Term Paper-Judicial Conduct and the Code of Judicial Conduct

Term Paper-Judicial Conduct and the Code of Judicial Conduct

Judicial Conduct and the Code of Judicial Conduct

Judges often are seen as extraordinary role models, above reproach in their personal and professional lives. Judges are evaluated on a host of variables, including the integrity of their decision making, their competence, the timeliness and punctuality of their decisions, and their avoidance of both conflicts and the appearance of impropriety. Judicial conduct is measured by the same ethical standards applied to lawyers—most judges were attorneys before they rose to the bench.

In addition to historic ethical canons (standards), judges also are subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC) which lays out guidelines for professional demeanor and behavior. For example, the CJC describes when it is appropriate for a judge to intervene in a case, how a judge may avoid impropriety, the appearance of impropriety, and how judges may avoid conflicts and conduct that calls their character into question. The CJC also gives explicit instructions on the proper role of a judge in the consideration and resolution of cases. In this assignment, you will use the CJC to evaluate an actual case.

To prepare for this assignment:

Review the assigned pages in Chapter 7 of your Course Text, Law and Justice:An Introduction to the American Legal System. This time, pay particular attention to the career track of judges and the judicial conduct that is expected of judges.

Review Chapter 5 of your Course Text, Law and Justice:An Introduction to the American Legal System. Examine the power of a judge by reviewing the doctrines of judicial and appellate review. Pay attention to the discussions related to the ethics of judges and the overall authority of a judge, for example:

The power of judges to write opinions and/or delegate this task to their subordinates

The parameters of judicial power relating to appeal

The “legitimacy” of judicial opinions and issues of objectivity, judicial support, and replicability

Judicial enforceability

Review the article, “Code of Conduct for United States Judges.” Focus on the ethical code that guides judicial behavior and the professionalism required by a judge to perform while on the bench.

Review the case, In re: Judge James M. DeLeon – No. 2 JD 08. Think about which provisions of the CJC the judge abides by or does not abide by in this case.

Briefly describe how the judge in the case violated the CJC.

Explain what the judge should have done differently to adhere to the CJC.

Explain at least one insight you had or conclusion you drew about the ethical conduct of judges.

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