Before Judge Sumi's Ruling, She Reminded DOJ of Their Obligation to "Promote and Not Denigrate the Rule of Law" | WisCommunity

Before Judge Sumi's Ruling, She Reminded DOJ of Their Obligation to "Promote and Not Denigrate the Rule of Law"

At the motions hearing, yestedary, Judge Sumi gave the following warning to the Department of Justice attorneys. (Note: I say DOJ attorneys because people in the courtroom reported that she was looking at the DOJ attorneys while she was making the remarks.):

I want to remind attorneys, in particular, that they all have a responsability to promote and not denigrate the judicial branch and more importantly the rule of law. And I would ask attorneys be especially conscious of the Rules of Professional Responsability, the preamble-paragraph 6 and SCR 20:8.2

Here is the preamble, paragraph six of the :

[6] As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. As a member of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education. In addition, a lawyer should further the public's understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance. Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel. A lawyer should aid the legal profession in pursuing these objectives and should help the bar regulate itself in the public interest.

And here is SCR 20:8.2

(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.

(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the code of judicial conduct.



March 31, 2011 - 11:27am