Skip to comments.Weird cases: And this week's award for most unjudicial petulance goes to . . .
Posted on 06/20/2009 7:20:20 AM PDT by JoeProBono
In Tennessee, a judge is legally required to be patient, dignified and courteous with people in court. He is also required, not unreasonably, to respect and comply with the law. But not all judges do.
The Supreme Court of Tennessee recently disciplined Judge Durwood Moore for unlawful judicial conduct. Presiding in court one day, the judge happened to glance at Benjamin Marchant, a friend of someone who had court business. Marchant was not a witness, just a spectator. Yet after observing him, the judge ordered court officers to seize the man, get a urine sample from him and have it tested for drugs. The sample came back negative. The judge was found guilty of acting unlawfully and undermining public confidence in the administration of justice.
Judge Moore was given public censure, the harshest form discipline short of being recommended for removal from office, so it was clearly his last chance. Remarkably, on the same day the Court of the Judiciary ruled against him in another case: he had wrongly and irascibly refused a lawyers request to allow someone else to present a document and had then used profanity to the lawyer on the phone and threatened him with a contempt finding if he did not return to court to present the document himself.
We truckers refer to that as a random whiz quiz.