The Ethics Subcommittee's responsibilities include maintaining and updating the NACM Model Code of Conduct as needed, to contribute to NACM publications any relevant ethics-related issues and to research any potential issue with ethics implications as needed by the association.

Learn more about ethics here.

At a recent CoffeeTalk (July 2021), discussion arose around a memo by Judge Charles Kornmann of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota regarding employees being vaccinated. Here is the article pertaining to this memo, via the Dakota Free Press.

Agendas & Minutes

Date Agenda Minutes
August 26, 2021 Agenda Minutes
September 23, 2021 Cancelled Cancelled
October 28, 2021 Agenda Minutes
November 25, 2021 Cancelled Cancelled
December 23, 2021 Cancelled Cancelled
January 27, 2022 Agenda Minutes
February 24, 2022 Cancelled Cancelled
March 24, 2022 Agenda Minutes
April 28, 2022 Agenda No Minutes
May 26, 2022 Cancelled Cancelled
June 23, 2022 Agenda Minutes
July 28, 2022 Agenda Minutes

 

Ethics Subcommittee Archive

2021 Agendas and Minutes
2020 Agendas and Minutes
2019 Agendas and Minutes
2018 Agendas and Minutes

Related Videos



Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: Political Agendas and Affirmative Action by Court Leader's Advantage
A Question of Ethics Conversation: May 2022

NACM has made a commitment to the values of providing equal justice regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, disability, or social economic status. What is the court’s ethical obligation, particularly when it comes to implementing court operations?


This episode of A Question of Ethics will continue to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and NACM’s commitment to helping provide equal justice. This session was recorded after the Ethics Subcommittee Conference Call on April 28th, 2022. The questions the group explored include:

  • Does focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies, and programs conflict with the court’s purpose to be a separate, independent, and impartial forum for resolving disputes?
  • How do courts keep political agendas out of its efforts to make court personnel and court process equitable for all?
  • How does implementing DEI policies and programs compare to Affirmation Action requirements?
  • How can courts today be more inclusive and accessible to those having business before it?


Relevant Canons from the NACM Code of Conduct for Court Professionals:

    Canon 1.1: Performing Court Duties A court professional faithfully carries out all appropriately assigned duties, striving at all times to perform the work diligently, efficiently, equitably, thoroughly, courteously, honestly, openly, and within the scope of the court professional’s authority.

    Canon 1.3: Fairness The court professional makes the court accessible and conducts his or her work without bias or prejudice.

    Canon 1.4 Respect for Others A court professional treats litigants, co-workers, and all others interacting with the court with dignity, respect, and courtesy.

    Canon 4.1 Inappropriate Political Activity (Paraphrased) A court professional:



Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: What is the Court’s Duty? by Court Leader's Advantage
A Question of Ethics Conversation: Summer 2022 Edition of the Court Manager

NACM has made a commitment to the values of providing equal justice regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, disability, or social economic status. What is the court’s ethical obligation, particularly when it comes to implementing court operations?


This episode was a recorded conversation held immediately after the Ethics Subcommittees’ Conference Call held on March 24, 2022. The questions the group explored include:

  • Do courts have an ethical obligation to implement policies and procedures that ensure the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are applied to court processes?
  • Can a court apply diversity, equity, and inclusion to assessing fines, costs, and fees? if so, how does one go about doing that?
  • The ethical Canons from the NACM Model Code for Court Professionals referenced during the conversation include: Canon 1.1: Performing Court Duties, Canon 1.3: Fairness, Canon 1.4 Respect for Others


Please complete the survey questions once you have watched the episode.
Time Marker Sheet


Audio Only

Survey Question Comments (4/27/2022)

Case in point is that we require all filings to be in English. We are producing forms in Spanish and other languages, but these are merely guides to help filers understand the questions. But responses to the questions on forms must be submitted in English. This is not equal access for justice. We have people on-site that can help customers fill out forms on-site but outside of Spanish the help will be limited.

In my opinion, the Canons do intersect directly with an obligation to ensure that DEI principles and activities are comprehensively applied to court administrative and adjudicative processes. A prime example is in the area of accessibility: I think a court should be actively working to maximize accessibility via the latest technology (e.g., ODR, e-filing, chat and other virtual portals) as part of implementing DEI principles. My recent article in the IACA Court Administrator has a much broader treatment of this subject: http://www.iaca.ws/assets/The_Court_Administrator/Court_Administrator_Volume_11_Winter_2022.pdf (pp. 13-16).

The Courts have a duty to provide equal access to all.

Survey Responses Graph

Spring 2021 Edition of the Court Manager
Courts, Testing, and Vaccinations: What Will Your Court Decide?
A Question of Ethics: A Video Conversation on Courts and Ethics

The Coronavirus has hamstrung our nation’s courts since March of 2020.  2021 offers hope that we may soon return to our normal lives, but it also presents new challenges.  No matter how quickly the vaccines are distributed, it appears that courts will have to keep restrictions in place for a few more months.

In this video Question of Ethics edition, a panel of court administrators from around the country discuss ethics, COVID, employee testing, and vaccinations. The panel addresses questions including:

  • How will courts deal with the continuing restrictions?
  • What is our ethical duty to our employees and to the public while the pandemic still rages?
  • How do we manage our employees who are vaccinated; how do we manage if some choose not to be vaccinated?
  • What advice does the panel have for court administrators around the country?

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