Harvard Law School Professor Andrew Kaufman ’54 has been appointed to an ad hoc committee that will advise the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on whether to adopt changes to ethical rules disfavoring public comment by judges.
Typically, ethical rules discourage judges from responding to criticism in the media. But the American Bar Association has recently relaxed some of the provisions against judicial comments, in its Model code of Judicial Conduct.
In Massachusetts—where several judges have recently come under fire in the media for decisions made on the bench—the Supreme Judicial Court is seeking guidance on whether any of the ABA’s suggested changes should be adopted.
The 11-member advisory committee of lawyers, judges and legal scholars (including Kaufman) will look at that question and then make recommendations to the Supreme Judicial Court within three months.
Also appointed to the committee were the Honorable Robert D. Gants ’80 and the Honorable Susan Garsh ’73, both of whom serve on the Massachusetts high court.
Kaufman is one of the nation’s leading experts on ethics in the legal profession.