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Ensuring An Exemplary Judiciary Workplace: An Alternative To A Mandatory Reporting Requirement For Judges, Arthur D. Hellman Oct 2018

Ensuring An Exemplary Judiciary Workplace: An Alternative To A Mandatory Reporting Requirement For Judges, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

In December 2017, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, responding to a request from Chief Justice Roberts, formed a Working Group to recommend measures “to ensure an exemplary workplace for every judge and every court employee.” The Working Group issued its report in June 2018. On October 30, 2018, two committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the administrative policy-making body of the federal judiciary, held a hearing on proposed amendments to the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings and the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. Both sets of proposed amendments …


Comments On Proposed Amendments To The Rules For Judicial-Conduct And Judicial-Disability Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman Oct 2018

Comments On Proposed Amendments To The Rules For Judicial-Conduct And Judicial-Disability Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

In late 2017, prominent Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski was accused of engaging in sexual harassment and other misconduct over a long period during his tenure as a judge. Judge Kozinski resigned, but the controversy continued. The Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, responding to a request from Chief Justice Roberts, formed a Working Group to recommend measures “to ensure an exemplary workplace for every judge and every court employee.” The Working Group issued its report in June 2018.

In September 2018, the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability (Conduct Committee) of the Judicial Conference of …


A First Look At The Proposed 'Fraudulent Joinder Prevention Act Of 2015', Arthur D. Hellman Sep 2015

A First Look At The Proposed 'Fraudulent Joinder Prevention Act Of 2015', Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

Almost half a century ago, the American Law Institute observed, “The most marked abuse has been joinder of a party of the same citizenship as plaintiff in order to defeat removal on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Such tactics have led to much litigation, largely futile, on the question of fraudulent joinder.” Over the last half century, the volume of litigation on this question has only increased. In response, Congress is now actively considering legislation to address the problem of fraudulent joinder.

The bill is H.R. 3624, the “Fraudulent Joinder Prevention Act of 2015” (FJPA). The FJPA seeks to prevent …


Proposed Amendments To The Federal Judicial Misconduct Rules: Comments And Suggestions, Arthur D. Hellman Oct 2014

Proposed Amendments To The Federal Judicial Misconduct Rules: Comments And Suggestions, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

In 2008, the Judicial Conference of the United States – the administrative policy-making body of the federal judiciary – approved a revised set of rules for handling complaints of misconduct or disability on the part of federal judges. Moving away from the decentralizing approach of the pre-2008 Illustrative Rules, the new rules were made binding on all of the federal judicial circuits.

On September 2, 2014, the Conference’s Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability (Conduct Committee) issued a set of draft amendments to the Rules. The announcement invited comments on the proposed amendments. This statement was submitted in response to …


The Federal Judicial Conduct And Disability System: Unfinished Business For Congress And For The Judiciary, Arthur D. Hellman Apr 2013

The Federal Judicial Conduct And Disability System: Unfinished Business For Congress And For The Judiciary, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

For most of the nation’s history, the only formal mechanism for dealing with misconduct by federal judges was the cumbersome process of impeachment. That era ended with the enactment of the Judicial Councils Reform and Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980 (1980 Act or Act). In 2002, Congress made modest amendments to the Act and codified the provisions in Chapter 16 of Title 28. In 2008, the Judicial Conference of the United States – the administrative policy-making body of the federal judiciary – approved the first set of nationally binding rules for misconduct proceedings.

Under the 1980 Act and …


Conflict Of Interest And Disqualification In The Federal Courts: Suggestions For Reform, Arthur D. Hellman Dec 2009

Conflict Of Interest And Disqualification In The Federal Courts: Suggestions For Reform, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

Although federal judges do not run for election, over the last three decades the process of nomination and confirmation has become politicized to a disturbing degree. There is a real danger that the judges will come to be perceived not as dispassionate servants of the law but as political actors who pursue political or ideological agendas. One consequence of these developments is likely to be increased scrutiny of judges’ responses to motions to recuse. Here as in other aspects of the operations of the judiciary, “just trust us” is no longer sufficient.

Two provisions of Title 28 of the United …


Impeaching A Federal Judge: Some Lessons From History, Arthur D. Hellman Jun 2009

Impeaching A Federal Judge: Some Lessons From History, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

In August 2014, Federal District Judge Mark Fuller was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery after his wife called 911 from an Atlanta hotel room and told the operator, “He’s beating on me.” Judge Fuller has agreed to enter a pre-trial diversion program; if he completes the program, the criminal case against him will be dismissed. But Judge Fuller may face other consequences. The Acting Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit has initiated proceedings under the federal judicial misconduct statute. And some members of Congress and editorial writers have said that if Judge Fuller does not resign from the …