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Supreme Court adopts new ethics rules

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The Indiana Supreme Court is adopting a new Code of Judicial Conduct based on the 2007 national model of the American Bar Association. The rules will become effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Indiana is the second state after Hawaii to adopt new rules based on the ABA's model. The new code provides more concrete guidance for avoiding "the appearance of impropriety," which has often been criticized as being too vague; includes ethical principles for judicial candidates to use as guidance; imposes clear requirements for public disclosure of income, reimbursements, and gifts; and other updated or new rules.

The 2009 Judicial Code of Conduct was submitted to the high court by a committee of the Judicial Conference chaired by Judge Marianne Vorhees and reviewed by judges, lawyers, and the public. Judge Vorhees, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, and Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington professor Charles G. Geyh will review the new code with judges across the state.

The new code can be found on the Indiana Court's Web site.

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