This case is an appeal of the evidentiary findings of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline (Commission) on eleven different counts of an official complaint filed by a special prosecutor against the Honorable Donald M. Mosley (Judge Mosley). The complaint listed eleven inappropriate actions Judge Mosley allegedly committed from August of 1997 through August 1999. The counts alleged that Judge Mosley: Count I- Wrote a personal letter on official judicial letterhead to the principal of his son’s school in August 1999; Count II- Wrote a personal letter on official judicial letterhead to the principal of his son’s school in February 1998; Count III- Engaged in an ex parte conversation with friend Barbara Orcutt, regarding the arrest and release of Robert D’Amore in August 1999; Count IV- Ordered the release of Robert D’Amore on his own recognizance, without notifying the district attorney’s office, after the police arrested D’Amore on a bench warrant issued by a different district court judge in August 1999; Count V- Engaged in an ex parte telephone conversation with Catherine Woolf, an attorney representing Joseph McLaughlin in a criminal case that was assigned to Judge Mosley’s chambers; Count VI- Engaged in an ex parte conversation in his chambers with attorney Woolf in August 1997; Count VII- Engaged in an ex parte conversation with Woolf, McLaughlin and McLaughlin’s wife in August 1997; Count VIII- Failed to recuse himself from McLaughlin’s criminal case until after Mrs. McLaughlin had testified in Judge Mosley’s custody case; Count IX- Communicated with McLaughlin’s wife regarding McLaughlin’s incarceration; Count X- Assisted McLaughlin’s wife in obtaining the return of her vehicle; Count XI- Continued to communicate with McLaughlin and his wife after recusing himself in McLaughlin’s criminal case, the continued communication creating an appearance that Judge Mosley was rewarding the McLaughlins for assisting him in his custody dispute. After a three-day evidentiary hearing, the Commission concluded that Judge Mosley committed the violations admitted in Counts I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, and VIII, and dismissed Counts V, IX, X, and XI. Judge Mosley was ordered to attend the first general ethics course at the National Judicial College at his own expense, to pay a $5,000 fine and to receive strongly worded censures for violating ethics rules. Judge Mosley appealed the findings on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to support the Commission’s findings and that the Commission erred in other respects. Chief Justice Miriam Shearing, writing for the majority, cited Goldman v. Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline2 and held that the findings of the Commission were not subject to de novo review. The Court held that Goldman limited the scope of appellate review of the Commission’s decision to whether the Commission’s findings were supported by clear and convincing evidence.3
Carson, Christopher, "Summary of In re Mosley, 120 Nev. Adv. Rep. 94" (2004). Nevada Supreme Court Summaries. 676.