What is the difference between professional codes of conduct versus cannons? 32 Answers as of March 20, 2014

I have a question that any lawyer is capable of asking regardless of what you specialize in. Both Lawyers and Judges take an oath and the BBO sets forth professional codes of conducts for lawyers and cannons for judges to abide by. If they violate any of these, then they are held accountable for their actions and can be disbarred if extreme enough. However judges have immunity. Does this mean for example a judge can accept a bribe from a lawyer to prevail in a case and only the lawyer is held accountable because the judge can claim immunity and not be sued and basically get away with it?

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Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
No Judges can be recalled for violation of judicial cannons.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/20/2014
IT Forensics, Inc.
IT Forensics, Inc. | Christopher K. Steuart
A code of professional responsibility may be legally enforceable and or enforceable by a professional association and may be a basis of a civil action in malpractice. A cannon is a name for artillery (tube) and is derived from an Italian word for tube and is a name derived from one class (size) of the artillery during the late middle ages-early renaissance that has become a commonly used word to describe all tube artillery.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/19/2014
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Sounds like you have a good start on your research. There should be particular rules applying to judges in the area that you are looking.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/19/2014
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
A judge has no immunity for crimes he commits, especially accepting a bribe.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/19/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
The judge is certainly not immune in such a case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/19/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    No one can accept bribes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    A professional code of conduct is a specific set of rules that require ethical conduct by lawyers and judges. Cannons are weapons that use explosives to propel large shells at high speeds towards a target. Canons are general statements of ethical conduct. So a canon might be a general principle such as: Judges should avoid the appearance of inappropriate conduct. While the code of conduct would have specific rules such as: ?A judge may not appear in an advertisement for a lawyer. A judge may not borrow money from a lawyer who appears in her court.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/19/2014
    KEYL ADR Services, LLC | Mark D. Keyl
    No, a judge has an accountability committee that they are accountable to and can receive punishment. The Supreme Court is the jurisdiction.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Polsinelli Shughart PC | William B. Prugh
    If a judge commits a crime, he is subject to prosecution under state or federal laws governing bribery and related offenses. A judge is also subject to the rules of conduct governing judges as well as the professional rules governing lawyers, and can be removed from office and disbarred for failing to meet those rules. Any immunity that applies to a judge is limited to immunity from civil liability for performing their job. Everybody is bound to obey the law, including judges, and nobody gets a free ride if they violate them.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    In my opinion, they are essentially the same. Lawyers and judges have rules to follow. Some rules are enforceable by censure, by sanctions, by penalties, etc. Some are merely "appropriate." For example, we are supposed to act professionally. So in the heat of the situation, if I am rude or offensive, it won't necessarily result in my losing my license to practice, or in someone filing a grievance. On the other hand, if I lie, steal or cheat, I could lose my license and get punished financially and/or criminally.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    No, if a judge violates that rules of judicial conduct and/or commits a criminal act, i.e., accepting a bribe, that judge can be suspended from the bench, disbarred, prosecuted and imprisoned. Naturally a judge, like any other person charged with a crime, is entitled to do process of law.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    The difference between a code of ethics and a code of conduct is often blurred in day to day usage, but there is a difference. Codes of conduct are derived from codes of ethics whether the ethical code is a written code or unwritten and understood by members of the organization developing the code. From your example, if you lose a legal case, you could sue your attorney for misrepresentation, buy you could not sue the judge because he is immune. The attorney did not violate any "law" but he could be in violation for ethics or violation of cannons for representation. The immunity does not extend to a judge who violates a law, such as taking a bribe.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Dessy & Dessy, a Professional Corporation | Ronald D. Dessy
    Judges have some immunity related to the actions they take in connection with the cases before them. That immunity does not apply to criminal offenses or to governmental agency administrative actions against judges who violate the rules.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Codes are required; canons are suggestions.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Judges have their own code of ethics that they must abide by. In addition, civil & criminal laws address issues involving bribery of a public official.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    I believe the immunity only applies to the judge's decisions that are made in accordance with the Canons. In other words, if a judge took a bribe, that is (1) illegal and (2) unethical and the judge would suffer sanctions for it if it became known.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    If a judge is found guilty of acting illegally, the judge can be held accountable in a number of ways, including criminally.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Fluhr & Moore, LLC | Steven S. Fluhr
    There is a code of judicial conduct which a Judge must abide by. Taking a bribe would lead to disbarment of the Judge as well. Judicial immunity only applies to lawsuits filed against a judge seeking civil damages for an act taken in a judicial capacity.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Fox & Fox, S.C. | Richard F. Rice
    A judge cannot accept a bribe from anyone and if proved the judge probably would be removed from the bench. You would need to provide specific, provable facts for an attorney to adequately answer your overall inquiry.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Lawyer for Indie Media
    Lawyer for Indie Media | Sue Basko
    First. the BBO is Board of Bar Overseers, which is a Massachusetts organization that oversees lawyers. The names for such groups are different in each state. In each state, the way these operate are slightly differently. The Code of Professional Conduct is how a lawyer must act with regard to their clients, to the courts, to other parties, and to unrepresented parties. A Judicial canon tells how Judges must act in court and with regard to the cases they are hearing. The codes of professional conduct have many similarities from state to state, but there are also some rather significant differences. Second, neither lawyers nor judges have immunity from criminal law in any State. Both judges and lawyer can be charged with crimes for offering or taking bribes. Look up Operation Greylord, which was a long investigation into bribery in the courts in Cook County, Illinois. Many lawyers and judges were charged and convicted of fixing cases in exchange for bribes, from traffic court all the way to murder trials. Or look up the more recent case of two Pennsylvania judges who were convicted of taking kickbacks from the owner of a private youth prison in exchange for sentencing kids to long terms at the youth jails for very minor acts, of which were not even crimes. When a lawyer or Judge is convicted of such a crime, they generally lose their law license as well as any judgeship. However nothing can bring back the damaged years of the kids who were destroyed by the greed of the two Pennsylvania judges. I hope this answers your questions.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Judges are held to a higher standard than lawyers and if they violate the cannons, code, or model of conduct, they can be removed from office and even disbarred. Judges do not have immunity for illegal actions such as taking bribes. They are only protected when a decision based on valid law proves unpopular with the public.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    WILLIAM L SANDERS, ATTORNEY AT LAW | William L. Sanders
    I do not know what this is: BBO Therefore, I presume you are not in GA. difference between professional codes of conduct versus cannons would depend on the law in the state. The code of professional conduct varies from state to state. Judges have immunity from suits, but no, a judge may not accept a bribe and get away with it. That is a crime, he/she may be prosecuted. Judges are accused of bribes all the time, simply because one side lost. It is more likely you are wrong about this. You should get your facts straight before you accuse others.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    All lawyers (including judges) are bound by a code of ethics, called by different names in different states. In Louisiana it is the Code Of Professional Responsibility. Usually, lawyers and judges are disciplined by different organizations. In La it is the Office Of Disciplinary Counsel for lawyers and a Judiciary Commission for judges. Judges have only CIVIL immunity. You can't sue a judge because he rules against you. If he was bribed to rule against you, he can be removed from office, disbarred and face criminal charges.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz & Bhaya | Donald E. Marston
    The answer to your hypothetical question is that both the lawyer and the judge would be held accountable.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    Rule and cannon is the same. These are the rules for Illinois attorneys AND Judges: http://www.state.il.us/court/supremecourt/rules/art_viii/default_new.asp
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If a judge breaks the law, he will get arrested as any of us would. If he kills, you think that he?ll get a pat on the hand? If you were to look at the cannons for judges, they basically are giving directions as to how the judge should act on the bench and in public. It's a given that judges would not engage in any unlawful activity or else be prosecuted as the rest of us would be. I think the immunity applies to being sued because of an incorrect or bad decision on the judge's part.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    Judges have immunity for damages for judicial acts (acts performed in connection with a case). Allegations of bribery may be the basis of criminal prosecution, but not civil suits.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
    No judges can be removed from the bench for such actions.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    No, that is not correct. A judge does not have immunity from prosecution for bribes, such as accepting bribes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/18/2014
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