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A. Judicial bias

State v. Darrin Stingle, 2019AP491, District 3, 7/28/20 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Stingle is not the typical subject of an On Point post. He owns farmland in Outagamie County, and the DNR cited him for discharging fill material into wetlands on it. At a 1-day bench the trial judge twice… Read More

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State v. Keith C. Henyard, 2020 WI App 51; case activity (including briefs) The State charged Henyard with 8 crimes potentially leading to 157 years in prison. Commissioner Parise engaged Henyard in a colloquy, accepted his waiver of a preliminary hearing, and bound him over for trial. Parise left the bench and 5 months later… Read More

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Miller v. Carroll, 2020 WI 56, 6/16/20, affirming a published court of appeals opinion, 2017AP2132, case activity (including briefs) You’ve surely read about this case in NY Times, the Journal Sentinel, on Wisbar.org or on On Point here or here. A judge’s Facebook friendship with one of the litigants in a child custody case before… Read More

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State v. Jason A. Marcotte, 2020 WI App 28; case activity (including briefs) After Marcotte was terminated from drug court and his probation revoked, he was sentenced by the same judge who’d presided over his case in drug court. Under the facts in this case, both the judge’s comments during drug court and his dual… Read More

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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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