In re Judge Watkins

William Watkins became a family court judge in 2002. In 2011, Judge Watkins became the subject of numerous complaints filed with the Judicial Investigation Commission. The Hearing Board concluded that Judge Watkins had committed twenty-four separate violations of nine separate canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Watkins conceded that he was repeatedly intemperate with litigants, showed disrespect for authority, and was unable to properly manage his office and staff. The Board recommended that the Supreme Court censure Judge Watkins on each of his violations; suspend Watkins, without pay, until his present term of office ended in four years; and require Judge Watkins to pay the costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of these proceedings. The Supreme Court adopted the Board's recommended sanctions, holding (1) the Court had the constitutional authority to impose such a lengthy suspension; and (2) the sanctions were appropriate in this case. View "In re Judge Watkins" on Justia Law