May 04, 2005, 14:41Trey Hill
Code of Judicial Conduct
A visiting judge called me and said, he thought he was required to report to the DA's office that a witness in a civil matter before him had committed perjury - and had admitted it. I told him, I had never heard of such a duty, that I had received such complaints before, but they'd always been from the opposing party, not the judge. He told me, he thought it was in the code of judicial conduct. I looked at that and could not find any reference to a duty to report a crime occurring in the judge's presence, or courtroom.
Anybody know of any code which requires a judge to report such to the prosecuting authority?
I'm not aware of any specific Texas disciplinary rule requiring anyone to report perjury. Child abuse, yes. Lying, not so much.
I do occasionally received referrals from judges or lawyers that they believe a witness committed perjury in a case. Generally, it has to be the sort in which there are two inconsistent sworn statements to make such a case. Otherwise, it just looks like sour grapes.
May 05, 2005, 10:31Trey Hill
Thank you, John. It sounded odd to me that a judge might have such a duty. If it were so, I'd have expected to get a lot more such reports in my career. Thus far, this is the only one, which seems not to be sour grapes on the part of a party-opponent.
By the way, have y'all been doing the "happy dance" down there recently?