Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Should Retired Judges be Able to Practice Law?

Retired judges practicing law raises serious concerns, which is one reason to support judicial retention systems (like life tenure or a long term of years) that keep a judge on the bench until retirement age. Bills to prevent retired judges from practicing law were recently introduced in Puerto Rico.

Bill Raftery explains:

two bills contending with the issue of retired judges that would effectively ban the former jurists from practicing law. PC 1270 as introduced would have prohibited a retired Chief Justice or President Judge of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico from representing any person before a court, administrative or quasi-judicial agency. Prohibits person from providing such courts/agencies legal services. As amended the bill would have allowed a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico to restart their law practice, but prohibited them from appearing in court, administrative proceedings, alternative dispute forums, or generally representing people or corporations in any proceeding. Further, the amended bill provided that the person’s judicial pension is forfeited where such representations take place. It was approved by the full House 10/10/13 and is pending in the Senate Judicial, Security, and Veterans Committee. A similar bill (PC 1311) identical to the original PC 1270 remains in the House Labor and Public Service Retirement Systems Committee.

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