Federal Judges

Samuel B. Kent (born 1949, Denver, Colorado) .. was
nominated by George H.W. Bush on August 3, 1990, to a seat
vacated by Hugh Gibson, confirmed by the Senate on
September 28, 1990, and received his commission on
October 1, 1990...

Judge Kent has become well-known throughout the legal
community for his unique orders and judgments. Examples of
his writing style include an Order of Transfer (suggesting that,
for a district judge to have jurisdiction to hear a foreign
nation's complaints, it is more proper if a restaurant serving
the nation's food is in the district), an Order Denying Motion to
Transfer, and his Opinion in
Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp.

One of his opinions berated a lawyer for ineptly requesting a
change of venue for a lawsuit (which involves transfer to a
different federal district), when the lawyer simply wanted the
case moved to another division within the same district. The
judge not only pointed out the error in seeking the wrong
remedy, he described the motion in his written opinion as
"patently insipid, ludicrous and unequivocally without any
merit whatsoever." He wrote that the "obnoxiously ancient,
boilerplate, inane Motion is emphatically DENIED," and went
on to disqualify the attorney who filed it from representing his
client in the case any further, "for submitting such asinine

In 2001, the Chief Judge of the Southern District of Texas
reassigned 85 cases away from Judge Kent, because the
cases were being handled by Kent's best man at his wedding
Richard Melancon.
Federal judge
from Galveston

indicted on sex
abuse charges
August 29, 2008
By Lee McGuire & TJ Aulds
11 News

Federal Judge Samuel B. Kent was
and charged with two
counts of abusive sexual contact
and one count of attempted
aggravated sexual abuse on

Wall Street Journal
July 21, 2008
Feds Turn Up Heat on Texas Judge
Samuel Kent
Posted by Dan Slater

Among other things, Kent admitted
to long lunches, shared cigars and
glasses of  wine with attorney
friends, even on days those
attorneys had business in his

According to lawyers and former co-
workers, [Department of Justice]
investigators have asked about
parties, a 2001 trip to London and
meals attorneys had bought for
Kent at Galveston restaurants —
often on days they did business in
his court. According to Kent’s own
attorney, Dick DeGuerin — the legal
big who repped Giles Darby, one of
the NatWest Three — they also
requested records about a real
estate deal in which one of those
attorneys, Kurt Arnold, helped
persuade his mother to buy Kent’s
home in the city of Galveston.

Under federal disclosure rules, the
Chron notes, a federal judge
normally is not required to report
income earned from the sale of a
primary home.

At issue, though, is whether Arnold’
s assistance amounted to a gift or
item of value that the judge should
have disclosed — or whether the
arrangements constituted a
criminal conflict of interest...
Ethics in Government
Judge's wife calls Web porn
story 'outright lies'

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - A federal
appeals court judge under
scrutiny for sexually explicit
videos and photos posted on
a personal Web site is the
victim of distortions and
"outright lies" published by
the Los Angeles Times, his
wife charged Monday.

Marcy Jane Tiffany, wife of 9th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski,
described some of the
material stored on the home
computer as raunchy and
juvenile. Only about a
half-dozen files among
hundreds had a "sexual
aspect," but they were not
pornography, she said.

"Alex is not into porn _ he is
into funny _ and sometimes
funny has a sexual character,"
Tiffany wrote in a nearly
2,000-word defense of her
husband, posted on a Web
site called patterico.com.

...Tiffany...declined further
comment, except to quote the
late Sen. Daniel Patrick
Moynihan of New York,
"Everyone is entitled to his
own opinion, but not his own

Meanwhile Monday, U.S.
Supreme Court Chief Justice
John Roberts transferred a
review of Kozinski's conduct
to the judicial council of a
different circuit.

...Separately, Kozinski last
week declared a mistrial in an
obscenity trial over which he
was presiding...
Florida Judge Accused of
Dirty Deal With Former Law
Screen Magazine

...Joe Francis, founder and
CEO of Mantra Films, Inc.,
filed suit today in Los
Angeles Superior Court,
alleging that a federal judge
worked in cahoots with
opposing attorneys to extort
a ransom for Francis'
release from a Panama
City, Florida jail cell.

Today's filing grows out of a
2003 First Amendment
battle Francis and his
company fought with
Panama City officials.
Mantra Films is best known
for the Girls Gone Wild
lifestyle brand, an American
pop culture phenomenon. In
town to produce a show
about the wild antics of
college coeds at Panama
City's traditional spring
break debauch, Francis and
his team were falsely
accused of illegal activity.

Court documents filed today
allege a Bay County
courthouse cabal
imprisoned Francis illegally
through shady backroom
deals stemming from a civil
lawsuit filed by several
coeds who were filmed.
Illegally imprisoned for
almost a year without bail,
Francis was forced to pay
presiding Judge Richard
Smoak's former law
partners millions in ransom
for his freedom.

Francis brings this legal
action to set aside the
settlement agreement
coerced by duress and the
improper conduct of the
women, their parents, and
their attorneys. Francis has
also filed separate actions
demanding over
$300,000,000 million in
damages for the illegal
conduct of Bay County

"Panama City officials
began their persecution of
Joe Francis with open
deception, continued with
perjury, and concluded with
illegal imprisonment," said
Robert E. Barnes, attorney
for Francis. "That may be
what counts for justice in
Panama City, but it's not
American justice."
'Girls Gone Wild' boss heads
to Florida
USA Today
By Sandra Chereb
Associated Press

"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe
Francis is being released from
a Nevada jail so he can return
to Florida to face charges
related to the filming of
underage girls...

Francis, accompanied by his
lawyers, was to travel to the
East Coast on Tuesday, and
appear in a Panama City, Fla.,
courtroom the following day to
resolve charges from the 2003
filming of girls during spring
break, defense lawyer Fred
Atcheson said during a brief
hearing before U.S. Magistrate
Robert McQuaid...

Atcheson gave the court a $1.5
million cashier's check to cover
Francis' bail on the tax charges,
and assured the judge that
other conditions required for his
release also would be met.

Francis, who turns 35 on April
1, has been jailed on both
sides of the country for nearly a

His legal troubles began five
years ago in
Panama City,
where he still faces four felony
and two misdemeanor
charges -- all that remain from
an initial 73-count indictment
stemming from the spring
break filming.

The incident also spurred a civil
lawsuit brought by seven
court-ordered mediation
in that case collapsed, a
federal judge in Florida
sentenced Francis to 35
days in jail for contempt
of court

Though he initially posted bail
in the Florida criminal case,
authorities there revoked it after
Francis was charged with
having contraband -- $700 and
prescribed anti-anxiety
medication -- while serving his
jail sentence.

It was also during that time that
a federal grand jury in Reno
indicted Francis and his
companies, Mantra Films Inc.
and Sands Media Inc., on tax
fraud charges. A federal judge
ordered Francis extradited to
Nevada to face those charges
over the objections of Florida

But Florida's revocation of bail
meant Francis could not post
bond in the tax case without
fear he would be re-arrested
and sent back to the Sunshine
Wrongdoing by the government as
well as by Joe Francis of "Girls
Gone Wild"?  When the government
goes wild, it hurts more people
than when girls go wild.

"Having had a client be the victim of this judge's
propensity for gratuitous hyperbole, an indulgence in
my case which the appellate court found perhaps
undue, but not worthy of correction, I find the opinion
not funny, but deeply troubling. I tend to agree with
the Chicago Tribune piece (available for viewing and
downloading for $2.95)("it isn't funny, and, although it
is certainly self-righteous, it is anything but right").
Along with many Texas
lawyers, I have enjoyed Judge Kent's eloquence and
wit in his presentations to bar groups. He is a very
intelligent and able jurist. His barbs, which might
entertain some, however, many times are deeply and
unjustly hurtful to individuals. There are better ways
of improving the work of the bar, when such is
needed. Improving the work of
judges with lifetime appointments is much more
difficult and requires concerted and persistent action,
individually and through an organization such as
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