MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that a former Coffee County judge’s suspension from practicing law because of ethics violations was too strict of a punishment.

On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in favor of a cross-appeal from former Judge Chris Kaminski and attorney Amy Marshall that their suspension from being able to practice law was too harsh of a punishment. The original suspension decision came after Judge Kaminski was found guilty of two counts of ethics violations in 2019.

Judge Kaminski admitted to two of three counts of ethics violations after a complaint stated that Kaminski was involved in a romantic relationship with a lawyer in 2017, months before his divorce was finalized.

The Court’s opinion reads in part:

Over a period of approximately eight months, Kaminski, while in office as a district court judge, engaged in an undisclosed affair with Marshall, an attorney who routinely appeared before Kaminski. Both parties were married to other people for at least part of that period. They did not disclose their relationship to litigants, other counsel, or Marshall’s clients.

Alabama Supreme Court decision in Alabama State Bar v. Christoper M. Kaminski

The Court continued their ruling stating:

The (Alabama) Bar argues that the discipline imposed was too lenient. Kaminski and Marshall argue that the discipline imposed was too strict. We agree with Kaminski and Marshall and reverse the Board’s decision to suspend them from the practice of law. Because of the lack of evidence of tangible damage resulting from their misconduct and the existence of mitigating circumstances, we determine that, at most, a public reprimand is warranted.

Alabama Supreme Court decision in Alabama State Bar v. Christoper M. Kaminski

The full opinion by the Court can be read here:

Both Kaminski and Marshall continue to practice law in Coffee County.

WDHN has reached out to the Alabama Supreme Court to see if Kaminski can return to being a judge, and Marshall to an attorney. We have not received word back yet.

Stay with WDHN News for updates on this ongoing case.