Swift, Penis Slap Judge Bert L.

Superior Court Judge Bert L. Swift (retired - with extreme prejudice)- Case MCVMS03999 - LOUIS J. POIST et al -V- PATRICIA BROWN-DEMPSEY ET made highly improper (overturned by appeal court) ruling that supported penis-slapper honor student, cleared of ethics violation brought by Attorney Richard Crouter.  Partially reversed on appeal in People v. John Plotczy.

People v. Geborde (appeal of sentencing)— first prosecution for murder via distribution of GHB.  16 year old boy,  Lucas Bielat,  died at a 1995 rave at Giant Rock.  (This is the appeal of sentence issued by Judge McGuire. Murder trial was under Judge Bert Swift.  Not guilty of murder, guilty of involuntary man slaughter. Dumb ass District Attorney grandstanding.  Credit due to the Joshua Tree Jury for rejecting the murder charge.) Teenage  Wasteland, Los Angeles Magazine, July 2000

Benchmarks Article

Admitted to the bar in 1977, Judge Swift 

operated a wide ranging general practice in the 

High Desert with partner George Martin and later 

other partners. His practice included personal 

injury, a little criminal defense, probate, and 

much family practice. The judge acknowledges 

that such variety would be hard to shoulder 

nowadays with laws and procedures having 

become more complex. 

After practicing 12 years the itch to judge 

developed and he unseated an incumbent at 

election and was sworn in Jan. 2, 1989. At first 

on the municipal bench he had to recuse himself 

so often on representations by three former 

partners that he had to travel to Fontana and 

Victorville to judge without that limitation. 

Alleged Misconduct


INQUIRY CONCERNING SWIFT &MCGUIRE CJP Supp. 7 48 Cal.4th CJP Supp. 7 [Feb. 1997]



Two disciplinary matters were brought, one concerning a municipal court judge, and the other concerning a superior court judge. The matters were consolidated.

The Commission on Judicial Performance ordered that the matters be dismissed. The commission concluded that the municipal court judge did not violate Cal. Code Jud. Ethics, canon 2A, when he called his wife to determine the whereabouts of his stepson, who was the subject of an investigation by the National Park Service regarding the possible theft of Native American artifacts. The property that park service rangers wanted to search belonged to the municipal court judge. The telephone call did not create an appearance of impropriety where the judge already had disclosed a conflict of interest and disqualified from the matter and there was no indication that the call revealed information about the investigation. The municipal court judge did not commit misconduct in the superior court judge’s chambers by advocating a consent search of the property or by remaining in the superior court judge’s chambers. Taking leave from the chambers discussion with information that could compromise the criminal investigation arguably could have raised a more substantial appearance of impropriety. Even if the superior court judge should have signed a warrant authorizing a search of the property while the rangers were present, his failure to do so did not constitute misconduct. His mistake, if any, was at most legal error. (Opinion by Commission Counsel, by direction of the Commission.)

Proclamation Honoring Judge Bert L. Swift

Note: The Twentynine Palms council was dominated by retired and current law enforcement when the following proclamation was issued upon  Swift's retirement.]





 WHEREAS, The son of a United States Navy Career Intelligence Officer; Judge Swift 

was born in Del Norte Colorado and attended school throughout both the United States, and in Germany before returning to Alimosa Colorado and graduating Alimosa High School; where he played varsity football, baseball and  coordinate the first ski club at Alamosa High.   


 WHEREAS, In 1958 he joined the United States Navy where he became a Navy 

Frogman and later a Navy Seal.  He served two enlistments in the Navy and had tours in 

Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Alaska and Okinawa.  While in the Navy he became a National Ski Patrol Representative and ski patrol leader for the Navy Base in Kodiak Alaska.  Additionally he served on the United States Navy under water Demolition Team 12 and volunteered to become a member of the Mercury Series Recovery Team.  On May 16, 1963, he and two other team members recovered the space capsule known as Faith 7, commanded by Major Gordon Cooper, one of the original 7 astronauts. 

Empty Brief for Penis Slap Swift

New Entry in “Worst Brief Ever” Competition

Brenda Barnes

August 10, 2008 | 10:18 pm

Talk about cut-and-paste. How about just paste? I was a self-represented plaintiff in a case within the past three years where a lawyer who still practices in Palm Springs filed a CEB form as an anti-SLAPP motion. All the brackets were still there, stating what facts he should put in, which choice he should make on the issue being covered, and such. He was not sanctioned or anything by Judge Bert Swift in Joshua Tree, much less embarrassed. Within the past year I was served by a process server with a summons and complaint that were just drafts–no case number, so no notice of the fist CMC, no clerk’s seal or signature, no ADR info, no civil case cover sheet. Obviously this had not been filed, and the lawyer had not even glanced at what he sent out for service. How do people get clients who do such bad work?

The People v. Moreno

Reversed filed Filed 6/16/11

Records at DCA, Opinion

Penis Slap Bert L. Swift did not state in minute order why he dismissed counts.  The People via Riverside appealed.

"Because the trial court did not provide a written statement of reasons for the dismissal entered upon the minutes, its dismissal order is ineffective."

This is similar to what Corrupt Judge Pro Temp Richard Crouter did in the matter of The People v. David Falossi for a misdemeanor complaint about violation of Yucca Valley's leash law.

Marriage of Olivier

Filed 10/7/08 Marriage of Olivier CA4/2 E043368

Reversed for failure to write a proper Statement of Decision

"We agree with Riki that the statement of decision failed to address the factual and legal issues raised by the parties in their respective proposed statements of decision, and it failed to explain the courts reasoning on those issues.[3] A statement of decision is as much, or more, for the benefit of the Court of Appeal as for the parties. It is our touchstone to determine whether or not the trial courts decision is supported by the facts and the law. [Citation.] [Citation.] The importance of the statement is underscored by the rule that a trial courts failure to render a statement of decision is reversible error. [Citation.] (In re Marriage of Sellers (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1007, 1010.)"

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