I've heard chatter on Judge Veronica Diaz, who was noticeably not herself when she took the bench Monday. Another judge soon relieved her.
Can't say what exactly was up with her and it wouldn't be fair for me, as the courts reporter, to speculate. I did ask courts spokeswoman
On Judge Diaz leaving bench, spokeswoman' response: "As in the past, when a judge is not feeling well, another judge covers the calendar."
QUERY: If A judge has a cold or a small headache and leaves the bench, that is one thing.
But what if a judge was "escorted" off the bench by her colleagues because it was determined she wasn't able to fulfill her duties?
What obligation does the chief judge have to make sure all litigants who appeared before the judge are informed the judge was escorted off the bench?
Judges make findings every day throughout the course of a calendar. Judges make findings about defendants during plea colloquies, they make decisions about bonds, motions for continuances, not to mention findings on motions to suppress.
Shouldn't a litigant who appeared before a judge who was unable- for whatever reason- to perform her duties- have a right to have their case re-heard by another judge?
And, while we are asking these questions, if the judge in question has a personal problem that intruded on their ability perform their duties, don't the judge or judges who are aware of the situation have an obligation to report that judge to the JQC?
There is lots of "chatter" that the situation involving Judge Veronica Diaz was more than a simple case of her not feeling well and seeking a judge to take over her calendar while she went home for a sick day.
Lots of questions. Not too many answers.