Private Admonition of a District Judge. (11/19/09)


The judge met privately with a party and discussed substantive issues about a case, outside the presence of the opposing party. Based on the improper ex parte discussion, the judge granted the party's motion to vacate an order he had previously rendered in favor of the opposing side. The judge's conduct deprived the opposing party their right to be heard, and raised a legitimate question as to the judge's ability to decide the case in a fair and impartial manner, resulting in the judge's eventual recusal. [Violation of Canon 3B(8) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.] Private Admonition of a District Judge. (11/19/09)