You may have noticed that Wake County Superior Court Judge Evelyn W. Hill is in trouble with the NC Judicial Standards Commission again ("Wake County judge faces third complaint before ethics board"). This is the Judge who inspired the now-defunct website www.eradicate-evelynhill.com. I thought I'd take a quick study break to compile Judge Hill's Greatest Hits. The emphasis is all mine.
From the National Law Journal, Volume 26, Number 13, 2003:
North Carolina's Judicial Standards Commission filed a complaint against Judge Evelyn Hill, alleging that she engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, bringing the judicial office into disrepute, in violation of canons 2A and 3A(3) of the state Code of Judicial Conduct. It recommended that Hill be censured for her conduct, which reportedly included ex parte communication with the litigant, questioning the Duke lawyer's competency and reaching for the deputy's groin while allegedly saying, "its been a while since I shoved a male's balls through his nose holes."
From the 9/10/04 News & Observer, page B1:
One of the two complaints that the commission upheld Thursday involved unprofessional remarks directed at an attorney during an Alamance County hearing in 2001. In that hearing, Hill referred to a black lawyer from Graham as "a token." Hill "did not intend her remarks to be demeaning, but acknowledges upon reflection that her comments could be understood in this manner," according to the stipulation document.
The other complaint arose in Wake County in 2002 during a trial in which Hill asked an attorney to use his "big boy voice" when addressing the jury and also questioned a witness's description of a weapon, saying, "Was it a Bradley Tank? ... With you I'm just checking."
From the 6/26/05 News & Observer, page D2:
In Wake Superior Court, during a case involving a car wreck in which the plaintiff had broken her hand, the eager young attorney argued for damages for pain and suffering. And inconvenience.
"We all know how hard it is to fasten a bra with one hand!" he said to the jury, while gesturing behind his back to show he had had personal knowledge of the handicap at some stage of his life.
Judge Evelyn Hill, observing the about-to-explode faces of some of the jurors, said quietly, "It's O.K. to laugh." Everyone did.
From the 8/17/05 News & Observer, page A1
RALEIGH -- For the second time in two years, state trial court Judge Evelyn Hill's remarks from the bench have earned a defendant a new trial -- this time a convicted sex offender.
. . . .
Defense lawyers have complained in other appeals about the Superior Court judge's rude, obnoxious, or intimidating behavior.
During Wright's trial, Hill berated his defense lawyer for his habit of saying "OK" while questioning witnesses; she threatened to fine him $100 each time he uttered the word.
"If you don't know when you're saying 'OK' at the end of a sentence, then learn to find out, because if a judge tells you to stop doing it, you stop doing it," Hill instructed the lawyer, Craig Thompson of Graham.
Hill also chastised Thompson for phrasing questions as statements and told him to move on to other questions.
She told him, "I am tired of your cavalier attitude and your feeling that whatever you want to do in a courtroom is OK."
She cut him off several times and warned him, "Stop trying to use your body language to interrupt me. It is rude, discourteous, uncivil and contemptuous."
And finally, from the 9/13/04 News & Observer, page A8:
Censures are rare enough for judges that two are not easily explained away.
But only a very rare Judge can go for three!