Supreme Court Amends Rule on Reimbursement of Counsel Fees Incurred by Judicial Officers

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has announced new standards and procedures for determining whether a judge may be reimbursed for attorney’s fees incurred in connection with a criminal or disciplinary matter. Under amended Rule of Judicial Administration No. 1922, once a judge satisfies certain mandatory criteria for reimbursement of counsel fees, the Court Administrator may approve reimbursement “only if the Court Administrator determines that the judge’s conduct giving rise to the criminal charges [or disciplinary matter] did not prejudice the proper administration of justice or bring the judicial office into disrepute.” The new rule provides factors for the Court Administrator to consider in making that determination, such as whether the charges against the judge had a reasonable basis in law and fact; the quantity and quality of the evidence supporting the charges; whether the conduct giving rise to the charges might subject the judge to discipline under Pa. Const. art. V, §18(d)(1); and whether other criminal or disciplinary charges may be anticipated because of the same conduct. New Rule 1922 also bars reimbursement of counsel fees until all possible criminal and disciplinary issues are resolved and the judge waives confidentiality. According to the Supreme Court’s order dated December 29, 2015, new Rule 1922 is effective immediately.

By | 2016-01-12T10:06:19+00:00 January 12th, 2016|Categories: Ethics, Judicial Administration|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Supreme Court Amends Rule on Reimbursement of Counsel Fees Incurred by Judicial Officers

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