Judge May Face Sanctions

A veteran federal judge faces disciplinary proceedings after he improperly seized control of a bankruptcy case in an effort to protect a woman whose probation he had decided to oversee personally, according to a federal judicial disciplinary council.

Penalties for District Judge Manuel L. Real, 79, who has been a controversial member of the federal judiciary in Los Angeles since 1966, could range from a private reprimand to loss of the authority to hear cases. . . .

[T]he judge has a reputation for being charming outside court but cantankerous and peremptory on the bench. He is famous among lawyers for telling attorneys who appear before him: "This isn't Burger King. We don't do it your way here."

Real has "created a courtroom of terror," said Victor Sherman, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

The case involves one of Real's idiosyncrasies: For the last 25 years, he has personally supervised numerous cases of criminals on probation, according to a statement he made to the judicial council. The judge said he had taken pride in helping criminals rehabilitate themselves by getting directly involved in their activities.

Details here from The Los Angeles Times.