American Judges Association



Cynthia Gray

Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 54, Issue 2 (2018)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


Each year, there are judicial discipline cases that illustrate the adverse effect of mental disorders on individual judges and the judiciary. 1 These proceedings also demonstrate the need for the judiciary to address judges’ wellness issues sooner, when remediation may be possible, rather than later, when removal may be unavoidable.

The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, released by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being in 2017, 2 included several recommendations specifically for the judiciary:

• Communicate that well-being is a priority;

• Develop policies for impaired judges;

• Reduce the stigma of mental health and substance use disorders;

• Conduct judicial well-being surveys;

• Provide well-being programming for judges and staff; and

• Monitor lawyers’ performance for signs of impairment and partner with lawyer assistance programs.