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ABA Judicial Ethics Resources


ABA Entities        ABA Model Rules & Codes        ABA Reports        ABA Articles       


ABA Entities

ABA Amicus Brief in Caperton V. Massey. The Caperton case has focused national attention on the potentially corruptive role that campaign financing of judicial elections has on the public's perception of the impartiality of the judiciary, and its outcome will resonate with all of the state study committees that are currently reviewing the ABA's newly-revised Code of Judicial Conduct.

ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR)
CPR develops and interprets standards and scholarly resources in legal ethics, professional regulation, professionalism and client protection mechanisms. CPR's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility is currently working with the Justice Center's Standing Committee on Judicial Independence to revise the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.


ABA Coalition for Justice
The Coalition for Justice aims to build public trust and confidence in the justice system and in the legal profession through partnerships with the public in justice reform.


ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the Model Code of Judicial Conduct
A joint commission formed by the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence and Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility to review the ABA Code of Judicial Conduct. The commission is to recommend revisions for consideration by the ABA House of Delegates in August 2005.


ABA Judicial Division
Black Letter Guidelines for the Evaluation of Judicial Performance adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, February, 2005.

The Judicial Division is primarily concerned with issues of judicial independence, discovery reform, judicial ethics and judicial education.

Judicial Techniques for Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants
(Judges' Journal Article)

The ABA Revisits the Model Code of Judicial Conduct (Judges' Journal Article)



ABA Justice Center
The ABA Justice Center seeks to accomplish justice system reform by encouraging bench/bar/public collaboration. The Justice Center's Standing Committee on Judicial Independence is currently working with CPR's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility to revise the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.


ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements
An ABA committee dedicated to substantive issues affecting the federal judiciary.


ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary
The Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary evaluates the professional qualifications of all nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States, circuit courts of appeals, district courts (including territorial district courts) and the Court of International Trade. The Committee’s goal is to support and encourage the selection of the best-qualified persons for the federal judiciary.


ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence
A site designed for “anyone with an interest in maintaining an independent judiciary.”


ABA Model Rules & Codes

ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, February 2007

1990 ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct (pdf)

1924 Canons of Judicial Ethics

ABA Model Rules for Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement

Model Code of Judicial Conduct for Federal Administrative Law Judges

Model Code of Judicial Conduct for State Administrative Law Judges




ABA Reports
Independent Judiciary Report
Report of the ABA Commission on Separation of Powers and Judicial Independence, established in August 1996 to study judicial independence and accountability, to assess whether these recent events threaten judicial independence, and to make recommendations.



“Justice in Jeopardy” Report on Improving State Judicial Systems
The Commission on the 21st Century Judiciary was appointed in 2002 to study problems confronting state court systems and recommend improvements to ensure a fair and impartial judiciary. The report offers state governments numerous ways to improve their state judicial systems.



Public Financing of Judicial Campaigns Report
The American Bar Association House of Delegates approved the recommendations of the Commission on Public Financing of Judicial Campaigns at the 2002 ABA Midyear Meeting in Philadelphia.



State Court Funding Report
The ABA Commission on State Court Funding studied innovative approaches to funding the courts and made recommendations on how states can ensure that court systems have adequate resources to meet the caseload demand.



ABA Articles
The Professional Lawyer, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, 2005, Volume 16,
Issue Number 1

Keeping Up Appearances

By Kathleen Maher, ABA Associate Professionalism Counsel



The Professional Lawyer, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, 2005, Volume 16,
Issue Number 2


Judicial Ethics and the Internet: May Judges Search the Internet in Evaluating and Defending a Case?

By David H. Tennant and Laurie M. Seal

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