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St. Mary's University

Journal

Legal Profession

Judges

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Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

To Write Or Not To Write: The Ethics Of Judicial Writings And Publishing, Nick Badgerow, Michael Hoeflich, Sarah Schmitz Nov 2023

To Write Or Not To Write: The Ethics Of Judicial Writings And Publishing, Nick Badgerow, Michael Hoeflich, Sarah Schmitz

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Judges are bound by the Model Code of Judicial Conduct promulgated by the American Bar Association and adopted most states, including the federal judiciary. Within these rules governing judicial conduct, Judges owe duties to the public and to their calling, to be (and appear to be) objective, fair, judicious, and independent. When judges venture into the realm of extrajudicial writing—in the form of fiction novels, short stories, legal books, children’s books, and the like—they must consider the ethical bounds of that expression. The Model Code of Judicial Conduct imposes five main constraints upon extrajudicial writings: (a) a judge may not …


Should Judges Have A Duty Of Tech Competence?, John G. Browning Jul 2020

Should Judges Have A Duty Of Tech Competence?, John G. Browning

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In an era in which lawyers are increasingly held to a higher standard of “tech competence” in their representation of clients, shouldn’t we similarly require judges to be conversant in relevant technology? Using real world examples of judicial missteps with or refusal to use technology, and drawn from actual cases and judicial disciplinary proceedings, this Article argues that in today’s Digital Age, judicial technological competence is necessary. At a time when courts themselves have proven vulnerable to cyberattacks, and when courts routinely tackle technology related issues like data privacy and the admissibility of digital evidence, Luddite judges are relics that …


Breaking The Silence: Holding Texas Lawyers Accountable For Sexual Harassment, Savannah Files Dec 2018

Breaking The Silence: Holding Texas Lawyers Accountable For Sexual Harassment, Savannah Files

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Following the 2017 exposure of Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement spread rapidly across social media platforms calling for increased awareness of the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault and demanding change. The widespread use of the hashtag brought attention to the issue and successfully facilitated a much-needed discussion in today’s society. However, this is not the first incident prompting a demand for change.

Efforts to bring awareness and exact change in regards to sexual harassment in the legal profession date back to the 1990s. This demonstrates that the legal profession is not immune from these issues. In fact, at least …


Reforming Recusal Rules: Reassessing The Presumption Of Judicial Impartiality In Light Of The Realities Of Judging And Changing The Substance Of Disqualification Standards To Eliminate Cognitive Errors, Melinda A. Marbes Oct 2017

Reforming Recusal Rules: Reassessing The Presumption Of Judicial Impartiality In Light Of The Realities Of Judging And Changing The Substance Of Disqualification Standards To Eliminate Cognitive Errors, Melinda A. Marbes

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In recent years, high profile disqualification disputes have caught the attention of the public. In each instance there has been an outcry when a presiding jurist was asked to recuse but declined. Unfortunately, even if the jurist explains his refusal to recuse, the reasons given often are unsatisfying and do little to quell suspicions of bias. Instead, litigants, the press, and the public question whether the jurist actually is unbiased and doubt the impartiality of the judiciary as a whole. This negative reaction to refusals to recuse is caused, at least in part, by politically charged circumstances that cause further …


Electronic Social Media: Friend Or Foe For Judges, M. Sue Kurita Oct 2017

Electronic Social Media: Friend Or Foe For Judges, M. Sue Kurita

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The use of electronic social communication has grown at a phenomenal rate. Facebook, the most popular social networking website, has over 1,968,000,000 users—a number that has exponentially grown since its inception in 2004. The number of judges accessing and using electronic social media (ESM) has also increased. However, unlike the general population, judges must consider constitutional, ethical, technical, and evidentiary implications when they use and access ESM. The First Amendment forbids “abridging the freedom of speech” and protects the expression of personal ideas, positions, and views. However, the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct and the Texas Code …