Vox Populi

Posts Tagged ‘Conflict of Interest’

Michigan Courts dead last in Judicial Independence

In broken tort reform, buying elections, Campaign Finance, Get the Ca$h, MI Supreme Court on October 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I came a little late to this report

(WHICH STATES HAVE THE BEST (AND WORST) HIGH COURTS?)

Unfairness for All

(published in 2008), but the information and methodology presented (see below) probably has not changed in the ensuing years.

Taking to task the ranking put out each year by the Chamber of Commerce (the largest provider of republican court campaign money in Michigan), this study does NOT ask senior lawyers at large companies (Fortune 500) which states they like and don’t like (which are pro-business leaning and which are not).  The CofC:

… surveys ask senior lawyers at corporations that earn more than $100 million per year in revenues to grade state court systems, from A to F, and aggregate their responses.

No, this survey tabulated independence on how often a judge, affiliated with a stated party, went along with or dissented from that stated party.  That is, how much did they go along with their party (please note that a judge is SUPPOSED to vote as an independent arbiter of the law, NOT to be a representative of a political party).

According to the numbers, Michigan Justices vote in lock-step (I assume that the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans on this).

Overall, it doesn’t make Michigan look good in a national survey…

At least the Parties are getting their monies worth.

Who will be the first to recuse herself from the MI Supreme Court?

In Campaign Finance, Court recusal, Get the Ca$h, MI Supreme Court, Uncategorized, undo tort reform on November 30, 2009 at 7:51 pm

In response to our recent article on the newly-enabled ability to ask (and actually have the teeth to receive) a judge’s recusal, prompted the following explanation.  It was too good to leave unread in the comments (Video can be found here):

The first case to be decided under the new recusal rule may be People v Alexander Aceval, where the recusal of former Wayne County Circuit Judge/now Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is sought by the defense in a Motion filed 10-16-09.

Aceval’s attorneyDavid L. Moffitt alleges that a vertically integrated perjury conspiracyby Wayne County Circuit Judge Mary Waterstone, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office Drug Unit Chief Assistant Prosecutor Karen Plants, and two Inkster Police Officers, wrongfuly convicted Aceval with perjured testimony in 2006. APA Plants and Judge Waterstone made secret, ex-parte transcripts of their operation of the conspiracy, that unexpectedly subsequently came to light.

Moffitt has also requested the appointment of a temporary alternate Justice to break the tie, remand to a Court of Appeals Special Panel, and disclosure of the circumstances of Justice Corrigan’s recusal, which Moffitt alleged may have been deliberately sought by the perjury-conspirators to “heighten the hurdle,” i.e. needing 4 out of 6 instead of 4 out of 7 Justices, to grant the Application for Leave. Details of the case, media coverage, and briefs and transcripts, are available at davidlmoffitt.com.

Aceval’s Application For Leave To Appeal the conviction to the Michigan Supreme Court was denied 9-25-09 in a 3-3 deadlock, across “party lines,” with Justice Corrigan recusing herself to testify as a character witness in a potential future trial of pending criminal charges against Waterstone, Plants and the officers brought by the Michigan Attorney General arising out of Aceval’s case.

Upon rehearing, Moffitt has moved to disqualify Justice Hathaway, alleging that her ojectivity could reasonably be questioned where scrutiny of wrong-doing in Aceval’s case has moved to the highest levels of Wayne County Prosecutor Kyn Worthy’s office, where Hathaway’s ex-husband Richard is Chief Assistant, and where she must directly rule upon the propriety of conduct of former Third Circuit, Criminal Division co-colleagues that took place when she served with them on that bench.

Briefs, transcripts, and media coverage of the case are archived at davidlmoffitt.com.

Healthcare Reform or Tort Reform?

In Campaign Finance, medical malpractice, MI Supreme Court, Uncategorized, undo tort reform on November 12, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Healthcare Reform or Tort Reform?“, posted with vodpod

 

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How Tort Reform Ruined Texas – PT. 2/2

In broken tort reform, Uncategorized, undo tort reform on November 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm