TEX-ABOTA has once again come to the defense of a judge whom it believes to have been treated unfairly by the media, State District Judge Eric Moye of the 14th Judicial District Court. The case involved the sentencing of a salon owner for violating the orders of County Judge Clay Jenkins and Gov. Abbott to specifically close all hair salons.
Please read the Dallas press release on Judge Moye
TEX-ABOTA strives to maintain and support public confidence in the judiciary by providing timely assistance to members of the bench in responding to adverse publicity, misinformation, or unwarranted criticism of an individual judge or the judiciary. The effectiveness of the administration of justice depends in large measure on public confidence. The reporting of inaccurate or unjust criticism of judges, courts, or our system of justice by the news media erodes public confidence and weakens the administration of justice. It is vital that non-litigants as well as litigants know and believe that the courts, their procedures, and their decisions are fair and impartial.
It is unethical for a judge to answer criticism of her or his actions appearing in the news media regarding pending or impending matters. Our policy has been developed to ensure the dignity of the administration of justice, to prevent interference with pending litigation, and to reaffirm the commitment to an independent judiciary, a judiciary dedicated to decision making based on facts and law as presented. Therefore, cooperation of attorneys is necessary to respond accurately, quickly, and fairly to unwarranted criticism of judges and courts.
Additionally, two of our Dallas members, Brian Lauten (Dallas) and David Chamberlain (Austin) worked hard on an amicus brief regarding the William A. Brewer case. A state trial judge in Lubbock ruled in 2016 that Brewer, who was defending a corporate client in a multimillion-dollar damage dispute, conducted a phone survey targeting thousands of individuals possibly in hopes of tainting the jury pool in his client’s favor. District Judge Ruben Reyes sanctioned Brewer and fined him $177,000 and ordered him to attend 10 additional hours of continuing legal education on ethics. The Seventh District Court of Appeals in Amarillo upheld the sanctions against Brewer, who then appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. Read the document here.
Read the Texas Law Book article: SCOTX Bill Brewer Sanctions Opinion ‘May Do Incalculable Damage to Jury System’