Ethics

A judge who writes a book on a nonlegal subject must still be careful about how the book is promoted

, The Legal Intelligencer

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I am a judicial officer writing a book on a nonlegal subject. What can I do to promote this book?

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What's being said

  • Azure Ventura

    ABA, 4, A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge’s fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.

    Lawyers familiar with the ongoing judicial misconduct in Luzerne, who sat by and acquiesed while our children were routinely denied colloquy did not follow ABA 4, yet none has been disciplined. How is that possible? For a self-governing institution to earn the respect of the public, and to achieve cooperation within its own ranks, the leadership in Pennsylvania must change, drastically.

    One of the things John Kennedy used to say was that 'everyone can make a difference – and everyone should try.' For this distinguished audience, particularly the chief justices of our state courts, that’s an understatement. For you know better than anyone – and so many of you have written cogently on this very subject – that our justice system needs fixing. It is a system in crisis. My purpose today is not to regale you with Doomsday stories – although I may end up telling you one or two. My purpose is to challenge you to take up the task of improving our system, committing yourselves to fixing it. No one is better positioned than you to improve it. You are, quite literally, 'Justice' – it is both your honorable title and your most solemn obligation – ensuring that justice is truly done in your systems. Like the Prophet Isaiah, you have touched the burning coal, you have the vision, you have the knowledge, and perhaps most importantly, your voices command the respect which will drive true reform. Ask yourselves, if not you, who? Larry Tribe -Harvard

    Maintaining The Integrity Of The Profession
    Rule 8.3 Reporting Professional Misconduct
    (a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.

  • Azure Ventura

    Thank you Mr. Stretton for taking the time to write about the importance of the Canons. Thanks, too, for your commitment to the field of legal and judicial ethics.

    Judge John M. Cleland, chairman of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, announced that he wanted to get to the bottom of the tragedy that stripped our children of their fundamental legal rights.They were sold and imprisoned for cash in our Commonwealth.

    He stated that he and the Commission wanted to identify, "all of those involved who, whether by action, inaction, or silence, whether by willful choice or benign ignorance, engaged in an assault on the fairness and impartiality of our legal system."

    My question is, where is the intensity, the determination, the all-out commitment and passion to uncover and root out judicial misconduct on an ongoing basis? If judges and lawyers and everyone else responsible for reporting judicial misconduct to the proper authorities, had been filled with the same sense of mission Cleland describes, the Luzerne crimes likely would not have happened. Who would take the risk?

    However, the blame for Luzerne doesn't end there. Average people, who want to help but are not directly involved in the legal profession, are rebuffed, criticized and drowned in a sea of red-tape and bureaucracy whenever they attempt to expose corruption within the judiciary.

    Just defining "judicial misconduct" requires a law degree. Who comprehends the subtleties, the shades and innuendo of the intricacies of all the behavioral dos and don'ts?

    The system is oppresive, broken, terribly damaged. A few judges and lawyers know and lament the cancerous devastation fueled by those "Fraternity" of judges and lawyers in collusion. See John F. Malloy's, "The Fraternity"

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