Judges Conduct Judicial Code – (in part)
*Red line notations or alleged violation committed in my case by attorneys – You be the Judge.
*Important notes: during a trial recess the trustees’ attorney walked up to the bench and began a general conversation with the clerk, Alice, saying…….did she hear what my expert Paul Hood testified, “it’s his experience judges don’t know much about trust law.” Alice replied, “Yes I know, the judge is not going to like that.” These case comments were made in the courtroom where they could be overheard by others seated in the area.
Another incidence of believed inappropriate conduct: for two of the later hearings, the earlier seated, and now retired Judge, Gerald Schiff, was in attendance. During the later of the two hearing Judge Schiff walked back to the area my attorney and I were seated in and shook my attorney Pam Magee’s hand, making conversation with her while smiling at me. We were both dismayed by his attendance, and his conduct, as my attorney had no previous personal acquaintance with this judge. I have my opinion of the message that conduct meant to relay.
CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT
A Judge Shall Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary.
An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing, and shall personally observe, high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved. The provisions of this Code are to be construed and applied to further that objective. As a necessary corollary, the judge must be protected in the exercise of judicial independence.
Commentary to Canon 1
The word “shall” imposes binding obligations, the violation of which can result in disciplinary action.
When “should” is used, the text is intended to instruct judges concerning appropriate judicial conduct. The use of should is an acknowledgment that the conduct regulated in these Canons may impose against the judge more discretion, and/or may involve the conduct of others. Nonetheless, a clear violation of any Canon in which should is used, a clear abuse of discretion by the judge is conforming his or her conduct to any such Canons, or a clear abuse of discretion by the judge in regulating the conduct of those persons whose actions are subject to the judge’s direction and control, may also result in judicial discipline.
A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All Activities
A. A judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
As used in this Code, “impartiality” or “impartial” denotes absence of bias or prejudice in favor, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, as well as maintaining an open mind in considering issues that may come before the Judge. (Amended effective February 1, 2005)
B. A judge shall not allow family, social, political or other relationships to influence judicial conduct or judgment. A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interest of the judge or others; nor shall a judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge. A judge shall not testify voluntarily as a character witness….
A Judge Shall Perform the Duties of Office Impartially and Diligently
The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all other activities. Judicial duties include all the duties of office prescribed by law. In the performance of these duties, the following standards apply:
A. Adjudicative Responsibilities:
(1) A judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it. A judge shall be unswayed by partisan interest, public clamor, or fear of criticism.
(2) A judge shall maintain order and decorum in judicial proceedings.
(3) A judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and should require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.
(4) A judge shall perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice. A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct manifest bias or prejudice, and shall not permit staff, court officials or others, bias or prejudice against parties, witnesses, counsel or others.
(5) A judge shall require lawyers in proceedings before the judge to refrain from manifesting, by words or conduct, bias or prejudice against parties, witnesses, counsel or others.
(6) Except as permitted by law, a judge shall not permit private or ex parte interviews, arguments or communications designed to influence his or her judicial action in any case, either civil or criminal……
(7) A judge shall dispose of all judicial matters promptly, efficiently and fairly. (sb: In accordance with pacer case dated entries indicating my trial date, in the adversary case against me – it was 16 months before the Judge issued a Post Trial Reason after the trial conclusion)
B. Administrative Responsibilities
(1) A judge shall diligently discharge the judge’s administrative responsibilities without bias or prejudice and maintain professional competence in judicial administration, and should cooperate with other judges and court officials in the administration of court business.
(2) A judge shall require staff, court officials and others subject to the judge’s direction and control to observe the standards of fidelity and diligence that apply to the judge and to refrain from manifesting bias or prejudice in the performance of their official duties.
(3) A judge should take or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures against a judge or lawyer for unprofessional conduct of which the judge may become aware of wrongful conduct.