Bench & Bar

MAR 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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55 BENCH & BAR | the law and to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary. Canon 3B(1) which requires a Judge to hear and decide mat- ters assigned to the Judge except those in which disqualification is required. Canon 3B(2) which requires a Judge to be faithful to the law. Canon3B(5) which prohibits a Judge from manifesting by words or conduct, a bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socio economic status. e Kentucky code of Judicial Conduct requires Judges to fairly and impartially decide cases according to the law. Judge Nance's refusal to hear and decide adoption cases involving homosexuals is violative of said Canons. In addition, the Respondent was charged with issuing General Order 17-01, a local rule for Barren and Metcalfe Family Court, without the approval from the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court as required under SCR 1.040(3)(a). e Respon- dent's actions in doing so violate SCR 4.020(1)(b)(i) and constitute misconduct in office. Furthermore, the Respondent's actions violate SCR 4.300 and the relevant portions of the following Canons of the code of the Judicial Conduct: Canon 1 which requires Judges to maintain high standards of conduct and uphold the integrity and independence of the Judiciary. Canon 2A which requires Judges to respect and comply with the law and to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary. By a vote of four to one, with member Nofts - ger dissenting the Commission finds that the Respondent, W. Mitchell Nance, is guilty of the violations set forth in Count I of the charges. By a vote of five to zero, the Commission finds that the Respondent, W. Mitchell Nance, is guilty of the Violations as set forth in Count II of the charges. ORDER The Respondent has been found guilty of misconduct by violating Canon1, Canon2A and Canon3B(1), Canon3B(2) and 3B(5) as charged in Count I, and Canon1 and 2(a) as charged in Count II. For the foregoing violations, the Commission concludes that, due to Respondent's retirement, a public reprimand is warranted, and is the only public sanction available, and by a vote of 4-1, the Respondent W. Mitchell Nance, Family Court Judge 43 rd Judicial Circuit is publicly reprimanded. Judge David Bowles, the District Court Member of the Com- mission voted that Judge Nance be removed from office for the violations set forth in the charges, and since at the time the vote was taken, Judge Nance's resignation was not yet effective believed that the only appropriate vote was a vote to remove him from office. Rule 4.270 provides that the Commission's Order shall become effective within Ten (10) days after service, unless an appeal is filed within that time. I hereby certify that the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order represent an action of the Judicial Conduction Commission this 19th day of December 2017. /s/ STEPHEN D. WOLNITZEK CHAIR OF THE COMMISSION CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing was served upon Judge W. Mitchell Nance Family Court Judge, 43 rd Judicial Circuit by mailing same to his attorneys, Bryan H. Beauman, and Scott L. Miller, 333 West Vine Street, Suite 1500 Lexington, KY 41507 and upon Jeffrey C. Mando, Counsel to the Commission, 40 W. Pike Street Covington, KY 41011 the 19th day of December 2017. /s/ MS. JIMMY SHAFFER, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

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