Thursday, April 16, 2009
From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court of Ohio today announced the adoption of amendments concerning continuing judicial education requirements. The amendments to Rule IV, Section 2 of the Rules for the Government of the Judiciary of Ohio take effect May 1.
For the first time, the amendments require a specific number of instructional hours related to access to justice and fairness in the courts. The two hours of instruction are intended to address matters of self-represented litigants, pro bono representation, foreign language interpretation, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and sexual orientation, and how they impact the public’s trust and confidence in the judicial system and perception of the administration of justice in Ohio’s courts.
Full-time judges, part-time judges, and retired judges eligible for assignment to active duty pursuant to Section 6(C), Article IV of the Ohio Constitution must complete and report a minimum of 40 hours of instruction every two years on subjects devoted to the law and judicial administration. At least 10 of the 40 hours must be completed through courses offered by the Supreme Court’s Judicial College.
The changes to the judicial education requirements reflect recommendations issued by the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness and the Racial Fairness Implementation Task Force.
Concurring in the amendments were Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Maureen O'Connor and Robert R. Cupp. Justices Terrence O'Donnell and Judith Ann Lanzinger concurred in part in adopting the amendments but dissented as to the mandatory nature of the requirement for a course on the topics of access to justice and fairness in the courts and would instead offer the course on an optional basis.
The text of the amendments may be accessed by going to this link. (Mike Frisch)