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Meetings & Hearings

Notice of Public Hearing

From Mark I. Harrison,

ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate

the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct

Hearing date: February 6, 2004

The ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct will hold the second in a series of public hearings to obtain comments and suggestions relating to the present Code during the Midyear Meeting of the Association on Friday, February 6, 2004 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

This hearing will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, located at 123 Losoya Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205 in the Live Oak Conference Room, 3rd Floor. Individuals or organizations interested in appearing at this hearing to provide the Commission with their views on the present Code and/or suggestions for its improvement are invited to contact Ethics Counsel George Kuhlman at [email protected] or (312) 988-5300 no later than January 23, 2004. Written submissions for review by the Commission in lieu of or accompanying oral testimony are strongly encouraged, and may be sent at any time to Mr. Kuhlman by e-mail, or in hard copy to ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, 541 N. Fairbanks Ct., Chicago, Illinois 60611.

An attempt will be made to accommodate all appearance requests. However, preference will be given to parties for whom geographic concerns make it imperative that they appear at the San Antonio, Texas hearing; other individuals or entities may wish to schedule appearances at hearings that will be held elsewhere at a later date. (One hearing is scheduled for San Francisco, California on Friday, March 26, 2004; additional hearings will be held in Naples FL in early June and in Chicago at a time to be determined.)

During this hearing in San Antonio, the Joint Commission will begin examining issues that have already been brought to its attention, including but not limited to the following:

  • Are Code changes needed to accommodate the increase in “pro se” representation?
  • What types of statements should judges be permitted to make, especially as judicial candidates, during or independent of campaigning for office?
  • What significance should attach to the statements, affiliations or interests of members of a judge’s family?
  • Should judges assigned to “family,” “drug,” or other “restorative justice” or “problem-solving” courts be authorized to participate as members of or interact with a wider range of community organizations?
  • Are the limitations on judges’ involvement with civic, charitable, educational, and other organizations appropriate and necessary?
  • How should the subject of judges’ impairments be addressed in the Code?

Comments and recommendations on these subjects and any others are welcomed.