An El Paso state district judge has been reprimanded for mishandling contempt proceedings against lawyers and threatening them with arrest — including an attorney who failed to appear in his courtroom because she was on maternity leave — and for treating potential jurors so poorly that in at least one case he reduced a person to tears.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct on Nov. 6 issued the public reprimand against 243rd District Court Judge Luis Aguilar after they received numerous complaints about his behavior. According to the reprimand, Aguilar issued bench warrants for the arrest of two lawyers for failure to appear, including a Brownsville lawyer who wasn’t given proper notice of a show cause contempt hearing and a Houston attorney who had just given birth and was on leave from work under the Family Medical Leave Act.

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