Chief Judges and Ex Parte Contacts with Law Enforcement
Posted by judicialethicsforum on Tuesday, September, 25, 2012
Many readers are likely familiar with the Shalom Rubashkin case, which is now the subject of a short documentary. The case involves many fascinating and frightening details, but of particular relevance are the ex parte contacts: the chief judge met for months with law enforcement planning the raid of Rubashkin’s business. The judge did not disclose the extent of those planning sessions to the defendant or defense counsel; the contacts were instead revealed through a later public records request. Ethics Experts Steve Gillers and Mark Harrison submitted affidavits indicating that both the prosecutors and the judge misstepped ethically. The Supreme Court will soon consider whether to grant cert (it should), in a petition filed by Paul Clement. The new documentary follows:
Additionally, some recent press about the film and the case can be viewed here.