Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, October 15, 2007


Page 3


CJP Investigating Judge for Ruling in Rhyme


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The State Commission on Judicial Performance voted in August to authorize a staff inquiry into the conduct of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren E. McMaster, the MetNews has learned.

In a letter sent to the judge by Staff Counsel Charlene M. Drummer dated Aug. 15, 2007, the commission notified McMaster of its decision to authorize an inquiry into whether action is warranted for his recital of a poem in a tentative ruling.

The letter states that, in December of 2006, McMaster was presiding over a hearing in the matter of Mendoze v. Deffner, which involved a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. On Dec. 5, he reportedly issued the ruling which included the following poem:

Defendant planted a creeping vine

That crept and crawled and soon entwined

Itself in plaintiff’s roof, and made a mess

Causing plaintiff to suffer great distress

This lawsuit follows but leaves unsaid

Why plaintiff didn’t whack the vine instead

Stating that the letter was intended to serve as an opportunity for the judge to supply information to assist the commission in making a decision regarding what further action, if any, was warranted, Drummer advised McMaster that a response was required by Sept. 4, 2007, although this time period could be extended upon a showing of good cause.

McMaster, who is assigned to the civil law and motion court, was appointed to the bench in 1999 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and elected to a full six-year term in November of 2002.

He was unsuccessfully targeted for recall in 2005 by same-sex marriage opponents after he upheld the state’s domestic partner law.

A court clerk Friday said the judge was unavailable for comment.


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