Judge Edward W. Bearse Given Reprimand for Facebook Posts

The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards has reprimanded senior judge Edward Bearse for posting Facebook comments that put his personal interests ahead of his duty to maintain the appearance of impartiality. The comments included making fun of litigants, making negative comments about the court, and complaining about his duties as a judge.

Public Reprimand of Judge Edward Bearse

Judge Bearse served on the bench for 32 years before retiring in 2006, and since has served statewide as a senior judge.

The board says in one of Judge Bearse’s Facebook posts, he commented on the sex trafficking trial held in September. Bearse wrote : “I just love doing the stress of jury trials,” the judge wrote. “In a Felony trial now State prosecuting pimp. Cases are always difficult because the women (as in this case also) will not cooperate. We will see what the 12 citizens in the jury box will do.” The jury later found the defendant guilty, but the verdict was vacated after the posts were discovered.

In another case, “Judge Bearse presided over a serious felony trial involving Charles Tong. Tong waived a jury. During the court trial, defense counsel had an apparent panic attack and was taken away by ambulance.

In August, Judge Bearse posted the following comment on Facebook: Now we are in chaos because defendant has to hire a new lawyer who will most likely want to start over and a very vulnerable woman will have to spend another day on the witness stand. . . . I was so angry that on the way home I stopped to see our District Administrator and told him, “Michael, you are going to have to just listen to me bitch for awhile.” . . . [W]e know the new lawyer (probably quite justifiably) will be asking for another continuance. Terrible day!!!

Judge Bearse later recused himself from the case after discovering the comment went public.

Judge Bearse has no previous disciplinary history with the board but is known for being outspoken.

In the article, “Speak the Truth!” (2008) Judge Edward Bearse who describes himself, “I am a disgruntled Episcopalian who as a practical matter has been excluded from my own church...” Speak the Truth

Judge Bearse goes onto say that Judges gossip about litigants behind closed doors, which leads to the judges stereotyping litigants, and in effect, becoming biased. This comment suggests that Bearse believes in a “us against them” mentality where judges are pitted against litigants in an epic battle of right vs. wrong. Bearse portrays the judges as valiant do-gooders who are opposed by litigants who lie, defy court orders and rarely do what is right. Judge Bearse says the litigant “seems to have an extra supply of original sin”. 

I am a senior state trial judge who recently retired from nearly 24 years service in the Minnesota District Courts… Lots of inside things are said within judicial office buildings. One unflattering stereotype frequently heard in judges’ private conversations are references to “Joe Six-Pack”. Judges don’t ever expect Joe to tell them the truth. In fact judges don’t even expect Joe to obey their orders. Joe seems to have an extra supply of original sin. He steals, lies, obfuscates and does anything to avoid taking personal responsibility for his actions. However, judges order Joe to behave, and notwithstanding many years of experience to the contrary, we hope for the best, and thankfully sometimes he does.”

Judge Bearse defended his post by saying that he is not aware of how to use Facebook privacy settings. He was given a public reprimand, and will not be facing any fines or a removal from office.

It is concerning that Judge Bearse is making derogatory remarks about women, inserting his religious beliefs into his judgments, and clearly coming into court with bias and prejudice. In my opinion, a public reprimand alone is not going to be enough to correct this problem, and ensure that litigants are given a fair outcome in the courtroom of Judge Bearse.

— EJ Perth

Anoka County judge reprimanded for Facebook posts about cases

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Minnesota judge reprimanded for Facebook posts about cases

About EJ

Parenting Abused Kids (PAK) reflects the personal thoughts and opinions of "EJ" sharing her experiences of surviving domestic abuse and injustice in family court. PAK also includes news and informational articles about abuse and family court issues. The purpose of PAK is to raise awareness of the challenges domestic abuse survivors to rebuild their lives after experiencing domestic abuse, compounded with the struggles of ongoing family court litigation. PAK will also discuss and raise awareness about issues related to parenting children who have been abused, and often present with emotional and behavioral problems. Parenting Abused Kids is not affiliated with any professional group, political group, organization or religious affiliation. My sincere love and support goes out to abuse survivors and their children. I am so sorry for what you have endured, and pray your lives will be filled with the happiness you so deserve. Thank-you for visiting!
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