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Bar Association calls for veto of judicial discipline bill

Posted August 6, 2013

— The North Carolina Bar Association is urging Gov. Pat McCrory to veto legislation that would change how state judges are disciplined.

House Bill 652 strips the Judicial Standards Commission of its authority to issue public reprimands and places all forms of public discipline in the hands of the North Carolina Supreme Court. All disciplinary hearings would be private, and case records would be confidential unless the Supreme Court decides to take disciplinary action.

Also, the Supreme Court would be allowed to discipline its own members, a responsibility now held by the most senior six judges of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

The bill initially passed the House in April as a measure to allow children born out of wedlock to inherit some of a deceased parent's estate, but the Senate replaced that language with the judicial discipline provisions last month. The revamped legislation failed 22-12 in a July 19 vote on the Senate floor, but it was revived a week later as the General Assembly wrapped up its 2013 session and passed 28-14.

“We feel, as an organization, it is important to stand up for transparency, on behalf of the profession, and more importantly on behalf the citizens of North Carolina," Bar Association President Alan Duncan said in a statement. "It is the belief of the Bar Association that the existing system has worked well and that this legislation is not necessary.”

Chief Judge John Martin of the Court of Appeals, who also serves as chairman of the Judicial Standards Commission, voiced concerns about the proposals when they were contained in another bill. Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker agrees with Martin’s concerns.

14 Comments

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  • teleman60 Aug 9, 8:56 a.m.

    "The bill initially passed the House in April as a measure to allow children born out of wedlock to inherit some of a deceased parent's estate," -- HERE AGAIN our GA working their magic!

    If it was NOT A CROOKED BILL it would have stood on it's own BUT JUST LIKE THE MOTORCYCLE ABORTION FIASCO they had to hide it!

    Magic Pat will probably let the majority of bills just sit there so he can say he didn't sign them - so all of a sudden the boggey man created all these ALEC laws! But we all know who did this to NC.

  • wildpig777 Aug 9, 8:37 a.m.

    if the nc bar is for it -- then you best believe you oughta be against it..... just that simple-- the nc bar operates under a veil of secrecy and under the cloak of darkness-- it has always been this way and they [nc bar] is outraged that they should come under any authority other than thier own.... i am for ABOLISHING the bar and making them [lawyers] subject to a citizens panel consisting of -- NO lawyers on the board.

    how you like me now all you attorneys in nc?

  • lwe1967 Aug 9, 7:13 a.m.

    So everything can be swept under the carpets. If the courts were enforcing discipline on their members, we would not be in the fix we are in in the court system. Why shouldn't the people be advised who is bad and making wrong decisions and having their results being overturned by the Appellate Courts.

  • wildpig777 Aug 8, 5:57 p.m.

    The North Carolina State Bar disciplines lawyers. 47 d

    you are grossly incorrect-- the nc bar protects the lawyer scam/profession and is akin to the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse. the nc bar should be terminated immediately if not sooner-- for the betterment of the average citizen in nc....

  • 47D Aug 8, 10:58 a.m.

    The Judicial Standards Commission disciplines judges. The North Carolina State Bar disciplines lawyers. They are different organizations.

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 8, 10:30 a.m.

    The current system as well as the changes won't stop the abuse by some lawyers. In many cases, some have gotten back licenses that should of never got them back and should of been put in jail. Last, laws pass in the past give too much power and worse, tax dollars to this organization (No they're not an agency of the state).

  • 47D Aug 8, 9:39 a.m.

    wildpig777, maybe you can explain exactly how making judicial proceedings confidential and letting the Supreme Court discipline itself is going to improve this accountability situation you're shouting about with the Judicial Standards Commission.

  • free2bme Aug 8, 8:30 a.m.

    Wildpig the NC GA is all about controlling everybody and everything. They are disturbed individuals. They have no integrity proven by their recent sneaky deceptive moves. The NC legislature needs to stay out of this one. I am sure they have some buddies they are trying to cover or look out for with this move. It likely has nothing to do with fairness or doing the right thing. It is self motivates I assure you.

  • wildpig777 Aug 8, 7:38 a.m.

    NO bill should EVER allow the fox to guard the hen house EVER!!!!

    This is more GOP sneak attacks, just not so sneaky w/ this one I guess.

    WHERE are the bills to promote JOBS, which is what they all got elected on?

    Scubagirl
    August 7, 2013 12:05 p.m.
    scuba -you couldnt be more wrong if you tried..... this is one militant answer to no one state agency / gang --- that answers to no one. and they know it. you talk about the fox guarding the hen house--thats exactly what has been going on for decades with THIS DISGUSTING SELF SERVING ANSWER TO NO ONE ELISTEST GROUP OF LAWYERS. I HOPE PAT CASTRATES ANY AUTHORITY THE JUDICIAL STANDARDS GANG HAS. LONG OVER DUE.

  • wildpig777 Aug 8, 7:35 a.m.

    the judicial standards commission has FAILED MISERABLY properly disciple judges. Further this SELF ASSUMING ARRAGHANT "gang" of lawyers has needed taking down for decades. I have never seen such an abuse of power, self assuming and condesending behaviour exhibited by a state agency. STRIP IT OF IT'S POWERS AT ONCE.

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