Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, October 15, 2020


Page 1


Judge Accepts Admonishment, Resigns; Staves Off Possible Harsher Discipline


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Commission on Judicial Performance yesterday publicly admonished a Superior Court judge in Northern California, explaining that it was not pursuing a possible sterner action in light of his agreement to retire from the bench and not serve again in a judicial capacity.

A decision and order dated Oct. 14, released yesterday, recites:

“The commission concluded that this resolution adequately fulfills its mandate to protect the public from further possible misconduct.”

The judge, Robert Lynn Tamietti, 67, sat on the bench in Nevada County. His last actual day on the job was Sept. 11 and, after using up accrued vacation time, his resignation will take effect on Oct. 31.

Bias Against Prosecutors

It was stipulated that Tamietti had taken certain actions which appeared to reflect a bias against the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office. The actions included intruding on its charging authority; bullying an attorney who used a peremptory challenge on him and shifting the case to a judge of his choosing rather than the case being reassigned by the presiding judge; becoming personally embroiled in a case, telling the deputy district attorney, “And I credit my disgust, in large part, to your office and its handling of this file”; and sending other judges of the court an email deriding a deputy district attorney. 

“Judge Tamietti’s misconduct reflected a loss of the neutrality required of judicial officers,” the opinion declares. “His actions created the appearance of bias against the local district attorney’s office, which undermines public respect for, and confidence in, the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

The decision notes:

“Judge Tamietti’s misconduct was aggravated by the judge’s prior discipline. In 2019, Judge Tamietti received an advisory letter for discourteous remarks about an attorney who was appearing before the judge in a civil case. The advisory letter noted that the judge’s conduct, which occurred in 2018, was aggravated by the fact that, in 2017, he had participated in the commission’s mentoring program to address demeanor issues.”

Letter to Governor

Tamietti said in a July 27 letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“Since November of 2003, it has been my honor to serve the people of Nevada County and the Truckee community as their Superior Court Judge. It has been a challenging and many times rewarding second career. In light of my health and my desire to explore other interests while I am vigorous enough to do so, I have decided to retire, effective October 31, 2020.”

Tamietti was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.

His law degree is from the University of Utah. He was in private practice prior to his judicial appointment, as a business litigator and transactional lawyer.


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