Thursday, September 13, 2007

Disclosure By Judge Not Allowed

A recent opinion of the Massachusetts Committee on Judicial Ethics (Opinion 2007-7, Aug. 16, 2007) states that a judge who receives information ex parte from defense counsel on a motion to withdraw has no duty to disclose the information to the prosecutor or successor judge. The communication--concerning possible false testimony and obstruction of justice--was "not only authorized but also required by law. Because the record is sealed, the information is not available to the public. Since the rules require that a different judge hear the trial [the inquiring judge has] no further judicial duties with regard to the case." (Mike Frisch)

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