New Hampshire judge retires, is reprimanded after complaint of sexist comments

A veteran New Hampshire judge has retired and been reprimanded after he made comments believed to disparage female lawyers.

The New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee formally reprimanded John Lewis in a decision released last week. The Strafford County judge had retired in September following a complaint that he said the legal profession is being diminished because more women are becoming lawyers.

Lewis said his comments, made at July meetings with the county attorney's office and public defender's office, were misunderstood and that he was only speculating about why the reputation of the legal system is suffering.

The judicial committee ruled the comments violated the code of conduct by giving at least the appearance that Lewis may be biased against women.

The 67-year-old Lewis had been an associate justice since 2001.