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In re McDonald

Supreme Court of Michigan

April 25, 2019

In re: HON. JULIE A. McDONALD, 6TH CIRCUIT COURT BEFORE THE JUDICIAL TENURE COMMISSION

          RFI No. 2018-23296

          Bridget M. McCormack, Chief Justice David F. Viviano, Chief Justice Pro Tem Stephen J. Markman Brian K. Zahra Richard H. Bernstein Elizabeth T. Clement SC: 159161 Megan K. Cavanagh, Justices

          ORDER

         The Judicial Tenure Commission has issued a Decision and Recommendation, to which the respondent, Honorable Julie A. McDonald, 6th Circuit Court Judge, consents. It is accompanied by a settlement agreement, in which the respondent waived her rights and consented to a sanction no greater than a 45-day suspension without pay.

         In resolving this matter, we are mindful of the standards set forth in In re Brown, 461 Mich. 1291, 1292-1293 (2000):

         Everything else being equal:

(1)misconduct that is part of a pattern or practice is more serious than an isolated instance of misconduct;
(2) misconduct on the bench is usually more serious than the same misconduct off the bench;
(3)misconduct that is prejudicial to the actual administration of justice is more serious than misconduct that is prejudicial only to the appearance of propriety;
(4)misconduct that does not implicate the actual administration of justice, or its appearance of impropriety, is less serious than misconduct that does;
(5) misconduct that occurs spontaneously is less serious than misconduct that is premeditated or deliberated;
(6)misconduct that undermines the ability of the justice system to discover the truth of what occurred in a legal controversy, or to reach the most just result in such a case, is more serious than misconduct that merely delays such discovery;
(7)misconduct that involves the unequal application of justice on the basis of such considerations as race, color, ethnic background, gender, or religion are more serious than breaches of justice that do not disparage the integrity of the system on the basis of a class of citizenship.

         In the present case, those standards are being applied in the context of the Judicial Tenure Commission's stipulated findings of fact, which, following our de novo review, we adopt as our own:

1. On September 8, 2018, respondent was a member of the State Bar of Michigan and an unopposed candidate for a seat as a circuit court judge on the Sixth ...

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