Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The Ohio Supreme Court has announced the adoption of a revised Code of Judicial Conduct, effective March 1, 2009. The court's web page highlights some of the new provisions:
- A rule that bars a judge or judicial candidate from making any pledge, promise or commitment inconsistent with the impartial performance of judicial duties. The former code precluded pledges, promises, or commitments and also statements that appeared to commit the judge or judicial candidate with respect to matters coming before the court.
- A rule that allows judges to reference their political party affiliation in campaign advertising in primary and general elections.
- Rules to allow a judge to make reasonable accommodations for self-represented litigants without violating the standards of impartiality and fairness.
- A rule that permits judges to encourage and facilitate pro bono service by Ohio lawyers.
- New provisions that provide guidance to judges who preside over “specialized dockets” such as drug courts or mental health courts.
- A rule that outlines a judge’s responsibility to report others’ disability/impairment or professional misconduct and a requirement to cooperate with disciplinary authorities.
- A rule that adds two additional standards that must be met to engage in an extrajudicial activity and restricts to incidental the use of court property or personnel in relation to the activity.
The announcement links to the new Code. (Mike Frisch)