National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics

Registration is now open for the

Virtual National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics

on Thursday and Friday, October 28 and 29, 2021, from
12:00 to 3:30 EDT / 11:00 to 2:30 CDT / 10:00 to 1:30 MDT / 9:00 to 12:30 PDT & MST.

Held by the Center for Judicial Ethics of the National Center for State Courts, the College will have three one-hour sessions each day presented via Zoom, with 15-minute breaks in between.

The topics to be covered:

  • Determining the appropriate sanction in judicial discipline cases
  • Crossing the line and training to prevent it: #CourtsToo
  • Abuse of the criminal contempt power and judicial discipline
  • When judges speak up
  • Lessons learned:  A decade plus of judges on social media

Register here. This session lineup is available in PDF format.


Details

  • The registration fee is $95 total for both dates, all sessions. The fee is non-refundable. Register here.
  • If you cannot be present for all or part of the College, you can still register to gain access to a recording of the sessions after the College is over. Only those who pre-register will have access to the recording.
  • If you are registering multiple people, you must register each attendee individually under their name and email address.
  • Attendees will receive two links, one for each day. Each attendee’s Zoom links will be unique to them. Please do not share your links with others.
  • You may not receive the email confirming your registration for up to 24 hours. The email will come from Alisa Kim. Please check your junk or spam folders. If you have not received it after 24 hours, please notify Alisa Kim.
  • The Pennsylvania Continuing Judicial Education Board of Judges has approved the Virtual National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics for up to six ethics credit hours. Other attendees will need to apply for continuing legal education certification in their state, although CJE staff can provide any information necessary to support the application.

An abridged, remote version of the biennial College, the virtual College will provide a forum for judicial conduct commission members and staff, judges, judicial ethics advisory committees, and others to learn about professional standards for judges and current issues in judicial discipline.


Schedule

Thursday October 28

12:00-1:00 EDT  |  11:00-12:00 CDT  |  10:00-11:00 MDT  |  9:00-10:00 PDT & MST

Determining the Appropriate Sanction in Judicial Discipline Cases – Part 1

Examining recent cases, participants will “vote” on what sanctions they would have imposed in actual judicial discipline cases and then discuss what factors influenced their vote.

Moderators: John Erlick, Former Superior Court Judge, King County, Washington; Former Member, Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct * David Sachar, Executive Director, Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability.


1:15-2:15 EDT  |  12:15-1:15 CDT  |  11:15-12:15 MDT  |  10:15-11:15 PDT & MST

Determining the Appropriate Sanction in Judicial Discipline Cases – Part 2

Examining recent cases, participants will “vote” on what sanctions they would have imposed in actual judicial discipline cases and then discuss what factors influenced their vote.

Moderators: John Erlick, Former Superior Court Judge, King County, Washington; Former Member, Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct * David Sachar, Executive Director, Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability.


2:30-3:30 EDT  |  1:30-2:30 CDT  |  12:30-1:30 MDT  |  11:30-12:30 PDT & MST

Crossing the The Line and Training to Prevent It: #CourtsToo

When does a joke in the courthouse cross the line into a violation of the code of judicial conduct? When is a judge responsible for a hostile work environment? This session will answer these questions and more. The first part will examine real life examples of sexual harassment by judges, including how humor can be offensive and perceived as unwelcome advances, discrimination, and/or harassment.  Relevant canons will also be discussed. The second part will address preventative measures and sexual harassment training tailored to judges and court staff.

Moderators: Kimberly Vanover Riley, Partner, Montgomery Jonson LLP, Cincinnati, Ohio * Judge Erica Yew, Judge, Superior Court of California; Member, California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions * Konstantina Vagenas, Director/Chief Counsel, Access to Justice Initiatives, National Center for State Courts.


Friday October 29

12:00-1:00 EDT  |  11:00-12:00 CDT  |  10:00-11:00 MDT  |  9:00-10:00 PDT & MST

Abuse of the Criminal Contempt Power and Judicial Discipline

Although courts and judicial conduct commissions are generally reluctant to second-guess a judge’s decision to control the courtroom through use of their criminal contempt power, given the liberty interests at stake, judges have been disciplined for over-reacting and for ignoring the procedures designed to ensure that citizens are not thrown in jail precipitously. This session will consider when an appealable abuse of the contempt power may also constitute sanctionable judicial misconduct. Participants will also discuss how judges can control the courtroom without using the contempt power.

Moderators: Michelle Beaty, Special Counsel, Louisiana Judiciary Commission * Judge Louis Frank Dominguez, Presiding Judge, Surprise City Court; Chair, Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct.


1:15-2:15 EDT  |  12:15-1:15 CDT  |  11:15-12:15 MDT  |  10:15-11:15 PDT & MST

When Judges Speak Up

This session will strive to illuminate the gray area where off-the-bench judicial speech, the code of judicial conduct, and the First Amendment overlap when judges want to criticize court decisions, urge changes in the law, publicly comment on cases, or express their personal views on controversial issues in extra-judicial settings such as social media, law review articles, op-eds, bar association speeches, yard signs, bumper stickers, or t-shirts. (Campaign speech will not be covered.)

Moderators: Raymond McKoski, Retired Judge, 19th Judicial Circuit Court; Member, Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee * Robert Tembeckjian, Administrator and Counsel, New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.


2:30-3:30 EDT  |  1:30-2:30 CDT  |  12:30-1:30 MDT  |  11:30-12:30 PDT & MST

Lessons Learned: A Decade Plus of Judges on Social Media

The first judicial discipline case involving Facebook was in 2009. The numerous cases since demonstrate that judges need more guidance on how the code of judicial conduct applies on-line. This session will consider the ethical best practices for judges using social media.

Moderators: Jacqueline Habersham, Executive Director, Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct * Cynthia Gray, Director, Center for Judicial Ethics, National Center for State Courts.


Programs for Recent Colleges: