June 17, 2019

Judicial Ethics Advisory Board Opinion: Judge who Reports Attorney to OARC Must Disclose this When Attorney Before Judge

On Monday, October 15, 2012, the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board issued Opinion 2012-06.

The Judicial Ethics Advisory Board considered a situation in which a judge had reported an attorney to the police and  Attorney Regulation Counsel. The judge recused from all cases involving the attorney but recently learned that Attorney Regulation Counsel closed the disciplinary proceeding with no action and no police action occurred. The judge feels he can be fair and impartial to the attorney and seeks an opinion regarding whether he is required to disclose his reporting of the attorney, now that the case is closed.

The Judicial Ethics Advisory Board concluded that the judge is only required to disclose his involvement with the attorney’s criminal and disciplinary actions as long as those cases are open. If the cases are closed, the judge has no requirement to disclose his reporting of the attorney. The opinion was based on the Board’s decision in Opinion 2011-01, where the Board determined that a report of misconduct alone is not enough to mandate recusal, unless the facts and circumstances would cause a reasonable person to doubt the judge’s impartiality.

Information about the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board, as well as all of the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board Opinions, can be found here,

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