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Civil Litigation - Private
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Judge Leighton was reversed on appeal for abuses of discretion. An 'abuse of discretion' is a euphemism for violation of federal law. In this case Leighton violated 28 USC 1441(c)(2) by 'dismissing for lack of jurisdiction' rather than 'remanding' the state law claims. The appellate court viewed this as an abuse of discretion where Leighton took jurisdiction of the state law claims and remanded the case. Upon remand, Leighton remained on the case. A motion was filed to disqualify Leighton, under 28 USC 455(a) and (b), for clearly violating federal law and thereby violating Leighton's obligations as a dues-paying member of the Washington State Bar, RCW 2.48.210. Leighton presided over the very motion that concerned Leighton's violations of these laws -- another violation of 28 USC 455, and also 28 USC 2072(b). The latter statute prohibits judges from using court rules to circumvent substantive rights -- here Leighton is using his court rule power to enlarge his own authority so as to decided his own conduct with respect to the laws that apply to him. Leighton refused to disqualify and subsequently dismissed the case yet again on jurisdictional grounds. The case is back with the US 9th Circuit, #15-35945.
7/15/19, 2:16 AM
Hon. Ronald B. Leighton

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