Friday, January 13, 2017

Disqualification Motion Allegations Include Serial Code of Judicial Ethics Violations Against Judge James Towery

U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO – Meet the U.S. Attorney – The United States Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW  Washington, DC 20530 - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - Judge James Towery Santa Clara County Superior Court - Hon. James E. Towery Santa Clara Superior Court Silicon Valley - Judge Patricia M. Lucas Santa Clara County Superior Court Executive Officer Rebecca J. Fleming - US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Judge James E. Towery
An exhaustive, 57-page motion to disqualify controversial Santa Clara County Judge James Towery recently was filed in a family law dissolution case. A court whistleblower provided a copy of the filing to Commission on Judicial Performance Report. The motion is embedded at the end of this post.

The motion includes allegations that Towery engaged in multiple violations of the California Code of Judicial Ethics, and conveyed gender and other forms of bias against Susan Bassi, the respondent in the divorce case. Court whistleblowers assert and have documented that flagrant gender bias against divorcing wives who helped start or run family businesses is common in the Silicon Valley family court system.

Towery has generated controversy throughout his career in government, including a tumultuous stint as president of the State Bar of California Board of Trustees from 1995-1996, and an unexpectedly abbreviated 10-month term as state bar chief trial counsel, 2010-2011.

Over the objections of local court watchdogs, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Towery to the Santa Clara County Superior Court bench in 2012. Prior to his appointment, Towery held an "of counsel" position at Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck in 2011-2012, and from 1989-2010 had partner status at Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc. The judge graduated from Emory University School of Law in 1977.
     

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mandated Reporter Series: Judge Duty to Report Attorney Misconduct for Failure to Disclose Adverse Law

Under state law, California judges are mandated reporters of attorney misconduct. Judicial Ethics Code § 3D(2), Business and Professions Code §§ 6086.7 and 6086.8, and California Rules of Court rules 10.609 and 10.1017 each require judges to report specific types of lawyer misconduct. The reporting duty is mandated by law, and is not discretionary.  

One type of common attorney misconduct is the failure to disclose adverse law in presenting a matter in court. The failure to identify law adverse to an attorneys position in court filings and during oral argument violates the California Rules of Professional Conduct, Business and Professions Code, ABA Model Rules, and decisional law. The document set embedded at the bottom of this post includes these authorities. 

One type of common judge misconduct is the failure to report or otherwise take appropriate corrective action when an attorney fails to disclose adverse law. Despite the routine occurrence of this type of judge misconduct, Commission on Judicial Performance judge disciplinary statistics indicate that judges are rarely held accountable under Judicial Ethics Code § 3D(2) for failing to hold attorneys accountable. CJP reform advocates contend this absence of enforcement by the agency exacerbates the rule of law breakdown prevalent in California courts.  

Friday, December 30, 2016

California Judicial Branch and CJP Dogged by Controversy in 2016 - Year End News Wrap: CJP and State Auditor Initiate Court Battle, More...

State Bar of California - California State Bar - California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO
Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye obstructs
State Bar reform.
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Commission on Judicial Performance sues State Auditor to restrict
audit of the judge oversight agency.
 
California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO - Judge Bruce Mills Contra Costa Superior Court - Hon. Bruce C. Mills Contra Costa County
Commission on Judicial Performance whistleblower and court
watchdog Joe Sweeney jailed in alleged retaliation scheme.
 
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
State Auditor Elaine Howle asserts authority over Commission on Judicial
Performance in CJP's bad faith litigation to restrict audit of the agency. 
Judge Jaime Roman Sacramento County Superior Court - Hon. Jaime R. Roman Sacramento Superior Court - Judge James MIze - Judge Kevin Culhane Sacramento County - California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jaime Roman prosecuted and
punished for judicial misconduct by the Commission on
Judicial Performance.
 
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals  - Commissioner Tyler Culver Alameda County Superior Court - Tyler R. Culver Court Commissioner Alameda County
Alameda County Superior Court Commissioner Taylor Culver
resigns to avoid prosecution for judge misconduct.
California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO - Commission on Judicial Performance Chairman Tony Capozzi - CJP Chair Anthony Capozzi California Commission on Judicial Performance - Attorney Anthony Capozzi Fresno
Commission on Judicial Performance Chairman Anthony
Capozzi faces criminal investigation. 
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky - Brock Turner - Stanford University - Hon. Aaron Persky Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky cleared of wrongdoing in
Brock Turner sexual assault case.
 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

State Auditor Files Response to CJP Lawsuit Trying to Block Legislature Ordered Audit of Judge Oversight Agency

"I don't know what they are afraid of." Attorney Myron Moskovitz

From the Daily Journal:
CJP Chief Counsel Victoria B. Henley Judicial Performance Commission California - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO – Meet the U.S. Attorney – The United States Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW  Washington, DC 20530 - California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council

Attorneys for the California State Auditor submitted a response Monday to a writ filed last month by the Commission on Judicial Performance challenging the auditor's jurisdiction.
The CJP sued Auditor Elaine M. Howle in San Francisco Superior Court in October, seeking to limit the scope of an audit ordered by the Legislature in August. The CJP is the state agency that investigates and disciplines judges charged with misconduct...
Myron Moskovitz, who represents Howle, said the CJP's arguments seek to sidestop decades of well-established law around the auditor's office and its functions.
"After they see the answer, if they still want to go to trial we will," said Moskovitz, legal director of the Moskovitz Appellate Team in Piedmont. "I don't know why they would want to. I don't think they have much of a case...
"This is the first time anyone has ever complained about their right to audit a public agency that gets public money and is supposed to serve the public," explained Moskovitz. "I don't know what they are afraid of."
The controversial lawsuit against the auditor was ordered by CJP Director Victoria Henley and reportedly will cost the public north of six figures. Henley is paid $194,000 per year by California taxpayers.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Whistleblower Report Reveals Serial Misconduct by Contra Costa County Judge Bruce Mills Resulted in Repeated CJP Wrist Slaps

Judge Bruce C. Mills
A report cataloging serial acts of misconduct spanning more than 10 years by Judge Bruce C. Mills has been leaked to the public by a court watchdog and whistleblower group.

The 51-page dossier collected both public and "secret" discipline prosecutions against the judge by the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state agency responsible for judge oversight and accountability. The report is embedded at the end of this post.

The report reveals that in addition to two well known public disciplinary actions taken against the veteran Contra Costa County jurist, Mills was also found guilty in three additional incidents where the type of discipline and name of the offender were "private" and not revealed to the public.

The group identified Mills as the offending judge in the secret proceedings by reverse engineering details from the public disciplinary actions and cross referencing the information with old CJP annual reports. The acts of public and private misconduct occurred in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2013. 

Judge Bruce Clayton Mills was appointed to the bench by Governor Pete Wilson in July, 1995. Mills worked as a Contra Costa County prosecutor from 1985-95, and was in private practice from 1984-87. The judge is a 1984 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.