Is it permissible for a Municipal Judge to represent defendants in other courts within the same county? What about when witnesses for the state are the local police who routinely appear before the Municipal Judge?
[This message was edited by Allyson Mitchell on 01-13-04 at .]
Municipal judges have a conflict if they are representing defendants who have been arrested by officers employed by the same municipality
Gordon, is there an ethics opinion or AG opinion to this effect? I would like to point it out to a Judge in my county.
What about the ol' "can't be adverse to the state" rule? Does this apply to Muni Judges?
We are in a trial with such a situation currently. Is there any case law or an AG's opinion? The Judge and State's witnesses are employed by the same muncipality.
Sounds like an ethical problem to me but, if my memory serves correctly, the "adverse to the state" rule applies to prosecutors not judges.
Kelly v. State, 640 SW2d 605 (Tex.Crim.App., 1982)
Cruz v. State, 1999 WL 1212045 (Dallas, 1999)
1.06 Rules of Professional Conduct.
Those were all I could find, I know we don't let Muni judges to represent defendants arrested by the muni the judges work for.
[This message was edited by Gordon LeMaire on 01-13-04 at .]
Awhile back (2-3 years ago) in Waller Co. the County Judge was representing criminal defendant's in district court. The DA recused her office and challanged the County Judges ability to represent the defendants with both the Judicial conduct Comm. and the state Bar. I never heard what the ultimate outcome was. Stephanie in Nacadoches should know.
The Code of Judicial Conduct appears to me to specifically authorize a municipal judge to practice law outside the court on which he or she serves unless it is an appeal from his/her court. The municipal judge does not have the same budget authority conflicts which the county judge may have. But, maybe the conduct of your judge would be considered a business dealing that tends to reflect adversely on the judge's impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of the judicial duties, exploit his or his judicial position, or involve the judge in frequent transactions with persons likely to come before his/her court in violation of Canon 4D (1). Looks to me like the City Council or voters will have to decide how active the judge should be in this regard.
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