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Friday, September 28, 2007

NY Jurist Says She'll Never Judge Again....(CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

As reported by Daniel Wise in the NYLJ, September 28, 2007: NY Jurist Admits Faux Pas, Says She'll Never Judge Again -

Bronx Family Court Judge Marian R. Shelton, after vigorously contesting charges of misconduct, cut a deal yesterday with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct under which she admitted a single violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct....MORE..

In a stipulation approved by the commission yesterday, Judge Shelton acknowledged that she had violated the code's injunction that judges be "patient, dignified and courteous" when she ordered the wife of a court clerk in her Bronx courtroom handcuffed and jailed over a weekend.

The judge was allowed to remain on the bench until her term ends Dec. 31 without any sanction. However, she stated that she did not intend to seek or accept judicial office or a position as a judicial hearing officer at any time in the future. The admitted count was one of 13 proffered by the commission accusing Judge Shelton of being rude, intemperate and demeaning in her treatment of litigants, lawyers and court personnel, including two judges.

Pursuant to the stipulation, the remaining 12 counts were withdrawn though they could be reinstated if Judge Shelton again seeks to become a judge or violates the terms of the stipulation. However, the commission does not have jurisdiction over hearing officers and could not reinstate the charges if she accepted such a position.

As elaborated in the stipulation, the episode that led Judge Shelton to find Michele Nusser in contempt of court started when Ms. Nusser motioned to her husband, Ben Nusser, who was working in Judge Shelton's courtroom at 6:45 p.m. after all the litigants had left. Judge Shelton then ordered Ms. Nusser to leave, and Ms. Nusser called the judge an "asshole." The judge jailed Ms. Nusser, but freed the woman a short time later after she had apologized. Judge Shelton, who was appointed to the Family Court in July 1998 by then-Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, had previously disclosed that she would not seek reappointment.

The commission would have lost jurisdiction over Judge Shelton once her term expired. But it could not have completed a hearing before year's end given the notice and other requirements in its rules governing its hearings.

According to the commission's Web site, Judge Shelton's case was the 19th in which it has agreed to forgo pressing charges against a departing judge in exchange for an agreement to never return to the bench and, in some instances, admissions. Had the case proceeded to a hearing, the commission's charges - and Judge Shelton's defense - would have been publicly aired since Judge Shelton was the ninth judge in the commission's history to have waived the confidentiality of the process.

Until acknowledging the conduct concerning Ms. Nusser, Judge Shelton had blasted the commission's case and the commission itself on several fronts. In her answer, Judge Shelton accused the commission of doing the bidding of Dennis Quirk, the combative president of the 1,500-member New York Court Officers Association who she claimed had a grudge against her because she had "refused to accede" to his demands that he control the Family Court's courtrooms (NYLJ, Aug. 14). In a statement given to the press when she waived confidentiality, Judge Shelton denounced the commission proceedings as "surreal" and referred to the commission's selection of the referee to hear her case as "the kangaroo's latest hop."

Judge Shelton's husband, Saul Cohen, a former partner at Proskauer Rose and general counsel of Lehman Brothers, also financed a group that took out two full-page ads in The New York Times criticizing both the commission and its chairman, Raoul Felder. Dean Yuzek, Judge Shelton's lawyer, declined to elaborate on why Judge Shelton had decided to accept a stipulation after so broadly condemning the commission's charges and its proceedings against her.

Mr. Yuzek, of Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, said he could not comment beyond a statement he had issued yesterday. In that statement, he said all the facts admitted by Judge Shelton had previously been admitted in her answer or "while admitted, require context supplied in the answer."

Mr. Yuzek also noted that the stipulation allows Judge Shelton to finish her term without the imposition of a sanction, and suggested that the commission's administrator and counsel, Robert H. Tembeckjian, should be asked why the commission agreed to a stipulation in which she only admitted conduct to one of 13 counts. Mr. Tembeckjian said the "admission and stipulation were appropriate" particularly because "there was not enough time to finish the hearing and the commission would have lost jurisdiction anyway."

Both sides agreed that they would not make any comments which "appear" to be at odds with any of the terms of the stipulation, including Judge Shelton's admission.

Among the charges the commission agreed to withdraw but could reinstate if Judge Shelton again seeks a judgeship are charges that she:

• Mocked a Legal Aid attorney's accent and said "where is she from" and how can she be an attorney "when you cannot understand what she is saying."

• Treated two other Bronx Family Court judges rudely, one in a dispute over who was entitled to have an attorney present in her courtroom and the other over who was responsible for a case.

• Refused a directive from the Bronx Family Court's supervising judge to continue hearing newly commenced cases in the intake part after one of her court officers was assigned to another courtroom.

• Told a litigant before her that his lawyer "has mental health issues."

• Said to a litigant from the Caribbean who had multi-colored bands in his hair that he looked "bizarre . . . like someone I would not give my pet mouse to."

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

A good start....NEXT?!?!?

attorney said...

What took so long with her...she's another Proskauer Rose implant.

Anonymous said...

she should never have judged in the first place - what were her qualifications beside her husband's connections and money?

voter said...

Hey, Rudolph the-scary-candidate Giuliani: why the hell did you make this wacko a judge? Did you think she would dispense fairness and the rule of law- in Family Court, no less. Hey, Rudy: how many people’s lives do you think this judge Shelton ruined? Hey, thank-god-for-9-11-nasty-man-ex-mayor: is Shelton a good example of appointments you might make as president (LOL)(I can’t help but laugh mentioning your name and the word “president” in the same sentence) One last thing, marry-your-cousin-wacko-yourself Rudolph: what does Proskauer Rose have on you? (I know !) Why don’t you talk about it? Tell us, please- tell the voting public (LOL)

finally said...

Perhaps, finally, the "powers that be" are finally doing their job and going after all the judges that deserve such corrective action.

Up to now, only upstate non-lawyers, largely, have been the judges they go after.

If you're a judge and you do bad things, you should pay the price. And you shouldn't be protected just because you're from downstate, or because you're a lawyer with connections.

hacker said...

the frightening thing is she gets on the bench by appointment, and which is how many, many bad people get to sit as a judge, and then sit again and again as a judge.

They run for election to a judgeship, and they advertise their status as a sitting "judge" withoug the "apointed" status basis being made known. So they are brought into the act in a very clever scheme which defrauds the voting public. They are brought in as a hack, and they forever remain as a hack- beholden to the fat cats and party line. Everything they do: tainted FOREVER.

a voter said...

Rudy made this bimbo a Judge because it was a deal.

Anonymous said...

this witch should've never gotten on the bench!

court officer said...

Goodbye, Judge Marian

a doctor said...

The firm Proskauer Rose et al. should all be subject to the field of proctology. Many things will be found.

Anonymous said...

what could she have been charged with?

Anonymous said...

Some funny comments here... I think judges should go through some serious in depth psychological testing before being considered. Most have the worst character disorders on the planet.

How can you sit on the bench and judge someone else's character when your own back yard isnt clean?

She doesn't even come to the table with the basic skills.... Aaaamazing!

It only confirms that just because a person can function on a high level intellicually doesn't mean they function that way emotionally.

Anonymous said...

The major thing is never do anything to undermine the universally held belief that judges are fair and the judicial system is beyond reproach, like holding judges accountable. This would create a breakdown in the confidence among the public in the independence of our "third branch of the government." They are independent, alright, like fearless gangsters who prey upon the weak and vulnerable.

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