From the KNBC website comes the story of a judge on the Riverside County Superior Court, Paul E. Zellerbach, who was issued a public admonishment by the State of California's Commission on Judicial Performance for delaying hearing a verdict in a murder case in 2004 so he could go attend an Angels playoff game.
A jury in Riverside had reached a verdict in a double-murder case involving a drunk driver who had killed his girlfriend and unborn child in an auto accident.
Zellerbach left the courthourse early on October 5, 2004 to go to Game 1 of the Division Series between the Angels and Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim (it was a day game).
Reached by phone by his clerk, Zellerbach could have had another judge hear the verdict, but opted to order all the principals back to his courtroom the next day to hear it in person.
Zellerbach acknowledged to the panel that in hindsight he should have let another judge take the verdict.
"The commission appreciates that Judge Zellerbach has reevaluated the situation," the commission's order states. "There was a serious dereliction of judicial duty, nonetheless, by which Judge Zellerbach jeopardized the verdict in a double homicide case and imposed hardship and additional stress on jurors, the families of the victim and the defendant, and on counsel and the defendant."