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This issue of The Judges’ Journal explores efforts to foster communication between judges and lawyers, with the goal of more efficient courts and improved mutual confidence and respect between both parties.
With humble beginnings and strong family ties, Justice Dennis Archer went on to hold many significant positions in his political career. He was mayor of Detroit, associate justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and the first African American president of the ABA. Archer tells readers he did not do it alone and credits his success to the constant encouragement he received from others in his life.
The ABA’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct provides guidance from an ethical standpoint, which can help clarify the sometimes gray area of how judges and lawyers should and should not engage outside the courtroom.
Chief Justice Flaherty led efforts to create the Code of Civility in Pennsylvania in 2001. His goal in creating the guidelines, with the help of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, was to enhance the dignity of the legal profession by encouraging judges and lawyers to work collaboratively to further public trust in the system.
In a compilation of interviews of states and federal judges, Dunn creates a conversation about the importance of informal communication between judges and lawyers. Each contributor has been a member of a local American Inn of Court and shares insights on how to encourage communication to promote the functioning of the legal profession.
Susman discusses the importance of preserving jury trials as a constitutional right and offers ways to reduce expenses and increase confidence in and the reliability of public trials.
Due to a growing “hardball” litigation approach, which was ultimately costly and mean spirited, the Cleveland Bar Association drafted “A Lawyers’ Creed of Professionalism” in 1987. The Creed remains a model of dos and don’ts for how lawyers should conduct themselves in courtroom dealings and among their colleagues.
Having served on both sides of the bench as a former justice and practicing lawyer, Edmunds offers practical and honest advice to both groups.
Muffler teaches workplace safety and security courses across the country. In his courses with judges, he has been surprised by the lack of security in courtrooms. He offers ways for judges to stay aware and safe to reduce their risk and fears while working in an unsecured workplace.
Judge Dixon offers his opinion that judges should be aware of recurring ethical issues involving the use social media by lawyers and provides a handy “quick perspective” list of commandments about those issues that sometimes play out in the courtroom.
Greenstein contemplates the boundaries between practitioner and judge, which create an appearance of impartiality that the public expects, while also considering the ethical requirements for judges to maintain connections to lawyers and the people they serve.