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Bank sues San Jose federal judge, James Ware, over boat payments

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  • Bank sues San Jose federal judge, James Ware, over boat payments

    Bank sues San Jose federal judge, James Ware, over boat payments

    By Howard Mintz

    [email protected]
    Posted: 10/01/2009 01:32:06 PM PDT
    Updated: 10/01/2009 10:08:00 PM PDT

    Even a federal judge can wind up having problems with lenders and banks these days.

    A small Northern California community bank this week sued San Jose U.S. District Judge James Ware in Santa Clara County Superior Court, accusing him of failing to make payments on an $80,000 boat he purchased nine years ago. The lawsuit, filed by Butte Community Bank, alleges that Ware owes more than $58,000 ??" and the bank is seeking a court order to seize the boat.

    So now the veteran federal judge finds himself facing the prospect of being a civil defendant in a courtroom instead of running one.

    Ware declined to comment on the legal spat with the bank. Douglas Kraft, Butte's lawyer, also declined to comment.

    The lawsuit alleges that Ware has stopped making the $812 monthly payments on the boat, described in court papers as a 1993 Navigator 33 Yacht. "Ware has failed, and continues to fail to make payments according to the terms of the note,'' the lawsuit states. Federal district judges earn about $170,000 a year.

    Court papers say Ware, a Mountain View resident, docks the boat at Coyote Point Marina in San Mateo County and at Discovery Bay.

    The 62-year-old Ware, one of three full-time federal judges in the San Jose courthouse, is a 1990 appointee of former President George H.W. Bush.

    Once considered a rising star in the California judiciary, Ware encountered major controversy in 1997, when his nomination to a federal appeals court
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    collapsed after it was revealed he fabricated a story about being the brother of a young boy shot and killed by racists in Alabama during the 1960s civil rights movement.

    Ware had appropriated another James Ware's story, and was forced to recant his account.He was reprimanded by a federal disciplinary panel, but resumed his work on the San Jose bench.

    With a strong reputation as a judge, Ware in recent years has appeared to put the episode behind him, continuing to hear high-profile Silicon Valley cases and running a number of legal programs in the community.

    Based on seniority, he is next in line to be chief judge in the Bay Area when current Chief Judge Vaughn Walker's term is up in less than two years.

    Contact Howard Mintz at 408-286-0236.

  • #2
    Re: Bank sues San Jose federal judge, James Ware, over boat payments

    Living beyond one's means is a huge red flag, and makes a judge a target for bribery and corruption. It appears that Judge Ware's dishonesty for which he was reprimanded by the Ninth Circuit is affecting his judgment on the court, in which he sought to control how vigorously NVIDIA Corporation could be prosecuted for securities fraud by ignoring the plain and well-settled meaning in appointment of counsel statutes, and attempted to usurp the power of the plaintiff to appoint his own legal counsel. The Ninth Circuit indicated that this "usurpation of power" was based on Judge Ware's clearly erroneous reading of the statutes and case law in Cohen v. U.S. District Court, and one has to wonder out loud what would motivate Judge Ware to ignore the well-settled meaning of the law to help out NVIDIA?

    It would not be surprising if Judge Ware's financial troubles of being in arrears for over a year on payments on his yacht were 'suddenly' solved by his usurping power to help out NVIDIA. It would also not be surprising if the same lie he told hundreds of times after law school concerning what motivated his law career was the same lie he told in his personal statement to law school, which would make his law degree and bar admission fraudulent. Let's hope that those who would know whether he told the same lie on his personal statement to law school are not exercising extra-judicial pressure on Judge Ware to reach results in specific cases that are not supported by the facts or the law.

    If anyone has any complaints about Judge Ware's fitness as a judge or other irregularities, please feel free to contact Jack Smith, Chief of Public Integrity Section, U.S. Department of Justice, at (202) 514-1412.

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