Legal Ethics

Fed'l Judge Will Not Return to Bench After Dress Incident


Despite a letter-writing campaign urging his reinstatement, a popular federal bankruptcy judge in Massachusetts who made international headlines after being arrested for driving under the influence while reportedly dressed in drag will not return to the bench.

In a one-paragraph written statement released today, the Office of the Chief Executive writes that Judge Robert Somma and the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “have agreed that he will not resume service on the United States Bankruptcy Court for Massachusetts but is leaving to pursue other endeavors,” reports the Boston Globe.

“The court appreciates the service that Judge Somma has rendered,” the statement adds.

The newspaper says deputy circuit executive Susan Goldberg declined to detail the departure agreement. Somma’s counsel, Robert Carpenter, also declined to give details, but said “we may have our own statement to come out next week.”

As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, Somma tendered his resignation in February after an auto accident and a drunken driving arrest in New Hampshire as he was reportedly returning from a gay bar wearing a black cocktail dress, fishnet stockings and high heels. However, after bankruptcy lawyers launched a letter-writing campaign on his behalf, he sought to rescind his resignation and return to the bench.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Will Popular Bankruptcy Judge Return, After Dress Incident?”

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