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Rule 15 (JudCon-US) Download

RULE 15 | SUBJECT JUDGE’S RIGHTS

(a) Notice.
(1) Generally. The subject judge must receive written notice of:
(A) the appointment of a special committee under Rule 11(f);
(B) the expansion of the scope of an investigation under Rule 13(a);
(C) any hearing under Rule 14, including its purposes, the names of any witnesses the special committee intends to call, and the text of any statements that have been taken from those witnesses.

(2) Suggestion of additional witnesses. The subject judge may suggest additional witnesses to the special committee.

(b) Special-Committee Report. The subject judge must be sent a copy of the special committee's report when it is filed with the judicial council.
(c) Presentation of Evidence. At any hearing held under Rule 14, the subject judge has the right to present evidence, to compel the attendance of witnesses, and to compel the production of documents. At the request of the subject judge, the chief judge or the judge’s designee must direct the circuit clerk to issue a subpoena to a witness under 28 U.S.C. §332(d)(1). The subject judge must be given the opportunity to cross-examine special-committee witnesses, in person or by counsel.
(d) Presentation of Argument. The subject judge may submit written argument to the special committee and must be given a reasonable opportunity to present oral argument at an appropriate stage of the investigation.
(e) Attendance at Hearings. The subject judge has the right to attend any hearing held under Rule 14 and to receive copies of the transcript, of any documents introduced, and of any written arguments submitted by the complainant to the special committee.
(f) Representation by Counsel. The subject judge may choose to be represented by counsel in the exercise of any right enumerated in this Rule. As provided in Rule 20(e), the United States may bear the costs of the representation.

Commentary

This Rule is adapted from the Act and the Illustrative Rules.
The Act states that these Rules must contain provisions requiring that “the judge whose conduct is the subject of a complaint . . . be afforded an opportunity to appear (in person or by counsel) at proceedings conducted by the investigating panel, to present oral and documentary evidence, to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents, to cross-examine witnesses, and to present argument orally or in writing.” 28 U.S.C. §358(b)(2). To implement this provision, Rule 15(e) gives the subject judge the right to attend any hearing held for the purpose of receiving evidence of record or hearing argument under Rule 14.
The Act does not require that the subject judge be permitted to attend all proceedings of the special committee. Accordingly, the Rules do not give a right to attend other proceedings — for example, meetings at which the special committee is engaged in investigative activity, such as interviewing persons to learn whether they ought to be called as witnesses or examining for relevance purposes documents delivered pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum, or meetings in which the committee is deliberating on the evidence or its recommendations.

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