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In this town, people speak reverently of having juice, or an "in," and Mahan — bearded, likable but sometimes caustic — has made it a striking feature in his courtroom. First as a state judge and now as a federal judge, he has approved more than $4.8 million in judgments and fees during more than a dozen cases in which a recent search of court records found no statement that he disclosed his relationships with those who benefited from his decisions.
On the state bench for three years, and since his appointment as a U.S. District Court judge four years ago by President Bush, Mahan has approved many of these fees for Swarts, a certified public accountant who had served as his judicial campaign treasurer and whose political connections got him appointed. Mahan approved additional fees for Frank A. Ellis III, 51, a former law partner with whom the judge still owned property and participated in a profit-sharing plan. Ellis also provided free legal services for Mahan's family and for his executive judicial assistant.
Mahan, like a number of Las Vegas judges, has taken on cases despite state and federal prohibitions against such apparent conflicts. Some Las Vegas judges have ruled in cases involving their friends, even those to whom they owe money.
Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
If people have no faith in the justice system, they are going to be more likely to take the law into their own hands, which could cause a breakdown of society.