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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: June 4, 2004

The ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct will hold the fifth in a series of public hearings to obtain comments and suggestions relating to the present Code on Friday, June 4, 2004 from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

This hearing will take place Friday, June 4, 2004 in conjunction with the ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility at The Registry Resort, located at 475 Seagate Drive, Naples, Florida 34103. The phone number is 800-247-9810. 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 Commission Counsel Eileen Gallagher at [email protected] or (312) 988-5105 no later than May 28, 2004. This will allow time to schedule all persons interested in appearing on June 4th.

An electronic version of your proposed comments should be submitted by May 28, 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 May 28 to Ms. Gallagher, via e-mail or in hard copy to ABA Justice Center, located at 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610. E-mail transmissions are greatly preferred.

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 Naples 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, an additional hearing will be held at the ABA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA on August 6.

During this hearing in Naples, 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.