Are You In or Are You Out? Judge Summa Resigns and Then Un-Resigns After Drunk Driving Arrest

Judge Robert Somma of the United States Bankruptcy Court has everyone debating whether he is a judge or not. Somma first resigned after being caught drunk driving while wearing a dress and make up. He then tried to unresign and now it is not clear and a few litigants and their lawyers would like to know.

The last time we looked in on the saga of Judge Somma, he had resigned, here, or so we thought.

Somma’s lawyer, Robert B. Carpenter, has refused comment and the court staff say that they simply do not know. He is currently on paid leave from his $158,000-a-year job.

Somma pleaded no contest in Manchester, N.H., to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated. In addition to drunk driving, he rear-ended a pickup truck. He paid $600 in fines.

He has received support from local lawyers, including 200 who signed a letter praising his judicial skills and asking him not to resign. Yet, he resigned as of April 1st. Yet, on April 1st, he published a letter on Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly saying that “contrary to my initial belief, that the media frenzy occasioned by this episode would not be an impediment to my continued service as a judge.” Click here.

I certainly share the view that cross dressing should be a matter strictly for his private life. The question then becomes whether drunk driving requires resignation of a bankruptcy judge. Since this is a first offense, I would be inclined to say that it does not. However, he has handled the resignation poorly and his court deserves a clear answer.

For the full story, click here.

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