The Judicial Response to Misconduct
Judges are in an excellent position to observe misconduct by lawyers and to identify it as such. For over a decade, the American Bar Association, through its Standing Committee on Professional Discipline, has offered its Judicial Response to Misconduct program. The Committee has conducted over 66 programs in over 31 jurisdictions to educate judges and lawyers about the judiciary’s authority and obligations to uphold the standards of the legal profession.
The Judicial Response to Misconduct program consists of a comprehensive handbook, a videotape and discussion guide for use at local, regional, statewide or national levels. The handbook includes memoranda and case digests surveying recent developments in various areas of lawyer and judicial misconduct. The handbook also provides judges and lawyers with guidance regarding the sanctioning and reporting of instances of misconduct. The videotape uses vignettes to demonstrate when reporting ethical missteps by lawyers and judges to the appropriate authorities is warranted. The videotape, handbook and discussion guide were produced by the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline with grant funds provided by the State Justice Institute and are available for purchase. For scheduling a presentation of the Judicial Response to Misconduct, please contact ABA Regulation Counsel Ellyn S. Rosen at Ellyn.Rosen@americanbar.org or ABA Associate Regulation Counsel Ruth A. Woodruff at Ruth.Woodruff@americanbar.org.