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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: May 7, 2004

The ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct will hold the fourth in a series of public hearings to obtain comments and suggestions relating to the present Code on Friday, May 7, 2004 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

This hearing will take place at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036-6604. 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 April 29, 2004. This will allow time to schedule all persons interested in appearing on May 7th.

An electronic version of your proposed comments should be submitted by April 29, 2004. Where possible, please identify the provisions of the current Judicial Code being addressed. If you intend to recommend that the provisions be changed, please provide language that you believe would accomplish your intended purpose. (Written submissions may also be submitted in lieu of oral testimony.) All information may be sent by April 29 to Mr. Kuhlman, via 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 New York City hearing; other individuals or entities may wish to schedule appearances at hearings that will be held elsewhere at a later date. According to the Commission's current schedule, at least two additional hearings will be held: Naples, FL on June 4 and Atlanta, GA on August 6.

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

  • Could the format and organization of the Code be improved?
  • How should the concept of "appearance of propriety" be addressed in the Code?
  • 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?

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