American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 52, Issue 2 (2016)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


After being elected or appointed to the bench, a budding judge should immediately sit down and read the code of judicial conduct for her jurisdiction.1 That review will alert the future judge to the ethical principles that will govern her time on the bench and begin a smooth, conflict-free transition from advocate to impartial arbiter.

Outlining the advice judicial-ethics committees have given about making that transition, this article highlights the provisions in the code of judicial conduct that will have the most immediate implications for a nascent judge even before taking the bench.2 It begins by listing the inquiries a soon-to-be judge should make about charitable, business, and political activities to evaluate what changes are necessary to conform to the judicial-ethics rules. It also considers whether a new judge may accept gifts, including receptions, that are offered to mark the new position. Finally, the article discusses winding up a law practice, including duties to clients and payments for prior legal work.3