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Feb 2, 2010 6:01 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Judge admonished after attorney paid with coupons

A California judicial commission has admonished a retired judge for ordering that an attorney who settled a class-action lawsuit be paid in $10 coupons for women's apparel.

The lawsuit accused Windsor Fashions Inc. of invading customers' privacy by requesting personal information during credit card transactions.

As part of the January 2009 settlement, the company issued coupons to the plaintiffs, and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brett Klein ordered that the attorney fee of $125,000 be paid similarly.

The Commission on Judicial Performance, which disciplines state judges, said Tuesday that Klein was biased and abusive. It also said he improperly communicated with the press by e-mailing his decision to a small newspaper.

Klein later rescinded his order to pay the attorney with coupons. He retired in November.

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