Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Circuit Judge Alice Gray cautioned over handling of case in complaint filed by colleague

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 4:50 PM

click to enlarge CAUTIONED: Judge Alice Gray.
  • CAUTIONED: Judge Alice Gray.
The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission today released a letter it had sent to Pulaski Circuit Judge Alice Gray cautioning her in a complaint brought by her colleague, Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce.

"While the investigation did not reveal sufficient evidence for the panel to recommend action for judicial misconduct, wrongdoing or incapacity under the Judicial Code," the letter said, it added that the panel was "concerned" about the judge's conduct under rules that say a judge shall perform the duties of office "impartially, competently and diligently."

Pierce had complained about the way Gray had transferred a case to his court. The letter commented:

"Unwarranted disqualification or transferring of cases may bring public disfavor to a court and to a judge individually and personally. A judge's respect for his or her judicial duties and a proper concern for those burdens require that a judge not use disqualification to avoid cases that present difficult, controverisal or unpopular cases. Had you handled this case transfer more directly and succinctly, or been more forthright with Judge Pierce and his staff, this complaint may never have been filed. The panel found your failure to communicagte with the litigants regarding the transfer, prior to the transfer, substandard. Additionally, the panel expected more from such an experienced judge such as yourself, who has been on the bench in excess of 20 years.

The letter added, "The manner in which you handled transferring a case from your division of court to Judge Pierce's division was disappointing to the investigative panel, though they did not find it actionable as misconduct."

The transfer came in a domestic case that still pends in Pierce's court. Gray ordered it transferred there under the representation that it was a routine child support case on a day when Pierce was hearing a full docket of child support cases. But, on receiving it, he learned Pierce had stopped in mid-hearing of an emergency request for a change in child custody with witnesses from out of state and complications including an allegation that a parent was a sex offender. The attorneys were left in confusion. Pierce, who took the case and made a temporary ruling, said in his letter of complaint that Gray had a pattern of of dropping difficult cases, but the review committee's finding was limited to considering her handling of the single case. Gray has insisted it was impossible for her to complete the hearing that day and that she transferred the case to Pierce because he'd once handled a case related to the parties.

Here's the letter.

Tags: , , , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Another Hillary e-mail story; looks like Weinergate

    FBI Director James Comey informed Congress today that it had found e-mail in an unrelated case that might be pertinent to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mail and would be reviewing it.
    • Oct 28, 2016
  • Term limits ballot title approved

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has approved the form of a proposed constitutional amendment to return term limits to the old limits before a 2014 amendment put on the ballot by legislators moved the limit to 16 years (and longer for some senators depending on the luck of draws on terms after redistricting.)
    • Oct 28, 2016
  • Entergy explodes the old Lynch plant

    Entergy Arkansas demolished by explosion a portion of the defunct Lynch Plant generating station in North Little Rock this afternoon. The remaining units will come down mechanically.
    • Oct 28, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson administration resists accountability in child rape case

    After a nightmarish revelation about serial rapes by a state-approved foster parent, the Hutchinson administration, from the governor on down, resist talking about how it happened.
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation