Was there a conflict of interest?

Asked about 2 years ago - Salem, OR

After I was convicted of harassment I had found out that my judge attends the same church and belongs to the same country club as the accusers witnesses (couple).
Additionally and coincidentally a lot of evidence to support my argument but very embarrassing to the witnesses were never admitted.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Nothing you've stated here automatically implies a conflict of interest. In addition, if you didn't raise this issue with the Court when the judge was assigned before trial, you may have waived the ability to object to it thereafter (assuming, of course, that you knew about it at the time).

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  2. Jeffrey A Turnoy

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A conflict of interest is not likely here. If the accuser was a friend of the judge, that could, and likely would be, a different story. However, just attending the same church and belonging to the same country club does not necessarily mean that the judge even knows the witnesses. Also, if you did not raise the issue during the trial, an appeal is not likely to succeed unless the Court of Appeals finds that this was what is called "plain error," and the judge should not have heard the case. Unfortunately for you, I don't believe there was any misconduct here for the judge to hear this case. Fortunately, your Harassment convicted can be expunged, so long as you comply with the conditions of probation, pay fines, etc. I would suggest you seek expungement after three years if this is the only conviction you have in the previous ten years.

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