On Wednesday, December 6, 2023, Nola.com reported that Judge Donald ‘Chick’ Foret faces misconduct charges over ‘piece of s**t’ comment.

Judge Donald “Chick” Foret, who has served on the 24th Judicial District Court bench in Gretna since early 2021, is facing formal misconduct charges from the Louisiana Judiciary Commission. The commission filed the charges and set a hearing over two days in March to address multiple alleged instances of courtroom misconduct by Judge Foret.

Some of the specific allegations against Judge Foret include making inappropriate comments in open court. In one case last year involving hundreds of patients in a class action suit against former nursing home magnate Bob Dean, Judge Foret openly disparaged attorney Jason Baer, describing Baer as a “piece of s**t” in a court conference. Baer was not involved in the class action case but had partnered with one of the attorneys on other cases. Judge Foret acknowledged making the comment about Baer but claimed it stemmed from a previous legal commentary dispute.

The Judiciary Commission also alleges that in another case, Judge Foret directed a plaintiff’s lawyer to tell an insurance defense attorney to “go f**k himself” if he did not raise his settlement offer to the number Foret recommended. Foret claimed he did not recall the incident but said any rough language would have been limited to an off-the-record discussion.

Additionally, the commission accused Judge Foret of throwing a fit and cursing at his clerk over the lack of an evidence table in the courtroom during a trial last year. His clerk reportedly left in tears. When another judge spoke to Foret by phone, he allegedly howled that the concerns were “bulls**t.”

Judge Foret denied creating a hostile work environment in a June letter to the commission. He noted that several staff members submitted affidavits in his support. While Foret acknowledged he may be seen as “old school,” he claimed working hard has helped reduce the docket in his court division by almost half.

The Louisiana Judiciary Commission can recommend discipline ranging from public censure to removal from the bench for judges. A hearing over the charges against Judge Foret is scheduled for March 2024.

 

Source: Nola.com