Legal Ethics

Judge admits selling religious material at courthouse, but says it didn't distract her from work


A Florida judge who is accused of violating legal ethics rules by promoting her for-profit religious ministry at the Leon County courthouse has taken stand in her own defense.

Judge Judith Hawkins is accused of misusing her office to sell religious books at the courthouse that the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission says detracted her from her judicial duties. Her lawyer told the six-member Judicial Qualifications Commission panel that the judge didn’t deny selling books, but wasn’t distracted from her duties by her ministry. The judge herself, who said in a deposition she only sold to friends, declined during her testimony to specify the purchasers, according to the Tallahassee Democrat and WCTV.

Contending that the prosecution in the case is on a fishing expedition, she said she wasn’t going to put the fish into the net, the station recounts.

An investigator read her deposition testimony into the record, in which she stated, in response to a question about whether she approached lawyers and offered to sell them books at the courthouse, “I’m sure that I did.”

The hearing is expected to conclude before the end of the week.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Judge Accused of Marketing Materials for her For-Profit Religious Ministry at Courthouse”

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