Soft-spoken and robeless, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman took the stand Tuesday to defend himself against judicial misconduct charges (.pdf) that could result in public censure or even his removal from the bench.

Under questioning by a lawyer for the California Commission on Judicial Performance, Freedman, one of Alameda County’s two complex litigation judges, offered no single explanation for a string of delayed rulings in recent years that led to the charges. His delays ranged from a few days to more than a year and a half beyond the 90-day period in which judges must issue decisions on submitted cases.

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