A independent review has confirmed a former Plymouth County judge did use attorney proposals for his final orders in some cases without consulting the other side.
The Iowa Judicial Branch conducted the investigation after retired judge Edward Jacobson admitted that he directed one of the lawyers to write the final ruling in contested trials a couple hundred times without consulting the other attorney. The investigation found that Jacobson inappropriately resolved at least 13 cases in this way. Most of the cases involved family law, but some were civil cases.
Jacobson said he was under a time crunch to complete the cases and never believed “he was doing anything improper.” He said one-sided rulings from attorneys was acommon practice among other District three judges — although the investigators found this not to be the case. He also said it was a common when practiced law in South Dakota before moving to Iowa. The independent reviewers were not asked to determine if Jacobson violated any laws or court rules.
The Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court has mandated additional training for all Iowa judges following the revelations from Jacobson
Here’s the full report: Jacobson-Independent-Review-PDF