U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

How Judges Get Into Trouble - Ethics and Discipline Today

NCJ Number
Judges Journal Volume: 23 Issue: 3 Dated: (Summer 1984) Pages: 4- 7,52-56
T J Brooks
Date Published
8 pages
The American Bar Association Model Code of Judicial Conduct serves as the basic national standard for judicial conduct and provides a basis for uniformity in judicial ethics.
All 50 States and the District of Columbia have adopted the code or their own standards. All have created permanent agencies to investigate allegations of impropriety and to either recommend or impose discipline. Several tribunals have issued important decisions involving the model code. Decisions have concerned misconduct on the bench, misconduct off the bench, and misconduct caused by disability. The case law developed in 1983 focused largely on the issues of the scope of the authority to investigate for a judicial discipline commission, the ability to quash a subpoena if other issues are at stake, and public disclosure of the outcome of all discipline proceedings. The Code of Judicial Conduct for Federal Judges governs Federal judges' conduct, but little recent case law interprets the Federal Code. The field of judicial ethics is evolving, with much agreement on the definition of misconduct but less uniformity in the discipline process. Case illustrations, an annotated list of sources of information on judicial ethics, and 74 reference notes are supplied.