December 4, 2006
Model Judicial Code Gets Big Facelift: Revisions Are 'Final' for Possible ABA Approval
Here's the ABA's "e-news for members" story on, and link to a media kit about (with the full report and draft itself), the Oct. 31 final proposed modifications to the Model Judicial Code. [Current Code as of 2004 is here.] One change would be clearer rules on accepting free seminar sponsorships and the like from potential litigants and others, along with reporting or prohibiting other perqs [Jeff noted before the hunting-trip phenomenon]. The proposal also seeks to insulate judges better from political pressures to make promises about cases, and to define campaign rules more sharply.
Another proposed change, at least in emphasis, we commented on earlier: the new Code has moved "appearance of impropriety" into text as a specific and enforceable rule, not so much a guideline for judges internally to ponder [see the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie for the mere-guidelines difference]. This final draft is not yet adopted and will be considered at the ABA's mid-year meeting in Miami, Feb. 7-13, 2007. [Alan Childress]
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