exploration of injudicious, and inexplicable, bench behavior with its
 fourth annual survey of the nation's most outrageous jurists. The list is
 featured in the May 7 edition of The National Law Journal, available on
 Monday, April 30. It will also be available on The National Law Journal's Web
 site, http://www.nlj.com.
     The behavior chronicled runs the gamut from the Texas judge who was
 reprimanded for after-hour demands that his secretary assist him in what he
 modestly characterized as reenactment of "vignettes from old cowboy movies and
 damsel-in-distress videos," to the Arkansas judge who insisted on overseeing
 the trial of his own sister on drunk and disorderly charges.  Rather than
 recuse himself, he managed to postpone her case -- at least seven times over
 two years.
     In Louisiana, Judge Calvin Hotard, a former police officer and prosecutor,
 personally distributed his pager number to prostitutes -- along with the
 advice that he could help them if they got in trouble.  At a poignant juncture
 in the proceedings against him, Mississippi Judge Ellis "Beaudron" Willard
 wept while testifying that he changed the terms of a legal contract in a
 lawsuit because the defendant was "elderly, poor and illiterate."  The
 defendant in question later testified that she is a schoolteacher and 34 years
 old.  Judge Willard also once had his own clerk arrested and jailed for
 refusing to work late.
     New Jersey Judge Wolf A. Samay engineered the arrest and jailing of his
 son's own gym teacher following a verbal dispute, based on a complaint the
 judge had signed himself that accused the teacher of "terroristic threats."
 Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, Judge George "Champagne" Colby of Washington
 State maintained the legal opinion that he was entitled to drink champagne in
 the courthouse and set what is believed to be a new record in the state -- the
 list of his offenses, compiled by the conduct commission investigating his
 career, totaled 14 pages.  After resigning, Judge Colby maintained that most
 of the charges were false, but admitted that "one does make some mistakes."
     Additional details on these and other stories, can be found in the May 7
 edition of The National Law Journal and on the Web at http://www.nlj.com.
 
     The nation's leading weekly legal newspaper, The National Law Journal is a
 publication of American Lawyer Media, Inc (ALM).  Headquartered in New York
 City, ALM is a leading integrated media company, focused on the legal
 industry.  ALM currently owns and publishes 25 national and regional legal
 magazines and newspapers, including The American Lawyer(R).  ALM's other
 businesses include book, custom and newsletter publishing, production of legal
 trade shows and conferences, educational seminars and distribution of content
 related to the legal industry.  ALM was formed by U.S. Equity Partners, L.P.,
 a private equity fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP.  More information on
 ALM and its business units is available on the Web by visiting
 http://www.americanlawyermedia.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X53156978
 
 

SOURCE American Lawyer Media, Inc.
    NEW YORK, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Law Journal(R) continues
 its exploration of injudicious, and inexplicable, bench behavior with its
 fourth annual survey of the nation's most outrageous jurists. The list is
 featured in the May 7 edition of The National Law Journal, available on
 Monday, April 30. It will also be available on The National Law Journal's Web
 site, http://www.nlj.com.
     The behavior chronicled runs the gamut from the Texas judge who was
 reprimanded for after-hour demands that his secretary assist him in what he
 modestly characterized as reenactment of "vignettes from old cowboy movies and
 damsel-in-distress videos," to the Arkansas judge who insisted on overseeing
 the trial of his own sister on drunk and disorderly charges.  Rather than
 recuse himself, he managed to postpone her case -- at least seven times over
 two years.
     In Louisiana, Judge Calvin Hotard, a former police officer and prosecutor,
 personally distributed his pager number to prostitutes -- along with the
 advice that he could help them if they got in trouble.  At a poignant juncture
 in the proceedings against him, Mississippi Judge Ellis "Beaudron" Willard
 wept while testifying that he changed the terms of a legal contract in a
 lawsuit because the defendant was "elderly, poor and illiterate."  The
 defendant in question later testified that she is a schoolteacher and 34 years
 old.  Judge Willard also once had his own clerk arrested and jailed for
 refusing to work late.
     New Jersey Judge Wolf A. Samay engineered the arrest and jailing of his
 son's own gym teacher following a verbal dispute, based on a complaint the
 judge had signed himself that accused the teacher of "terroristic threats."
 Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, Judge George "Champagne" Colby of Washington
 State maintained the legal opinion that he was entitled to drink champagne in
 the courthouse and set what is believed to be a new record in the state -- the
 list of his offenses, compiled by the conduct commission investigating his
 career, totaled 14 pages.  After resigning, Judge Colby maintained that most
 of the charges were false, but admitted that "one does make some mistakes."
     Additional details on these and other stories, can be found in the May 7
 edition of The National Law Journal and on the Web at http://www.nlj.com.
 
     The nation's leading weekly legal newspaper, The National Law Journal is a
 publication of American Lawyer Media, Inc (ALM).  Headquartered in New York
 City, ALM is a leading integrated media company, focused on the legal
 industry.  ALM currently owns and publishes 25 national and regional legal
 magazines and newspapers, including The American Lawyer(R).  ALM's other
 businesses include book, custom and newsletter publishing, production of legal
 trade shows and conferences, educational seminars and distribution of content
 related to the legal industry.  ALM was formed by U.S. Equity Partners, L.P.,
 a private equity fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP.  More information on
 ALM and its business units is available on the Web by visiting
 http://www.americanlawyermedia.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X53156978
 
 SOURCE  American Lawyer Media, Inc.