Judicial discipline commission admonishes lawyer, former candidate Jeannette Robertson

Published: Mar. 23, 2015 at 9:49 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2015 at 5:50 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission has admonished Jonesboro attorney Jeannette Robertson for her actions during the 2014 election.

The commission issued the Letter of Admonishment on Friday during its meeting in Little Rock.

According to the letter, Robertson misrepresented her role as a magistrate in the 2012 and 2014 elections. The commission claimed her campaign advertisements depicted her as a judge when she was not.

In 2012 Robertson was a candidate for District 1, Position 2 of the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

On May 11, 2012, David Stewart, executive director of the commission, alleged Robertson titled herself as a judge in campaign advertisements, according to a news release from the commission.

Robertson's campaign advertisements included statements such as "District Court Judge-Small Claims/Civil-7 Years" and "Special District Court Judge-Criminal Court-as needed-7 Years," the release stated.

At that time Robertson was neither a duly elected nor appointed judge, the commission stated.

Instead, Robertson had been appointed to serve as a small claims magistrate in her district in 2008.

The commission did not deem her conduct at that time to be "intentional."

In a letter to Robertson the investigation panel informed Robertson to cease using the word "judge" in her campaign materials. Violation, the panel stated, would be considered "a willful violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct."

The panel further informed Robertson that any future similar campaign conduct "would be considered misleading and could be subject to formal discipline for willful misconduct."

According to the commission, Robertson agreed to halt usage of the word "judge" in campaign materials.

Two years later, while running for District 2, Circuit Judge, Division 10, the panel said Robertson authorized at least 2 television campaign advertisements publicizing herself wearing a judge's robe and sitting behind a bench, discussing her "judicial experience."

Robertson also presented herself as having "8 years judicial experience" in 2 website advertisements, the commission stated in its release.

When notified of the complaints, Robertson removed the ads.

The commission found her actions violated Canons 1.1, 1.2 and 4.1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

According to the release, "Robertson has been open and candid with her communication regarding her reasons for this action. She has been cooperative and honest with the Commission in compliance with Canon 2, Rule 2.16."

Region 8 News reached out to Robertson for comment. We have yet to hear back from her.

To read the letter of admonishment, click here.

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