Category Archives: Judicial Ethics

Larry Nassar Sentencing Might Stimulate Discussion About Judicial Neutrality

The New York Times Headline sets it up perfectly: Victims in Larry Nassar Abuse Case Find a Fierce Advocate: The Judge Now, the spouse of a sexual assault advocate within me cheers this on, but the former public defender within … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Judicial Ethics

Seventh Circuit’s Response to Judge Posner Misses the Point

The Seven Circuit, through Judge Wood, has responded to Judge Posner’s criticism of the Court’s approach to those without lawyers as follows: First, while [Judge Posner] is certainly entitled to his own views about such matters as our Staff Attorney’s … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Appellate Practice, Defender Programs, Federal Courts, Judicial Ethics, Non-Lawyer Practice | 1 Comment

Speculative Thoughts on Changing Lawyers in Mid-Case — Manafort Edition

I want to draw your attention to the some specific language in the Politico story on Paul Manafort’s change of lawyers, quoting a Manafort spokesman (see especially my bold language): A spokesman confirmed the change. “Mr. Manafort is in the … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Access to Justice Generally, Attorney-Client, Criminal Law, Dept. of Justice, Judicial Ethics, Legal Ethics

Algorithm Bias and Algorithm-Based Bias Compensation

As part of my series on algorithm bias, I want to offer what I think is a potentially revolutionary take on using algorithms not just to minimize, but actually to compensate for, bias and discrimination. The core idea is that … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Bias, Discrimination, Judicial Ethics, Metrics, Race | 1 Comment

A Tool For Assessing SRL Hearing Quality from the US Dept. of Labor

As state start to think about evaluating how their judges do in cases without lawyers, this might be a useful starting point.  It is US Department of Labor Handbook on measuring hearing quality in unemployment hearings (in which the vast … Continue reading

Posted in Administative Proecdure, Judicial Ethics, Metrics, Research and Evalation | 1 Comment

On the Need for Uncompromising Reassertions of Neutral Principles Regardless of Inevitable Political Implications

There is obviously a lot to cheer about today, as different aspects of our complex, flexible, and therefore very resilient system starts to trigger its anti-fascism-antibodies. One of the most important, in the long term, may be the fact that … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Constitution, International Cooperation, Judicial Ethics, Science

Principles for Legitimacy In Questioned Elections

Given the extreme importance for access to justice that even highly inflammatory issues are decided on a neutral and principled basis, I cross post my recent blog that discusses Legitimacy.  The Principles are intended to be non-partisan and universal. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Congress, Constitution, Judicial Ethics | 1 Comment

True Neutrality in a Time of Existential Crisis

What is rapidly becoming not a national existential crisis, but a world existential crisis forces us to examine not the limits of neutrality, but the obligations of neutrality. The United States is enriched by enormous numbers of organizations that are … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Constitution, Federal Courts, Judicial Ethics | 2 Comments

Immigration Judges Learn to Recognze and Protect Against Implicit Bias

The NYT has an important piece today on judges and implicit bias. Now, as the country struggles with how these instinctive judgments shape our lives, the Justice Department is trying to minimize the role of bias in law enforcement and … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Communications Strategy, Immigration, Judicial Ethics, SRLN

Harder and Harder to Separate Access to Justice and Election Politics

It is getting harder and harder to separate access to justice and politics.  So I feel that it is not inappropriate to share a link to my politics and humor blog, in which I ask those Republics who might, in … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Judicial Ethics, White House

Claudia Johnson Guest Post: Appellate Courts show willingness to reverse decisions where due process and decisions are not explained in SRL cases—Are DV cases the canary and a natural for innovation?

Multiple decisions have come to my attention where appellate courts are reversing trial courts on cases where one of the parties did not have a lawyer. All cases come from Domestic  Violence dockets. Is this a new trend for DV … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Appellate Practice, Document Assembly, Domestic Violence, Family Law, Guest Bloggers, Judicial Ethics, Self-Help Services | 1 Comment

The Legal System Continues, per Ginsburg, J., To Protect the Constitutional System Against Trump

Yesterday morning the New York Times published a precedent-shattering interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Unless they have a book to sell, Supreme Court justices rarely give interviews. Even then, they diligently avoid political topics. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Constitution, Judicial Ethics, Supreme Court, White House | 1 Comment

David Brooks Brilliant Column on Outsider-Insiders, and its Relevance to Our 100% Access Movement

David Brooks  had a brilliant column in the New York Times on June 25, 2016.  However, it was marred by a serious error that, while irrelevant to the force of the core idea, means that it is much less likely … Continue reading

Posted in 100% Access Strategy and Campaign, ABA, Bar Associations, Judicial Ethics, Legal Aid, Legal Ethics, LSC, Non-Lawyer Practice, SRLN, Unbundling | 1 Comment

Maybe Flight Attendants Can Teach Courts Something about Overcoming Unconscious Bias

I think there is pretty broad agreement that all of us who work in and with the court system that it could benefit to more mindfulness in dealing with unconscious bias. A recent article in the Washington Post by a … Continue reading

Posted in Court Management, Discrimination, Judicial Ethics

DOJ Dear Colleague Letter on Fines and Forfeiture is Another Game Changer

As the Times reports, DOJ has issued and sent to all the state chief  justices and state court administrators a Dear Colleague letter on the subject of court fines and fees.  The helpful and positive tone of the letter is … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Bail, Chasm with Communities, Court Fees and Costs, Funding, Judicial Ethics | 2 Comments