Comments

Note: Resources associated with a meeting or hearing are located in the Meetings & Hearings section. Drafts available for public comment may be accessed in the Commission Drafts section.

Comments refer to documents submitted for review by the Commission. There are currently two categories of comments, including those based on the original 1990 Code and those based on the preliminary drafts of the new code. Additional categories of comments will be added during subsequent stages of rule development.



Comments on 1990 Code    |    Comments on Preliminary Draft of Code    |    Comments on Final Draft of Code


Comments on Preliminary Draft of Code





ABA Children and the Law
Lauren Onkeles

     Comment   (August 31, 2004)
      Canons 2, 3, 4 and 5

     Summary




ABA Criminal Justice Section Ad Hoc Committee
Margaret C. Love Chair

     Comment   (October 12, 2005)
      Canons 2, 4 and 5

     Summary




ABA Judicial Division National Conference of the Administrative Judiciary (NCALJ)

     Comment   (November 3, 2005)
      Application




ABA Judicial Division National Conference of Specialized Court Judges (NCSCJ)
Lt Col Rodger A. Drew, USAF Staff Judge Advocate

     Comment   (November 3, 2005)
      Appearance of Impropriety, Rule 2.12 and 4.15 and Canon 3

     Summary




ABA Judicial Division National Conference of State Trial Judges
Judge Annette J. Scieszinski Chair Ethics and Professionalism Committee

     Comment   (August 9, 2005)
      Rule 2.04

     Summary




ABA Section of Business Law

     Comment   (September 9, 2005)
      Canons 1-5, Terminology Section and General Comments

     Summary




ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
Ellen Miller Director

     Comment   (February 4, 2005)
      Canon 3

     Summary




ABA Senior Lawyers Division
Judge J. Thomas Greene, Utah Judge James A. Noe, Washington Senior Lawyers Division Judiciary Committee Co-Chairs

     Comment   (July 14, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 2

     Summary

     Summary - Terminology

The Judicial Council of California’s Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants urges the Commission to consider changes to Canons 1 and 2, as well as other canons, to assure judges that they act ethically when they ensure that self-represented, or pro se, litigants are able to present their cases. The Judicial Council summarizes recommendations of its Statewide Action Plan for Serving Self-Represented Litigants, adopted in February 2004 and describes numerous projects underway to implement the Action Plan, several of which involve development of best practices for judges hearing cases involving self-represented litigants.

Debriefing (Rule 2.07)

Knowledge (Rule 2.17)

Impairs (Rule 2.19)

     Comment   (September 29, 2004)
      Canons 3 and 4

     Summary




ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants
Hon. Lora J. Livingston Chair, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services

William Whitehurst Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants

     Comment   (September 8, 2005)
      Pro Se Litigation

     Summary




ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Charles E. McCallum Chair

     Comment   (April 12, 2005)
      Canons 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5




ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility
William B. Dunn Chair

     Cover Letter   (September 15, 2005)

     Comment   (September 15, 2005)
      All Canons, Preamble, Scope and Terminology

     Summary




ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants
Norman Lefstein, Chair Indigent Advisory Group

     Comment   (October 15, 2004)
      Rule 2.18

     Summary




ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service
Marilyn J. Smith Assistant Committee Counsel

     Comment   (December 28, 2004)
      Rule 4.04



ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism
John T. Berry Chair

     Comment   (January 12, 2005)
      General Canon 1 and Rules 4.13 - 4.16

     Comment   (August 29, 2005)
      Canons 1, 2 and 3

     Summary




ABA Standing Committee on Professional Discipline
Honorable Barbara Kerr Howe Chair

     Comment   (October 27, 2004)
      Canons 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 Overview

             Canon 1 (Clean Copy)              Canon 1 (Redline Copy)

             Canon 2 (Clean Copy)              Canon 2 (Redline Copy)

             Canon 3 (Clean Copy)              Canon 3 (Redline Copy)

             Canon 4 (Clean Copy)              Canon 4 (Redline Copy)

             Canon 4 Rules 4.13-4.16 (Clean Copy)              Canon 4 Rules 4.13-4.16 (Redline Copy)

             Canon 5 (Clean Copy)              Canon 5 (Redline Copy)

     Comment   (March 15, 2005)
      Canon 5 and Overview

             Canon 5 (Clean Copy)              Canon 5 (Redline Copy)

             Overview




American Center for Law and Justice
William M. Weber Senior Litigation Counsel

     Comment   (October 4, 2004)
      Canon 2 and Rule 3.03

     Summary




American Judicature Society
Cynthia Gray, Director Center for Judicial Ethics

     Comment   (July 2004)
      May 2004 Partial Draft of Revisions

     Comment   (October 2004)
      July 2004 Partial Draft of Revisions

     Summary

     Comment   (November 2004)
      Canon 4 Gift Provisions and Terminology

     Comment   (March 15, 2005)
      Canon 5

     Summary

     Comment   (July 19, 2005)
      Cumulative Comments

     Comment   (July 28, 2005)
      Canon 5

     Comment   (July 28, 2005)
      Attachment 1

     Comment   (July 28, 2005)
      Attachment 2

     Comment   (September 19, 2005)
      General Comments

     Comment   (September 19, 2005)
      Canon 1

     Comment   (September 19, 2005)
      Canon 2

     Comment   (September 19, 2005)
      Canon 3

     Comment   (September 19, 2005)
      Canon 4

     Comment   (September 19, 2005)
      Canon 5




Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Ronald C. Minkoff, Chair Joint Subcommittee

     Comment   (August 3, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 2

         Summary

     Comment   (January 28, 2005)
      Canon 2: Rules 2.12 and 2.19       Canon 3: Rules 3.01 and 3.03       Canon 4: Rules 4.01, 4.02, 4.04, 4.13 and 4.16




Association of Judicial Disciplinary Counsel
Victoria B. Henley President

     Comment   (September 9, 2005)
      General Comments

     Summary




Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers ("APRL")
Ronald C. Minkoff, Chair APRL Committee on Model Code of Judicial Conduct

     Comment   (June 30, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 2

     Comment   (November 29, 2004)
      Rule 4.01(c)

     Summary




Bench and Bar Committee of the State Bar of Wisconsin
George C. Brown Executive Director State Bar of Wisconsin

     Cover Letter   (September 14, 2005)

     Comment   (September 14, 2005)
      Canon 5

     Summary




Besser, Matt
Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard L. Nygaard United States Court of Appeals

     Comment   (March 15, 2005)
      Canon 3E(1)

     Summary




Border, Judge Patrick W.
First Circuit State of Hawaii

     Comment   (September 1, 2005)
      Rule 4.06

     Summary




Boy Scouts of America
David K. Park National Legal Counsel

     Comment   (October 11, 2004)
      Rule 3.03

     Comment   (September 9, 2005)
      Rule 3.04

     Summary




Brennan Center for Justice
James Sample Wendy Weiser Associate Counsel Democracy Program

     Comment   (September 15, 2005)
      Canon 5

     Summary




Bufford, Samuel L.
Judge United States Bankruptcy Court Central District of Los Angeles

     Comment   (August 13, 2004)
      Rules 4.01 and 4.02




California Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics
Associate Justice Richard D. Fybel Chair

     Comment   (August 26, 2005)
      Preamble, Rule 1.01, Rules 2.05, 2.10, 2.12, Rule 3.04, Rules 4.04, 4.12, and Canon 5

     Summary




Community Rights Counsel
Douglas T. Kendall Executive Director Washington, D.C.

     Comment   (November 19, 2004)
      Rules 4.13 - 4.16 and Terminology

     Summary




Cratsley, Justice John C.
Associate Justice Massachusetts Superior Court

     Comment   (May 16, 2005)
      judicial settlement activity

     Comment   (September 15, 2005)
      Canon 2

     Summary




Delaware State Bar Association
Helen L. Winslow President

     Comment   (September 9, 2005)
      Rules 2.05, 2.12 and 2.14




Demers, David A.
Chief Judge Circuit Court Sixth Judicial District State of Florida

     Comment   (September 30, 2004)
      Rule 4.04 (2)(a)(iii)

     Summary




Drucker, Geoff

     Comment   (September 7, 2005)
      Rule 2.09

     Summary


Edmunds, Judge Robert H.
Associate Justice Supreme Court of North Carolina

     Comment   (August 10, 2005)
      Canon 5

     Summary




Freedman, Monroe H.
Professor

     Comment   (September 15, 2005)
      Rules 1.03, 2.12, 4.04, 4.13 and Introductory Report

     Summary




Fox, Lawrence J.
Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP Philadelphia, PA The Appearance of Impropriety Amended

     Comment   (June 23, 2004)
      Canon 1

     Summary




Gable & Gotwals
Timothy A. Carney

     Comment   (May 12, 2005)
      Rule 3.03

     Summary




George, Judge Ronald M.
Chief Justice Supreme Court of California

     Comment   (September 20, 2005)
      Canons 1 and 2

     Summary




Glazebrook, Judge James
     Comment   (November 7, 2005)
      Rule 4.13

     Summary




Goldschmidt, Jona PhD
Loyola University Chicago Associate Professor

     Comment   (December 1, 2004)
       Pro Se litigants

     Summary




Gray, Judge Karla M.
Chief Justice Supreme Court of Montana

     Comment   (September 9, 2005)
      Pro Se Litigants

     Summary




HALT - An Organization of Americans for Legal Reform
Susan A. Mishkin Associate Counsel

     Comment   (November 18, 2004)
      Gift Provisions        4.13 - 4.16

     Summary




Hagen, David L.

     Comment   (November 17, 2004)
      Rule 4.13

         Summary

     Comment   (August 1, 2005)
      Canon 1

         Summary

     Comment   (August 3, 2005)
      Preamble and Scope

     Comment   (August 3, 2005)
      Rule 2.07

     Comment   (August 3, 2005)
      Rule 3.04

     Comment   (August 3, 2005)
      Rule 5.01

         Summary




Hollenhorst, Judge Tom
Associate Justice Fourth District Court of Appeal (California) Division 2

     Comment   (September 12, 2005)
      Pro se litigants

     Summary




Ifill, Sherrilyn A.
Associate Professor of Law University of Maryland School of Law

     Comment   (August 6, 2004)
      Canon 1

     Summary

Rule 1.01, Comment 4
Observing Standards of Judicial Conduct

Professor Ifill urges the Commission to assume leadership in defining the nature of the judicial function as it relates to judicial impartiality and the relevance of diversity to impartiality. Specifically, the Commission should define judicial impartiality, not only in its familiar sense connoting lack of bias by an individual judge for or against a particular party, but also in a fashion that encompasses structural impartiality as related to overall composition of the bench in a jurisdiction. Professor Ifill recommends addition of the following language to Rule 1.01, Comment 4:

“Impartiality in the context of judges denotes an open mind and the absence of bias in favor of, or against, individual parties or classes of parties. An impartial judiciary is one in which judges are selected by means that are fair and equitable and that result in a qualified and diverse bench.”




Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee
Steve Pflaum McDermott, Will & Emery LLP

     Comment   (May 16, 2005)
      Rule 4.04

     Summary




International Association of Lesbian & Gay Judges
Sidney A. Galton President

     Comment   (November 17, 2004)
      Rule 3.03

     Summary

Rule 3.03
Affiliation with Discriminatory Organizations

The International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges (IALGJ) suggests the following revision of Rule 3.03 which incorporates language of Rule 3.03 Comment 3 to eliminate the confusing phrase “to any significant extent” and to provide clarity of the purpose of the rule. (Additions underlined; deletions struck through.)

“3.03 Affiliation with Discriminatory Organizations. A judge shall not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, and shall not use the facilities of such an organization in a manner sufficient to create the impression that the judge approves of the organization and its practices to any significant extent.”




James Madison Center for Free Speech
James Bopp, Jr. General Counsel

     Comment   (March 15, 2005)
      Rule 5.02(d)

       Summary

     Comment   (September 15, 2005)
      All Canons

       Summary




Judicial Council of California
Kathleen E. O'Leary Chair Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants

     Comment   (July 29, 2004)

     Summary

The Judicial Council of California’s Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants urges the Commission to consider changes to Canons 1 and 2, as well as other canons, to assure judges that they act ethically when they ensure that self-represented, or pro se, litigants are able to present their cases. The Judicial Council summarizes recommendations of its Statewide Action Plan for Serving Self-Represented Litigants, adopted in February 2004 and describes numerous projects underway to implement the Action Plan, several of which involve development of best practices for judges hearing cases involving self-represented litigants.




Kahn, David L.
David L. Kahn, PA

     Comment   (June 14, 2004)
      Canon 1 and Rule 1.01

     Summary




Katz, Judge David A.
U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio

     Comment   (July 14, 2005)
      Rules 2.08, 2.12, and 4.15

     Summary




Kaufman, Andrew L.
Professor Harvard Law School

     Comment   (June 9, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 2

     Summary

     Comment
      Rule 3.03

     Summary

Affiliation with Discriminatory Organizations

This document is an article by Professor Kaufman entitled Judicial Correctness: Section 2C of the Code of Judicial Conduct. In his overview of the article, Professor Kaufman explains: "The thesis of the article is that it has been easier to decide that codes governing judicial conduct should express an anti-discrimination principle than it has been to formulate the words that will target the forbidden conduct with sufficient preciseness, that will justify each prohibition, and that will then withstand a constitutional attack based on First Amendment principles. The result of the effort to do so to date has been language that may prohibit less than it promises and more than it should or, in the language of constitutional law, that it is both underinclusive and overinclusive and may, in some of its applications, fall victim to the Supreme Court's current interpretation of the First Amendment." The article sets forth the difficulties with Section 2C as presently worded, then considers five alternatives, of which Professor Kaufman prefers repeal and leaving "its work to be done by a combination of laws of general applicability, the law of disqualification, the electoral and appointive process, and social pressure."




Larson, Judge John W.
Montana District Court

     Comment   (September 6, 2005)
      Canon 2

     Summary




McCarter, Judge Dorothy
Montana District Court

     Comment   (August 24, 2005)
      Pro Se Litigants

     Summary




McKoski, Judge Ray
Circuit Judge Lake County, Illinois

     Comment   (July 15, 2004)
      Rules 2.02, 2.07, 2.08 and 2.12

     Comment   (October 19, 2004)
      Rules 3.01 and 4.04

     Summary




McVey, Judge Samuel D.
4th Judicial District Court State of Utah

     Comment   (August 9, 2005)
      Pro Se Litigants

     Summary




Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards
David S. Paull, Executive Secretary

     Comment   (May 20, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 2       Rules 1.01, 2.02, 2.03, 2.05, 2.07, 2.20

     Summary




Montana Commission on the Code of Judicial Conduct
Justice Patricia Cotter Montana Supreme Court Chair

     Comment   (May 4, 2005)
      Canon 5

     Summary




Morris, Honorable Joseph W.
     Comment   (May 6, 2005)
      Rule 3.03

     Summary



National Association of Women Judges
Judge Sandra Thompson Los Angeles, CA Superior Court

     Comment   (May 26, 2005)
      Canon 2 and Rule 2.05

     Summary

     Comment   (September 14, 2005)
      Rules 2.05 and 2.10




National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Judge Stephen M. Rubin President

Mary V. Mentaberry Executive Director

     Comment   (August 1, 2005)
      Rules 2.12, 2.17, 2.18, 2.19 and 3.01

     Summary

     Comment   (September 15, 2005)
      Canons 2, 3 and 4




New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Commission
Anthony McManus Executive Secretary

     Comment   (August 3, 2005)
      Appearance of Impropriety




New York County Lawyers' Association
Executive Committee

     Comment   (July 27, 2005)
      Canon 5 - Part I

     Summary

     Comment   (July 27, 2005)
      Canon 5 - Part II

Committee on Professional Ethics

     Comment   (September 29, 2005)
      Canons 1, 2 and 5

     Summary




New York State Bar Association
Marjorie E. Gross Chair Special Committee to Review the Code of Judicial Conduct

     Comment   (July 29, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 2       Rules 1.01, 2.02, 2.04, 2.05, 2.07, 2.08, 2.09(a)(2), 2.09(a)(3), 2.09(b), 2.12 D(1),       2.12 E, 2.12 G(3), 2.15, 2.20, and Canon 2 Official Conduct

     Summary




New York State Bar Association Special Committee to Review the Code of Judicial Conduct
Kathleen R. Mulligan Baxter Senior Director Legal and Governmental Affairs New York State Bar Association

     Comment   (September 14, 2005)
      Canons 2, 3, 4 and 5




Ohio State Bar Association Judicial Administration and Legal Reform Committee

     Comment   (September 23, 2005)
      Rules 1.03, 2.08, 2.12 and 2.20

     Summary




Oklahoma Bar Association Access to Justice Committee
Professor Judith Maute

     Comment   (July 1, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 4       Judicial Support of Pro Bono Activities

     Summary




Parness, Jeffrey
Professor Northern Illinois University

     Comment   (June 16, 2004)
      Rule 2.09(a)(4)

         Summary

     Comment   (April 13, 2005)
      Cover Letter

     Comment   (April 13, 2005)
      Canon 2

         Summary

     Comment   (August 2, 2005)
      Cover Letter

     Comment   (August 2, 2005)
      Facilitating Civil Case Settlements and the Description of Adjudication




Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board
Francis J. Puskas II Assistant Counsel

     Comment   (January 28, 2005)
      Rule 2.07

     Summary




Phelps Dunbar LLP
Luther T. Munford

     Comment   (March 15, 2005)
      Rules 2.11, 2.12, 5.05(b)

     Summary




Philadelphia Bar Assocation Professional Responsibility Committee Subcommittee
Nancy Winkelman Chair

     Comment   (October 12, 2005)
      Canon 5




Public Citizen Litigation Group
Alan B. Morrison

     Comment   (June 21, 2004)
      Canon 2

     Summary




Saufley, Judge Leigh I.
Chief Justice Maine Supreme Judicial Court

     Comment   (August 26, 2005)
      Pro Se Litigants

     Summary




Shenkin, Judge Robert
Court of Common Pleas Chester County, Pennsylvania

     Comment   (August 9, 2005)
      Pro Se Litigants

     Summary




Sherman, Judge Louis A.
Chief Judge Norfolk General District Court

     Comment   (September 9, 2005)
      Rules 1.03, 3.02, 3.04, 4.13 and 4.15

     Summary




Smith, W. Calvin
Melchionna, Terry, Day, Ammar & Black

     Comment   (July 14, 2005)
      Rule 3.04

     Summary




Stanford Law School
Alan B. Morrison Senior Lecturer

     Comment   (Dec 16, 2004)
      Canons 3 and 4

     Comment   (June 6, 2005)
      Canon 5

       Summary

     Comment   (July 18, 2005)
      Canon 4

       Summary

     Comment   (July 18, 2005)
      Canon 2

     Comment   (August 11, 2005)
      Drafting Suggestions




Temple University
Marina Angel, Professor of Law

     Comment   (August 8, 2005)
      Rule 2.05 (A) and (B)

     Summary




The Thom Seymour Paine Foundation
Thom Seymour Paine

     Comment   (September 15, 2005)
      Canons 1, 2, 3 and 4

     Summary




Weber, Walter M.

     Comment   (July 27, 2005)
      Rule 3.04



Weller, Barbara

Gibbs Law Firm, P.A. Seminole, FL

     Comment   (September 27, 2004)
      Rule 2.05       Bias and Discrimination




Weinstein, Jack B.
Senior District Judge

     Comment   (October 8, 2004)
      Gift Provisions of Canon 4




Yoder, Ronnie A.
Chief Administrative Law Judge U.S. Department of Transportation Washington, D.C.

     Comment   (August 4, 2004)
      Canons 1, 2, 3 and 4

     Comment   (June 14, 2004)
      Canons 1, 2, and 3

     Comment   (November 17, 2004)
      Gift Provisions        4.13 - 4.16




Zorza, Richard
Zorza Associates Washington, D.C.

     Comment   (July 8, 2004)
      Canons 1 and 2

     Summary

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