Ethics panel clarifies how judges give testimony

first_imgMark D. Killian Managing Editor Judges no longer have to be subpoenaed before being able to give testimony to an investigative entity, according to the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.The ethics advisory panel also recently ruled that a judge may not participate in a law firm’s litigation program at a firm retreat, but may belong to a Bar section’s executive council and serve in a nonprofit group’s leadership to improve a community’s quality of life. A judge also should discourage organizations from raising scholarship money in the judge’s name. SubpoenaReversing several prior opinions, the JEAC has ruled that a judge need not be subpoenad before giving factual testimony to an investigative entity. Opinion Number: 03-04.In several earlier opinions the committee had interpreted Canon 2B to require that a judge be under subpoena when the judge is testifying as a character witness or giving factual testimony.“The committee at this time elects to overrule its opinions in 98-15 and 00-7, ” the JEAC said. “These opinions prevent judges from cooperating with entities such as law enforcement, The Florida Bar, and the Judicial Qualifications Commission when they are investigating matters.”The commentary to Canon 2B allows a judge to give information pursuant to a formal request to a sentencing judge or a probation or corrections officer and there is no difference in a judge giving information to an investigative entity upon a request and a judge giving information to a sentencing judge, a probation officer, or a parole officer upon request, the committee said.“In matters dealing with law enforcement, the judge could be viewed as obstructing justice if the judge refused to cooperate when he or she has relevant information and is requested to give this information,” the committee said. “In matters dealing with investigations by The Florida Bar regarding attorney misconduct or the Judicial Qualifications Commission dealing with judicial misconduct, the judge has an ethical obligation to cooperate with these entities.”The committee also found that non-testimonial interviews about factual matters, as long as they are not in violation of any other parts of the Code of Judicial Conduct, do not require a subpoena. Firm RetreatA judge may not participate in a law firm’s litigation program by presiding over mock trials at a firm retreat . Opinion Number: 03-03.The inquiring judge said several judges have been invited to the training retreat to help improve the trial skills of the firm’s lawyers. The judges would be the firm’s “honored guest” at an “upscale resort” and preside over a mock trial and critique the firm’s associates.The panel said while judges are encouraged to engage in activities to improve the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, attending the retreat would violate the “spirit and intent” of several canons.“Undoubtedly, a litigant would be uncomfortable appearing in front of a judge who had recently been an honored guest at the opposing law firm’s educational retreat,” the panel said. “This creates a reasonable doubt as to the judge’s capacity to act impartially.”The committee also said entertaining a judge at an exclusive resort by a private law firm carries an appearance of impropriety and the canons preclude a judge from accepting any gift or favor from anyone who has come or is likely to come and whose interests have come or are likely to come before the judge. Community InvolvementA judge, under the aegis of a nonprofit organization, may serve in a leadership capacity to implement nonpartisan, citizen-developed recommendations to improve the community’s quality of life by improving race relations. Opinion Number: 03-01.The inquiring judge has been asked by a community-based organization to serve as implementation chair in connection with a study regarding race relations. The judge said its mission is to open dialogue, conduct impartial research, and consensus building.“Since the judge does not plan to be involved in fundraising or lobbying, and since there is little possibility that the civic organization will appear in court, it is not a violation of Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct for the judge to serve as chair of the implementing committee,” the committee said. “If it appears that the duties as chair require the judge to engage in activities which may conflict with the code, the judge should delegate some of the responsibilities to other officers.” Legal GroupsA recently elected judge may remain a member of the executive council of the Bar’s Trial Lawyers Section and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, as well as a member of the real estate partnership that owns the building in which the judge’s former law firm rents offices and continue to receive a regular distribution of the income from that partnership. The judge also may continue to receive periodic payments from the former law firm for the judge’s equity interest in the firm. Opinion Number: 03- 02.The JEAC said the panel has previously found that a judge could serve as chair-elect of the Family Law Section and that a judge may serve on the Bar’s Civil Procedure Rules Committee. Therefore, the committee held that a judge may remain a member of the Trial Lawyers Section and, as appointed, chair committees of the council after assuming the bench.“Further, the committee has continuously stated that a judge may be a member of and chair such councils as long as the judge’s involvement does not reflect on the judge’s impartiality or neutrality as a judge,” the panel said, adding, however, judges should not hold offices in local bar associations, “because such an election gives the appearance of the judge exerting pressure on lawyers that must litigate before that judge.”The committee also cautioned that judges are prohibited from lobbying for section legislative positions and “should avoid involvement in any activity which might reflect on the judge’s impartiality or neutrality.”As far as the judge’s continued membership in the real estate partnership that owns the building rented by the judge’s former law firm, the judge may continue to receive periodic distributions of the income from the partnership, but should disclose the relationship and, upon motion, be recused from any cases involving the firm due to the ongoing landlord/tenant relationship, unless a proper remittal of disqualification has been executed.Judges also may receive periodic payments from former firms for their equity interest in the firm or the firm may execute a note payable to the judge to pay the balance owed for the judge’s equity interest. Scholarship FundsA sitting judicial officer may not permit a not-for-profit organization which is controlled by a voluntary bar association to solicit funds for a scholarship named for the judge. Opinion Number: 03-05.The inquiring judge has been informed by a nonprofit foundation controlled by a voluntary bar that it has, and intends to continue, soliciting funds for a scholarship named for the judge as tribute to him as the first president of the voluntary bar and for his service as a judge.In several opinions, the committee said it has addressed the issue of lending the prestige of judicial office to charitable fundraising events and has made it clear that if the judge’s participation in any way involves the solicitation or gives the appearance of the solicitation of funds, the judge may not participate.“The committee concludes that as to the funds already raised, the judge has not lent the prestige of the office,” the panel said. “The committee sees no reason why that fundraising would be affected. Moreover the tribute is permissible and the judge’s only obligation is to avoid lending judicial prestige to further fundraising.”The committee said despite the “admirable goals of the foundation’s activities and the fact that the judge is well deserving of the honor to be bestowed,” it advises the judge to discourage the foundation from using the prestige of his office to advance its private interests by future fundraising activities in the judge’s name.The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory, and conduct that is consistent with an opinion may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the committee’s interpretive opinions.The full text of the committee’s opinions is available on the Supreme Court’s Web site at www.flcourts.org. Once there, click on the “Judges’ Page” link in the left-hand column. Ethics panel clarifies how judges give testimony Ethics panel clarifies how judges give testimonycenter_img June 15, 2003 Managing Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Syracuse’s offense stifled in two losses to Duke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After Gianna Carideo fouled off three pitches, ran a full-count and eventually earned a walk, Syracuse’s offense had one of its few positives.Carideo’s walk meant the Orange had the lead-off runner on, down by just one run in the bottom of the seventh. But in the Orange’s next three at-bats, nothing materialized. Jessica Skladal struck out on four pitches, Gabby Teran flew out to left and Bryce Holmgren dribbled the final out to the pitcher’s circle.In two games against the Blue Devils, SU couldn’t adjust. It couldn’t catch up to the Duke pitchers’ fastballs, and couldn’t wait long enough to sit back and hit changeups. All weekend, the season-long inconsistencies of the Orange (18-22, 7-8 Atlantic Coast) lineup left them unable to string together hits and drive-in runs. Duke (23-23, 10-8) took both games of the Saturday afternoon doubleheader, 5-1 and 3-2.“Our offense was terrible, I don’t think we showed very much fight today, our at-bats were very complacent,” SU head coach Shannon Doepking said. “We had no fight, we had no fire.”Entering the weekend, Syracuse’s offense was hitting better than it had at any point last season. With eight wins in their last 10, the Orange’s offensive output was nearly 2.5 runs per game higher than it was in 2018. SU had followed Doepking’s hitting philosophy: be aggressive early in counts, swing more for power than contact and adjust from one at-bat to the next.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Holmgren grounded out to first in the opening inning of game two, she jogged back toward the SU dugout, first stopping to whisper a message in Alicia Hansen and AJ Kaiser’s ears, the next two hitters in the lineup. She tried to give them a tip about the pitcher’s tendencies she noticed.The Orange didn’t communicate enough, though, Doepking and senior Hannah Dossett said. The Duke pitching staff, led by Peyton St. George’s complete-game shutout in game one and a trio of pitchers in game two, kept SU hitters off balanced. For the weekend, St. George threw 15 innings, allowing just two earned runs in three appearances.SU typically celebrates frequently in the dugout, on the field and in the circle. But other than the dugout rendition of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and the typical cheers for each hitter, Teran and Doepking said the dugout energy was down. She said it translated into their at-bats too.“I didn’t like anything about our approach. You should never see a pitcher that many times and not be able to hit them it’s crazy,” Doepking said. “I think we’ve got to get outside of ourselves and take it one pitch at a time.”Syracuse tried to move back in the box and wait on the changeup. On Friday, it worked enough to put up one four-run inning and ride a dominant Alexa Romero to victory. But in game one on Saturday, the pressure continued to mount on Romero with each passing inning. Eventually, a two-out rally and three consecutive Duke hits in the gaps broke open a five-run sixth inning and a four-run lead. In the sixth and seventh innings of game one, the Orange got a runner on each time, but failed to cut into the deficit.“Our pitchers put us in a really good position today, and we just couldn’t string the hits together,” Dossett said. “I think Duke did a good job of that and we just couldn’t like we had in the past.”SU’s inept offense spoiled strong pitching performances from Romero, Miranda Hearn and Peyton Schnackenberg. Hearn pitched two innings in relief, allowing just one unearned run. Schnackenberg started game two and completed 4.1 innings, allowing two earned on back-to-back extra-base hits in the second.Syracuse fought back in game two, tying it in the third on a two-run Hansen triple in the gap in right field. Teran scored easily from second, and Holmgren ran into the catcher despite being beaten on the throw, knocking the ball out of her glove, ruling her safe.A two-out Blue Devils’ single and double thereafter brought in the winning run in the sixth inning. Syracuse had a base runner in its last two innings, but squandered both.After the two losses, Doepking met with the entire team in left field for about 15 minutes. Once half the team dispersed, though, a few remained. Logan Paul, Toni Martin, Romero, Holmgren, Teran, the coaching staff and a few others spoke for more than 20 minutes.“Offensively, we need to get back to where we were,” Teran said. “We need to move runners, get productive outs.” Comments Published on April 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]last_img read more