National Conference of Specialized Court Judges

Franklin N. Flaschner Award

ELIGIBILITY RULES

Foreword

The selection of the nation’s outstanding judge in a special and limited jurisdiction shall be in accordance with these rules set forth under the Judicial Division National Conference of Specialized Court Judges.

The recipient shall possess the high ideals, personal character and competence in performing judicial duties that were exemplified by the late Chief Justice Franklin N. Flaschner of the District Court of Massachusetts and, like him, shall have made significant contributions on local, state and national levels to continuing education of the judiciary and in other ways improved the quality of justice in courts with special and limited jurisdiction

Rules

  1. Consideration of nominees for the Franklin N. Flaschner Award shall be commenced upon the filing, by a person other than the candidate, of a written nomination in the form prescribed by the Flaschner Award Board.
  2. A nominee for this award shall have completed at least seven (7) consecutive years as a law-trained full-time trial judge in a court with special and limited jurisdiction and be in active service in such a court or retired from it within five (5) years of the date of nomination for the award.
  3. As used in these rules, the word "judge" includes a person who, during part or all of judicial service, was a "Justice," or "Commissioner."  It does not include "Referee," "Clerk," "Administrator," "Court Executive," "Administrative Officer," "Conciliator," "Mediator," or "Arbitrator."
  4. As used in these rules, "full-time" relates to judicial service and precludes practicing law during any of the "seven (7) consecutive years" that are mentioned in Rule 2.  A court with "special and limited jurisdiction" is a state or federal special court that is a city, municipal, county, common pleas, district (in certain states), justice, civil with a monetary jurisdictional limit, probate, family, juvenile or criminal court that does not conduct felony trials or military special court martial.  That such a court is a unit, division, subdivision or department of a unified or consolidated trial court that has unlimited jurisdiction does not bar a nominee from consideration for the award, provided that over fifty (50) percent of his or her judicial service during each of the "seven (7) consecutive years" has been in handling the kinds of matters that are heard in one or more of the types of courts listed in the immediate preceding sentence.
  5. The following categories of judges are considered not to have "special and limited jurisdiction" as that phrase is used in the rules; hence they are not eligible for the Flaschner Award:

    Federal or state appellate judges; judges of a U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Claims or state court of claims, U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Military Appeals or U.S. Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals; federal or state administrative law judges.
  6. The nominee shall have an excellent reputation for possessing the following qualities in professional and private life:

    Integrity
    Truthfulness
    Courtesy
    Humility
    Sense of humor
    Patience in court
    Open‑mindedness
    Impartiality
    Intellectual courage
    Creativity
    Diligence in performance of judicial duties
    Punctuality in court
    Decisiveness in judicial rulings
    Sound judgment
    Knowledge of the law
    Adherence to professional ethics
    Avoidance of improprieties
  7. The nominee also shall have made significant contributions on local, state and national levels to continuing education of the judiciary and in other ways improved the quality of justice in courts with special and limited jurisdiction.
  8. Within three (3) years preceding the date of his/her nomination, the nominee shall not have served as a member of the Flaschner Award Board or held an elective office in the American Bar Association Judicial Division or the National Conference of Specialized Court Judges.
  9. The National Conference of Specialized Court Judges occasionally may revise or amend these rules without notice to any nominator, nominee or other person.  Any change that would adversely affect a nomination which the Board has begun to consider shall not be implemented while that nomination is pending.

Nominations

The Nomination Period for the 2021 Award will begin in early 2021

For questions, please contact: 
Julie Peacock
American Bar Association
Judicial Division
321 North Clark Street, 18th Floor
Chicago, IL, 60654