Private Warning of a District Judge. (09/13/11).


The judge failed to perform his judicial duties without bias or prejudice by participating in improper ex parte communications with Defense counsel and with the Defense's expert witness. Relying on the information obtained ex parte from the expert, who alleged that a party to the litigation had engaged in fraudulent conduct, the judge undertook the role of investigator or special prosecutor in an effort to ferret out whether the party had committed fraud. Once the judge became embroiled in the parties' discovery dispute, he created a strong perception that he could not be a fair and impartial arbiter in the case. [Violation of Canon 3B(8) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.] Private Warning of a District Judge. (09/13/11).