ATL honored a California trial judge, James M. Brooks, with Judge of the Day last June, when an appeals court ordered a new trial after he created a “circus-like atmosphere” in the original one. On Monday, the California Commission on Judicial Performance gave him the smackdown, issuing a decision and order imposing public admonishment [PDF].
ATL can’t help but be part of the humiliation. These are some of the
hilarious awful things he did during the trial in question, which are listed as reasons for the admonishment:
1. “Overruled” Signs
2. The Twilight Zone
3. Comments During the Reading of Stevenson Deposition/ Litton Examination
4. Soccer Cards
The court order is not allowing us to copy text, and we don’t have a court reporter on staff to transcribe. To sum up, Judge Brooks was overseeing an employment discrimination suit, and spent a good amount of the trial exchanging jokes with the defense attorney. He made a hand-lettered “Overruled” sign for overruling the plaintiff attorney’s objections. The defense attorney later provided him with a better one.
Brooks let the defense attorney mock the plaintiff’s testimony by singing the Twilight Zone theme song, apparently off-key, and started using a soccer system of “red cards” to censure attorney behavior.
Judge Brooks, you are officially publicly admonished. But we must say, you sound like a fun guy!
JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE COMMISSION ISSUES PUBLIC ADMONISHMENT OF JUDGE JAMES M. BROOKS [PDF]
Decision and Order Imposing Public Admonishment [PDF]