Friday, May 13, 2022

Hassett v. Olson (Cal. Ct. App. - May 13, 2022)

I don't know much about the judiciary up in El Dorado county, but this is most definitely not a good look.

It was bad enough when I read the beginning of the case, in which a former trial judge becomes a lawyer on a matter in which he participated personally and substantially as a judge (notwithstanding the express ethical rule that says you can't do that). That seemed fairly shocking to me. I understand that trial judges sometimes retire, and although many go into ADR, some go back into practice. I'd have thought that such judges would be incredibly scrupulous about not working on anything even remotely associated with cases on which they were involved as a judge. Apparently not. Hence the disqualification order here.

But then, around a dozen pages in, I read that the judge actually entered the case the day after a tentative decision was posted against his client -- and, as the Court of Appeal found, the judge's "association and recusal request [an attempt to recuse the judge who posted the tentative] the night before the hearings 'were actions taken by the retired judge in this case intending to disrupt the proceedings in which tentative rulings had issued in favor of Hassett against the aligned interests of Bass and Judge Bailey’s new client Olson.'”

Wow. That sounds even worse.