The Supreme Court of North Carolina has issued an administrative order regarding motions for the disqualification or recusal of supreme court justices.
According to the order, the Supreme Court shall assign the motion to the justice who is the subject of the motion for their determination.
“With regard to any motion filed with the Court under Rule 37 of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure seeking the recusal or disqualification of a Justice from participation in the deliberation and decision in a matter pending before the Court, the Court shall assign the motion to the Justice who is the subject of the motion for their determination. That determinations will be final,” the order says.
“As an alternative, any Justice who is the subject of a recusal or disqualification motion filed with the Court may decline to decide the motion on their own and exercise their discretion to refer the motion to the full Court for disposition without their participation.”
Lawyers Mutual has issued a Risk Management Alert on the order.
Lawyers Mutual is on your side as you adjust to practicing law post-COVID. Our email newsletter “Practice Reimagined” offers timely tips, pointers and valuable links on wellness, work-life balance and quality of life – delivered straight to your in-box. Lawyers helping lawyers. It’s what we’ve been doing more than 40 years.
NC Rule of Professional Conduct 8.2: Judicial and Legal Officials
(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, or other adjudicatory officer or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial office.
(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Comment  Assessments by lawyers are relied on in evaluating the professional or personal fitness of persons being considered for election or appointment to judicial office. Expressing honest and candid opinions on such matters contributes to improving the administration of justice. Conversely, false statements by a lawyer can unfairly undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.
Comment  When a lawyer seeks judicial office, the lawyer should be bound by applicable limitations on political activity.
Comment  To maintain the fair and independent administration of justice, lawyers are encouraged to continue traditional efforts to defend judges and courts unjustly criticized. Adjudicatory officials, not being wholly free to defend themselves, are entitled to receive the support of the bar against such unjust criticism.
Comment  While a lawyer as a citizen has a right to criticize such officials publicly, the lawyer should be certain of the merit of the complaint, use appropriate language, and avoid petty criticisms, for unrestrained and intemperate statements tend to lessen public confidence in our legal system. Criticisms motivated by reasons other than a desire to improve the legal system are not justified.
Have you looked into what’s available at Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services? Founded by Camille Stell, who also serves as president, LMCS is a subsidiary of Lawyers Mutual. Its mission is to help firms build a modern law practice. It does that by offering expert advice and assistance into law firm trends and best practices. Camille and LMCS helps lawyers and firms create strategic plans and succession plans. A popular speaker and writer, Camille loves to guide lawyers through succession planning and into Life after Law. Contact her today.