Canon 1.5: Involvement in Actions Before a Court

A court professional shall notify the appropriate authority whenever he or she, anyone in his or her family, or anyone with whom he or she has a close personal relationship has been arrested, named as a party, or is otherwise formally involved in any action pending in any court.

Comments

Inherent is this canon is an assumption that court professionals lose a degree of privacy afforded others who do not work for the judiciary. We can’t let people affect the outcome of a case.

Questions

The Model Code does not set any limits on this duty. Are court professionals obligated to tell the appropriate authority when a friend of theirs has filed a civil suit in another state?

Other Codes

Section III (A) of the American Judicature Society’s 1989 Model Code of Conduct for Non–Judicial Court Employeesstates, “Every court employee shall avoid conflicts of interest, as defined below, in the performance of professional duties. . . .Therefore, every court employee Page 8 Model Code of Conduct for Court Professional with Commentary is required to exercise diligence in becoming aware of conflicts of interest, disclosing conflicts to the designated authority and ending them when they arise.”

Article I (C) of the 1990 National Association for Court Management Code of Conduct provides that, “Members shall act so that they are not unduly affected or appear to be affected by kinship, position, or influence of any party or person.”

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