Comment Sought on Proposed Procedures for Judicial Ethics Opinions

FOR RELEASE

Contact: Lynn Holton, Public Information Officer, 415-865-7740

July 20, 2011

State Panel Seeks Comment on Proposed Procedures for Judicial Ethics Opinions

San Francisco—The Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions today announced that it is seeking public comment on its proposed internal rules and procedures to govern its practice in providing formal judicial ethics opinions and advice to guide the conduct of California state judges.

The Supreme Court established the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) to provide judicial ethics advisory opinions and advice to judicial officers and candidates for judicial office.

Acting on the recommendations of the Implementation Committee for the Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (http://www.courts.ca.gov/memo-finalreport-ethicscomm.pdf), the Supreme Court adopted California Rules of Court, rule 9.80, to govern the committee’s actions (Rule 9.80. Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions). Rule 9.80(m) requires the committee to develop internal rules of procedures, subject to approval by the Supreme Court.

Under rule 9.80, the committee acts independently of the Supreme Court, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Judicial Council, and all other entities (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80(b)).

The committee submitted proposed CJEO Internal Operating Rules and Procedures to the Supreme Court, which would establish procedures for the committee to respond to requests for opinions from the judiciary, the public and other specified sources; to provide procedures to ensure confidentiality in the committee’s proceedings; and to coordinate with the California Judges Association in providing oral advice.

The court has directed the committee to circulate the proposed rules for public comment and to return to the court with its report and recommendations. The proposed CJEO rules and procedures are available here.

Comments are due by September 2, 2011, and can be submitted to: Judicial.Ethics@jud.ca.gov or the committee counsel at this address:

Ms. Nancy A. Black
Committee Counsel
Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions
350 McAllister Street, Room 1144A
San Francisco, California 94102

The 12 members of the Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions are: Justice Ronald B. Robie of the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (chair); Justice Douglas P. Miller of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two (vice-chair); retired Judge Mary Carolyn Morgan of the Superior Court of San Francisco County; Justice Maria Rivera of the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Four; Judge John S. Wiley, Jr. of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County; Judge Suzanne N. Kingsbury of the Superior Court of El Dorado County; Presiding Judge Kenneth K. So of the Superior Court of San Diego County; Judge George J. Abdallah, Jr. of the Superior Court of San Joaquin County; Commissioner Robert L. Broughton of the Superior Court of Contra Costa County; Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Two; Judge Joanne B. O’Donnell of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County; and retired Judge Michael Garcia of the Superior Court of Sacramento County.

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