February 14, 2020

Comment on Rule 2.9

[1] To the extent reasonably possible, all parties or their lawyers shall be
included in communications with a judge.

[2] Whenever the presence of a party or notice to a party is required by this
Rule, it is the party’s lawyer, or if the party is unrepresented, the party, who is to be
present or to whom notice is to be given.

[3] The proscription against communications concerning a proceeding
includes communications with lawyers, law teachers, and other persons who are not
participants in the proceeding, except to the limited extent permitted by this Rule.

[4] A judge may initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications expressly authorized by law, such as when serving on therapeutic or problem-solving courts, mental health courts, or drug courts. In this capacity, judges may assume a more
interactive role with parties, treatment providers, probation officers, social workers, and others.

[5] A judge may consult with other judges on pending matters, but must avoid
ex parte discussions of a case with judges who have previously been disqualified from
hearing the matter, and with judges who have appellate jurisdiction over the matter.

[6] The prohibition against a judge investigating the facts in a matter extends
to information available in all mediums, including electronic.

[7] A judge may consult ethics advisory committees, outside counsel, or legal
experts concerning the judge’s compliance with this Code. Such consultations are not
subject to the restrictions of paragraph (A)(2).