Canon 2.1: Independent Judgment

A court professional shall avoid relationships that would impair one’s impartiality and independent judgment.

A court professional shall be vigilant of conflicts of interest and ensure that outside interests are never so extensive or of such nature as to impair one’s ability to perform court duties.

Comments

Canons 1.1 (faithfully carrying out appropriate duties), 1.2 (avoiding impropriety), 1.3 (conducting unbiased business), 1.6 (using one’s position for its intended purpose), as well as this canon (using impartial judgment) are all principles which enlarge a central theme of professional, appropriate, and impartial judgment.

Court professionals must be constantly on guard against finding themselves slipping into inappropriate relationships. They need to seek advice from the appropriate authority early to fend off later controversies.

More work needs to be done on defining a more objective rule to measure when an outside interest has become so extensive that it impairs one’s abilities to perform one’s duties.

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