The Judicial Ethics Forum (JEF)

An Academic Discussion of Judicial Ethics, Discipline & Disqualification

Archive for February, 2011

New York to Bar Judicial-Campaign-Contributing Attorneys from Courtroom for Two Years

Posted by judicialethicsforum on Monday, February, 28, 2011

In a recent move that has attracted much press, the New York State Administrative Board of the Courts has proposed a rule that would require attorneys who donate $2,500 and law firms that donate $3,500 to any judge be barred from appearing before that judge for a period of two years.  This proposed rule is more flexible than a 2003 task force proposal, which recommended a five-year ban on attorneys who had donated over $500 to any judge.  That proposed rule was said to be too onerous in the many less-populated areas, which often had only one full-time judge.

To read more on this important development, click on one or more of the following outlets: Brennan Center (calling the rule “a victory for recusal reform”); NY Times (a “bold step”); and The Wall Street Journal (“It would be one of the strictest disqualification rules in the nation”); see also generally Keith Swisher, Legal Ethics and Campaign Contributions: The Professional Responsibility to Pay for Justice, 24 Georgetown J. Legal Ethics (forthcoming 2011).

Posted in Judicial Campaigns, Judicial Disqualification & Recusal, Judicial Ethics Generally | Leave a Comment »

Supremely Unethical

Posted by kswisher on Monday, February, 28, 2011

100 Law Professors have signed a letter to Congress (particularly, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees), urging that the Supreme Court should be bound, finally, by a code of judicial ethics.  Either the substance of the letter or (more likely) the methodology for collecting signatures is questionable, because several big names in judicial ethics are noticeably absent.  To the letter’s credit, however, the lack of binding Supreme Court ethics rules is indeed one of the single most embarrassing things in the judicial ethics field.  It is breathtakingly hypocritical that all of the federal (and state) judiciary underneath the Supreme Court must comply with a code to which the Court is not likewise held accountable.  The long-overdue letter can be read here.

Posted in Judicial Ethics Generally | 1 Comment »