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Judicial Ethics

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NEWS
July 27, 1994 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Faced with an Aug. 15 deadline, key state legislators are trying to merge two similar bills designed to reform the state's heavily criticized judicial discipline system. The measures already have won overwhelming passage in the Assembly (78-0) and the Senate (39-0). But because the bills propose to amend the state Constitution, they have to be approved in a general election. The goal in coming weeks is to consolidate the bills into one measure and get it on the November ballot.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2013 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - A new California judicial ethics committee has issued its first formal opinion, deciding that judges may solicit attorneys to lobby for funding for the courts. The Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions, responding to a request from an undisclosed person, said Friday that judges may ask lawyers to write op-ed pieces and lobby the community and the Legislature about court budget cuts as long as the request is not coercive. "In presenting information and requesting assistance, a judge may not hint of retribution or bias against an attorney or firm for not acquiescing in the request or otherwise place pressure on an attorney to assist," the written opinion said.
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NEWS
April 19, 1985
A Rhode Island judicial ethics panel levied formal charges against the state's top judge after investigating his acknowledged ties to reputed organized crime figures and convicted felons. The Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline announced it had voted unanimously to launch proceedings against Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph A. Bevilacqua. The charges themselves are secret. If convicted, Bevilacqua could face penalties ranging from censure to impeachment.
OPINION
January 3, 2012
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has addressed complaints that a member of the Supreme Court has the last word when it comes to deciding whether to participate in cases in which his impartiality is questioned. Roberts' response: Things are fine as they are. In his end-of-the-year report on the federal judiciary, Roberts insists that the justices abide by the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires judges to be impartial, even though it doesn't formally apply to the Supreme Court.
OPINION
January 3, 2012
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has addressed complaints that a member of the Supreme Court has the last word when it comes to deciding whether to participate in cases in which his impartiality is questioned. Roberts' response: Things are fine as they are. In his end-of-the-year report on the federal judiciary, Roberts insists that the justices abide by the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires judges to be impartial, even though it doesn't formally apply to the Supreme Court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 1994 | KEVIN JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Presiding Superior Court Judge James L. Smith said Tuesday that he will conduct an inquiry to determine whether two fellow judges breached ethics codes by accepting limousine rides from a local attorney and failing to report the travel as gifts. "I'd be less than honest if I didn't tell you that I wish this hadn't happened," Smith said. "I feel badly about it. I wish I didn't have to do this."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1987 | ROBERT W. STEWART, Times Staff Writer
An effort to persuade lawyers to help pay for the legal defense of a Beverly Hills judge accused of illegally suspending fines on more than 200 parking tickets may have run afoul of the state's Code of Judicial Conduct. At least 80 friends of Judge Charles D. Boags, many of them attorneys, have been invited to a $100-a-person cocktail party Friday evening at the home of Paul Caruso, a prominent Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.
NEWS
December 1, 1989 | CATHERINE GEWERTZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Municipal Judge Calvin P. Schmidt of Newport Beach was publicly scolded by state judicial authorities Thursday for giving preferential treatment to a friend's stepdaughter and making improper campaign contributions. But he was cleared of doing legal favors for a prostitute. In a sharply worded decision, the San Francisco-based judicial watchdog agency announced that Schmidt, 59, had "undermined public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."
NEWS
September 29, 1989 | JACK CHEEVERS, Times Staff Writer
The state Commission on Judicial Performance on Thursday publicly rebuked a Ventura County judge for his "unusually lenient" handling of traffic tickets issued to the daughter of Assemblywoman Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley). The commission's action marked the end of a four-month investigation of Ventura County Municipal Judge Bruce A. Clark, who dismissed two traffic tickets issued to 24-year-old Victoria Wright after meeting at his home with Cathie Wright in June, 1988.
NEWS
February 11, 1989 | SARA FRITZ, Times Staff Writer
When Congress rejected a 50% pay raise for top federal office-holders earlier this week, the action was expected to prompt mass resignations of judges seeking higher salaries in the private sector. But no one anticipated that some judges might simply decide to work less, as Carl B. Rubin has done.
NATIONAL
December 5, 2006 | Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer
The Nevada Supreme Court this morning will begin weighing the constitutionality of a proposal to ban judges from personally soliciting or accepting campaign contributions, an important issue in the struggle to clean up and modernize the state's troubled judiciary. The measure, part of a wide-ranging reform effort, would put Nevada in line with most other states' codes of conduct that guide the behavior of judges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2001
Re "Measure F Appeal Will be Heard in San Diego" (March 10): "Cowardly" is the worst thing you can call a judge. Judges are supposed to be, above all, independent. That is what The Times quoted UC Irvine's political science department chairman as calling the Court of Appeal in Santa Ana because the six-justice panel recused itself from the Measure F (anti-airport) appeal. The professor, Mark Petracca, an airport opponent, suggested that the justices feared recall if they heard the appeal and voted against popular opinion, which is strongly against the airport.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 1994 | KEVIN JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Presiding Superior Court Judge James L. Smith said Tuesday that he will conduct an inquiry to determine whether two fellow judges breached ethics codes by accepting limousine rides from a local attorney and failing to report the travel as gifts. "I'd be less than honest if I didn't tell you that I wish this hadn't happened," Smith said. "I feel badly about it. I wish I didn't have to do this."
NEWS
July 27, 1994 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Faced with an Aug. 15 deadline, key state legislators are trying to merge two similar bills designed to reform the state's heavily criticized judicial discipline system. The measures already have won overwhelming passage in the Assembly (78-0) and the Senate (39-0). But because the bills propose to amend the state Constitution, they have to be approved in a general election. The goal in coming weeks is to consolidate the bills into one measure and get it on the November ballot.
NEWS
December 1, 1989 | CATHERINE GEWERTZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Municipal Judge Calvin P. Schmidt of Newport Beach was publicly scolded by state judicial authorities Thursday for giving preferential treatment to a friend's stepdaughter and making improper campaign contributions. But he was cleared of doing legal favors for a prostitute. In a sharply worded decision, the San Francisco-based judicial watchdog agency announced that Schmidt, 59, had "undermined public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."
NEWS
September 29, 1989 | JACK CHEEVERS, Times Staff Writer
The state Commission on Judicial Performance on Thursday publicly rebuked a Ventura County judge for his "unusually lenient" handling of traffic tickets issued to the daughter of Assemblywoman Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley). The commission's action marked the end of a four-month investigation of Ventura County Municipal Judge Bruce A. Clark, who dismissed two traffic tickets issued to 24-year-old Victoria Wright after meeting at his home with Cathie Wright in June, 1988.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2001
Re "Measure F Appeal Will be Heard in San Diego" (March 10): "Cowardly" is the worst thing you can call a judge. Judges are supposed to be, above all, independent. That is what The Times quoted UC Irvine's political science department chairman as calling the Court of Appeal in Santa Ana because the six-justice panel recused itself from the Measure F (anti-airport) appeal. The professor, Mark Petracca, an airport opponent, suggested that the justices feared recall if they heard the appeal and voted against popular opinion, which is strongly against the airport.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2013 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - A new California judicial ethics committee has issued its first formal opinion, deciding that judges may solicit attorneys to lobby for funding for the courts. The Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions, responding to a request from an undisclosed person, said Friday that judges may ask lawyers to write op-ed pieces and lobby the community and the Legislature about court budget cuts as long as the request is not coercive. "In presenting information and requesting assistance, a judge may not hint of retribution or bias against an attorney or firm for not acquiescing in the request or otherwise place pressure on an attorney to assist," the written opinion said.
NEWS
February 11, 1989 | SARA FRITZ, Times Staff Writer
When Congress rejected a 50% pay raise for top federal office-holders earlier this week, the action was expected to prompt mass resignations of judges seeking higher salaries in the private sector. But no one anticipated that some judges might simply decide to work less, as Carl B. Rubin has done.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1987 | ROBERT W. STEWART, Times Staff Writer
An effort to persuade lawyers to help pay for the legal defense of a Beverly Hills judge accused of illegally suspending fines on more than 200 parking tickets may have run afoul of the state's Code of Judicial Conduct. At least 80 friends of Judge Charles D. Boags, many of them attorneys, have been invited to a $100-a-person cocktail party Friday evening at the home of Paul Caruso, a prominent Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.
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