Judge should not have had to drain own wallet to fight complaint

Regarding your above-the fold, front-page article on Judge Raymond G. Dougan’s acceptance of pro bono representation on the frivolous complaint filed against him by District Attorney Daniel Conley: Judge Dougan was forced to defend himself not for even a hint of corruption or intemperate behavior, but merely because the district attorney disagreed with his decisions. The groundless complaint, now dismissed, risked undermining the independence of the judicial branch, which is critical to the fair administration of justice.

In this context, attorney Michael Keating’s offer of pro bono representation and Dougan’s acceptance were proper, ethical, and consistent with the highest principles of a lawyer’s duty to the public.

Do you suggest that Dougan should have been the only party to this action to personally defray the enormous cost of litigation? He would have had to spend his entire salary for two years. Would that be fair or just?

John Amabile


The writer is a criminal defense lawyer and a former prosecutor.