► Attorney Stephen Gaddis of Seattle; scofflaw, moron, ethical gnome Print E-mail
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Attorney Stephen Gaddis of Seattle; scofflaw, moron, ethical gnome

In his earlier life, attorney Stephen Gaddis was unfortunately a sitting judge in Seattle.
 
Stephen was assigned to the Probate Department of the King County Superior Court. Probate Courts throughout the country are cesspools of corruption. The main goal of most probate judges is to enrich their attorney-friends and/or so-called court-appointed guardians by allowing to steal from the dead.
 
On two occasions he accepted four Seattle Mariners baseball tickets from an attorney who regularly appeared before him. The face value of the tickets was $232, and Stephen never reimbursed the attorney. 
 
Stephen also allowed the same attorney to purchase dinner for him and another person at a cost of $287.27. On at least one occasion, Stephen purchased meals for the attorney.
 
Over the course of about two years, Stephen and his wife developed a social relationship with the executive director and manager of a guardianship agency who frequently had business before his court. 
 
They were guests at each others houses, treated each other to dinners and lunches, and exchanged birthday gifts. They accompanied each other to sporting and cultural events.
 
They contemplated vacationing together. In addition, Stephen provided the executive director with guidance on how to advance his career, including helping her develop and draft a prospective business plan. 
 
Despite this ongoing and significant social relationship, Stephen never disqualified himself from hearing matters (including petitions for fees and guardianship reports) involving this person or the agency she worked for.
 
Washington Judicial Commission Findings
 
The commission said that although Stephen claims he failed to recognize it at the time, the improper conduct involved exploitation of his judicial position for personal benefit. He received the gifts, favors and friendships as a result of his position.
 
Judge Stephen Gaddis’ personal involvement with these folks was well known among lawyers in Seattle. Of course they never saw fit to abide by their oath of office and report Judge Stephen Gaddis’ misconduct. Well, I guess you can’t be expected to bite the hand that’s feeding you, right?
 
Judge Stephen Gaddis agreed that he would participate in ethics training at the renowned and highly-respected Huey Long School of Ethics located at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
 
The commission noted that within the last 12 months Judge Stephen Gaddis had participated in both a judicial ethics CLE program and the 2004 Spring Judicial Conference (aka, party-time at taxpayer expense) which addressed ethical issues confronting judges. Goshes and Gollies and Gee Whillickers, I’m impressed, how about you?
 
Judge Stephen Gaddis promised not to repeat such misconduct (no more bribes) in the future. Is that like cool or what?
 
Most importantly, Judge Stephen Gaddis agreed that he would promptly read and familiarize himself with the Code of Judicial Conduct in its entirety. What kind of crap is this? This buffoon was a judge for 24 years. Are we to believe that he never read or familiarized himself with the Code of Conduct from 1980 to 2004? 
 
Judge Stephen Gaddis’ Defenses
 
Judge Stephen Gaddis said that the requirement of judicial officers to oversee guardianship matters, and the extent to which he volunteered his time teaching, mentoring, and other wise contributing to the practice of guardianship law, clouded his perception of appropriate boundaries between him as a judicial officer and those who appeared before him. Sure it did Stevie Baby!
 
Is this the height of mealy-mouth bull or what? So what Stephen is saying is: I was so busy teaching and mentoring others about guardianship law that I just kinda forgot about the rules prohibiting a judge from accepting gifts (aka, bribes) from those appearing in cases before me.
 
The wimps, enablers and apologists at the Washington Judicial Commission (is there another kind?) punished Judge Stephen Gaddis by presenting him with a complimentary reprimand. Goshes and Gollies and Gee Whillickers, I bet that was painful!
 
As now-convicted congressman Jim Traficant would say, “Beam me up Scottie!”
 
As could be expected the justices sitting on the Washington State Supreme Court decided that Stephen Gaddis’ egregious misconduct was so explemplary that it decided he should retain his law license in the state of Washington.
 
If ya live anywhere in the greater Seattle area, I would strongly urge you to think twice before hiring attorney Stephen Gaddis.

 

 

 

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