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22. Judge

United States v. James Atwood, No. 18-2113 (7th Cir. Oct. 24, 2019) Atwood is entitled to a new sentencing hearing because the judge in his case was communicating ex parte with the prosecutor’s office about other cases, and the content of the correspondence invited doubt about the judge’s impartiality in proceedings involving the prosecutor’s office… Read More

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Timothy W. Miller v. Angela L. Carroll, petition to review a published court of appeals decision granted 8/14/19; case activity (including briefs) Issues (based on Carroll’s Petition for Review) Does a judge’s acceptance of one party’s Facebook “friend” request by itself overcome the presumption that a judge is fair, impartial, and capable of ignoring any biasing influences, given… Read More

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In re Judicial Disciplinary Proceedings Against Piontek, 2019 WI 51, 5/21/19; case activity The supreme court suspends Judge Michael Piontek from office for five days for “obviously unethical” and “clearly improper” misconduct in two criminal cases. In the first case the judge engaged in ex parte communication with the prosecutor about adjourning a scheduled trial… Read More

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State v. Deshawn J. Driver, 2018AP870-CR, District 1, 2/26/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) At the start of Driver’s restitution hearing, before hearing testimony from any witness, the judge told defense counsel on the record that the victim’s word “is more credible than your client’s words[.]” Later in the hearing, when defense… Read More

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Timothy W. Miller v. Angela L. Carroll, 2019 WI App 10, petition for review granted, 8/14/19; case activity (including briefs) After a contested hearing between Miller and Carroll about custody and physical placement of their child, and before issuing a decision, the circuit judge accepted a Facebook “friend” request from Carroll. Miller argued the circuit… Read More

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State v. Esmeralda Rivera-Hernandez, 2018AP311-312-CR, 2/20/19, District 2 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) DAs have almost limitless discretion in deciding whether to initiate a prosecution. But their discretion to terminate a prosecution is subject to independent review by the circuit court, which must consider the public’s interest in: (1) the proper… Read More

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State v. Emerson D. Lamb, 2017AP1430-CR, District 3, 9/25/18 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The sentencing judge made comments at Lamb’s sentencing before it had heard any sentencing arguments from the parties, and those comments showed a serious risk that the court had prejudged Lamb’s sentence. Accordingly, the judge was objectively biased and Lamb is… Read More

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Petitioner v. Robert D. Evans, 2018 WI App 53; case activity (including briefs) Evans, the respondent in a domestic abuse injunction proceeding, filed a substitution request on the day of the injunction hearing. To find a substitute judge in cases where substitution is requested so close to the hearing, the clerk uses an “email volunteer system”: An… Read More

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