On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, the California Commission on Judicial Performance announced that an oral argument before the full commission has been scheduled in the matter concerning Judge Tony R. Mallery of Lassen County Superior Court.

Judge Mallery was charged in September 2022 by the Commission with 21 counts of willful misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. The allegations stem from claims that Judge Mallery made negative remarks about attorneys who filed disqualifications or peremptory challenges against him. He was also accused of retaliating against an attorney who filed statements of disqualification.

Additionally, the accusation claims Judge Mallery threatened court employees who cooperated in the investigation into his alleged misconduct by hiring a law firm to look into those employees. He is also alleged to have made comments perceived to interfere with fair trials, as well as displayed bias and prejudgment in a ruling on a mental health diversion case.

Further accusations include that Judge Mallery improperly purchased goods from a business owned by his brother. He is also accused of abdicating his responsibility to evaluate plea agreements and of making improper remarks reflecting a blanket refusal to accept plea deals with negotiated sentences.

The Commission charged Judge Mallery with violating numerous ethics canons, including those requiring impartiality, integrity, independence, and avoidance of even the appearance of impropriety. He has denied all allegations.

The matter first went before special masters for an evidentiary hearing. Their report and the parties’ briefs addressing any objections are now available publicly.

Oral argument on the matter has been scheduled for March 21st in the ceremonial courtroom of the federal courthouse in San Francisco. It will provide both sides an opportunity to argue their positions to the full 11-member commission regarding the special masters’ findings and any remaining objections.

The Judge earned a law degree from California Northern Law School. He served as Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California in Lassen Country. Judge Mallery’s profile can be found here.

A copy of the notice of hearing can be found here.