The Texas Supreme Court has sent back for further adjudication a controversy in which two newspapers had failed to win a summary judgment motion in a libel case filed against them. It took judicial notice that the trial judge in the case had taken a plea bargain on racketeering charges that included having accepted a $8,000 bribe to rule against the newspapers on the motion [ABA Journal]


  • They returned it to the same judge, I hope.


  • $8,000? That’s all you need to bribe a judge in Texas?

  • Is there any specific reason the story never mentions who bribed the judge? You would think that detail would be kind of important to the story since it was the basis for the decision.

  • “Is there any specific reason the story never mentions who bribed the judge?”

    The story says that he was bribed to rule a certain way (against the defendants) on a specific motion (to dismiss the case on summary judgment). Sounds like someone associated with the plaintiff did the bribing. Hard to believe someone would bribe a judge on a case in which they have no interest.

  • Name that party.

  • a link at the bottom of the ABA article has a link to another article that said the judge took money from several people including the local DA.

  • The reason the briber is not named is because it is not clear from the opinion who did the deed. The plaintiffs are four individuals who claimed they were libeled. One of the defendants is someone who ran for district attorney, and in the process took out an advertisement in the newspapers charging that the incumbent DA had failed to prosecute known child abusers, naming the four as examples. (Don’t you just love politics.) The four sued the newspapers as well as the DA candidate.

    I looked up the plea agreement, which was filed in federal court (SDTexas) where the judge was convicted. It does not state the name of the bribers (referring to them as “Person A” and “Person C”) but it does state that they were connected to and acting on behalf of a law firm that had this and other cases before the judge.

    Short answer: the lawyers did it.

    (If you want to read the plea agreement, you can look it up at the SDTExas website, Case 1:11-cr-00296, Dkt No. 22. Quite a sad tale.)

  • Bill: Thanks for posting. But Dkt No. 22 gives more details about what he did, what the bribes were for, etc.