Most judges (and, we hope, ALL attorneys) understand that confidentiality is an indispensable part of the practice. We are trusted with the most private and sensitive thoughts, feelings, motivations and information in our client’s lives. Whether the information is proprietary or personal in nature, blabbering about it to make you feel important is reprehensible. This truth was recently reinforced in Faulkner County, Arkansas.
Faulkner County Circuit Judge Mike Maggio had been fired by the Arkansas Supreme Court for such improper actions. Apparently, former Judge Maggio frequented an LSU online fan forum and divulged confidential information and improper opinions ranging from sexist remarks demonstrating bias to the ongoing in private adoption hearings. It is difficult to imagine any motivation for these actions beyond the need to feel cool and important.
His actions finally garnered sufficient attention to end his employment when he divulged information concerning actress Charlize Theron. For more information, read here. However, it sounds like this former jurist of 13 years had been at this sort of conduct for a good portion of his tenure. Fortunately, the Supreme Court had the good sense to disregard the ethics commission’s recommendation that Maggio be paid until his term expired. Maggio is a reminder that we must hold ourselves to a standard higher than that set by Perez Hilton.