Trials & Litigation

Judge Asks to Seal Own Depo in Libel Suit He Filed; Defendant Lawyer, 2 Top Judges Argue Against Him


Updated: A battle between a Texas judge and others in the legal profession who he has accused of ganging up against him in an effort to force him off the bench apparently continues in court, even after the judge nonsuited a defamation complaint he filed against a local lawyer.

As part of a Jan. 17 agreement between 44th District Judge Carlos Cortez and Coyt Randal “Randy” Johnston, the attorney said he would not “publish or share” a deposition by Cortez in the case, reports Texas Lawyer in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

However, as the agreement also anticipates, Johnston is opposing the effort by Cortez to seal the deposition as well as some other material. And Johnston has been joined in that effort by the presiding judges of the 101st District Court and the 192nd District Court. All three are among those Cortez had accused in the defamation suit of creating rumors amongst themselves about him, which Johnston then allegedly publicized.

A complaint about Cortez that Johnston made in 2009 to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct was dismissed late in 2010, according to the attorney. Cortez’s defamation suit was sparked when Johnston allegedly forwarded copies of the SCJC complaint to others in the Dallas legal community.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Texas Judge Is Too-Often Rude, Another Judge & Lawyer Complain”

ABAJournal.com: “Judge Sues Lawyer for Defamation, Says Ethics Complaint E-Mailed to Over 100, Then Wins Re-election”

Updated on Feb. 28 to clarify that Cortez nonsuited the defamation case.

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