Friday, January 9, 2009

More Transparency In Judicial Discipline Proposed

A subcommittee of an Article 6 Commission of the Nevada Supreme Court has proposed modifications of the rules and procedures governing judicial discipline. The subcommittee seeks amendments that will make the process more transparent:

To increase transparency, the Article 6 Commission subcommittee recommends:

  • Allowing those who file complaints against judges to discuss those matters publicly. Currently complainants are under the threat of contempt if they reveal the existence of their complaints.
  • Allowing the Commission on Judicial Discipline to disclose information about some cases in certain circumstances – such as when details become public through other sources,
  • Requiring the Commission on Judicial Discipline to prepare annual reports detailing the disposition of cases, and
  • Requiring the Commission on Judicial Discipline to tell those who filed complaints how the cases were resolved.

The report also recommends:

  • Authorizing letters of caution and private admonishments for relatively minor issues,
  • Adding public admonishment and public reprimand to the list of allowed forms of discipline (joining fines, suspension, and removal),
  • Requiring notice to a judge when a case requires further investigations, but with protections against retaliation for complainants and others,
  • Providing for notice and a public hearing before a judge can be suspended,
  • Amending the Constitution to allow separation of the Commission on Judicial Discipline’s investigative and adjudicative functions.

The 154 page report will now be considered by the full commission. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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