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Pratt gets a reprimand

From the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Not exactly timely, but at least it’s on the record.

Denise Pratt

The commission found that [Denise] Pratt, who resigned in late March, “failed to be diligent and failed to timely execute the business of the court,” including not making timely rulings in a variety of specific cases, a violation of the state constitution.

“The decisional delays in those cases were unreasonable and unjustified,” commission Chair Steven Seider wrote in the 13-page reprimand. “The Commission notes that Judge Pratt provided no evidence that these cases involved particularly complex legal issues; however, it was evident that Judge Pratt was carrying a particularly heavy caseload, and a very large backlog, due to her own lack of diligence and neglect of her duties.

“Excluding the fact that Judge Pratt was frequently late to court and often missed or canceled court hearings and trials, there does not appear to be a legitimate justification for the pattern of delayed decision-making that occurred during the last years of Judge Pratt’s tenure on the bench,” the document continues.

Doing those things “causes harm and a great disservice to parties, lawyers, witnesses, jurors, and other judges,” Seider wrote.

[…]

[Watchdog family attorney Greg] Enos on Tuesday dismissed the reprimand as tardy and a poor reflection on the commission, which lawyers often criticize for moving slowly and going too easy on the judges it investigates.

“This just shows how useless the Commission on Judicial Conduct is,” he wrote in an email. “They did nothing when we needed protection from Pratt and then they waited months after she was off the bench to slap her wrists.”

True enough, but it’s about the best we were going to get. I note with grim satisfaction that no one on Team Pratt could be reached for a comment for the story. Given the amount of yapping and woofing they’ve done in every other chapter of this saga, their silence in this case speaks volumes. You can read the full reprimand here if you’re curious enough.

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