A judge must be impartial.
A judge must not communicate with a party or attorney on one side of the litigation without presence or approval of attorney and/or party from the other side.
A judge must not accept presents of any kind from a party or attorney representing a party in litigation, to avoid appearance of impropriety.
A judge must avoid appearance of impropriety of any kind, in order to guarantee to litigants not only justice, but also appearance of justice - which is a requirement of due process, according to 2 U.S. Supreme court decisions -
Caperton v A.T. Massey Coal Co. Inc. (2009) that dealt with contributions with judicial election campaign of a judge who decided a case in favor of a major contributor, and
Williams v Pennsylvania (2016), voiding a judicial decision where the judge participated both as a prosecutor and as a judge.
Yet, since enforcement of rules against conflicts of interest of judges is loose if at all existent, and since judges invented for themselves
immunity from civil lawsuit and
are given authority to regulate the livelihood of attorneys who may want to report and prosecute them,
judges do not really care about any rules of disqualification or conflicts of interest, and engage in behavior that smacks of abuse of office and corruption to the high heaven.
And, only when the judge is finally voted out of office by the public, state disciplinary authorities finally decide to investigate and prosecute judges for egregious conflicts of interest - while, of course, such a prosecution will be thwarted before trial by the judge's resignation/retirement, and no attorney disciplinary proceedings follow.
This scenario happens all over the country, over and over again.
Yet, the fact that disciplinary proceedings are even brought because of certain conflict-of-interest behaviors, is in and of itself valuable for further exposing of public corruption and further investigation of other judges, not yet voted out of office, who remain engaging in that same behavior that was subject of a disciplinary complaint against an outgoing judge.
With that in mind, it is interesting to review the disciplinary complaint recently filed in the State of Arizona against a voted-out-of-office #JudgeClancyJayne
who was reportedly a head judge of Desert Ridge District Court since 2008, for 8 years.
Here is some information from Judge Clancy Jayne's Twitter account:
In April of 2016, Judge Jayne reportedly received a "Super Nova Award" for blood and plasma donations:
Even if such blood and plasma donations were undertaken by Judge Jayne to fend of a disciplinary investigation, the donations in and of itself have an absolute value for those patients whose lives he may have saved.
Yet, Judge Jayne claims that donating blood is his lifetime habit
If that is true, Judge Jayne did something good in his life.
We can also see from Judge Jayne's tweets that he is fond of having breakfasts with public officials and attorneys:
And as to allegations in the currently pending ethical complaint that Judge Jayne invited people to his "Breakfast with the Judge" and "Big Rig" events sponsoring him, solicited information about "booking agents" for some speakers at such events, and advertised ticket sales for "Breakfast with the Judge" events - here is admission posted by Judge Jayne himself on his own Twitter account:
It was not THAT Bill Gates, it is this Bill Gates whose presence, endorsement and, likely, donation at "Breakfast with the Judge" Judge Jayne was soliciting:
Well, at least, Judge Jayne honestly put "Breakfast with a Judge" and the concept of "Big Rig" back to back.
Judge Jayne advertised his "Breakfasts with Judges" also through his Facebook page:
Here are a couple more of advertisements by Judge Jayne of Breakfasts with Judge Jayne - for a fee or a contribution to his re-election campaign:
Here is some information from Judge Jayne's own LinkedIn profile:
It appears from Judge Jayne's profile information that he lacks elementary literacy: he describes his experience as the former State LegEslator, and claims he serves on Board of Directors of several "None Profite" groups.
Illiteracy in a judge who, since 2008, presided over people's cases and decided people's fates, is a big problem already.
And, it is not that I am just nit-picking on a couple of "slips of the finger", inadvertent misprints. Reportedly, Judge Jayne was known even in his before-judgeship days in the State Legislature for his "poor spelling and grammar". In other words, Judge Jayne is illiterate, and has been known to be illiterate for a long time.
But illiteracy appears the least of problems of litigants in the State of Arizona with Judge Jayne.
Judge Jayne, from what is alleged in the disciplinary complaint, lacks the very basic understanding of what human decency and integrity is.
Of course, judges in this country, and in the State of Arizona, have a "presumption of integrity" - even with self-given immunity for malicious and CORRUPT acts on the bench - and with that paradox, judges lose the sense of reality as to what is proper and what is not, and consider anything that a judge does to be "presumed proper".
In 2011, Judge Jayne was disciplined for "numerous" ex parte communications:
It did not help. Judge Jayne still continued to advertise that he spoke to parties without presence of their counsel or the opposing counsel, on his Facebook page:
Judge Jayne has an entire blog dedicated to his misconduct, and was accused by the blogger back in 2012 of using his personal email to engage in an ex parte communication with a litigant.
And, the same blog, in the same 2012, reported that the Commission for Judicial Conduct of the State of Arizona started investigations of Judge Jayne's unethical behavior in the judicial campaign back then.
The complaint back in 2012 raises the issue of "Breakfasts with Judges" as violating Rules 1.2, 3.1(C) and 4.2(A)(3) of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct.
According to the blog, Judge Jayne already received a "warning letter" regarding his participation in "Breakfast with Judges" in 2012 or prior to that time.
And, in 2012 Judge Jayne received a "fourth informal sanction" from state judicial disciplinary authorities - for continuing to advertise as his BUSINESS presiding over wedding ceremonies as a justice of the peace, and featuring his corporate sponsors on his website.
Here is the official order of reprimand only - despite the fact that Judge Jayne received previous reprimands on the same subject, and continued with the same conduct anyway.
The reprimand did not help, Judge Jayne continued to advertise his wedding officiating business through his Facebook account:
Apparently, since other than "the fourth very last warning", no real discipline of any kind was imposed on Judge Jayne, he continued in his merry way.
Remember, the Maricopa County Attorney Bill Gates publicly thanked Judge Jayne for the invitation to speak at one of the "Breakfasts with Judges" instead of reporting him for misconduct.
And, in 2013, Judge Jayne was publicly reprimanded by State judiciary discipline authorities - again, without taking him off the bench - for allowing a non-attorney sponsor of the judge's election campaign to represented his granddaughter in a court case. Judge Jayne should have recused from that case, but he did not, allowed a non-attorney to represent his granddaughter (which he would not have allowed to anybody else) and presided over the case.
The order of reprimand mentions that Judge Jayne received "legal education" on "that same issue", which indicates that his misconduct was willful and arrogant, but only a reprimand followed.
Judge Jayne is not an attorney, and that prompted a defense attorney to state in advertisement of his legal services, that electing non-attorneys to judicial office is the same as selecting a surgeon on a popularity contest.
While I do not claim that judges should be attorneys, judges should be able to understand the law and apply it - and for that they need to be able to be at least literate (which Judge Jayne is not) and at least understand the substance of reprimands and remedial education - which he also, apparently, does or will not understand.
Qualifications for a justice of the peace in Arizona does include "English literacy" - a qualification that Judge Jayne obviously does not have, which did not preclude him from becoming a judge, and being a judge, for years, despite multiple sanctions.
The disciplinary authorities simply did not have the heart to take him off the bench - or, his sponsors applied some pressure on his behalf.
On November 3, 2016, the Arizona State Commission for Judicial Conduct announced yet another disciplinary proceeding against Judge Clancy Jayne.
Reportedly, there is a 74-page of public comments incorporated with the disciplinary complaint - which yet was not published by the Arizona State Judicial Conduct Commission.
What can I say.
An illiterate person gets into the legislature, then on the bench, and rules left and right for his friends, while everybody is afraid to take him off the bench - which should have been done a long time ago.
Multiple disciplinary proceedings were brought, with toothless results.
Multiple "remedial education" was ordered, which the judge disregarded - seeing that nothing will be done to him anyway, so why bother?
The problem is that all the while this obviously corrupt judge continued to decide cases - and who knows how many cases he rigged?
Judge Jayne was unique in how outspokenly he advertised his wedding officiating business in a black robe, sold tickets to his "Breakfast with a Judge" "events", solicited donations and then ruled for the donors.
While other judges may be more "refined", less outspoken and would not show the corruption - with the necessity to solicit private funding for judicial elections, such corruption is ever present in the American courtroom.
And, Judge Jayne is not alone in wining and dining - for a fee - with attorneys, creating a great potential for ex parte communications and case-fixing.
There are other, literate, refined, sophisticated judges and attorneys, doing the same.
I will continue to cover the topic how judges in this country are being wined and dined, and how the sale of justice then follows.