Specialty Courts, Ex Parte Communications, and the Need to Revise the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct

37 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013 Last revised: 24 Jul 2014

See all articles by Brian D. Shannon

Brian D. Shannon

Texas Tech University School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

As of January 2013 there were roughly 140 operational specialty courts in Texas. These specialty courts include an array of focuses, including adult and juvenile drug courts, veteran courts, DWI courts, family drug courts, and mental health courts. These courts differ significantly from the usual adjudicatory model. Instead, these courts tend to provide a problem-solving approach. The Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, however, does not include any provisions that recognize this new role of judges in specialty courts. This Article discusses the shortcomings in this regard in the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, particularly with regard to ex parte communications; the approach set forth in the American Bar Association’s 2007 Model Code of Judicial Conduct; and the law in several other states. Finally, the Article proposes revisions to the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct pertaining to ex parte communications and specialty courts, and the related topic of disqualifications or recusals.

Keywords: specialty courts, Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, ex parte communications, Model Code of Judicial Conduct

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Shannon, Brian D., Specialty Courts, Ex Parte Communications, and the Need to Revise the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct (2014). Baylor Law Review, vol. 66, pg. 127 (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2338022

Brian D. Shannon (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

3311 18th St.
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States
806-834-6366 (Phone)

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