18 January 2017

Mandated Reporter Series: State Law Requires Sacramento Family Court Judges To Report Attorney and Judge Misconduct

Under state law, California judges are mandated reporters of attorney misconduct. Judicial Ethics Code § 3D(2), Business and Professions Code §§ 6086.7 and 6086.8, and California Rules of Court rules 10.609 and 10.1017 each require judges to report specific types of lawyer misconduct. The reporting duty is mandated by law, and is not discretionary.  

One type of common attorney misconduct is the failure to disclose adverse law in presenting a matter in court. The failure to identify law adverse to an attorneys position in court filings and during oral argument violates the California Rules of Professional Conduct, Business and Professions Code, ABA Model Rules, and decisional law. The document set embedded at the bottom of this post includes these authorities. 

One type of common judge misconduct is the failure to report or otherwise take appropriate corrective action when an attorney fails to disclose adverse law. Despite the routine occurrence of this type of judge misconduct, Commission on Judicial Performance judge disciplinary statistics indicate that judges are rarely held accountable under Judicial Ethics Code § 3D(2) for failing to hold attorneys accountable. CJP reform advocates contend this absence of enforcement by the agency exacerbates the rule of law breakdown prevalent in California courts.  

06 January 2017

Judge Matthew Gary Serial Misconduct Saga: Court Watchdogs Stunned by Return of Controversial Judge-Clerk Team to Family Court

Court clerk Christina Arcuri with Judge Matthew Gary 
Sacramento Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin Culhane has reassigned troubled Judge Matthew J. Gary - and his equally controversial clerk Christina Arcuri - to hear cases in the family law courthouse.

Under a cloud of controversy, in 2014 Gary and Arcuri were moved from a family law courtroom in the William Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse on Power Inn Road to a probate/mental health law courtroom in the same courthouse. 

Court watchdogs assert that Gary and Arcuri are openly biased against self-represented litigants who cannot afford to hire an attorney, and who make up more than 70 percent of court users in family court. Court employee whistleblowers also allege that the pair have been engaged in an improper, long-term personal relationship for over ten years. The couple deny the claim.
   
After generating a number of complaints during the course of their assignment to the probate/mental courtroom, in 2015 Gary and Arcuri were again reassigned to hear trial and misdemeanor warrants and mental health hearings in Department 13 at the Gordon D. Schaber courthouse in downtown Sacramento. The pair reportedly also generated complaints in that assignment and have now cycled back to the family law courthouse, to Department 122. 

In their prior family court stint, Gary and Arcuri were involved in a string of scandals, including 

29 December 2016

Sacramento Superior Court, California Judicial Branch Generate Controversy in 2016: Year in Review

State Bar of California - California State Bar - California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO
Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye obstructs
State Bar reform.
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Commission on Judicial Performance sues State Auditor to restrict
audit of the judge oversight agency.
 
California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO - Judge Bruce Mills Contra Costa Superior Court - Hon. Bruce C. Mills Contra Costa County
Commission on Judicial Performance whistleblower and court
watchdog Joe Sweeney jailed in alleged retaliation scheme.
 
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
State Auditor Elaine Howle asserts authority over Commission on Judicial
Performance in CJP's bad faith litigation to restrict audit of the agency. 
Judge Jaime Roman Sacramento County Superior Court - Hon. Jaime R. Roman Sacramento Superior Court - Judge James MIze - Judge Kevin Culhane Sacramento County - California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jaime Roman prosecuted and
punished for judicial misconduct by the Commission on
Judicial Performance.
 
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals  - Commissioner Tyler Culver Alameda County Superior Court - Tyler R. Culver Court Commissioner Alameda County
Alameda County Superior Court Commissioner Taylor Culver
resigns to avoid prosecution for judge misconduct.
California Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria Henley Director – California Judicial Council - Federal Criminal Law - United States Code - United States Department of Justice - US Attorney Northern District of California - US Attorney Central District of California - US Attorney Eastern District of California - US Attorney Southern District of California - US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - The United States Department of Justice - Attorney General of the United States - U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Civil Division - Criminal Division - Office for Access to Justice – Antitrust Division – Office of the Inspector General – Office of Professional Responsibility – Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties – Office for Victims of Crimes – Civil RICO - Commission on Judicial Performance Chairman Tony Capozzi - CJP Chair Anthony Capozzi California Commission on Judicial Performance - Attorney Anthony Capozzi Fresno
Commission on Judicial Performance Chairman Anthony
Capozzi faces criminal investigation. 
California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Ming Chin, Justice Kathryn Werdegar, Justice Carol Corrigan, Justice Mariano Cuellar, Justice Leondra Kruger, Justice Goodwin Liu Supreme Court of California – US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, Judge Steven Reinhardt, Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge William Fletcher, Judge Richard Paez, Judge Marsha Berzon, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Judge Carlos Bea, Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge Alfred Goodwin, Judge John Noonan 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky - Brock Turner - Stanford University - Hon. Aaron Persky Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky cleared of wrongdoing in
Brock Turner sexual assault case.
 

08 May 2016

Sacramento Superior Court Corruption Victims Take Advocacy to State Level at Commission on Judicial Performance

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Kevin Culhane, Judge James Mize, Judge Peter McBrien, Judge Matthew Gary, Judge Thadd Blizzard, Judge Jaime Roman, Judge Robert Hight Sacramento Superior Court - 3rd District Court of Appeal Justice Vance Raye, Justice Cole Blease, Justice Ronald B. Robie, Justice William Murray Jr., Justice George Nicholson, Justice M. Kathleen Butz, Justice Elena J. Duarte, Justice Harry E. Hull Jr, Justice Louie Mauro, Justice Andrea Lynn Hoch, Justice Jonathan K. Renner Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District Sacramento California

Sacramento County Superior Court whistleblowers this year have expanded their ranks, joined forces with similar groups in other counties, and taken their court reform campaign to the state level, according to Fatima Katumbusi, a group spokesperson. 
"Our local watchdogs have teamed up with the Center for Judicial Excellence, Court Reform LLC, the Commission on Judicial Performance Reform Project and other groups," Katumbusi explained. "We have testified at the State Assembly, raised awareness about court corruption at the Super Bowl, and engaged on social media. Mainstream media, including the Sacramento Bee, Daily Journal and San Francisco Chronicle have reported on several of our issues, and published opinion columns by people in our group," she added.
Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle published an op-ed criticizing secrecy at the state Commission on Judicial Performance, the government agency responsible for oversight and accountability of judges. The piece was authored by two court reform advocates, one of whom is a victim of alleged corruption in the family law division of Sacramento Superior Court.  

12 April 2016

Sacramento Superior Court Watchdog Group Calls on Presiding Judge Kevin Culhane to Rectify Improper Judge-Clerk Relationship

California Supreme Court Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, Justice Ming W. Chin, Justice Carol A. Corrigan, Justice Goodwin H. Liu, Justice Mariano Florentino-Cuellar, Justice Leondra R. Kruger Supreme Court of California
Kern County Judge Cory Woodward was punished by the Commission on Judicial Performance for having an improper personal relationship with his courtroom clerk. Sacramento County Judge Matthew Gary reportedly has had a similar relationship with his courtroom clerk, Christina Arcuri, for at least four years. 


"[I]t is time for this charade to end." 


Sacramento Family Court Corruption, a Facebook watchdog group with over 600 followers, has issued an open letter to Sacramento County Presiding Judge Kevin Culhane regarding an alleged improper relationship between a Sacramento Superior Court judge and his courtroom clerk. 

The whistleblower group alleges that Judge Matthew Gary has been in a consensual, personal relationship with his clerk, Christina Arcuri for more than five years. Both Gary and Arcuri also have been involved in a number of controversies involving the alleged mistreatment of indigent, disabled, and financially disadvantaged family court parties who are self-represented.