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Daily Real Estate News  |  December 18, 2009  |   Judge Avoids Court for Real Estate Business
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. won’t be prosecuted for running a real-estate business out of his chambers because the district attorney declined to prosecute.

The Court of Judicial Discipline suspended Berry in July, and the Philadelphia Bar Association called on him to resign, saying his presence on the bench undermined public confidence in the criminal justice system.

The 67-year-old judge refused to resign. He said he’d been running the real estate business since long before he became judge—it supplemented his income from his law practice.

The issue came to light because a tenant complained about Berry’s handling of a slip-and-fall incident. Newspaper reporters investigating the complaint found that the judge had his secretary collect rents, handle correspondence, and represent him in landlord-tenant court—all during regular work hours.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, Joseph A. Slobodzian (12/18/2009)

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