Former federal judge Oliver Wanger, who just retired a couple of months ago, lost no time in taking on Westlands Water District as a client. He was all set to defend Westlands in a lawsuit filed by several Northern California groups.
But this week, he changed his mind. As a judge, he had presided over dozens of legal disputes involving Westlands, although he didn’t always rule in their favor. Still, some people thought this just didn’t look right ethically.
Wanger said in an interview that the ethics debate was “diverting attention away from the merits of the case.”
What in the world did he expect?
the judges of the entire Eastern District (Sacramento and Fresno) have met and decided that under their “Guide to Judiciary Policy,” no case in which Oliver Wanger is counsel can be heard by the Eastern District for at one year. Good to know that Wanger’s former colleagues care about judicial ethics.