ABA’s Ethics Proposals Would Require Law Firms to Report Attorneys’ Judicial Campaign Contributions

ABA ethics proposalIn Michigan, circuit and district court judges are either appointed by the governor or elected for a six-year period. This year in Washtenaw County, we will see both. In the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor, Judge Julie Creal retired from the bench before her six-year term ended, so the Governor will be appointing a new judge. In the 22nd Circuit Court, Judge Melinda Morris will be retiring at the end of her term, so an election will be held to fill her seat.

With the presidential election this year, there has been a lot of discussion in the news about where candidates receive their contributions from. If an attorney would like to run for judge, inevitably they will have to fundraise. Like most candidates, they will turn to their friends and colleagues.

Currently, the American Bar Association is considering new ethics rules that would require law firms to disclose their judicial election contributions and possibly set a threshold contribution limit that would require a judge to disqualify himself from a case.

What do you think? If you were in court, would you want to know if your attorney or opposing counsel made large contributions to the judge?

Read more about the ABA’s ethic proposals >>

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