State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 91-15
Is it proper under the Code of Judicial Conduct for a judicial officer to establish separate dockets for indigent defendants and those defendants represented by private attorneys?
The Committee received statements from judges and attorneys urging two positions on this question:
Absent a judicial ruling that a statute or constitutional provision has been violated, the statements submitted do not raise an ethical issue under the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The statements submitted indicate the existence of widely divergent views on an administrative matter among members of a multi-judge court.
Judges on a multi-judge court should work together with the presiding judge to resolve the administrative problems. Failure of individual judges to work together to resolve administrative problems may violate CJC Canons 1 and 3.
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