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Attorney code of ethics

Bartlett, TN |
Filed under: Professional ethics

Are attorneys suppose to report other attorneys they know have either broke laws or have broken an attorneys code of ethics such as illegal drug use, not divulging conflicts of interest, affairs with other attorneys, judges, or court officers, etc.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The answer is, generally yes. Attorneys are required to report to the Board of Professional Responsibilty any ethical violations they become aware of. Illegal drug use may or may not be an ethical violation despite being against the law. However, if an attorney is having an affair with a judge or lawyer that is involved in the same case, that could be an ethical violation. Conflicts of interests should be reported. If you have such information, you may report it to the Board of Professional Responsibility.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this service for educational purposes only. I will take no action on your behalf unless you have hired me and a written retainer agreement is signed. I am licensed only in Tennessee and I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney in your city and state as Statute of Limitation deadlines can limit your recovery.

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Posted

A married judge having an affair with a married probation officer who appears in front of him often on myriad of probation issues and works closely with the judge in drug court. Ethical violation?

Posted

If an attorney sees another attorney violating an ethical rule, yes that attorney is required to report him. Not everything is a violation of an ethical rule though. For example, while a speeding ticket is technically a crime, no one is required to report an attorney to the ethics board for that.

For a free consultation related to medical malpractice, personal injury, workers' compensation, social security disability or nursing home abuse, please contact Lowenthal & Abrams, PC at 1-800-876-5299. I am licensed in Pennsylvania, but members of my firm are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This post is not legal advice, but instead contains general educational information. Please do not act or refrain from acting based upon what you read in this post. Also please remember that this post does not form an attorney/client relationship between you and me. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney in your state for assistance. I am licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania.

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A married judge having an affair with a married probation officer who appears in front of him often on myriad of probation issues and works closely with the judge in drug court. Ethical violation?

Jennifer L. Ellis

Jennifer L. Ellis

Posted

Judges have different ethical rules they must follow. Here it would depend on whether there is an appearance of impropriety, by that I mean whether there is a question as to whether the judge could be fair (and whether in fact the judge is fair.) If not, it would be the lawyer's job to ask the judge to recuse himself. The fact the judge is having an affair is not a violation of judicial ethics. Whether the relationship with a probation officer is an issue would depend on each individual case. So this actually would be a different question than the one you originally asked. But again, now it becomes the lawyer's job to deal with the issue on a case-by-case basis, or by reporting the judge's conduct. I will tell you, lawyers are loathe to report judge's conduct as negative unless they must. Same with motions to recuse.

Posted

The first two lawyers who answered gave you the "correct" answer. As a practical matter lawyers don't like to make enemies of other lawyers and even aside from that, it would be extremely embarrassing to report another lawyer to the bar and then find out that your information was faulty. So, I am sure a lot of misconduct is not reported to the state bar.

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A married judge having an affair with a married probation officer who appears in front of him often on myriad of probation issues and works closely with the judge in drug court. Ethical violation?

Jonathan Craig Reed

Jonathan Craig Reed

Posted

The bar is not interested in whether lawyers break their marriage vows. But a sexual relationship between a judge and a prosecutor or person who often appears as prosecution witness is something that might very well interest the state bar.

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