Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Judicial Code, Ziegler, and the Lefties; Where Are the Lawyers?

Since Jay doesn't want to post the actual Code of Ethics for judges (it would make his rants about Judge Ziegler look silly,) here's the citation which is critical:

(4) Except as provided in sub. (6) for waiver, a judge shall
recuse himself or herself
in a proceeding when the facts and
circumstances the judge knows or reasonably should know establish
one of the following
or when reasonable, well-informed persons
knowledgeable about judicial ethics standards and the justice system
and aware of the facts and circumstances the judge knows or
reasonably should know would reasonably question the judge's ability
to be impartial:
(p. 13 of the PDF)

I do not know how much Bank stock JJZiegler holds, but for the sake of argument, let's grant that he has more than a de minimis interest in the Bank.

A number of cases were "default" judgments, which means that the respondent never even appeared in Court. That makes it sort of difficult to communicate with them about stock holdings, no?

Thus, the question is Part Two of the red-highlighted text below:

(d) The judge knows that he or she, individually or as a
fiduciary, or the judge's spouse or minor child wherever residing, or
any other member of the judge's family residing in the judge's
household has an economic interest in the subject matter in controversy
or in a party to the proceeding or (1) has any other more than de minimis
interest that (2) could be substantially affected by the proceeding
(p. 14 of the PDF)

The text is not as crystal-clear as Xoff/Folkbum would have us believe. It's not hard to read (d) as: "....has an interest...which is more than de minimis...[which] could be substantially affected..."

In other words, Judge Ziegler knew that there would be no "substantial" effect on JJ's Bank stock resulting from the proceedings in her court.

That's re-inforced by the fact that (so far) NO attorney has complained about unfair (or even un-ethical) conduct by the Judge in any of these cases.

If some defense attorney thought for 1 second that he could reverse a judgment based on an ethical violation, do you really think he would have sat on his hands?

Find another horse to ride, Jay. Maybe Frankie-the-Fixer Busalacchi?

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