Texas Judge received $167,200 legal fee discount from Jackson Walker law firm.
Austin, TX (JusticeNewsFlash.com)–Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht was fined last month $29,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for violating campaign finance rules. The Austin-American Statesman reported Justice Hecht received a $167,200 discount on legal fees from the Jackson Walker law firm and failed to list the reduction on his campaign finance reports.
Interestingly, the $167,200 legal fee discount was for legal services Justice Hecht needed to overturn a previous 2006 judicial ethics reprimand handed down by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The Texas Ethics Commission also ruled last month this legal fee “discount” of $167,200 violated the $5,000 legal limit, allowed on donations from law firms and from individual lawyers, by $162,200.
Justice Nathan Hecht, who sits on the Texas Supreme Court, filed a lawsuit, on Tuesday in Travis County District Court, claiming the legal commission’s decision unfairly and improperly requires lawyers and law firms to charge judges differently than other clients.
Texas civil trial lawyers are scratching their heads with the present paradox in Justice Hecht’s exorbitant legal fee discount and campaign finance violation dilemma. One may conclude, based on the past two years of rulings from judicial commissions on Justice Hecht’s conduct the following: It seems Justice Hecht violated well established campaign contribution laws (used illegal means) to fight and successfully overturn a judicial misconduct ruling against him. Did Justice Hecht use illegal methods to win what he felt was a false judicial misconduct ruling? Does that constitute judicial misconduct?
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