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California Judges Can Critique Lawyer Performance, Opinion Says

Oct. 8, 2021, 6:01 PM

California judges aren’t ethically prohibited from providing feedback to lawyers on their courtroom performance, a draft state Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions advisory released Friday said.

The Code of Judicial Ethics permits judges to comment when the attorney or the lawyer’s supervisor requests, the draft formal opinion said. Jurists, however, may not comment publicly on a pending proceeding or make a nonpublic comment that may interfere with a fair trial or hearing, or create an appearance of favor or bias.

Nor may judges engage in coaching by advising on tactics or strategies that give one side an advantage ...

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