Of course, how many defense attorneys would know the judge's cell phone number to be able to text her, and it is a big issue that the prosecutor in question did know the judge's cell phone number, raising questions of possible longtime ex parte communications of that particular prosecutor's office with this particular judge, and with other judges, requiring, in my opinion, a disciplinary investigation.
Yet, as to contempt proceedings brought against the prosecutor by that particular judge, there were constitutional prohibitions for such a contempt prosecution that the judge, with an admittedly bad temper,
disregarded in holding the prosecutor in contempt.
Despite the clear due process prohibition for the judge to act as a "witness, prosecutor, judge and jury" in a contempt hearing that she had herself brought and that involved an alleged "insult" to herself, despite a most recent prohibition on being n "accuser and an adjudicator" in the same case issued in 2016 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Williams v. Pennsylvania, and where her own misconduct was the reason for the text messages, a misconduct that was brought up in testimony of witnesses other than the prosecutor charged with contempt, Judge Laurie White
still held the prosecutor Jason Napoli in contempt of court for texting her.
That judge White was biased against the prosecution, and against that particular prosecutor, is an understatement of the century.
During Jason Napoli's contempt proceedings instituted by Judge White, a witness testified that the judge made the following unsolicited comments about Jason Napoli to his subordinate, attorney Brian Ebarb, during their very first meeting:
First, a judge who holds such views, has no business presiding over proceedings represented by attorneys she so acutely dislikes, it is called a mandatory disqualification for bias.
Second, a judge has no business using four-letter language in court proceedings, that's another point of immediate disqualification.
Third, a judge has an ethical prohibition against badmouthing an attorney to the face of his subordinate in the attorney's absence, where the badmouthed attorneys have no ability to defend themselves, and where the subordinate attorney is used as a captive audience.
And fourth, but definitely not least problem here is that the judge badmouthed attorney Napoli and Cannizzaro, comparing them to "Satan and Lucifer" after the judge has lost her election campaign to a higher, appellate, court, to a "candidate backed by Cannizzaro", Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods.
In the election campaign, which reportedly got "ugly" and where both candidates "took their gloves off", according to Judge White herself, Judge Bartholomew-Woods pointed out the following problems with Judge White's candidacy for a higher judicial seat:
So, Judge White's opinion that prosecutors Napoli and Cannizzaro are "Satan", "Lucifer", "a**holes", lazy and stupid could very well be attributable not only to the judge's admittedly bad temper, but to the fact that attorney Cannizzaro supported Judge White's successful opponent to a seat with higher power and salary, and to attorney Cannizzaro's opinion that Judge White is "unfit for the appellate court" - and, by extension, for any other court as well.
Of course, hell hath no fury as a woman scorned, but that woman should not be on the bench wielding her rage in criminal cases.
Apparently, the state of Louisiana is so strapped for cash that
- public defenders refuse to represent felony cases for lack of personnel and time to be able to provide effective assistance of counsel, and are sued for it,
- and courts, as an escape from the situation, assign any attorney with a pulse and a license, even without any knowledge of criminal law, to represent criminal defendants, in order to satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court's mandate for EFFECTIVE legal representation of the indigent in criminal proceedings - Gideon v Wainright.
Yet, the same State of Louisiana has enough money to allow its criminal judge Laurie White, who admitted to her bad temperament, but was not removed from the bench at the time of her admission, to continue to waste taxpayers' money by instituting and prosecuting a frivolous contempt proceeding against an attorney she hates for personal reasons.
I wonder if the Louisiana judicial disciplinary authorities will have a say against Judge Laurie White - or, whether, like they did in the case of #attorneyChristineMire who exposed egregious misconduct of #JudgePhyllisKeaty (see my blogs about Christine Mire's case as it developed, here, here, here, and here), instead, the attorney disciplinary system will be used against prosecutor Napoli to further retaliate against him for daring to raise the issue of judicial misconduct .
Prosecutor Napoli, once again, raised Judge White's misconduct improperly, in a text message to the judge.
He was supposed to do that in a motion to recuse.
Yet, because attorneys in the State of Louisiana were intimidated against daring to make motions to recuse, even with irrefutable evidence of judicial misconduct in hand, given the recent fate of attorney Christine Mire who was suspended from the practice of law and made to pay tens of thousands of dollars for being prosecuted for seeking for her client a constitutional right for impartial judicial review, after making a proper motion to recuse (while Judge Phyllis Keaty was promoted to an appellate court), who can blame attorney Napoli for seeking more discreet ways to point the judge's misconduct to the judge?
And once again, a question - will Judge Laurie White be investigated and disciplined for her misconduct in this case?