Originally posted over at overlawyered, lawyers and the law community are now weighing in about Mikal Watts' judge-buying scandal.
Invoking these comments:
If I ever received a letter like that, invoking either friendship or donations, it would go straight to the disciplinary committee. (Eric @ New York Personal Injury Law Blog)It's also since been picked up by other law blogs:
My first stop would be every newspaper office I could think of. Then the disciplinary committee. (John Burgess)
But with a letter making such threats, to actually leave written eveidence of such things: could you give Mr. Watts a poke from something beyond the (in Texas, completely useless, see previous post) disciplinary comittee? Is there no "judge tampering" equivalent of the jury tampering charge? (Griffin3)
This strikes me as a fairly clear violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. See Rule 8.04(a)(5) (prohibiting lawyers from "stat[ing] or imply[ing] an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official"). Watts's comments concerning his firm's contributions to the justices logically could serve no other purpose than to imply improper influence. (The Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk)
Another reason not to popularly elect judges--ever, anywhere. - What About Clients
If you're not reading Overlawyered... - Point of Law