By Lazar Emanuel [Originally published in NYPRR August 2001]
The judges of the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court have amended the rules governing lawyers who become candidates for judicial office.
Until the recent amendment, the applicable rule read:
“A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.” [22 NYCRR 1200.44(a) (DR 8-103).]
The rule now reads:
“A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with [the applicable provisions] section 100.5 of the Chief Administrator’s Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (22 NYCRR) and Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.” [22 NYCRR 1200.44(a) (DR 8-103).]
Section 100.5 of the Rules controls and limits the political activities of judges who are candidates for elective judicial office. The new Rule applies the same limits to lawyer-candidates for judicial office as to judges who seek reelection or new judicial office. The reference to Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct is to the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which instructs all judicial candidates to refrain from inappropriate political activity.
The new Rule was in response to concerns by the Administrative Board of the Courts concerning “…evidence of inappropriate and highly acrimonious campaign conduct and rhetoric in judicial elections in New York State.”
Accompanying the new Rule was a resolution of the Administrative Board endorsing the establishment and maintenance by state and local bar associations of committees to monitor judicial election campaign practices. The bar associations were encouraged to require judicial candidates to certify that they observe the rules governing elections.
Lazar Emanuel is the Publisher of NYPRR.
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