Investigators have found at least 13 cases in which an Iowa judge improperly used language proposed by winning attorneys as his final court orders without telling attorneys on the other sides.
Retired Judge Edward Jacobson told investigators in a report released Friday that he thought his actions were common practice among district judges.
The investigators say that isn’t the case.
The Iowa Code of Judicial Conduct bars what in legal terms is called “ex parte communications” between a judge and one side’s attorney.
Jacobson said in a November divorce case deposition that he’d asked winning attorneys at least 200 times to write up proposed ruling language.
That prompted State Court Administrator Todd Nuccio to launch an investigation.
Jacobson told investigators that neither side gained advantage in his rulings, because he asked attorneys for proposed language only after he’d decided cases.