“Judges hold a position of authority within our legal profession,” says Jayne Reardon, executive director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. “In the judicial canons, judges are called upon to be leaders when it comes to civility.”
State and federal codes of judicial conduct require judges to be patient, respectful and courteous to everyone in the courtroom. Despite these admonitions, Reardon, who works to promote integrity and civility in the profession, believes the tenor and discourse among judges, lawyers and litigants have deteriorated as norms of acceptable behavior outside the courtroom have shifted. “What is civility in this day and age is subject to interpretation,” Reardon says. “To try and get back to a situation where we embrace civility and collegiality as a profession is a ways off.”
Bullying from the bench: A wave of high-profile… Feature Bullying from the bench: A wave of high-profile bad behavior has put scrutiny on judges By Wendy Davis AP Photo/Florida Today, Tim Shortt, Pool; youtube; shutterstock Judge John Murphy was presiding over a criminal calendar in Brevard County, Florida, when he grew incensed with public defender Andrew Weinstock, who had refused to waive a client’s right to a speedy trial.