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  1. 1. Ethics
  2. 2. Why study ethics? So you can pass the test. So you won’t get in trouble, or get fired. Is there any other reason?
  3. 3. What you need to know to pass the test: ZIP ZERO NADA No ethics questions on the test.
  4. 4. What you need to know to keep your job and stay out of trouble. Grounds for Removal Judge may be removed or censured for Willful misconduct Willful and persistent failure to perform his duties Habitual intemperance Conviction of crime involving moral turpitude Conduct prejudicial to administration of justice
  5. 5. Willful Misconduct Done intentionally and knowingly (or with gross unconcern for the conduct) Improper and wrong conduct acting in official capacity In bad faith Examples—dishonesty, corruption, or knowing misuse of office, or to accomplish purpose beyond the legitimate exercise of his or her authority
  6. 6. Willful Misconduct Not limited to time in court Improper sexual activity between judge and defendant included Generally criminal charges against judge will also constitute willful misconduct
  7. 7. Conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Often taken in good faith, but still appears to objective observer that conduct is un- judicial and lowers public esteem for the office Motive doesn’t matter; conduct does Personal benefit not required Can’t use inexperience or lack of training Private matters also covered
  8. 8. Code of Judicial Conduct: Why Should You Care? “A violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct may be deemed conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office in disrepute, or willful misconduct in office, or otherwise as grounds for disciplinary proceedings . . ..” Preamble to Code of Judicial Conduct
  9. 9. Therefore. . . Conduct prejudicial Violation grounds for = (may) = to the adminis- of Code removal tration of justice
  10. 10. So. . . What Does the Code Say? The Code of Judicial Conduct is divided into 7 canons. Set of Rules Canon, …not cannon
  11. 11. Canon 1 and 2 Canon 1—Uphold integrity and indepen- dence of the judiciary Canon 2—Avoid impropriety in all activities …conduct himself at all times in a manner. . . …relationships [must not] influence conduct or judgment. …should not lend prestige of office to advance the prestige of others, or allow others to convey that they have special ability to influence him.
  12. 12. 1. Yes A magistrate is married to 2. No a police officer. Can the magistrate handle cases in which the officer appears before him or her? Canon 2: A judge should . . . conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. . . A judge should not allow his family, social or other relationships to influence his judicial conduct or judgment.
  13. 13. What if instead of being married to the officer, the magistrate worked in the police department for many years? 1. Yes 2. No
  14. 14. 1. Yes You are a close friend of a local 2. No banker who is the head of a selection committee for a scholarship. The child of a friend asks you to recommend him for the scholarship. Can you say yes?
  15. 15. Canon 2B. [A judge] should not lend the prestige of his office to advance the private interests of others . . . A judge may, based on personal knowledge, serve as a personal reference or provide a letter of recommendation.
  16. 16. 1. Yes 2. No Same facts with a twist: You are a close friend of a local banker who is the head of a selection committee for a scholarship. The child of a friend asks you to recommend him for the scholarship, and you know the child well. The bank comes to court a lot seeking to collect debts owed it. Should you refuse to recommend him?
  17. 17. Canon 3 Canon 3—Impartiality and diligence Judicial duties take precedence over all other activities. Faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it. Unswayed by partisan interests, public clamor, fear of criticism. Order and decorum in court. Patient, dignified, courteous.
  18. 18. More from Canon 3 Ex parte communications Promptness Comments on merits of pending cases Recusal if: Impartiality may reasonably be questioned. Personal bias or prejudice, or personal knowledge Financial interest Related within 3rd degree to party, witness, or person likely to be affected. Alternative.
  19. 19. 1. Yes You arrive early to small 2. No claims court, as does a merchant bringing several collection suits. One of the plaintiff comes into the courtroom and sees the two of you chatting. Have you violated the Code? judge should . . . neither ”A knowingly initiate nor knowingly consider ex parte communications concerning a pending proceeding.”
  20. 20. At a Rotary Club meeting, you are approached by a fellow member who asks for your help with a small claims matter he has. What do you say? 1. I can’t discuss that with you. I can’t discuss that here. Come 2. to my office and we’ll talk about it. I’d be happy to provide you with 3. information about the procedure in small claims court, but I can’t give you legal advice. I’d be happy to provide you with 4. information about procedure and whether you have a good case, but I can’t give you legal advice.
  21. 21. Canons 4 and 5 Outside activities to improve the system or the community Don’t do it if it casts doubt on your ability to be impartial Community activities, but no fundraising Financial activities Gifts Estates of relatives
  22. 22. A church asks you to serve as the head of its finance committee. Among the duties of the committee are the raising of the budget for the church each year. Can you serve? 50% 50% 1. Yes 2. No s o Ye N
  23. 23. ♦Canon 5B. A judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon his impartiality or interfere with the performance of his judicial duties. A judge may serve as an officer, director, trustee, or non-legal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization not conducted for the economic or political advantage of its members, subject to the following limitations:(2) A judge should not solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of his office for that purpose, but he may be listed as an officer, director or trustee of such an organization.
  24. 24. A local bail bonding company gives each magistrate a gift certificate to the local mall at Christmas. Can you accept it? 50% 50% 1. Yes 2. No s o Ye N
  25. 25. (4). Neither a judge nor a member of his family residing in his household should accept a gift, bequest, favor, or loan from anyone except as follows: (b) A judge or a member of his family residing in his household may accept ordinary social hospitality; a gift, bequest, favor or loan from a relative; a wedding or engagement gift; a loan from a lending institution . . . or a scholarship or fellowship awarded on the same terms applied to other applicants. (c) A judge or member of his family residing in the household may accept any other gift, bequest, favor or loan only if the donor is not a party presently before him. or other person whose interests have come or are likely to come before him.
  26. 26. Canon 7 Canon 6—Personal financial reports (N/A) Canon 7—Political activity Not clear how it applies May participate in political party, including fund-raising function, but May not publicly endorse candidate for office, or contribute to individual campaign, And may not personally fund-raise. Must resign to run for non-judicial office
  27. 27. The incumbent sheriff is running for re-election, and asks you to endorse him. Can you? 1. Yes 2. No 0% 0% s o Ye N
  28. 28. Is there any other reason? As a magistrate, you will be confronted with ethical questions every day—what is the right thing to do? Sometimes that will be clear, and sometimes it won’t. When it’s not clear, it helps to have thought about what your overall values are.
  29. 29. ethos = character Aristotle described ethical behavior as behavior directed at the common good. To know how to behave ethically, one must have what Aristotle called “practical wisdom,” which consists of three qualities: ~~moderation ~~courage ~~justice
  30. 30. “Important as it is that people should get justice, it is ever more important that they be made to feel and see that they are getting it.”