Professor Bruce Green expanded on his perspective on the resignation of Judge DiFiore in an article by Law360.
On Monday, shortly after Judge DiFiore announced she would step down on Aug. 31, Law360 revealed she has been under investigation by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct for sending a letter to a judicial hearing officer presiding over the disciplinary hearing of Dennis Quirk. The letter urged punishment for Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers Association, who had sent an email threatening to circulate a salacious news story about Judge DiFiore.
Bruce Green, a legal ethics professor at Fordham, said that while he believes the letter shows poor judgment by Judge DiFiore, it does not necessarily show she violated a rule. Nevertheless, Green said he could see the commission seeking to punish Judge DiFiore for writing a letter that would have outsized influence on the proceedings given her position as chief judge of the court system.
“The commission may feel that there is a bad appearance here that should have been avoided, and it will have to decide whether that amounts to sanctionable judicial misconduct or just bad judgment,” Green said.