Former NW Iowa judge admits directing lawyers to write rulings after some contested cases
UNDATED (KTIV) -
A surprising admission from a former northwest Iowa judge, who claims "a couple hundred" of his rulings were authored by attorneys involved in those same cases.
The revelation came during a deposition Judge Edward Jacobson gave in November of last year, which KTIV has obtained.
Jacobson was asked about a divorce case which he had ruled on. He estimated it was one of 2,000 divorce cases he heard in his time as a judge.
During that deposition, Jacobson admitted that "a couple hundred" times he directed one of the lawyers to write the final ruling after a contested case. When pressed, Jacobson claimed that unless there was still evidence to be contested in the case, he wouldn't involve lawyers on both sides of the case.
In the deposition, Jacobson blamed "time constraints" of a 60-day deadline imposed by the court system to encourage judges to rule on cases still awaiting a decision.
The Des Moines Register reports Jacobson's admission prompted criticism from the counsel to the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. In a statement to the newspaper, a spokesperson said Jacobson's conduct could undermine "public confidence in our system of justice."