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Las Vegas Judge Under Investigation


— December 30, 2006

The 9th Circuit has hired a law firm to suggest action on James C. Mahan, sources say.

LAS VEGAS — The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has launched an investigation of a federal judge who awarded more than $4.8 million in judgments and fees without apparently disclosing his personal, political and business ties to those who benefited, two sources close to the inquiry told The Times.

U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan of Las Vegas, a popular state judge who joined the federal bench in 2002 after his nomination by President Bush, was the subject of Times investigative reports in June.

Investigations of federal judges are confidential. However, two people independently familiar with the matter said that a law firm hired by the 9th Circuit has scheduled interviews with key figures in the Mahan case.

The law firm was hired by the 9th Circuit “to investigate and make a recommendation” regarding possible disciplinary action for Mahan, one of the sources said.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they might run afoul of the court’s secrecy requirements for judicial inquiries. Ninth Circuit confidentiality rules apply to “any person in any proceeding” and provide that violators “could be held in contempt.”

Details here from the Los Angeles Times.


The 9th Circuit has hired a law firm to suggest action on James C. Mahan, sources say.

LAS VEGAS — The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has launched an investigation of a federal judge who awarded more than $4.8 million in judgments and fees without apparently disclosing his personal, political and business ties to those who benefited, two sources close to the inquiry told The Times.

U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan of Las Vegas, a popular state judge who joined the federal bench in 2002 after his nomination by President Bush, was the subject of Times investigative reports in June.

Investigations of federal judges are confidential. However, two people independently familiar with the matter said that a law firm hired by the 9th Circuit has scheduled interviews with key figures in the Mahan case.

The law firm was hired by the 9th Circuit “to investigate and make a recommendation” regarding possible disciplinary action for Mahan, one of the sources said.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they might run afoul of the court’s secrecy requirements for judicial inquiries. Ninth Circuit confidentiality rules apply to “any person in any proceeding” and provide that violators “could be held in contempt.”

Details here from the Los Angeles Times.

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