Judge of the Day

Judge Jack Camp: Don't be fooled by his grandfatherly exterior.

The allegations against Judge Jack Camp (N.D. Ga.), which we mentioned earlier today, are far more salacious than we expected. In fact, they’re hard to believe.

“Learned Paw” posted this tongue-in-cheek comment, inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, on our earlier post:

I am not surprised by the bust of Judge Camp, considering the last trip I took with him. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into locked a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether….

There’s no indication that the 67-year-old Judge Camp tried ether. But if the allegations of law enforcement are to be believed, Learned Paw / Hunter S. Thompson is not far off the mark.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Judge Camp used a wide range of controlled substances — in the company of an exotic dancer / prostitute, who turned out to be a confidential informant….

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According to news reports out of Atlanta, which have been confirmed by U.S. Marshal Richard Mecum, Senior Judge Jack Camp (N.D. Ga.) has been arrested on federal drug charges by the FBI. He’s scheduled to appear in court later today.

Nominated to the federal bench by President Reagan, Judge Camp has been a judge for a long time — over two decades, since 1988. He has presumably presided over countless drug cases. If Judge Camp ends up pleading guilty to anything, that will be one interesting Rule 11 colloquy.

Let’s have a look at His Honor, shall we?

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Today brings good news for Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge captured in pornographic pictures that wound their way to the web. Alex Chapman — the 44-year-old computer programmer who sued Justice Douglas for $7 million, alleging that the judge and her husband harassed and inflicted emotional distress upon him, by pressuring him (Chapman) to have sex with her — has dropped his lawsuit against Her Honor. Chapman will continue to move forward with his suit against Douglas’s husband, divorce lawyer Jack King.

Perhaps Chapman was scared off by the “statement of defense” that was filed for Douglas earlier this week. Douglas claimed the action was barred by the statute of limitations and that Chapman’s allegations “fail to disclose a cause of action against her.” (This makes sense to us; based on what we currently know, it seems that Douglas was, if anything, also a victim here.)

With Justice Douglas out of the case, the lawsuit may become somewhat less salacious. But we will continue to bring you updates to the extent that we can.

Lawsuit against judge dropped [Winnipeg Free Press]
Lawsuit dropped in Manitoba judge sex scandal [Toronto Star]
Judge disputes sex controversy allegations [CBC News]

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Justice Lori Douglas

Do public officials in Michigan need to jump in the lake? Last week, we covered an assistant attorney general in the Wolverine State who is on the hunt for a gay student at the University of Michigan. Today we bring you news of a misbehaving judge.

According to court records, Judge James M. Justin, a state district judge in Jackson County, dismissed nine traffic cases against himself and his wife. The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports that the judge fixed four illegal-parking tickets that he received from 2002 to 2004. He also dismissed five traffic tickets received by his wife, Kim R. Justin, over a ten-year span. Who says chivalry is dead?

Judge Justin’s tickets were, amusingly enough, “dismissed after explanation” — to himself. Presumably Judge Justin found his explanations very convincing.

So what does His Honor have to say about all this?

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It’s hard out here for an immigrant. Arizona has immigrants in the crosshairs, as we all know. Immigrants might also be unable to clerk for federal judges (or at least get paid for it).

And when they commit crimes and get sentenced, immigrants are sometimes subjected to snide remarks by judges. The Seventh Circuit recently vacated a sentence and remanded for resentencing by a different judge, after trial judge Rudolph Randa (E.D. Wis.) made some unfortunate comments in sentencing defendant Jose Figueroa. From the Seventh Circuit opinion, by the fabulous Judge Diane Wood:

During the hearing, the district court digressed to discuss Figueroa’s native Mexico, the immigration status of Figueroa and his sisters, and the conditions and laws in half a dozen other countries—not to mention unnecessary references to Hugo Chávez, Iranian terrorists, and Adolf Hitler’s dog.

Chávez, Iranian terrorists, and Hitler’s dog. Those are all § 3553(a) factors, right?

So how exactly did Judge Randa achieve the impressive feat of working all of these topics into a routine sentencing?

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We don’t normally cross international borders to find judges to write about; there are enough colorful characters in the U.S. judiciary. But when the jurist in question has appeared in pornography that made its way on to the interwebs, we make an exception.

There are some updates in the tale of Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge who appeared in nude photos showing Her Honor engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys and performing oral sex. We previously “exposed” the story here and here.

The first one is an amusing yet cautionary tale. Just because your porn features a judicial angel in the centerfold doesn’t mean it’s not porn — and, as such, inappropriate to keep on your work computer.

This is a lesson that Alex Chapman, the man who has filed ethics complaint and civil lawsuits against Justice Douglas and her husband, prominent divorce lawyer Jack King, learned the hard way….

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Yesterday we wrote about Madam Justice Lori Douglas, a Canadian judge in Manitoba who, in her pre-robescent days, apparently posed for nude pictures — while engaged in such activities as bondage, sex toy play, and oral sex. These photographs apparently made their way on to an interracial porn website called DarkCavern.com (without Douglas’s knowledge or consent, according to her husband — who claims he posted the pics during a bout with depression).

The pictures came to light when an ethics complaint was filed against Justice Douglas and her husband, matrimonial lawyer Jack King. A former client of King, an African-Canadian gentleman by the name of Alex Chapman, claims that King sexually harassed him by showing him the porn pics of Lori Douglas and encouraging him (Chapman) to have sexual relations with Douglas. According to Chapman, King suffers not just from depression but from “Jungle Fever”: he is titillated by African-Canadian men getting it on with white women.

Justice Douglas did not comment to CBC News, which broke the story. But she has taken other action in the wake of the scandal….

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Up in Canada, judges have no problem with cameras in the courtroom. As Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin explained in a recent discussion with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Canada’s high court has had cameras in the courtroom for over 20 years, and they haven’t caused any problems. [FN1]

Some Canadian judges don’t have a problem with cameras outside the courtroom, either. As reported by CBC News, naked photographs of a senior judge from Canada engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys and performing oral sex were previously posted on the internet. These nude pictures are now part of ethics complaints filed in July against the judge, Lori Douglas, associate chief justice of Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, and her husband, Winnipeg family lawyer Jack King.

And the pics are just the tip of the iceberg. The complainant, a 44-year-old computer specialist named Alexander Chapman, claims that Jack King, Chapman’s lawyer at the time, sexually harassed Chapman by pressuring him to have sex with King’s wife, Lori Douglas (still a lawyer at the time).

So… many… questions. Let’s learn more — plus ogle a bigger and better photo of Madam Justice Douglas….

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If he doesn't get you in court, he'll get you in the ring.

Have you ever clerked and wanted to beat the stuffing out of your judge? In Texas, you might just get that opportunity. But be careful — some Texas judges have skills.

The Supreme Court of Texas Blog has the story of one of them: Texas State Supreme Court Justice, David Medina:

Justice David Medina’s biography notes that “in college he competed on the university’s karate . . . team.”…

Turns out, he recently participated in a match — with a law clerk. Thanks to the power of YouTube, you can watch from the comfort and relative safety of your office.

Does the opportunity to beat up a state supreme court justice outweigh the possibility of getting your ass handed to you on a plate by a 51-year-old man?

Let’s get ready to rumble…

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Hippocrate “Cheecho” Mertsaris: Does he have a weakness for judicial buttocks?

In a few weeks, an interesting trial will be getting underway in Queens Criminal Court here in New York. The underlying incident should provide fodder for either a Lawyer of the Day or a Judge of the Day — but it’s not clear which.

The episode giving rise to the criminal charges was reported back in May by the New York Daily News:

A disabled lawyer accused of touching the rear end of a Taxi and Limousine Commission judge is blaming it on his cerebral palsy. Queens prosecutors have charged Hippocrate Mertsaris, 35, with sexual abuse and sexual harassment for allegedly grabbing the woman’s inner thigh and buttocks during a meeting in her Kew Gardens offices.

Mertsaris’ lawyer, Wyatt Gibbons, admits his client touched the woman but denies it was sexual. “He whacked her in the butt but it wasn’t sexual abuse,” Gibbons said. “He has spastic movements.”

Let’s dig a little deeper….

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