Justice Hunstein Is Unqualified To Be A Supreme Court Justice

I had a visceral reaction to the Hunstein advertisement that I put up earlier. Mike Wiggins looks like a scumbag.

I have been receiving phone calls ever since then and have dug into the matter myself — including reviewing documentation. As most of you are aware, I am a lawyer by training and spent over five years handling guardianships, estates, etc.

It is my professional legal opinion that Justice Hunstein has violated the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Rules of the Judicial Qualifications Commission. I expect someone should file a formal complaint against her or seek her impeachment for violating the Canons.

Having seen the facts, I am disgusted. Though I expressed earlier disappointment with the Wiggins Campaign for its partisan conduct, that has quickly dissolved into disgust at Justice Hunstein for her conduct.

Canon 7B(1)(c) of the code of Judicial Conduct states

Candidates, including an incumbent judge, for any judicial office that is filled by public election between competing candidates shall not use or participate in the publication of a false statement of fact concerning themselves or their candidacies, or concerning any opposing candidate or candidacy, with knowledge of the statement’s falsity or with reckless disregard for the statement’s truth or falsity.

Whether you are for or against Carol Hunstein, It seems clear to me that she has violated both the letter of the Canon and the spirit of the Canon by showing reckless disregard for the truth of multiple statements in that ad.

Of course, unless Wiggins can respond, he’s toast, she gets re-elected, and the pansies at the JQC will do nothing. This was no doubt a gamble well made on her part.

35 comments

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Donkeydonkey,

    Erick told me to tell you, that’s tool with a capital T. Essssscuse Me!

    (insert visual image of limp wrist here)

    For Bill,

    (insert visual image of Jack Benny saying, “Well. I never” with limp hand gestures)

  2. CWL says:

    If Wiggins and his mother agreed on a lawsuit to be filed by one against the other – why isn’t this a fraud on the court? In other words, courts do not try “fake” lawsuits, no matter how noble the motive behind them. Courts are only supposed to try actual cases or controversies, and parties who engage in suits are typically required to swear that the allegations in the suit are truthful. If Wiggins was suing his mother (or vice versa), someone had to claim that there was an actual controversy between the two of them. If he now says that they used the courts as a way to recover money from a third party, isn’t he really saying he engaged in a fraud on the court?

  3. RandyMiller says:

    Erick,

    Go for it! This is by far the most outrageous ad i’ve seen regardless of any campaign. Hunstein needs to go down, and take her crony trial lawyer friends with her!

  4. Decaturguy says:

    What did she say in the ad that was recklessly false? Sounds like she cited the facts to me. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  5. ikarma says:

    Campaign Righteousness out of some Republicans? Now that’s fresh. To Tool I would like to add Grape & Stain.

  6. atlantaman says:

    If any of Wiggins rebuttal is true, then Hunstein screwed up bigtime.

    This is coming from someone who had admired her campaign up to this point (I’m a Wiggins guy, but I can objectively admire a candidates strategy). Being an incumbent Judge is obviously a huge advantage and Wiggins only hope (and I emphasize hope) is to get the Republican base to know he was the “Republican” candidate.

    Hunstein to counteract this formulated a very “conservative” campaign strategy. Knowing she had the Dems and most of the independents, she was out there cutting into what little base Wiggins had – which I thought was brillant. I felt her original commerical (the hard hitting tough on crime one) was great.

    Why Hunstein decided to even acknowledge Wiggins is beyond me and anyone who advised her to go on the attack should be fired. What she’s now done is give Wiggins far more publicity then he could ever have earned on his own. She has potentially focused statewide and perhaps national attention on this race – something you don’t want as a judicial incumbent. The only hope a challenger has is to raise public awareness of the race.

    At this point Hunstein would have been much better off never having raised $1 for her campaign or having attended a single campaign event. When you start talking about a guy’s mother in a coma (and then dying) you better be 100% correct on the facts or it’s going to boomerang back to you 10 fold.

    A week ago I would have given Hunstein 10 to 1 odds on winning. Now depending on whether this thing mushrooms out of control I’m might give her 2 to 1 odds. The public has gone from zero attention to this race to potentially being major focused on it.

  7. Um, no ugavi. The mother is dead. We’ll never know what happened there. The sister is still alive. Hunstein’s charge is very specific. Is it true or not. This is his sister. If it’s not true, she will come forward.

    So where is she?

  8. atlantaman says:

    hardcore-

    I think she better be right on his never having been to trial before. If he has, then his campaign will be able to call her whole ad a bunch of lies and muttle everything together.

    I think she made a huge error even mentioning his name in an ad. This race could end up being on people’s radar screens now. She’ll probably still win, but it’s going to be by a tighter margin then is should have been.

  9. I think you overestimate Georgians interest in seeing these races partisanized and decided on the who is a trial lawyer/who is not line.

    Wiggans and his cronies picked Hunstein because they thought she was weak and wouldn’t be tough. Hunstein, like Sears, is showing the Republicans that they don’t have a monopoly on doing what it takes to win.

    Good for them.

  10. pvsys says:

    Notice that Erick bolded:

    “with reckless disregard for the statement’s truth or falsity.”

    but he did NOT bold:

    “with knowledge of the statement’s falsity”

    This tells me that Erick holds open the possibility that the Hunstein campaign might have believed the ad to be truthful at the time it was created, but that they did a VERY poor job of researching the facts… which is where the “reckless disregard” comes into play. Personally, I think that Erick knows some things that we don’t know which probably prove that the ad is factually incorrect, out of context, inaccurate, etc… in various ways that could have easily been known with a minimal amount of research.

    If I’m correct about this, don’t expect Erick to post what he knows. Given his sentiments, why in the world would Erick be motivated to help the Hunstein campaign out and then give them extra time to “spin” this?

    –Rob McEwen

  11. atlantaman says:

    “Hunstein, like Sears, is showing the Republicans that they don’t have a monopoly on doing what it takes to win.”

    When you’re an incumbent Judge it doesn’t take more then a few blips on a heart monitor to win – it’s not like running for Governor. As the incumbent you’ve got to really screw up to give the challenger a chance. I still think Hunstein will win, but when you start talking about your opponents dead mother in coma you’ve given him an opening.

    She should have stayed with the first commercial and she would have coasted to victory with Mike Wiggins barely registering on people’s radar screens. Now she went and made the race controversial, she’s given Wiggens a platform to speak from.

    I’m trying to be objective about it and I think from a strategy standpoint (if any of Wiggins rebuttal is true) she made a huge error.

    “I think you overestimate Georgians interest in seeing these races partisanized and decided on the who is a trial lawyer/who is not line.”

    I think you are definitley right about the majority of these races and probably even correct about the Hunstein/Wiggins race – but I still think she made a mistake.

  12. debbie0040 says:

    Right on, Erick. Very well said.

    Hunstein went over the line because she is desperate. Georgia is now a Republican State and she is a well known Democrat in bed with trial lawyers. She knows her record and writings will be used against her by Wiggins. She is trying to distract from that.

    She needs to be voted out of office.

  13. Or, on the other hand, maybe really is aWiggins is a mother robbing, sister threatening, rookie right wing freak show.

    It’s my understanding he lacks experience & is just the front man for big business.

    But my favorite thing about our friend Wiggy is how he perfectly exposes the right wing for the unethical, say-anything to get elected creeps that they are- We all know that republicans & ‘conservatives’ just hate “Activist Judges”, right?

    Unless they are right wing activists, then it’s evidently fine & dandy.

  14. Bill Simon says:

    Debbie,

    This statement by you “Hunstein went over the line because she is desperate. Georgia is now a Republican State and she is a well known Democrat in bed with trial lawyers” demonstrates what happens when emotionally unprepared people get involved in politics.

    “This is now a Republican state…” So, does this mean that we should all don brown shirts and sing Republican kumbaya songs?

    As fare as your statement of “Democrat trial lawyers,” there ARE lots of Republican lawyers who are also “trial lawyers” who make lots of good money in the personal injury practice that take that money and contribute it to Republican candidates. Perhaps our Republican totalitarian state should kick them out of the GOP, eh?

    Of course, if we all followed what YOU said and believed, Ralph Reed would be running on the ballot now.

  15. Decaturguy says:

    Erick,

    Why don’t you fill us in what your “reviewing documentation” has uncovered? Or is it only something that someone who is a “lawyer by training and spent over five years handling guardianships, estates, etc.” could understand?

    What, specifically, is untrue about the ad?

  16. Bill Simon says:

    Decaturguy, that’s right. “WE” un-lawyer-types are forbidden to ever consider reading any monumental legal texts without gaining permission from our own lawyers…which, of course, can never happen since we wouldn’t understand words like “herein,” “hereuntofore” and “whereas.”

  17. Decaturguy says:

    According to the AJC, the Hunstein campaign has the sister’s affidavit in which she says everything is true.

  18. defnotrep says:

    Erick,

    I usually agree with a lot of what you say. This time I can’t. I know Justice Hunstein and respect her very much. I don’t think she would have done this if she didn’t think it was accurate.

  19. Fogle says:

    I’m all about totally crushing your opponent, soI can see why Hunstein did this. But it was poorly conceived and she got greedy. Now it’s going to backfire and she will lose some serious ground.

  20. atlantaman says:

    Don’t be certain that Zell Miller would come to her rescue. He might be dissapointed in her for doing the despicable ad.

    She should have stuck with the previous ad and she would have won in a landslide. For someone who so self-righteously wanted to keep the partisanship out of her scared judicial race she manged to run an ad that makes the Cagle/Reed race seem like the Lincoln/Douglas debates.

  21. atlantaman says:

    My point was not that she brought “partisanship” into the race, it was that the tactics she used were even worse and more slimy then a partisan race. The points she made were so disingenuous and so far out of context it makes some of the brutal partisan races we’ve seen seem quite noble. As the liberal AJC said, “The most brutal ad ever”

    At this point her campaign should hope to aspire to the level of a partisan race.

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