Judicial Misconduct

Judge Wade McCree, in repose.

[T]here is not much, if anything, that is more prejudicial to the actual administration of justice than having a sexual relationship with a complaining witness without recusing oneself, engaging in ex parte communications with this mistress/complaining witness, attempting to use the prosecutor’s office as leverage against this now ex-mistress by concocting charges of stalking and extortion against her, and then lying under oath about these matters.

– Judge Stephen J. Markman of the Michigan Supreme Court, writing for the majority in affirming nearly all of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission’s findings as to Judge Wade H. McCree. The judge has been suspended for six years, without pay.

Judge Wade H. McCree

That’s ridiculous. I don’t think the voters of Wayne County are going to put him back in office after what he did.

– FOX2 legal analyst Charlie Langton, commenting on Judge Wade McCree’s application for re-election to his judicial post. Over the past two years, McCree made headlines for sending a shirtless selfie to a bailiff and having an affair with a litigant while presiding over her case. He was suspended without pay last year.

Another day, another naked judge. Apparently when you reach the height of your legal career, you completely lose your inhibitions. Today, we’ve got news on a judge who was fired from her position on a high court for her inappropriate behavior.

No, she wasn’t seen in pornographic pictures online, like Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas. It was much more innocent than that — she was exercising and sunbathing naked in her chambers, which happened to be flanked by windows.

As they say online, this thread is worthless without pics. Well, we’ve got one (and it’s safe for work)…

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Judge Wade H. McCree

I don’t agree with it, [but] I’m not surprised.

Brian Einhorn, the lawyer representing Judge Wade McCree in his judicial misconduct case, commenting on the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission’s recommendation that McCree be removed from the bench. Wade had been accused of sexting a shirtless photo of himself to a bailiff and having an affair with a litigant, sometimes using his chambers for sexual rendezvous.

* “The situation is an absolute mess.” Last summer’s SCOTUS decision on mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders has created a “legal limbo” for inmates. We hope they find suitable dance partners. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

* Even after you retire, you apparently still have to deal with the Cebullsh*t from your life on the bench. Former Chief District Judge Richard Cebull’s misconduct review is likely heading to Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. [Great Falls Tribune]

* Woe unto them that call unpaid work fair: the Second Circuit quickly granted Fox Searchlight an appeal in the Black Swan unpaid intern case in the hope of offering some “much-needed guidance.” [Deadline]

* Which private law schools offer students the best value? Some unlikely contenders are named on this list, and some T14 schools even make appearances. We’ll have more on this later today. [National Jurist]

* GW wasn’t the only school that grew the size of its entering class (although it was the largest increase). William & Mary and Missouri-KC saw big gains, too. Yay, more lawyers! [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

* If you’re considering applying to law school, think about schools that have lowered their standards and are offering scholarship money like candy. Otherwise, here are some helpful hints. [Huffington Post]

* Henry Putzel Jr., former reporter of decisions at the Supreme Court, RIP. [Washington Post]

* When SCOTUS cases involve public companies and rulings are misinterpreted, it can lead to some pretty volatile stock performance, as was evidenced by yesterday’s highs and lows for Myriad Genetics of BRCA1 patent fame. [Washington Post]

* The ethics complaint against Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit has been transferred to the D.C. Circuit after receiving a blessing from the Chief Justice of the United States. Uh oh, that’s serious business if Roberts is involved. [Times-Picayune]

* The number of women working in the NLJ 350 is sad. They make up only one-third of all attorneys working in Biglaw, and we’re stuck celebrating the tiniest positive changes. Sigh. [National Law Journal]

* Proskauer Rose’s former CFO, Elly Rosenthal, settled her $10M disability discrimination suit against the firm in anticlimactic fashion, “without costs to any party as against the others.” [Am Law Daily]

* California is obviously trying to one-up New York with this one. In addition to a 50-hour pro bono requirement, they’re pushing for 15 hours of real-world training before bar admission. [The Recorder]

* Try to stop a man from throwing a pie in your husband’s face and in return you’ll be served with your wifely walking papers a few years later. Aww, Rupert Murdoch is such a kind old man. [Bloomberg]

[She] surprised me and thrilled me…. I lusted after that woman. I’m in my middle 50s and she’s a double dozen years my junior.

– Judge Wade McCree, demonstrating that there is “no shame in his game,” in his testimony this week before the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. Judge McCree testified about his affair with a woman who appeared as a party in his courtroom and allegations that he asked her to get an abortion when she ended up preggers.

We’ve received a spate of tips about judges losing their cool lately. Obviously most of them aren’t going around on killing sprees — or maybe they are — but several have plopped themselves into hot water in other ways.

Some argue that judges are overworked, underpaid, and fed up with disrespectful pro se litigants. Maybe, but how does that explain the Vegas judge we recently flagged in Non-Sequiturs for putting a litigant in jail for saying “thank you”? A litigant can’t get much more respectful.

For the judges we’ll profile here, the real culprit might be a potent cocktail of insecurity and a view of the law as their personal plaything….

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Judge Wade McCree

You must remember Judge Wade McCree. Not only is he the son of the first African-American to be appointed to the Sixth Circuit, but he’s also the man who sent sext messages to his bailiff and had an affair with one of the litigants who appeared before him while he was on the bench. Note that we’re no longer using the word “allegedly” in that sentence.

We now know for sure that McCree — who’s been referred to as Judge McCreep since the media caught wind of his sexual derring-do — was getting down and dirty with the woman who he claimed had been stalking and extorting him, the same woman who shouted from the rooftops that she’d banged McCree’s gavel “[o]n his desk, in the chair, the couch, you name it.”

We know with relative certainty that McCree did all of these things because he just admitted it all in his response to the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission’s (MJTC) formal complaint.

Let’s see if he’s got any “shame in [his] game” now….

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It’s not really fair to use the moniker “Judge of the Day” for Judge Wade McCree. With his third appearance in a “Judge of the Day” feature, he’s crossing into Judge of the Decade status.

After sending a compromising picture to a married bailiff and allegedly hooking up with and impregnating a litigant in his courtroom, the state of Michigan has filed a formal complaint against McCree. What’s wrong with Michigan, by the way?

The 21-count complaint includes a number of new allegations against McCree….

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