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Twenty Worst Judges: Estimating the Lower Limit

Pifen Lo
"Judge Trammell told my wife if she wants me home early, then she must pay the price.  And then he put his hand down into her clothes and touched her breast, then kissed her." — Ming Jin


Lubomyr Prytulak
Ukrainian Archive, www.ukar.org
[Address]

[Telephone]
[Email]
04 February 2003


Gary Klausner, Judge
United States District Court
Roybal Federal Building
255 East Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA
USA     90012


Re:  LASC   Rambam v Prytulak   BC271433   James R. Dunn

Gary Klausner:

In the Lubomyr Prytulak letter to you of 06-Jan-2003 titled Does Lance Ito Define the Upper Limit? an estimate was attempted of the upper bound of judicial competence on the Los Angeles Superior Court by examining the performance of judge Lance Ito who, from having been chosen to sit on the highly visible OJ Simpson murder trial, was inferred to be among the best judges on the Court.

In the present letter, Lubomyr Prytulak attempts to estimate the lower bound of judicial competence on the Los Angeles Superior Court by examining the performance of 20 judges who have come to his attention for being among the worst.  These 20 judges are reviewed below alphabetized by surname.  Where information about a judge originated from a public source (such as the Internet, or a case report, or a newspaper report, or a book), then the heading is rendered in navy; where information originated from Lubomyr Prytulak experiences in either of the two Rambam v Prytulak cases, 02E00326 or BC271433, then the heading is rendered in red.

Every one of the 14 cases in which the California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) (at cjp.ca.gov/pubdisc.htm) takes disciplinary action against a Los Angeles Superior Court judge is included in the list below, even though in a few cases the offense appears comparatively mild.  Although such less-egregious cases contribute little to estimating the lower limit of judicial competence on the Los Angeles Superior Court, they are included because they will prove helpful in formulating conclusions concerning the CJP.  Six of the instances below are ones in which the CJP has as yet played no role: James A. BASCUE, James R. DUNN, James A. KADDO, Lance ITO, Gary KLAUSNER, and Barry A. TAYLOR.

The purpose of this exercise is to throw light upon the Rambam v Prytulak proceedings, which to be understood require awareness of something beyond the relevant law, as these proceedings from the outset not only disregarded the law, but brazenly flouted it.  The path to understanding Rambam v Prytulak is to examine the characteristics of the people staging Rambam v Prytulak, of which examination the instant letter is a continuation.

This letter is addressed to you because you were Supervising Judge of the Civil Division for the first year of the two Rambam v Prytulak cases, 02E00326 and BC271433, and thus condoned the judicial misconduct you could see playing out in these trials, and you furthermore may be expected to have played either a leading — or at least a contributory — role in pairing up Plaintiff Steven Rambam with two judges in your Civil Division (Barry A. Taylor and James R. Dunn) who were willing to pretend ignorance of the law of jurisdiction (and in the case of James R. Dunn, to obstinately defend that pretended ignorance) so as to permit the circus of New Yorker Steven Rambam suing Canadian Lubomyr Prytulak in your Los Angeles Civil Division.


Twenty Worst Los Angeles Superior Court Judges

Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(1) James A. BASCUE  refused to stop document spoliation

Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, James A. Bascue, was invited to bring a halt to James R. Dunn's spoliation of Rambam v Prytulak documents and money orders, or at least to inform Lubomyr Prytulak what changes he needed to make to his submissions and payments to make them acceptable to the Court — but with regard to the three letters below, James A. Bascue failed either to halt the spoliation or furnish an explanation.

Although it is understood that a judge lacks authority to intervene in what another judge in the same court is doing, it is also understood that this principle holds only when that other judge is in fact acting as a judge, which is to say acting in a judicial capacity and within his jurisdiction.  However, a judge who acts without his jurisdiction (as by spoliating documents, or strangling the customary flow of clerical feedback, or blocking the filling of orders for transcripts) falls outside this principle of judicial independance, and supervising authorities are under the strongest of obligations to protect the judicial office from disrepute by stopping him.

The three Lubomyr Prytulak letters which failed to prompt James A. Bascue to any apparent action, or to a justification of inaction, are as follows:

1   27-Sep-2002    Might this be obstruction of justice?
2   07-Oct-2002    Chaos or Over-Billing in Los Angeles Superior Court Fees?
3   05-Nov-2002    Please protect my submission

The last of the three letters above particularly requested James A. Bascue to extend his personal protection against spoliation for the Lubomyr Prytulak submission Prytulak-Reply-D3 of 05-Nov-2002 in the words, "I ask you to personally ensure that Executive Officer/Clerk John A. Clarke faithfully files and preserves this Prytulak submission in compliance with CCP §1952, §1952.2, and §1952.3 so that it will be available as part of the trial record in case of appeal."  This supplication for Bascue's protection, however, succeeded neither in preventing James R. Dunn from spoliating Prytulak-Reply-D3, nor in eliciting a reply as to how such spoliation fell within the law.

Supervising Judge James A. Bascue, therefore, is entered as one of the 20 worst judges on the Los Angeles Superior Court because he refused either to stop, or to justify, James R. Dunn conducting in Los Angeles proceedings that are not readily distinguishable from a Soviet-era show trial.

On top of that, as James A. Bascue is sometimes credited with assigning cases to judges, he and not Gary Klausner might bear responsibility for discovering in the Los Angeles Superior Court that rare judge — James R. Dunn — who was ready to sweep aside the law in order to promote the sham litigation of Brooklyn resident Steven Rambam (aka Rombom), as evidenced by James A. Bascue being credited with such power of assignment:

The next stop was before Judge James Bascue, who assigns all cases at the courthouse.  Bascue sent the case to Ouderkirk.
Alan Abrahamson, Times Staff Writer, Fuhrman Enters Plea of No Contest to Perjury, 03-Oct-1996 www.ideosphere.com/fx/lists/fx-discuss/1996/0208.html

And beyond James A. Basque's support for Rambam v Prytulak, there is his playing a leading role in the Los Angeles Superior Court administration during the many years that it was rocked by scandal, as is elaborated under (9) Gary Klausner below.  To administer a court that is steeped in corruption calls to the fore such interpretations as that the administrator is blind to corruption; or that he sees the corruption and connives at it, or acquiesces to it; or that he participates in it.  To the general Court corruption must be added the corruption of individual judges that is characteristic of the twenty worst judges described in the instant letter — Court leaders can be blamed for either permitting the unfit to gain entrance to the Court or else for permitting those who have gained entrance to degenerate into unfitness.  Responsibility for misconduct within any organization can often be traced to defective leadership, and when such misconduct is widespread and egregious, then the leadership cannot escape shouldering some of the responsibility.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(2) Nancy BROWN  demanded that Coordinator "not not not not not not" be in her back hallway

The Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished Nancy Brown on 01-Sep-1999 for only the first of four counts; details of Count 3, however, are included below as possibly shedding light on Nancy Brown's guiding ideology.

The Count 1 for which Nancy Brown was publicly admonished dealt with her mistreatment of Criminal Courts Coordinator John Iverson, the reason for which mistreatment she disclosed only after three and a half years — that she had been peeved at John Iverson's rude manner of announcing to her friend, Judge Ringer, his reassignment to a different courthouse.  Not only was Nancy Brown's reaction misdirected (John Iverson had been no more than the messenger relaying a decision made by others), but her justification gives the appearance of being disingenuous, as it seems more plausible that she was outraged at her own transfer to a less prestigious assignment, to which transfer she had reacted as follows:

Nancy Brown
"I am very deeply hurt and outraged," she protested in a memo, saying she had "paid her dues," the report said.  She blasted the transfer as "cruel, sadistic, humiliating and inexcusable," charging that it "smacks of sexism."  In a later letter of protest to Bascue, Brown said another such transfer would probably "put her in the funny farm" and objected to the lack of security in her new courtroom, saying she was the target of "a trained Lebanese terrorist."
Ann W. O'Neill, State Judicial Panel Lifts Curtain on Courthouse Feuds, Los Angeles Times, 08-Jul-1999.

The press found occasion in Nancy Brown's mistreatment of John Iverson to portray the Los Angeles Superior Court in a strongly negative light:

The panel's report provides a glimpse behind chamber doors — portraying the downtown Criminal Courts Building as a soap opera stage populated by big egos who occasionally indulge in personality conflicts, power plays and temper tantrums.

It also paints a picture of a bench so dysfunctional that feuding judges at times did not speak to one another for months or years at a time.
Ann W. O'Neill, State Judicial Panel Lifts Curtain on Courthouse Feuds, Los Angeles Times, 08-Jul-1999.

The details of Nancy Brown's misconduct in the first and third of the four counts against her are as follows:

1.  Count One (banning the criminal courts coordinator)  [...]  Mr. John Iverson, the criminal courts coordinator, worked under the direction of the supervising judge to ensure defendants received timely trials and to avoid dismissals due to delay.  The supervising judge, who also maintained a calendar, had insufficient time to track the availability of courtrooms.  Iverson was thus his "eyes and ears."  It was critical that Iverson had very accurate and up-to-the-minute information about the status of each courtroom.  Iverson visited each courtroom every afternoon.  If it appeared a case was nearing completion, he would speak to the judge and counsel in an effort to determine the day and the time the courtroom would be available.

On December 24, 1994, Iverson was visiting Department 108, next to Judge Brown’s department.  Judge Brown entered and appeared to be upset with Iverson’s presence.  She loudly told him, "You shouldn’t be here.  Stay away from here."  Iverson previously had a good relationship with Judge Brown and was puzzled by her conduct.  Judge Brown gave no explanation.

On January 6, 1995, respondent wrote to the supervising judge again objecting to the move.  After expressing the negative impact the move would have on her and her concerns with the security on the 15th floor, Judge Brown, wrote, without further explanation:

In the meantime, please advise John Iverson that I will not permit nor tolerate him in my courtroom; I will not permit or tolerate his presence in my chambers; I will not permit or tolerate his presence in my back hall; my clerk, bailiff, court reporter, and I will not speak to him on the telephone.  If he comes within 25 yards of me or my courtroom or my chambers or the back hallway, he is likely to be a very unhappy boy.  If my department is open, I will personally notify you and Margaret in the Coordinator’s office as I have always done.
[...]

When Iverson was shown the letter, he couldn’t understand it.  Shortly after Judge Brown moved, Iverson tried to reach her by telephone to discuss the ban.  Her clerk told him that Judge Brown would not speak to him and he was not to call.  A few days later, Iverson went into the back hallway of Department 126 to see Judge Brown.  From her chambers she said, "You don’t belong here.  Get away from here."  On February 3, 1995, Iverson encountered respondent at an elevator.  She loudly shouted, "You’re not allowed here.  Stay away from me."  On some occasion, Iverson asked respondent why she imposed the ban, and she responded "Think about it."  Iverson, however, had no idea why respondent imposed the ban.

On February 6, 1995, Judge Brown sent the presiding judge a memorandum stating:

When I returned from lunch last Friday, [February 3], I found John Iverson skulking around my chambers, my back hall, my elevator and my courtroom.

Would you please communicate to John Iverson that I will not have him skulking around my chambers, my back hall, my courtroom talking with my staff or having anything to do with Department 126.

I thought I had made that abundantly clear, but, apparently, John Iverson did not get the message.

So I am asking you once again to communicate with him personally or Jim Bascue or whoever you want to communicate with, but John Iverson is not not not not not not to be in my back hallway, my chambers, my courtroom, nor is he to communicate with my staff by telephone.

If I am open for trial, I will notify Margaret in the Coordinator’s Office as I have always done.
[...]

Judge Brown admits that she had no authority to ban Iverson from the public hallway or the courtroom, that she did this as her "quiet protest" to punish Iverson, and that she did not tell any judge or Iverson the reason for the ban for three and a half years.  Thus her conduct was unjudicial and committed while acting in a judicial capacity.  She was clearly acting in bad faith, both because she had a corrupt purpose — punishing Iverson — which is not part of the faithful discharge of her judicial duties, and because she either knew or did not care that her actions exceeded her lawful powers.  The latter conclusion is suggested by her insistence before the masters that despite exceeding her powers, the ban was an appropriate response to Iverson’s treatment of Judge Ringer.  [...]

Even four years after the ban, when Judge Brown spoke with the new presiding judge, she declined to lift the ban.  [...]

3.  Count Three (the marijuana plant in the courtroom)

The third count alleged that from 1991 to the present, Judge Brown displayed an artificial marijuana plant in her courtroom and chambers while she conducted judicial business, including presiding over drug related criminal cases.  The count alleged that the display of the plant was inconsistent with her judicial obligation to maintain appropriate decorum and gave the appearance that she might not be fair and impartial in, or might not take seriously, matters that involved the subject of drugs.  This conduct allegedly violated canons 1 and 2A.

The masters noted that: (a) the plastic marijuana plant was a gift from another judge, (b) the plant was only in the courtroom for a short while; (c) Judge Brown testified that she used the plant as a teaching tool, and (d) when a district deputy attorney requested that Judge Brown remove the plant before a narcotics trial began, it was removed from the courtroom.  They conclude that while displaying the plant in the courtroom, or chambers, may have been ill advised, there was no evidence that it impeded the administration of justice, and its display did not constitute willful misconduct or prejudicial misconduct.
Decision and Order Imposing Public Admonishment, Inquiry Concerning Judge Nancy Brown, No. 149, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 01-Sep-1999 cjp.ca.gov/PubAdmRTF/BrownPA_09-01-99.rtf

Although it is Nancy Brown's willful misconduct and habitual intemperance evident in Count 1 that constitutes her primary fault, Count 3 concerning the artificial marijuana plant in the courtroom, although dismissed by the CJP, does invite consideration of a hypothesis that could contribute toward explaining behavior that would otherwise appear bizarre and inexplicable — an explanation which might find application not only to Nancy Brown, but as well to the bizarre and otherwise inexplicable behavior of other judges on the Los Angeles Superior Court that is documented below.  To approach the hypothesis by way of an analogy — if someone's son or daughter exhibited bizarre behavior, and at the same time displayed an artificial marijuana plant in his or her room, it might be wondered whether the artificial marijuana plant was expressive of sympathy toward marijuana use, and then wondered further whether narcotics use might contribute toward explaining the bizarre behavior.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(3) Judith C. CHIRLIN  projected appearance of bias against Kim Basinger

Judith C. Chirlin was publicly admonished in 1995 for behavior creating the impression of bias, and for commenting on a case currently before the courts:

In 1993, a jury trial in the case of Main Line Pictures, Inc. v. Kim Basinger, et al. was conducted before Judge Chirlin.  The case involved an action for breach of contract based on defendant Basinger's alleged withdrawal from the making of Main Line's movie "Boxing Helena," which was completed and released with a different female lead.  The case attracted significant media attention due to the subject matter and the celebrity of the defendant.

There was a verdict for plaintiff Main Line Pictures, Inc. on March 23, 1993.  A notice of appeal was filed by defendants Kim Basinger, et al. on July 16, 1993.

In August 1993, Judge Chirlin attended the premiere of the movie Boxing Helena at the invitation of the movie's producer, the plaintiff in Main Line Pictures, Inc. v. Kim Basinger, et al.  The premiere consisted of the showing of the movie followed by a reception at a Los Angeles restaurant.  Judge Chirlin's attendance at the event was noted in the media.

The commission found that Judge Chirlin's attendance at the premiere was improper in that it contributed to an appearance of bias: due to Judge Chirlin's role in the trial of the lawsuit, the judge was seen as joining in the plaintiff's celebration of the movie's release and the plaintiff's celebration of its legal victory.

An appearance of bias or partiality erodes public confidence in and respect for the judiciary.  [...]

On January 2, 1994, while the appeal of judgment in Main Line Pictures, Inc. v. Kim Basinger, et al. was still pending, an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine about the case.  Judge Chirlin was interviewed for the article and asked about allegations that her rulings during the trial exhibited bias against defendant Basinger.  Judge Chirlin was quoted as saying, "The fact of the matter is that throughout the trial, a significant portion of my rulings were in favor of Kim."

The commission found that Judge Chirlin's comments to the reporter about the Main Line Pictures, Inc. v. Kim Basinger, et al. case were in conflict with the provisions of Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which states in part:

"A judge should not make any public comment about a pending or impending proceeding in any court ... "

At the time of the remarks, an appeal of the judgment was pending.  The requirement that judges refrain from commenting about cases continues during any appellate process until final disposition.
Public Admonishment of Judge Judith C. Chirlin, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 28-Aug-1995 cjp.ca.gov/PubAdmRTF/ChirlinPA_08-28-95.rtf


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(4) Patrick COUWENBERG  fictionalized his biography, in part to cover up having flunked the bar admission course five times

Patrick Couwenberg was removed from office by the Commission on Judicial Performance in 2001.

Patrick Couwenberg
Judge Couwenberg was charged with: (1) misrepresenting his educational background on his Personal Data Questionnaires when seeking judicial appointment; (2) falsely representing, in the course of seeking a judicial appointment in 1996, that he was a Vietnam veteran; (3) misrepresenting his educational background, legal experience and affiliations on his 1997 Judicial Data Questionnaire; (4) falsely representing to the judge who was to introduce him at the public enrobing ceremony that he was a Vietnam veteran who had received a Purple Heart; (5) falsely representing to attorneys that he went to Vietnam, had a master’s degree in psychology and had shrapnel in his groin received in military combat; (6) falsely telling a newspaper reporter that he was in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969; and (7) making false statements about his education and military experience in letters and in testimony to the commission during its investigation of his conduct.
Decision and Order Removing Judge Couwenberg From Office, Inquiry Concerning Judge Patrick Couwenberg, No. 158, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 15-Aug-2001 cjp.ca.gov/CN%20Removals/CouwDecision_sign.doc

Patrick Couwenberg was found out not when he bumped into a California justice system firewall erected to block frauds from gaining employment on the Court, and not by the Court performing verifications which exposed pathological liars among the judges, but only by a single judge happening to read Couwenberg's reckless boasting, and happening to become suspicious, long after Couwenberg had been made a judge:

The judge's economy with the truth had first come to light three years ago when a colleague on the San Diego bench, who was a genuine military veteran, read a newspaper profile of Couwenberg and smelled a rat.  He had claimed that between 1968 and 1969 he had worked for the CIA in Laos.  He had also claimed to have carried out other missions for the CIA in Africa in 1984.
Tin Soldiers, PowNetwork www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies86.htm

And from Patrick Couwenberg having failed the bar admission course five times over three years of trying, we may wonder whether he was not the least capable lawyer in all of California prior to being made a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court:

It is also more impressive to have passed the bar exam on the first try than after multiple attempts.  Regardless of the Judge’s attempt to portray failing the bar five times as something positive, this is the only logical reason for listing the date of graduation from La Verne as 1976, rather than the true date of 1973.
Decision and Order Removing Judge Couwenberg From Office, Inquiry Concerning Judge Patrick Couwenberg, No. 158, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 15-Aug-2001 cjp.ca.gov/CN%20Removals/CouwDecision_sign.doc

Our impression of atrocious judgment from Patrick Couwenberg's trying to portray his five failures above as positive is reinforced by his blaming his lying on the psychiatric malady Pseudologia Fantastica:

Judge Couwenberg offered as a psychological defense that he had a mental condition known as "pseudologia fantastica."  This defense was presented by Judge Couwenberg’s expert witness, psychiatrist Dr. Charles V. Ford.  He described pseudologia fantastica as "story telling that often has sort of a matrix of fantasy interwoven with some facts."  [...]  Dr. Ford conceded that pseudologia fantastica is a description rather than a diagnosis.

The masters recognized that there was evidence that Judge Couwenberg was in a detention camp as a very young child in Indonesia and suffered racial discrimination in Holland in his youth.  Judge Couwenberg’s doctors said that these experiences caused him to have low self-esteem which, according to Dr. Ford, led to pseudologia fantastica.  [...]  The masters properly questioned whether a judge may avail himself or herself of a psychological defense in a disciplinary hearing.  [...]  Also, it appears that pseudologia fantastica is an attempt to explain why a person lies in a way that does not directly promote his or her self-interests.  The reasons for Judge Couwenberg’s misrepresentations, however, are self-evident.  He misrepresented his qualifications in order to become a judge, to maintain the false premise which appears to have been critical to his judicial appointment, and to frustrate the commission’s investigation.  As Judge Couwenberg’s misrepresentations were clearly calculated to advance his self-interests, a theory aimed at explaining why a person lies in a way that does not obviously advance the person’s self-interests has no application.  Furthermore, as put forward by Dr. Ford, pseudologia fantastica attempts to explain why a person knowingly lies.  Judge Couwenberg has not admitted to many of his lies, such as making misrepresentations to Judge Frisco and his alleged presence in Laos in 1968 and 1969.  The application of Dr. Ford’s contentions to these misrepresentations would suggest that Judge Couwenberg is continuing to knowingly lie to the commission.
Decision and Order Removing Judge Couwenberg From Office, Inquiry Concerning Judge Patrick Couwenberg, No. 158, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 15-Aug-2001 cjp.ca.gov/CN%20Removals/CouwDecision_sign.doc

Given that Patrick Couwenberg was a liar (presenting his accusers with the paradox of asking to be believed that he was a pathological liar), had a weak grasp of the law, and otherwise suffered from atrocious judgment, one might expect broad dissatisfaction with his performance on the bench; however, Gail Diane Cox reports that the expected dissatisfaction never materialized:

What is striking is the uniform response of those who work with the judge when asked about how he does his job.  Even his supervisor, Superior Court Judge Dewey Falcone, declares he has never heard anything but praise from prosecutors and defense attorneys alike.

"He's fantastic," says Deputy District Attorney Laura Laesecke, who was recently transferred downtown after two years in Couwenberg's court that spanned seven trials.  "He will take a chance and make a call if he thinks it's right, even when it would be easy for him to dodge," she continues, giving as an example a case in which another judge at a preliminary hearing threw out a charge of constructive possession of a weapon.  She appealed to Couwenberg "who agreed with me, even though I couldn't show him a case on point," she says.  "He reinstated the charge.  The jury convicted."

Leonard Levine, a solo defense practitioner, refers to Couwenberg's courage in the context of an alleged domestic violence case.  "We thought the report was falsified, and even the DA recommended dropping it.  But given the public feeling, a lot of judges would have gone ahead anyway rather than risk being accused of being soft," Levine says.  "Couwenberg was willing to look at the facts."

The judge says he's never sanctioned anyone, or even come close to it.  He has no trouble supplying correct procedural cites, if a defense attorney is inexperienced and it isn't during a trial.  On the other side, Couwenberg, who was a prosecutor for 11 years, says he sometimes encounters prosecutors who "forget their job is justice and not convicting at any cost."  So he takes them aside for a little talk, "and the problem goes away."

For criticism of the judge, one is forced to look to an appeal court's reversal that dates from his first venue, where he heard dependency cases.  A unanimous panel in In re Brequia Y., 57 Cal.App. 4th 1060, found he had "abused his discretion" when he extended beyond its 18-month statutory limit a probationary period designed to reunify families.

"I didn't know I couldn't do it," the judge says.  "It was my first week on the bench."

Since then, he has not been reversed even though, in 1998 alone, he presided over 22 murder trials.
Gail Diane Cox, Patrick Couwenberg, law.com, August 2000 www.law.com/regionals/ca/opinions/onthebench/couwenberg.html

How to explain the seeming absence of dissatisfaction with a judge of Couwenberg's unfitness for office?

On 18-Oct-1993, Patrick Couwenberg had submitted an inaccurate Personal Data Questionnaire (PDQ) in support of his first bid for a judicial appointment, was appointed on 24-Apr-1997, and was not dismissed until 15-Aug-2001.  Therefore, the duration that his fabricated biography was available for refutation approaches eight years, and the duration that he occupied a post that he obtained fraudulently exceeds four years.  Had his PDQ been verified the day he submitted it, or the same week at the outside, his fraud could have been halted in its earliest stages, years of injustice could have been prevented, and Californians could have been spared the cost of his prosecution.  In addition, an undoubtedly more competent and meritorious man or woman would have had his job, instead of being rejected in their bid for a seat on the Court.  The two responsible entities mentioned below, however, seem to be unaware of the desirability of early prevention — both the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and the Judicial Selection Advisory Board adopting a posture of naive trust:

Representatives for both entities testified that the entities generally assumed that the factual information on a PDQ was true [...].
Decision and Order Removing Judge Couwenberg From Office, Inquiry Concerning Judge Patrick Couwenberg, No. 158, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 15-Aug-2001 cjp.ca.gov/CN%20Removals/CouwDecision_sign.doc


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(5) James R. DUNN  to this day continues to preside over the show trial of Lubomyr Prytulak

James R. Dunn
James R. Dunn has usurped the authority of the Los Angeles Superior Court to attempt to ruin Defendant Lubomyr Prytulak employing the weapon of coram non judice proceedings which bear weak resemblance to American justice, and strong resemblance to a Soviet-era show trial.  Specifically, James R. Dunn has been guilty of primarily the following three egregious deviations from American justice:

  1. Despite Lubomyr Prytulak residing neither in California nor even in the United States, and despite it being James R. Dunn's obligation to determine his in personam jurisdiction in limine; and in the absence of a formal motion to do so, then obligated to consider his jurisdiction in response to a mere suggestion; and in the absence of any external prompting, then obligated to consider his jurisdiction sua sponte or ex mero motu; and despite Lubomyr Prytulak submitting to James R. Dunn that optional external prompting in the form of three motions to quash on the ground of lack of in personam jurisdiction; and despite numerous other Prytulak submissions to James R. Dunn challenging his jurisdiction; James R. Dunn has steadfastly refused to evaluate his jurisdiction for exactly ten months today, and proposes for the proceeding scheduled for 10-Feb-2003 to continue avoiding evaluation of his in personam jurisdiction over Defendant Lubomyr Prytulak.

  2. Throughout the ten-month ordeal, James R. Dunn has prevailed upon Court clerks to deny Defendant Lubomyr Prytulak the procedural feedback that they are obligated by law to provide litigants, and that they customarily do provide.

  3. James R. Dunn has spoliated — that is suppressed or destroyed — the ten litigant submissions listed below, nine of them Defendant Lubomyr Prytulak's, and one of them Plaintiff Steven Rambam's which happened to be helpful to Lubomyr Prytulak.  Particularly damaging to the defense has been the James R. Dunn spoliation of Prytulak-Reply-D3, emphasized in bold below:

    1   27-May-2002    Motion-to-Quash-B
    2   14-Jun-2002    Prytulak-Query-B
    3   29-Aug-2002    Motion-to-Quash-C (with US$193 money order)
    4   03-Sep-2002    Rambam-Objection-C
    5   13-Sep-2002    Prytulak-Reply-C (with US$23 money order)
    6   05-Nov-2002    Prytulak-Reply-D3
    7   21-Nov-2002    Prytulak-Reply-D7
    8   02-Dec-2002    Prytulak-Request-For-Minute-Order
    9   10-Jan-2003    Prytulak-to-Clarke-03 Transcript Order
    10   20-Jan-2003    Prytulak-to-Dunn-01 Three Documents Call for a Reply
The degree to which Lubomyr Prytulak has been excluded from participating in the show trial over which James R. Dunn presides can be appreciated by noting that when Lubomyr Prytulak attempts to take one small peek at what is being said about him in the series of ex parte meetings that James R. Dunn has been holding with Plaintiff Steven Rambam and with Plaintiff lawyer Gary Kurtz, which peek Lubomyr Prytulak attempts to achieve by using Prytulak-to-Clarke-03 to order transcripts covering just two of these meetings, someone in the Court makes the decision not to fill that order, which is to say that someone in the Court makes the decision that Lubomyr Prytulak is to be denied the right to even begin to learn precisely what has been happening in proceedings that bear the title Rambam v Prytulak, and that decision-maker takes care to conceal his identity from Lubomyr Prytulak, and to conceal as well under what authority he acts.

In the absence of better information, the best guess must be that James R. Dunn is that decision-maker, and that he denies Lubomyr Prytulak transcripts not on the basis of legislation or precedent, but on the basis of his awareness that what transpired in those ex parte and coram non judice meetings over which he presided will not stand up to scrutiny, and so he prefers to add to his record the lesser disrepute of spoliating yet another Prytulak document — the Transcript Order — to the much greater disrepute of allowing his courtroom misconduct to be exposed to public view, which he knows it would be just as soon as he permitted Lubomyr Prytulak to get his hands on the requested transcripts.

On top of his misconduct in Rambam v Prytulak, James R. Dunn scatters symptoms of unfitness in every direction:

1   09-Dec-2002    Prytulak to Klausner: Did want of Judge Dunn minute order lead to killer's release?   James R. Dunn's failure to deliver a minute order is a Get Out of Jail Free card for convicted killer Juan Espino.
2   11-Dec-2002    Prytulak to Klausner: Is Gregory Taylor the Jean Valjean of Los Angeles?   James R. Dunn sentences a hungry, homeless third-striker to 25 years to life for trying to break into a church kitchen so he could eat some food the church would be glad for him to have.
3   17-Dec-2002    Prytulak to Klausner: The Role of Gun Planting in Los Angeles Justice.   James R. Dunn sentences third-striker Demitris McGee to 27 years to life for handgun possession in the midst of an LAPD epidemic of planting guns on arrestees.
4   29-Jan-2003    Prytulak to Bascue: Eight Puzzling Years in James R. Dunn Biography.  During eight years in the California Air National Guard, engineer-lawyer James R. Dunn unaccountably fails to progress beyond the basic-training-graduate rank of Airman First Class.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(6) Norman W. GORDON  spoke of a female reporter as "a little copulator"

Norman W. Gordon was censured by the California Supreme Court in 1996 for his irrepressible ethnic, racial, and sexual comments.  Today, Norman W. Gordon is retired from the bench, though apparently employed by Action Dispute Resolution Services; however, in 1984-1985 he had risen to the rank presently held by James A. Bascue — Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The commission found that between April of 1990 and October 27, 1992, Judge Gordon on several occasions made sexually suggestive remarks to and asked sexually explicit questions of female staff members; referred to a staff member using crude and demeaning names and descriptions and an ethnic slur; referred to a fellow jurist's physical attributes in a demeaning manner; and mailed a sexually suggestive postcard to a staff member addressed to her at the courthouse.  None of the conduct occurred while court was in session or while the judge was on the bench conducting the business of the court.

The commission concluded that these actions constituted conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute.  [Citation]  While the actions were taken in an ostensibly joking manner and there was no evidence of intent to cause embarrassment or injury, or to coerce, to vent anger, or to inflict shame, the result was an overall courtroom environment where discussion of sex and improper ethnic and racial comments were customary.
In re Gordon, 13 Cal4th 472 at 473-474, 53 CalRptr2d 788, 917 P2d 627 (1996).

The statement above that "None of the conduct occurred while court was in session or while the judge was on the bench conducting the business of the court," is perhaps somewhat contradicted by the statement, also above, that the effect was on the "overall courtroom environment," and by the statement below that "Gordon permitted a courtroom atmosphere to develop that encouraged sexual comments and offensive, crude, and demeaning sexual name calling":

Norman W. Gordon, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, publicly censured, 1996; appointed to the bench in 1983.  Gordon subsequently retired.  Gordon permitted a "courtroom atmosphere to develop that encouraged sexual comments and offensive, crude, and demeaning sexual name calling," according to the Commission on Judicial Performance.  For example, Gordon repeatedly asked a female reporter, "Did you get any last night," and referred to her publicly as a "little copulator."  The court reporter, Carol Crawley, sued Gordon for sexual harassment and won $85,000, which was paid by the California Superior Court.  Gordon also mailed sexually suggestive comments to employees while he was on vacation.
Justice for Murder Victims & Vocal Foundation, August/September 1997 www.vocal-jmv.org/v3i9news.html


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(7) Lance ITO  misbehaved sufficiently to produce OJ Simpson acquittal

If the Lubomyr Prytulak letter to you of 06-Jan-2003, titled Does Lance Ito Define the Upper Limit?, reviewed Lance Ito as one of the best members of the Los Angeles Superior Court, what justifies his now being included in a list of the worst?  The answer is that Ito comes with conflicting information, some of it indicating that he may be among the best, and other of it indicating that he may be among the worst.  In the earlier letter cited above, Ito having been selected to preside over the OJ Simpson murder trial led to the supposition that he might be among the best; in the instant letter, Ito having made ruinous errors without which OJ Simpson would not have been acquitted leads to the supposition that he may be among the worst.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(8) James A. KADDO  issued death threats and let air out of tires

James A. KADDO, among other things, threatened to kill his daughter's boyfriend, Fadi Nora.  Even though Kaddo's threats were made while testifying under oath, and even though he made them under examination and repeated them under cross-examination, and even though they were preceded by various acts of intimidation, neither the law-enforcement authorities, nor the Commission on Judicial Performance, took action against Kaddo, and today he continues to sit on the Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys East, his death threats having carried no culpability.

A Kaddo statement that remains unexplored is his threat to inflict physical harm on Fadi Nora through the medium of "gang members that he has done favors for."  Los Angeles Superior Court judge James A. Kaddo, then, admits to having done favors for gang members, favors so substantial that these gang members could be relied upon to compensate him by either assaulting or killing his daughter's boy friend, and he tops that off with a demonstration of abysmal judgment by boasting of it, and he continues to sit on the Los Angeles Superior Court.

A 41-year-old man [Fadi Nora] is asking the court for protection from his girlfriend's father, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who testified during a bitter child custody hearing that he [the judge] would kill him [Fadi Nora].  Judge James A. Kaddo testified in April that he would kill Fadi Nora because he didn't want the man near his three young grandchildren — a remark the judge now says he regrets.

"It was a stupid thing to say, but I was a grandfather in tears," said Kaddo, recounting the April 22 court hearing.

Nora said the remark was just the latest threat that Kaddo has made against him in the last two years.

In court documents, Nora said he is so afraid of Kaddo that he moved to an undisclosed location and quit attending services at his church.

"I live under a constant threat of death," he said in a declaration filed last month in Orange County Superior Court.

Nora, who is living with Kaddo's daughter, Nadia Yammine, is asking the court to bar Kaddo from coming within 150 yards of him, his home, his car or workplace.  A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined last month to file criminal charges against Kaddo, who was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1991 and is now assigned to Van Nuys.  [...]

During the hearing, Kaddo urged Commissioner Ann Dobbs to deny his daughter's bid for custody of her three children, now 8 to 13.

He said he didn't want his grandchildren near Nora, a friend of the Kaddo family for two decades until he began dating the judge's daughter.

Kaddo testified that he told Yammine: "I can't stand to have that psycho around my grand kids.  I'm going to do what I have to do to save my grandchildren," according to a transcript of the hearing.

On cross-examination, Yammine's attorney, Wendy A. Herzog, asked Kaddo what he had meant.

"If it means killing him, I will do it," the judge responded.

"Killing who?" Herzog asked.

"Mr. Nora," Kaddo answered.

"Is there anything else that it could have meant?" she asked.

"That's what I had in mind," Kaddo said.

That's where the exchange ends in the court transcript.  But Nora, Yammine and Herzog contend the court reporter did not capture Kaddo's final words on the subject.  They assert in court documents, that Kaddo also said, "And I would do it with my bare hands if I had to."  [...]

No California judge has ever been publicly disciplined for threatening to kill another person, according to commission records.  But an intemperate jurist was censured for threatening to jail a telephone company worker if the judge's phone service was interrupted.  Another judge was removed from office for misconduct that included threatening to give a police officer "a .38-[caliber] vasectomy" after he cited the judge for excessive use of her car horn.  [...]

According to his declaration, Nora said the judge showed him four tire valves a few days after the tires on his Jeep were deflated in October 2000 in a secure garage, implying that the judge was responsible.

Kaddo, who once presided over a Compton courtroom, also threatened to "get gang members that he has done favors for as a judge to harm me," Nora said in court papers.

And a month before the heated child custody hearing, Nora said he received an anonymous call from someone who told him in Lebanese that "my days were numbered."  [...]

Santa Ana-based attorney Richard C. Gilbert, who is representing the couple, accused the justice system of giving Kaddo special treatment because he is a judge.

"That transcript is troubling," Gilbert said.  "The commissioner [Dobbs] does not report it to the Commission on Judicial Performance or the police ...  Instead, she just changes the subject."

Gilbert said temporary restraining orders are routinely granted in heated domestic situations like these.  But Nora has been unable to get such an order, he said, without retaining an attorney and testifying in court with Kaddo present.

"Could you imagine," Gilbert said, "what would happen if Mr. Nora had threatened a Superior Court judge?"
Jean Guccione, Judge Threatens to Kill, But is Not Charged: L.A. County jurist said in child custody hearing that he would kill his daughter's boyfriend, Los Angeles Times, 20-Oct-2002, in J.A.I.L. News Journal groups.yahoo.com/group/jail4judges/message/655


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(9) Gary KLAUSNER  paired Steven Rambam up with sympathetic judges

Gary Klausner
In the thirteen letters listed below, Lubomyr Prytulak attempts to win the assistance of Gary Klausner — then Supervising Judge of the Civil Division — in stopping the spoliation of documents taking place within his Civil Division, and more generally draws attention to the corruption of the Los Angeles Superior Court which makes possible the persecution of Lubomyr Prytulak in coram non judice proceedings.  However, repeated requests to restore spoliated documents, to restrain the spoliation of future documents, or to explain how what might appear to be unlawful spoliation was in fact lawful practice — all such requests went unanswered and unheeded.  Thus, the appearance is that Gary Klausner condones the James R. Dunn usurpation of authority that is taking place in the Civil Division that Gary Klausner was supposed to be supervising.

On top of that, as Supervising Judge of the Civil Division, Gary Klausner may have been the one who saved Steven Rambam's unwinnable case from instant defeat by pairing Rambam up with a couple of judges ready to express their own support by flouting the law.  Such a service may not be among the regular duties of a Supervising Judge, but Gary Klausner was not a regular Supervising Judge, having sat in high administrative positions in the Court throughout its financial scandals (Gary Klausner had second-highest signing authority in the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge's Association bank account), and throughout the Rampart Scandal (Gary Klausner constructively fired Judge Burton Bach for what may have been Bach's resisting prosecutors who railroaded defendants).

And despite Gary Klausner's not having played any leading role in the exposure of corruption that was all around him in the Los Angeles Superior Court, and not having played any leading role either in the eradication of the corruption exposed by others, he nevertheless sought and won promotion to the United States District Court, for which he appears to have decamped, possibly taking with him at least his habits of blindness toward existing wrongdoing, and passivity toward its eradication.

1   13-Nov-2002    Finding the right judge for Rambam v Prytulak
2   14-Nov-2002    A sixth document destroyed?
3   22-Nov-2002    You are unfit for office
4   24-Nov-2002    Relevance of Rampart Scandal to Rambam v Prytulak
5   26-Nov-2002    Did you fire the Serpico of the Bench?
6   28-Nov-2002    The LASCJA Slush Fund Scandal
7   04-Dec-2002    Did James R. Dunn read before shredding?
8   07-Dec-2002    Condemnation and Interpleader (C&I) Trust Fund Scandal
9   08-Dec-2002    Does filing-fee over-billing dwarf other Court misappropriations?
10   09-Dec-2002    Did want of Judge Dunn minute order lead to killer's release?
11   11-Dec-2002    Is Gregory Taylor the Jean Valjean of Los Angeles?
12   17-Dec-2002    The Role of Gun Planting in Los Angeles Justice
13   05-Jan-2003    Does Lance Ito Define the Upper Limit?


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(10) Raymond D. MIRELES  had the LAPD haul in a Public Defender by force

Annoyed at the absence of Deputy Public Defender Howard Waco, Raymond Mireles ordered two LAPD officers to go to another courtroom where Waco was at work, and bring him in by force.  Although the Commission found that Mireles "did not intend to authorize or direct the use of force," when he saw that Waco had in fact been brought in by force, he did not reprimand the LAPD officers for having employed force, nor did he apologize to Howard Waco for having given directions whose misinterpretation had resulted in force being used against him.  Rather, Raymond Mireles acted with disregard toward Waco, as if Mireles had in fact achieved the effect that he intended, appearing "to ignore Mr. Waco's attempts to discuss the officers' actions" and which admittedly "contributed to an appearance that Judge Mireles had authorized the police officer's use of force":

The commission found that on November 6, 1989, in connection with Judge Mireles's handling of the case of People v. Smith, Judge Mireles exhibited exasperation at the absence from his court of defendant Smith's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Howard Waco, and directed two Los Angeles police officers to bring Deputy Public Defender Waco into his court, adding they should bring "a piece of" or "a body part" of Waco to his courtroom.  These directions apparently created in the officers the impression and belief that Judge Mireles had authorized their use of physical force.

In carrying out what they perceived to be Judge Mireles's directions, the officers employed physical force to remove Deputy Public Defender Waco from another courtroom and to convey him to and deliver him into Judge Mireles's courtroom.

Judge Mireles witnessed the officers' forcible delivery of Deputy Public Defender Waco into his courtroom, but made no inquiry of Mr. Waco or of the officers regarding their actions, and appeared to ignore Mr. Waco's attempts to discuss the officers' actions.  This contributed to an appearance that Judge Mireles had authorized the police officer's use of force.

The officers' use of force to obtain Deputy Public Defender Waco's attendance in Judge Mireles's court and the appearance that Judge Mireles had authorized the officers' use force were conveyed to the public through extensive media coverage.

The commission found that Judge Mireles did not intend to authorize or direct the use of force by the officers, but found that Judge Mireles had been careless in the manner in which he had directed the officers by making remarks which he considered jocular but which were capable of being, and apparently were, misunderstood.
Commission on Judicial Performance, Public Reproval of Raymond D. Mireles, 19-Jun-1990 cjp.ca.gov/PubReprovals/Mireles_PubR_061990.doc

Although the image of a Public Defender being hauled into an impatient judge's courtroom may seem comical at first glance, in fact the unlawful application of police force constitutes a most serious violation of personal liberty, and presents the spectre of police forgetting that they are not in the business of applying force as commanded, but rather have their own independent criteria for applying force which they are obligated to follow, as for example that they can arrest someone when they have an arrest warrant, or when they have seen that person commit a crime.  What they most decidedly should recognize they have no authority to do is to arrest or apprehend someone, or convey someone from one place to another, upon the mere command to do so.  The police officers should have known this, and Raymond Mireles should have known this.


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(11) Patrick B. MURPHY  was a nurse who dreamed of becoming a doctor

Patrick B. Murphy had been a registered nurse since 1977, and when sitting as a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court, was obsessed not only with thoughts of becoming a doctor, but with the demanding preparations for becoming one.  As Patrick B. Murphy resigned just before his order for removal, he ended up being only publicly censured.

Claiming various illnesses, the judge was absent for multiple, extensive periods over four years.  On days he claimed to be ill, the judge engaged in activities such as teaching evening law classes, sitting for depositions in civil litigation, completing prerequisites for admission to medical school, and secretly enrolling in and briefly attending medical school in the Caribbean.  The Commission found that the judge had persistently failed or had been unable to perform judicial duties, had failed to give judicial duties precedence over all other activities, had engaged in activities that interfered with proper performance of judicial duties, had exhibited a lack of candor to his presiding judge, had failed to cooperate in the administration of court business and had malingered.
Public Censure of Judge Patrick B. Murphy, 10-May-2001, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 2001 PUBLIC DISCIPLINE cjp.ca.gov/commcases.htm


To be more specific, Patrick Murphy was absent from Court The most egregious single act on Patrick Murphy's part was to take off to study medicine in Dominica while informing the Los Angeles Superior Court, which was paying him to work as a judge, that he was unable to show up in court because he was disabled:

On December 27, 1999, Judge Murphy purchased a round trip ticket to Dominica with a departure date of January 1, 2000, and a return date of April 22, 2000 (the last day of classes at Ross University for the spring semester).

On December 30, 1999, Judge Murphy faxed a disability slip signed by Dr. Eshom and dated "12/31" from his house to the court, as he had done on a number of occasions.  The slip said, "Continues to be disabled.  Unable to work until further evaluation."  Judge Treu considered the slip unacceptable because no specific end date had been given.  He was unaware that Judge Murphy was about to leave the country.

On January 1, 2000, Judge Murphy left for Dominica.  He did not resign his judgeship and he did not inform Judge Treu, or any other judge or court employee that he was leaving the country and planned to study medicine.  In Dominica, Judge Murphy registered for classes on January 5.  Classes began on January 5, and Judge Murphy picked up his picture I.D. card on January 9.
Decision and Order Removing Judge Murphy From Office, Inquiry Concerning Judge Patrick B. Murphy, No. 157, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 10-May-2001 cjp.ca.gov/CNCensureRTF/MurphyDecision5-10-01.doc

If Patrick Murphy had lain in bed during his absences from Court, one may indeed understand the Court's delay in distinguishing medical disability from malingering; however, given that Patrick Murphy was engaged in energetic activity whenever he was absent from court, the five-year duration of his abuses attests to the Court's lethargy in ridding itself of parasites.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(12) Pamela R. ROGERS  abused prescribed drugs

The misconduct complained of appears to have been impairment caused by Rogers' use, or abuse, of prescribed drugs:

Commission staff may monitor respondent by court observation.  If, during the monitoring period, respondent appears impaired in the performance of her judicial duties by her use of medications, the conditionally dismissed charges may be reinstated, and new charges may be filed.  [...]

All drugs taken by respondent were medications prescribed for her by doctors for serious medical conditions, principally migraine headaches.  Respondent acknowledges that she has used medications prescribed by her doctors which, prior to April 1997, included narcotics.  There is a risk of dependency in using some of these medications, even upon prescription.  Such dependency could be inconsistent with the responsibility of a judge.

Respondent, however, has sought and received expert medical assistance in order to manage her condition without narcotics.  As a result, at least since April 1997, all medications prescribed for and used by respondent have been non-narcotic, and her medical condition now appears to be under control with the help of exclusively non-narcotic medication.  [...]  There has been no reported occasion of respondent appearing to be under the influence of medication at work since April 1997.
Decision and Order Imposing Public Admonishment, Inquiry Concerning Judge Pamela R. Rogers, No. 144, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 29-Oct-1998 cjp.ca.gov/PubAdmRTF/BrownPA_09-01-99.rtf

On October 29, 1998, the commission issued a Decision and Order publicly admonishing Judge Rogers for failing to rule on seven submitted matters in a timely manner and incorporating a consent agreement concerning Judge Rogers’ use of prescription drugs. Judge Rogers agreed to provide the commission, through July 1, 2000, with confidential periodic medical reports regarding her medical condition and treatment (sent directly to the commission by the physicians) and with judicial attendance records.
Decision and Order Dismissing Count One and Count Two, Inquiry Concerning Judge Pamela R. Rogers, No. 144, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 08-Sep-2000 cjp.ca.gov/PubAdmRTF/RogersDism_09-08-00.rtf


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(13) Leopoldo SANCHEZ  released prisoners arrested for felonies

Leopoldo Sanchez was severely and publicly censured by the Supreme Court in 1973:

Between December 1969 and October 1972 Judge Leopoldo Sanchez regularly furnished to a bail bondsman orders for the release of prisoners on [9 Cal.3d 845] bail, which were blank except for the judge's signature.  The bondsman thereafter filled in the orders, fixed bail without judicial authority, and used the orders to secure the release of prisoners arrested for felonies, and copies of the used orders were furnished Judge Sanchez.  No evidence was presented that the judge received any tangible consideration for his actions.  He persisted in the foregoing conduct despite its being in contravention of a superior court rule, despite warnings to him by others including the then Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, and despite having promised to cease signing release orders.

The commission concluded, inter alia, that Judge Sanchez was guilty of "wilful misconduct in office" (see Cal. Const., art. VI, § 18), and recommended that he be "severely and publicly censured."

Upon our review of the record we are satisfied that the foregoing conclusion of the commission is fully warranted and that the discipline recommended should be adopted.  Accordingly, and by this order. Judge Sanchez is hereby severely censured.
In re Sanchez, 9 Cal.3d 844 at 844-845, [L.A. No. 30161. Supreme Court of California. August 2, 1973.]


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(14) John P. SHOOK  boosted the incomes of his tenants

John P. Shook was guilty of a number of improprieties, the leading of which was to solve his problem of needing tenants for the office building that he owned together with his wife by making sure that certain lawyers had an income which enabled them to pay his rent, as documented in Counts one and three below:

COUNT ONE

From approximately January 1989 through February 1996, when Judge Shook was assigned to the Torrance courthouse in the Southwest District of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Shook appointed attorney Ben Sadler to represent criminal defendants in approximately 50 cases.  During that time, Judge Shook had a financial relationship with Mr. Sadler.  Mr. Sadler was renting office space in a building owned by Judge Shook and Judge Shook’s wife.

From 1989 through May 1993, Judge Shook appointed Mr. Sadler to approximately 28 cases that were paid through a countywide system called PACE (Professional Appointee Court Expenditure).  When Mr. Sadler appeared before Judge Shook on cases, Judge Shook did not disclose the landlord-tenant relationship or disqualify himself because of that relationship.  Judge Shook approved Mr. Sadler’s attorney fees on PACE cases.

In mid-1993, Judge Shook recommended Mr. Sadler’s membership in an attorney appointment panel called SWIDP (Southwest Indigent Defense Panel) to SWIDP administrators.  From approximately November 1993 through September 1995, Judge Shook appointed Mr. Sadler to approximately 22 cases in which attorney fees were paid through SWIDP.  Approximately 15 of the SWIDP appointments Judge Shook made to Mr. Sadler were appointments that were not made according to the SWIDP attorney rotation list (called "collars").  Mr. Sadler received more "collar" appointments from all judges combined than did any other SWIDP attorney; and all but one of Mr. Sadler’s "collar" appointments were made by Judge Shook.  Judge Shook made more "collar" appointments to Mr. Sadler than Judge Shook did to any other attorney.  [...]

COUNT TWO

From approximately 1989 through February 1996, Judge Shook appointed attorney Robert Welbourn to represent criminal defendants in over 30 cases.  During that time, Judge Shook had a social relationship with Mr. Welbourn.  They had gone on group cruises together, and the judge attended several small group dinners with Mr. Welbourn.  Judge Shook also allowed Mr. Welbourn to pay for two lunches for Judge Shook and Judge Shook’s court staff.  When Mr. Welbourn appeared before Judge Shook, the judge did not disclose his social relationship with Mr. Welbourn or disqualify himself because of that relationship.

In some PACE cases, Judge Shook allowed Mr. Welbourn to bring his bills for attorney fees directly to Judge Shook in chambers for Judge Shook’s approval, in disregard of the PACE policy that before approval by a judge, attorney fees were to be submitted to PACE for review and evaluation.  [...]

COUNT THREE

In approximately mid-April, 1994, attorney Joel Oiknine was a prospective tenant in the office building owned by Judge Shook and Judge Shook’s wife.  Mr. Oiknine at that time had a telephone conversation with Judge Shook in which Mr. Oiknine expressed doubt that he could afford the rent.  Judge Shook ascertained that Mr. Oiknine’s application to become a member of SWIDP had been denied.  Judge Shook told Mr. Oiknine that if he rented office space in the Shook building, Judge Shook would recommend Mr. Oiknine to SWIPD.  Mr. Oiknine would then receive criminal appointments from Judge Shook, which would cover the rent.  [...]

COUNT FOUR

From approximately mid-1985 through 1988, when Judge Shook was assigned to the Compton courthouse in the South Central District of the Los Angeles Superior Court, attorney Stanley Granville was appointed by Judge Shook to represent criminal defendants in cases before Judge Shook.  On two occasions relevant to this time period, Judge Shook allowed Mr. Granville to pay for lunch for Judge Shook and Judge Shook’s court staff.  On one of those occasions, Mr. Granville used a limousine in which champagne was available to transport Judge Shook and Judge Shook’s staff to lunch.
Decision and Order Imposing Public Admonishment, Inquiry Concerning Judge John P. Shook, No. 148, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 29-Oct-1998 cjp.ca.gov/PubAdmRTF/ShookPA_10-29-98.rtf

What the Commission on Judicial Performance signals, then, is that it will slap a wrist when the financial benefits flowing between lawyers and judges become egregious, but that it will not act decisively to put a stop to all such future activity.  Among the things that the public might have expected the CJP — or some other responsible agency, or some person in authority — to do might be:

  1. To remove John P. Shook from office.

  2. To recommend disciplinary action against the lawyers who participated in Shook's schemes.

  3. To recommend that judges not be allowed to own office buildings near their place of work.

  4. To recommend a review of all cases in which judges took action that affected the incomes or careers of lawyers appearing before them.

  5. To recommend that the power to benefit lawyers financially — as by appointing them to represent criminal defendants, approving their PACE fees, recommending them for membership in SWIDP, or allocating SWIDP "collar" cases to them — be completely taken out of the hands of judges.

What the Commission on Judicial Performance did do, then, was to slap a wrist where it should have punished, and it was to slap only one wrist where several wrongdoers were involved, and it was to leave undisturbed practices which invite corruption.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(15) James R. SIMPSON  fixed motor vehicle violations

James R. Simpson mainly interfered with the processing of motor vehicle violations:

James R. Simpson
The commission concludes, based on Judge Simpson’s stipulation that, prior to his retirement, Judge Simpson presided over matters involving friends, gave favorable treatment to friends, and tried to influence other judicial officers and police in their handling of matters concerning the judge’s friends.  The commission hereby publicly censures Judge Simpson and bars him from receiving an assignment, appointment, or reference of work from any California state court.
Decision and Order Imposing Public Censure and Barring Judge Simpson from Receiving Assignments, Inquiry Concerning Former Judge James R. Simpson, No. 168, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 09-Dec-2002 cjp.ca.gov/CNCensureRTF/Simpson Decision 12-9-02.rtf

The most blatant misconduct attributed to James R. Simpson is described in the fifth of the six counts against him:

In approximately 1997, Judge Simpson called Commissioner Bracke to his chambers.  Judge Simpson told Commissioner Bracke that the wife of a good friend of his who owned a Pasadena restaurant had received a ticket for which she was supposed to have appeared in Commissioner Bracke’s courtroom.  Judge Simpson told Commissioner Bracke that his friend was a very good person and had catered some events for him.  Judge Simpson said that his friend had gone to court in his wife’s place because she was ill, but that he left when Commissioner Bracke did not call his wife’s name or acknowledge him when he answered on her behalf.  As a result, a warrant had issued.

Judge Simpson asked Commissioner Bracke what his friend could do about the warrant.  Commissioner Bracke said that Judge Simpson’s friend could post bail on the warrant or hire a lawyer to come in.  Commissioner Bracke also said that Judge Simpson’s friend could bring in documentation and that her practice was to hold a warrant for two weeks if someone had a medical excuse.  Judge Simpson later told his friend that he needed to bring to court some documents or medical papers.

Approximately one or two days later, Judge Simpson came through the back door of Commissioner Bracke’s courtroom with his friend.  Judge Simpson was wearing his judicial robe.  The courtroom was full of people.  Judge Simpson had his arm around his friend’s shoulder, looked at Commissioner Bracke and said that this was the friend whose wife’s ticket he had told her about.  Judge Simpson patted his friend on the shoulder and assured him that Commissioner Bracke would take care of him.  Judge Simpson walked his friend into the audience section of the courtroom to sit down.

Commissioner Bracke put the matter toward the end of the calendar to try to avoid creating the appearance that another judge could bring a friend into court to receive special treatment
Decision and Order Imposing Public Censure and Barring Judge Simpson from Receiving Assignments, Inquiry Concerning Former Judge James R. Simpson, No. 168, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 09-Dec-2002 cjp.ca.gov/CNCensureRTF/Simpson Decision 12-9-02.rtf

A supposition that is called to mind by Simpson's action above is that he had gotten so used to throwing his weight around over the years, that he saw no impropriety even in barging into someone else's courtroom to throw his weight around, and in doing so even before the public.  If by the "back door" is meant not the door that is used by the public, but the separate entrance used by the judge or commissioner, then James R. Simpson inappropriately barging into someone else's courtroom through that reserved entrance would be joining together with his inappropriately wearing his judicial robes into a region where he held no jurisdiction, all to enhance his importance in the eyes of Commissioner Bracke, the public, and himself.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(16) Robert S. STEVENS  begged for an orgy

Robert S. Stevens, deceased 1984, was publicly censured for actions that might be described as sex-crazed:

Judge Robert S. Stevens was a member of the California Legislature before he became a judge in 1977.  From January 1975 until August 1979 Judge Stevens repeatedly initiated conversations with Mr. and Mrs. Edward Leon Murphy, employees of the Legislature, in which he discussed his sexual experiences and fantasies and proposed that the Murphys engage in various kinds of sexual activity with him and with other persons, all in explicit, vulgar, and offensive language.  His purpose in doing so was to gratify his own sexual desires.  The Murphys repeatedly objected to Judge Stevens about these conversations, but he persisted in conducting them although he knew they harassed and distressed the Murphys.  A number of public officials and employees learned of these conversations when the Murphys sought help in persuading Judge Stevens to discontinue his conduct, and in August 1979 the conversations were widely publicized in the press.  Judge Stevens knew or should have known there was a substantial likelihood that his conduct would become known to many persons and thereby bring the judicial office into disrepute.
In re Stevens, 28 Cal.3d 873 at 873-874, [L.A. No. 31304. Supreme Court of California. February 11, 1981.]


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(17) Charles W. STOLL  enjoyed a Walt Disney conflict of interest

Charles W. Stoll was publicly admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance on 03-Jun-1996 for the following two transgressions:

1.  Judge Stoll has failed to disqualify himself in [four] cases in which the Walt Disney Company was a litigant although his disqualification was required, based upon his ownership of 1000 shares of Disney stock valued at approximately $45,000.  [...]

2.  On January 17, 1995, and February 3, 1995, Judge Stoll wrote two letters on court letterhead to a collection service regarding a claim against a member of the judge’s family which [claim] became the subject of litigation, in an effort to influence the recipient [the collection service][...]
Public Admonishment of Judge Charles W. Stoll, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 03-Jun-1996 cjp.ca.gov/PubAdmRTF/StollPA_06-03-96.rtf


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(18) Barry A. TAYLOR  wouldn't evaluate his own jurisdiction

The first Rambam v Prytulak case 02E00326 was brought before Judge Barry A. Taylor, who did not enquire of Plaintiff Steven Rambam, or of Plaintiff lawyer Gary Kurtz, why Barry A. Taylor should take jurisdiction over Canadian citizen and resident Lubomyr Prytulak.  When Lubomyr Prytulak submitted his challenge to jurisdiction in the form of Motion-to-Quash-A, Barry A. Taylor initiated the Los Angeles Superior Court policy of confronting Lubomyr Prytulak with the same maddening and deafening silence which the Court presented to Lubomyr Prytulak thereafter throughout the two Rambam v Prytulak law suits, 02E00326 and BC271433.  Although Barry A. Taylor did file Prytulak Motion-to-Quash-A as "correspondence received," he proceeded to take none of the steps that logically followed; most particularly, he never did get around to evaluating his own jurisdiction, as he was obligated to do, on his own motion if he chose to deny Lubomyr Prytulak the feedback which would have permitted him to upgrade his "correspondence" into a formal motion fileable by the Court.

The sham Rambam v Prytulak litigation should have been blown out of the water by Barry A. Taylor two minutes after it landed on his desk, and failing that, then at the latest when Prytulak Motion-to-Quash-A landed on his desk.  It was Taylor's refusal to act upon Prytulak's challenge to jurisdiction that set a precedent for James R. Dunn to continue doing the same.  The pair of them — Barry A. Taylor and James R. Dunn — proceeded with the Rambam v Prytulak show trial as if the laws concerning jurisdiction did not exist, and as if Lubomyr Prytulak submissions never arrived, or in the rare case that they were acknowledged to arrive, as if they did not need to be read or taken seriously.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(19) George W. TRAMMELL III  raped the prisoner's wife

George W. Trammell III being sentenced to 27 months in federal prison probably means that he served time, making him the only one of the 20 worse judges to do so.  The general nature of his transgressions is as follows:

In the spring of 1995, Ming Jin (Jin), Pifen Lo (Lo), his ex-wife with whom he lived with their three children, and Yu Chang Chu (Chu), apparently their live-in baby-sitter and Jin’s lover, were arrested.  The case was assigned to Judge Trammell.  The charges included two counts of kidnapping for purposes of extortion, assault of one victim with a semiautomatic firearm, several counts of robbery, several counts of laundering money, possession of explosives, possession of silencers, possession of counterfeit computer software, and three counts of child endangerment because the explosives and guns were in the house where the three children lived.  The most serious charges were lodged against Jin and Chu and carried punishments of life sentences without parole.  The charges against Lo exposed her to a potential sentence of 12 years.  [...]

The Commission concludes, as did the Special Masters, that Judge Trammell engaged in willful misconduct in carrying on, and actively concealing, a sexual relationship with Lo, while she was a probationer under his supervision and he was presiding over the criminal cases against her two co-defendants, and in using his judicial office to further his relationship with Lo.
Decision and Order Imposing Public Censure and Order Barring Judge Trammell From Receiving Assignments, Inquiry Concerning Judge George W. Trammell III, No. 146, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 05-Jan-1999 cjp.ca.gov/CNCensureRTF/TrammellCNCN_01-05-99.rtf

Some particulars:

Pifen Lo
Lo testified before the Special Masters that on September 18, 1996, Judge Trammell contacted her by telephone and asked her to come to his chambers.  She went to the courthouse and waited outside Judge Trammell’s chambers until he ushered her into his room.  Lo testified that Judge Trammell asked her if she had sent the birthday cards and she admitted that she had.  Lo also testified that they discussed Jin and his possible sentence.  She further testified that Judge Trammell complimented her, touched her, and kissed her.  The meeting ended when someone sought entry into the judge’s chambers and Judge Trammell let Lo out a side door.

Lo testified that on Saturday, September 21, 1996, Judge Trammell contacted her by telephone and asked her to come to his house.  On Sunday, September 22, 1996, Lo went to Judge Trammell’s house.  They talked for awhile, they discussed Jin, and according to Lo, engaged in sexual intercourse over her objections.

Lo testified that from then through December 1997, she visited Judge Trammell at least once a week and that they often engaged in sexual intercourse.  During this period of time, Judge Trammell and Lo spoke to each other frequently by telephone.  In their conversations Judge Trammell allegedly discussed how he might be able to terminate Lo’s probation after only a year and advised her on how she might seek the return of property seized by the police, including a Mercedes automobile.  At some point in time, Lo obtained a pager and Judge Trammell left numerous coded messages on Lo’s pager.

During this time, Judge Trammell continued to preside over matters concerning Lo, Chu and Jin.  [...]

On January 2, 1997, jail personnel intercepted correspondence from Jin to Lo which contained a "petition" alleging sexual misconduct by Judge Trammell.  The document alleged, among other things, that Lo had collected pubic hair from the judge as proof of their sexual relationship.  On January 6, 1997, two deputy sheriffs and their supervisor met with Judge Trammell and showed him the intercepted "petition."  When asked, Judge Trammell admitted that Lo had been to his house once or twice, that he had called her four or five times and had taken her to dinner.  He admitted telling her that he loved her, but denied having had sexual intercourse with her.

On January 6, 1997, without notice to counsel, Judge Trammell issued an order canceling the probation condition requiring Lo to receive counseling.

On January 9, 1997, Judge Trammell was served with a search warrant for his home and chambers. The following day he retired from judicial office.
Decision and Order Imposing Public Censure and Order Barring Judge Trammell From Receiving Assignments, Inquiry Concerning Judge George W. Trammell III, No. 146, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 05-Jan-1999 cjp.ca.gov/CNCensureRTF/TrammellCNCN_01-05-99.rtf

In deciding whether George Trammel had coerced Pifen Lo into a sexual relationship by offering to ease up on his harsh treatment of her husband, or whether Pifen Lo had enticed George Trammel into a sexual relationship in order to win lenient treatment for her husband, one consideration that might be kept in mind is that it was George Trammel who had initiated improper ex parte contact with Pifen Lo:

If Judge Trammell had consciously set out to use his power over [husband Ming] Jin's future as bait for having his way with [Jin's wife] Pifen Lo, by September 18, 1996 he was well positioned to test his bait.  From his chamber he called Lo at her mother-in-law's home where she and the children now lived.  She wasn't home and he left a message for her to call back and left his number without identifying himself.  Upon returning home Lo called the number on the message and discovered it was Trammell.  He asked her to come alone to his courtroom at 12:30 and wait by the front door.  Lo got a ride from a friend whom she asked to wait down on the first floor of the courthouse.  Lo took the elevator to the third floor, arriving in front of Trammell's courtroom at 12:25.  Ten minutes later Trammell opened the door to ask Lo into his chambers.
H Y Nahm, The Judge & the Convict's Woman, GoldSea Asian American Supersite, Page 9 of 13 goldsea.com/Features/Judge/judge9.html

And it was George Trammel who upon the occasion of the above improper ex parte contact made sexual advances, as described below by distraught husband Ming Jin from his prison cell after learning from his wife, Pifen Lo, what had happened:

"Judge Trammell asked [my wife, Pifen Lo,] why my wife never called him and told her that he had loved her very much ever since she took the open plea in his courtroom," [husband Ming] Jin wrote in the thick, handwritten Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus he filed from the county jail on January 17, 1997.  "He told her she looked very different when she wasn't in the jail uniform.  My wife kept telling Judge Trammell that I [Jin] am innocent in this case, but the judge kept telling my wife I would receive a life sentence.  The judge began to touch my wife's hair and shoulders, then held her hands to tell her he could give me 20 years.  My wife responded that I would rather commit suicide because I am innocent.  Judge Trammell said he believed so.  Judge Trammell told my wife if she wants me home early, then she must pay the price.  And then he put his hand down into her clothes and touched her breast, then kissed her.  My wife struggled and again he told her she must pay the price.  Later he asked her if she would like to see him again on Saturday, three days later.  My wife didn't answer the question but asked to leave.  Judge first checked outside his office door then held my wife's shoulder to walk with her across the courtroom to the front door to let her leave."

Lo walked out with the burden of her husband's fate on her shoulders.  She could rebuff Trammell and see the father of her three children spend the rest of his life in prison.  Or she could submit and hope the judge would reward her by skewing the legal machinery toward a new trial.
H Y Nahm, The Judge & the Convict's Woman, GoldSea Asian American Supersite, Page 10 of 13 goldsea.com/Features/Judge/judge10.html

The statement higher above that "The meeting ended when someone sought entry into the judge’s chambers and Judge Trammell let Lo out a side door" is capable of making the public wonder why any judge needs to have a "side door."  The public is capable of imagining that integrity would be promoted by requiring all of a judge's visitors to come and go through a gauntlet of security and support staff.  If there is any justification for a judge entertaining private visitors to his chambers, this justification should be published, as there may be some members of the public to whom it is not evident.  The public may be ready to see an unmonitored side door to a judge's chambers as having no uses other than the illegitimate ones of ex parte communication with litigants and sexual indiscretion.  An immediate withdrawal of this invitation to the illicit would be to convert all private entrances to judge's chambers into emergency exits which set off alarms when opened, where bricking them in was not feasible.


Bascue Brown Chirlin Couwenberg Dunn Gordon Ito Kaddo Klausner Mireles Murphy Rogers Sanchez Shook Simpson Stevens Stoll Taylor Trammell Williams

(20) Alexander H. WILLIAMS  recommended "You can stick it right here!"

Alexander H. Williams was publicly admonished for abusive language, and threatening lawyers with prejudicial treatment, on two occasions:

On November 17, 1995, Judge Alexander H. Williams used profanity, made a vulgar gesture and threatened retaliation toward counsel in a case pending before the judge.  In the case of Rico v. Nunez, during a break in a pretrial settlement conference, Judge Williams left the courtroom and approached attorney Gilberto Moreno, representing cross-complainant and cross-defendant Los Angeles County Chicano Employees Association, in the hallway outside the entrance to the courtroom, where others were present and observed Judge Williams’ conduct.  Using a loud and angry voice, Judge Williams stated words to the effect of: "Your demand for money is bullshit...  If you keep making this demand, you can stick it right here," while gesturing toward his buttocks with rolled up paper.  Some of the plaintiffs were seated behind attorney Moreno when the judge made his remarks and gesture.  The attorney for plaintiffs, Rees Lloyd, then arrived and Judge Williams repeated to him that the demand for money was "bullshit."  Judge Williams returned to the courtroom, followed by attorneys Moreno and Lloyd.  Entering the bar area, Judge Williams turned, pointed to Mr. Lloyd, who was in the gallery with others present in the courtroom, and said in an angry voice: "If you think you are going to get money out of this case, you’ve got shit for brains.  If you want war, you’ll get war.  And if you still think you’re going to get money, I’ve got a Brooklyn Bridge I can sell you."  Judge Williams went into chambers, then emerged, apologized to the attorneys for his language, and stated words to the effect of: "No jury I know of is going to give you money for this case.  I’ll set it for 1999 and make sure it goes nowhere.  You did not want to settle, so now you are my enemy."  Judge Williams then indicated an intent to sanction plaintiffs’ counsel if the plaintiffs lost at trial and told Mr. Lloyd that he had no respect for him.  Others were present in the courtroom during these remarks.

On the next business day, November 20, attorneys Lloyd and Moreno appeared in Judge Williams’ court and filed motions to disqualify him.  Judge Williams suggested that the motions be withdrawn.  After the attorneys declined to do so, Judge Williams recused himself and stated words to the effect of: "Well, now I don’t have anything to do with your case and you can leave.  I just told the truth.  This case is worth nothing and now you’ll get a judge who’s been disqualified three times from other cases and I hope you enjoy that environment.  You will not find another judge who will show the patience and give you the time that I did."  When Mr. Lloyd attempted to speak, Judge Williams responded to the effect: "This is my courtroom and you have nothing to say here.  Get out."  Mr. Lloyd then stated: "You said, 'This case is not about money and you’ve got shit for brains.'  We weren’t asking for money."  Judge Williams responded, "Well, I was half right."

Judge Williams’ conduct, as described above, involved vulgar, abusive and demeaning language toward attorneys and constituted an improper display of personal hostility and embroilment.
Public Admonishment of Judge Alexander H. Williams, III, Commission on Judicial Performance, State of California, 22-Jan-1997 cjp.ca.gov/PubAdmRTF/WilliamsPA_01-22-97.rtf
Twenty Worst Los Angeles Superior Court Judges


Comparisons to Other Professions

Given incomplete and imperfect knowledge of the characteristics of the judges on the Los Angeles Superior Court, it is inevitable that substantial defect and corruption remain hidden from public view, and that a thorough investigation would reveal faults that dwarf those itemized above.

Nevertheless, even restricting attention to the known judicial faults listed above suggests that they are unmatched in other professions.

  1. The Los Angeles Superior HOSPITAL

    For example, let us imagine a Los Angeles Superior HOSPITAL in which can be found physicians with characteristics similar to the characteristics of the twenty worst Los Angeles Superior COURT judges itemized above, as for example the following eight:

    1. Dr. Nancy BROWN, a surgeon who has taken a dislike to Operating-Room Coordinator John Iverson, and who writes "If he comes within 25 yards of me or my operating room, he is likely to be a very unhappy boy," and "John Iverson is not not not not not not to be in my back hallway or my operating room, nor is he to communicate with my staff by telephone."

    2. Dr. James R. DUNN sets about poisoning patient Lubomyr Prytulak, and systematically destroys Prytulak written complaints which document that he is being poisoned.  Lubomyr Prytulak queries as to the nature of Dr. Dunn's treatment are met with silence.

    3. Dr. Lance ITO is selected to remove a mole from the shoulder of highly-prominent patient OJ Simpson.  Ito's operating-room behavior is described by medical authority Dr. Vincent Bugliosi as follows: "Ito did several things during the operation that I can only characterize as irrational, almost goofy, and because of this, throughout the operation I had an ongoing sense of unease that he might do something seriously bizarre."  Through Dr. Lance ITO's negligence, OJ Simpson dies on the operating table.

    4. Dr. James A. KADDO slashes the tires of, and issued death threats against, his daughter's boy friend.

    5. Dr. Patrick B. MURPHY dreams of becoming a lawyer, and takes evening courses to qualify himself for law school, which necessitates him being absent from work 159½ days in 1999, and who in 2000 is admitted to a law school in Dominica, and purchases a return ticket to Dominica departing 01 January and returning 22 April, intending over that spring semester to continue being paid by the hospital.

    6. Dr. John P. SHOOK, a hospital administrator, assigns the most lucrative patients to physicians who rent space from him in a building that he owns.

    7. Dr. Robert S. STEVENS cannot be dissuaded from repeatedly proposing that the Murphys engage in various kinds of sexual activity with him and with other hospital employees, all in explicit, vulgar, and offensive language.

    8. Dr. George W. TRAMMELL III withholds treatment from a critically ill patient in order to extract sexual favors from that patient's wife.

    But on top of that, to make the imaginary Los Angeles Superior HOSPITAL more comparable to the real Los Angeles Superior COURT, the HOSPITAL would need to be given further negative characteristics than merely the collection of bad doctors imagined above:

    • If the COURT is responsible for having imposed possibly thousands of wrongful convictions, then the HOSPITAL might similarly be imagined imposing thousands of negligent treatments leading to bodily harm or death.

    • If the COURT makes life difficult for judges who oppose the railroading of defendants, then the HOSPITAL might similarly be imagined making life difficult for surgeons who insist on washing their hands before they operate.

    • If the COURT hosts three major financial scandals (LASCJA Slush Fund Scandal, C&I Trust Fund Scandal, and Overbilling Scandal), then the HOSPITAL might similarly be imagined to host three major financial scandals, including one of overbilling patients by upwards of US$105 million annually.

    • If the COURT refuses to supply Defendant Lubomyr Prytulak with a minute order describing the Court's response to Prytulak Motion-to-Quash-D, or refuses to supply Prytulak with transcripts of ex parte proceedings between Plaintiff and COURT, then the HOSPITAL might similarly refuse to inform Patient Lubomyr Prytulak of what doctors discovered, and what biopsies revealed, during explorative surgery.

    • If the COURT is responsible for the careless processing of prisoners, resulting in the erroneous release of some (even recently-convicted murderers), as well as the erroneous incarceration of many, then the HOSPITAL might similarly be imagined to carelessly process patients, sending some gravely ill patients home (even when this kills them), as well as erroneously retaining many who are without need of further hospitalization.

    • If the COURT can imprison a homeless drug addict prying open a kitchen door for 25 years to life, then the HOSPITAL can strap this same homeless drug addict down to an operating table and use him as a guinea pig in experimental surgery.

    • If the COURT acquiesces to police planting guns on arrestees so as to justify inflicting punishment, then the HOSPITAL might analogously be imagined to acquiesce to nurses fabricating symptoms on admitted patients so as to justify subjecting them to costly treatment.

    Obviously, and incontestably, the Los Angeles Superior HOSPITAL sheltering these many defective employees and engaging in these many harmful practices is fantastic, and far worse than any real hospital that might be found anywhere in the United States, and yet the comparable Los Angeles Superior COURT, sheltering similar defective employees and engaging in similar harmful practices, is a reality.  If such a HOSPITAL were to come into existence, it would not be tolerated; the COURT is in existence, and it is tolerated.

  2. The Los Angeles Superior UNIVERSITY

    Or, casting about for another profession characterized by a high level of education, we may consider university professors at an imaginary Los Angeles Superior UNIVERSITY.  Shedding detail, we may concisely imagine a UNIVERSITY that harbors a Professor James R. Dunn who sets about failing a student whose political beliefs he despises, and destroying that student's assignments and examinations so as to permit no verification of the failing grades; and a UNIVERSITY that simultaneously harbors a Professor Patrick B. Murphy who has always dreamed of being a painter on the left bank, and who purchases a ticket for Paris departing 01 January and returning 22 April, this while informing the UNIVERSITY that he will be absent because unwell; and harbors a Professor George W. TRAMMELL III, who begins failing a student in order to extort sexual favors from that student's wife; and so on up to 20 worst professors matching the 20 worst judges above.

    And to match the Los Angeles Superior COURT more closely, this Los Angeles Superior UNIVERSITY would also have to gratuitously lower the grades of a large number of students (even gratuitously fail thousands), and gratuitously raise the grades of a few; take punitive action against professors who objected to failing students randomly; undergo three major financial scandals, including the annual inflation of student fees by at least US$105 million; refuse to give students an accounting of how their grades were computed; under a zero tolerance policy, expel a student for life for the transgression of bringing food into his dormitory room; and plant unauthorized crib sheets on Palestinian students taking examinations so as justify expelling them.

The reason for the differences between the defect-ridden Los Angeles Superior Court on the one hand, and comparatively defect-free real hospitals and real universities on the other, is undoubtedly that doctors and professors are pretty much subject to the law, whereas the Los Angeles judges have largely placed themselves above the law.  The closer that Los Angeles judges approach absolute power, the deeper they sink into something approaching absolute corruption.


Who Was the Worst?

If the chief criterion of evaluation is inflicting undeserved harm, then the prize might go to George W. Trammell III who subjected a prisoner to harsh treatment so as to extract sexual favors from the prisoner's wife.

After Trammell would have to come James R. Dunn, and the other three judges implicated in the show trial of Lubomyr Prytulak, namely James A. Bascue, Gary Klausner, and Barry A. Taylor, the four whose headings above were in red.  These four, but especially James R. Dunn, have blatantly and arrogantly brushed aside the law and due process, and have transformed an instrument of just prosecution into an instrument of malicious persecution.

Despite their many and serious flaws, perhaps not one of the sixteen other judges on the above list would have been capable for such a long interval of refusing to evaluate his or her own jurisdiction, of so consistently prohibiting Court Clerks from providing obligatory and customary information and feedback and from filling orders for transcripts, and most importantly of suppressing or destroying — that is, spoliating — most of the submissions and payments of one of the litigants.  Every one of these sixteen other judges, even though they are among the worst on the Los Angeles Superior Court, would probably have handled Rambam v Prytulak less prejudicially than did James R. Dunn.


What Must be Done?

  1. Upgrade Selection Procedures.  Judicial appointments must be based on merit, not on a trading of political favors, and not on the ability to raise campaign funds.  Background checks must be thorough.  Verification of biographical information of existing judges must be commenced immediately — a judge with something to hide is a judge susceptible to blackmail, and under the present circumstances of lax background checking, blackmail cannot be excluded from the list of hypotheses called up to explain aberrant judicial behavior.

  2. Institute Drug Tests.  Several of the judges above behaved so erratically and bizarrely as to suggest that they may have been frying their brains with drugs.  Litigants have a right to know that the judges presiding over their cases do so with unclouded minds.  Lubomyr Prytulak's esteem for the Los Angeles Superior Court would begin to be restored upon learning that James R. Dunn had passed a drug test.

  3. Mental Competence Examinations.  Erratic and bizarre behavior can have causes other than drug abuse, such as brain injury or Alzheimer's disease.  If a judge can't pass, or won't take, a mental competence test, he shouldn't be sitting on a court; the damage that mental incapacity in a position of power inflicts on others is too great to be countenanced.  Lubomyr Prytulak's confidence in the integrity of the Los Angeles Superior Court would be moved a step closer to restoration upon being informed that James R. Dunn had passed a mental competence examination.

  4. Eliminate Private Entrances.  Private entrances to judges' chambers must be converted into emergency exits with alarms, or must be sealed up.  Los Angeles has had enough judicial private-entrance hanky-panky.  Lubomyr Prytulak's trust in Los Angeles justice would gain strength upon learning that the chambers of James R. Dunn had no unmonitored door.

  5. Awaken the Sleeping Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP).  The CJP has refused to investigate James R. Dunn, but without explaining to Lubomyr Prytulak what justifies James R. Dunn denying Lubomyr Prytulak obligatory and customary clerical feedback and without explaining what justifies James R. Dunn spoliating most of Lubomyr Prytulak's submissions.  In its decision to side with James R. Dunn and against Lubomyr Prytulak, the CJP gives California judges a green light to railroad anyone they want through the twin mechanisms of denying feedback and spoliating documents.  With the possible exception of George W. Trammell III, no other judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court in recent years has as strongly deserved CJP scrutiny as James R. Dunn, and in refusing to give James R. Dunn that scrutiny, the CJP has opened up in the public mind the question of what it is that shields James R. Dunn from the Commission's gaze.  Lubomyr Prytulak's estimation of the Commission on Judicial Performance would move in the positive direction upon learning that it had mounted an investigation of the judicial conduct of James R. Dunn.

  6. Strengthen the Internet. The only thing keeping Lubomyr Prytulak from being ground up in the gears of the dreaded Los Angeles Superior Court is his ability to publish on the Internet.  Those who lack similar access are without defense — that is, unless they are wealthy and can afford good lawyers.  Anyone who relies on lawyers but is not wealthy should not be surprised to have his life savings and assets utterly devoured by legal bills which cover what at first sight appeared to be a straightforward matter.  Should the Los Angeles Superior Court attempt to protect itself from criticism by limiting access to the Internet, then the United States will advance another step into a Dark Age in which Americans will discover that all the calamities which they have watched taking place outside their borders have become neighborhood commonplaces, and have ensconced themselves for a long stay.

Few things are as dangerous to the survival of a society as having its judiciary usurp authority to persecute individuals falling outside court jurisdiction.  For judges to do so is bad faith, it is corruption, it is a step toward tyranny and despotism.  Any judge who refuses to examine his own jurisdiction, who denies obligatory and customary feedback and information, and who spoliates documents, is staging a show trial in a kangaroo court.  His proceedings deserve to be put down, and his misconduct deserves to be punished.  Those who supported his coram non judice activity need to be held to account.




Lubomyr Prytulak


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