Legal Ethics

Temp Judge Fired Over MySpace Post

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A temporary “pro tem” judge in North Las Vegas has lost his job over a post on his personal MySpace page that was reportedly hostile to prosecutors and used graphic language.

Criminal defense attorney Jonathan MacArthur, 34, was substituting for another judge in North Las Vegas Justice Court, until his MySpace page caught the attention of Clark County’s top prosecutor. The Web site, to which MacArthur has since restricted access, not only included a comment that was hostile to prosecutors but also included “a graphic phrase that he said was common ‘among blacks, people who associate with blacks or in a sports context,’ ” reports the Associated Press.

“He has displayed a bias against prosecutors. Therefore, I do not feel the state of Nevada would get a fair shake by him,” said District Attorney David Roger. He planned to file a motion seeking to have MacArthur recused from all criminal cases if he remained a temporary judge.

MacArthur, who reportedly may seek election as a judge, said he would, with the benefit of hindsight, have opted not to put up the controversial comment. However, it was intended to provoke discussion rather than to be taken at face value, he said. “It’s obvious to the casual reader this is an overstatement just for the effect.”

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