What constitutes “Judicial Misconduct” ? Does Delaware’s Chancellor Bouchard fit the mold?
Bouchard's Possible Misconduct
According to all the legal interpretations I have read-“Judicial Misconduct” occurs when a judge acts in ways that are considered unethical or otherwise violate the judge's obligations of impartial conduct.
Actions that can be classified as judicial misconduct include: conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts; using the judge's office to obtain special treatment for friends or relatives; accepting bribes, gifts, or other personal favors related to the judicial office; having improper discussions with parties or counsel for one side in a case; treating litigants or attorneys in a demonstrably egregious and hostile manner; violating other specific, mandatory standards of judicial conduct, such as judicial rules of procedure or evidence, or those pertaining to restrictions on outside income and requirements for financial disclosure; and acting outside the jurisdiction of the court, or performance of official duties if the conduct might have a prejudicial effect on the administration of the business of the courts among reasonable people.
That all being stated:
Does the presiding judge, fraternizing with the plaintiff’s attorney during a trial, constitute misconduct? Does not disclosing a personal relationship with the plaintiff’s lawyer prior to the trial also constitute misconduct?
Knowing that he has failed to disclose this relationship and then awarding that same attorney an unprecedented $1.4 million dollars in attorney fees without itemization or accounting, justify misconduct? This including the fact that every other attorney in the case that was awarded fees, submitted an itemized bill which opposing counsel reviewed, and in fact actually resulted in $800, 000 in corrections.
Does preventing relevant evidence from being presented at trial constitute misconduct?
Does appointing a long standing, former business partner to act as a custodian of a company, ordered to be sold by the Chancellor, who also submitted millions of dollars in un-itemized bills, who was never questioned about the amounts of the bills, and then had them approved in less than 24 hours, constitute misconduct? This is including the fact, that the same custodian, is being sued by the employees for attempting to violate their first and fourth amendment rights by including in a written directive, the right for him to have access to their e-mails and text messages, under threat of termination, because they spoke to the press and criticized the Chancellor’s decisions.
According to the official definition of “Judicial Misconduct” which I have stated accordingly above, if indeed I understand the English language correctly- describing “Judicial Misconduct”, and from my research of this case, it appears to me Chancellor Andre Bouchard could be guilty of exactly that in the controversial TransPerfect Global case, which he adjudicated in the Delaware Court of Chancery. I wonder if these disturbing acts, appearing to be contrary to judicial propriety, will ever be investigated?
As always your comments are welcome,