Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Alabama Judge overseeing Vioxx case has complaint filed against him

The Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) filed a judicial misconduct complaint against Alabama Circuit Judge John Rochester with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission in Montgomery regarding his receipt of $60,000 in campaign contributions during his unsuccessful 2004 campaign for a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court.

In April of 2005 it was reported that the source of those contributions was the Montgomery law firm of Beasley Allen, P.C., a major trial law firm which has a product liability lawsuit against Merck & Co. pending before Judge Rochester regarding the pain-reliever Vioxx. The $60,000 in contributions were apparently routed to Judge Rochester from October 7-24, 2004, through the use of 12 political action committees which were established and controlled by the same person.


The WLF filed a petition in 1995 with Alabama bar authorities requesting that they adopt rules that limit campaign contributions to judges from trial lawyers. That should give you an idea of the WLF leanings.

It's telling to see that a Washington D.C. group - as opposed to Alabama attorneys or citizens - decides to file a complaint.