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CANON 2:  A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge’s activities.
Letter to Judge Ginger Berrigan

(View as PDF)

April 4, 2000

The Hon. Ginger Berrigan, Judge
United States District Court
Eastern District of Louisiana
500 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA  70130

Re: Carl Bernofsky v. Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund,
USDC ED LA #98-CV-1792 c/w #98-CV-2102

Dear Judge Berrigan:

I recently learned that you are scheduled to teach a three-week course in Greece this summer for which Tulane credit will be given.

The announcement appeared in Tulane Law School's Summer School Abroad 2000 catalog.  Your name is listed under "Faculty" on p. 29, and your course, "The Judicial Protection of Human Rights: In Theory and Practice," is described on p. 28.  Copies of these pages are enclosed.

Thus, while Tulane was misleading the U.S. Supreme Court six months ago by arguing that you were no longer associated with the University, you were engaged in developing a curriculum and making arrangements with Tulane administrators and other Law School faculty.

This conduct defies U.S. recusal statutes and specifically violates the canon of the Judicial Conference of the United States that appears in Guide to Judiciary Policies and Procedures, 1999 Ed., Vol. II, Chap. V, § 3.4-3(a), at p. V-39.

Your open affiliation with the defendant and deception regarding this ongoing relationship is incompatible with even the most remote appearance of impartiality and compels me to seek all possible means of appropriate redress that are at my disposal.  It is still my hope, however, that you would accept the validity of the above and choose to recuse from my case against Tulane.

Respectfully yours,

s/  Carl Bernofsky

Tel: (504) 486-4639

cc: Victor R. Farrugia
G. Phillip Shuler, III

  1. Judge Berrigan accepted her teaching commitment in November, 1999 and was paid $5,500 by Tulane.  (Personal communication from Judge Berrigan to counsel for plaintiff and defense, April 19, 2000.)

  2. Judge Berrigan responded on April 18, 2000, by granting Tulane's motion for summary judgment, ruling against Bernofsky's every cause of action, and dismissing his case without trial. Bernofsky was subsequently taxed for Tulane's legal costs. The case was appealed to the Fifth Circuit on September 6, 2000.

  3. For further information on the recusal issue, see:  Conflict of Interest;   Complaint of Judicial Misconduct;   Writ of Mandamus;   Supreme Court Petition;   Supreme Court Reply.
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