Judicial Conduct Reporter

The fall 2015 issue of the Judicial Conduct Reporter has been published.  In addition to summaries of some recent advisory opinions and recent cases, it has the second part of the two-part article “Before and after the bench.”  Jurisdiction over a judge’s pre-bench misconduct as an attorney was covered in the first part, published in the summer issue.  Part 2 discusses jurisdiction over judicial misconduct after a judge has left the bench.  It has sections on:

  • Mooted sanctions – when a judge leaves the bench without being sanctioned but with an investigation pending
  • Consecutive sanctions – when a judge who has been removed from judicial office has subsequently been disbarred for the same misconduct
  • Concurrent sanctions – when states have procedures that provide for the handling of judicial and attorney sanctions in the same proceeding

With respect to consecutive sanctions, the article notes that dual discipline (removal and disbarment) has been held to be appropriate if the judicial misconduct also reflects on fitness to practice law.  The types of judicial misconduct identified as inappropriate for subsequent attorney misconduct include:

  • Errors in judgment
  • Inappropriate displays of temper
  • Lapses in adherence to necessary procedures
  • An abuse of power or other judicial misconduct resulting from an honorable motive
  • A lack of impartiality

The types of judicial misconduct identified as deserving of attorney discipline as well as judicial discipline include:

  • Overreaching and misuse of judicial office for personal advantage
  • Dishonesty, venality, or greed
  • Acts that undermine the integrity of the administration of justice
  • Breaching the public trust

Current and past issues of the Judicial Conduct Reporter are available on-line as a free download.  You can sign up to receive notice when a new issue is available

 

 

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