Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Ad Hoc Advisory Committee Appointed to Study Canon 3 of Code of Judicial Conduct

SJC establishes committee to review the canon that pertains to public comment by judges

On Jan. 28, the justices of the SJC announced the establishment of an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to consider the provisions of Canon 3 of the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct that pertain to public comment by judges. The provisions are contained in S.J.C. Rule 3:09, Canon 3B (9).  

The committee’s task is to provide the justices with a recommendation regarding changes, if any, that should be made in the canons or commentary to that provision of the code, or such other recommendations relating to public comment by judges that the committee wishes to make. The Justices have asked the committee to submit its report within three months.

The SJC had previously revised the Code of Judicial Conduct on October 1, 2003, following extensive study and recommendations by a committee appointed by the Court in 1998. The justices solicited comments on the recommendations from those outside the committee prior to the adoption of the new code. 

In 2003, the American Bar Association began work on revising its Model Code of Judicial Conduct and last February adopted a new Model Code. The Ad Hoc Committee will review the 2007 Model Code as part of its study.

Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh was appointed by the justices to chair the Ad Hoc Committee. Fellow members include:             

  • Jonathan M. Albano, Esq., partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP, Boston
  • Michael P. Angelini, Esq. chairman, Bowditch and Dewey, LLP, Worcester
  • Hon. Jay D. Blitzman, Associate Justice, Middlesex Juvenile Court
  • Hon. Kathleen E. Coffey, First Justice, West Roxbury Division, Boston Municipal Court
  • Hon. Ralph D. Gants, Associate Justice, Superior Court
  • Hon. Margaret R. Hinkle, Associate Justice, Superior Court
  • Professor Andrew L. Kaufman, Harvard Law School, Cambridge
  • Hon. Paul LoConto, Regional Administrative Judge, Worcester District Court
  • Hon. James W. Menno, Associate Justice, Probate and Family Court
  • Hon. James H. Wexler, Associate Justice, District Court
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