The New York Supreme Court Oversights Lawyers’ Conduct
Lawyers and legal support staff must abide by stringent ethical standards. A code of conduct lays out expectations that may lead to sanctions such as admonishment, reprimand, censure and suspension from practice.
The WSBA consists of a Board of Governors and volunteer lawyers serving on committees charged with investigating complaints. Their grievance process serves to protect both public safety and ensure high standards in legal practice.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the highest court in Pennsylvania and hears appeals of criminal and civil cases from courts of common pleas as well as certain matters concerning children. With 14 authorized judgeships located across Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh for easy accessibility; they can prescribe general rules governing practice, procedure and conduct for all courts and district justices across Pennsylvania.
The court operates under a discretionary docket, choosing which cases it accepts and rejects at will. This gives it significant influence in shaping Pennsylvania law development and interpretation – its mandate being the establishment and interpretation of state constitution and laws.
The Supreme Court also appoints judges to lower appellate courts, and all justices on these and lower courts are elected for 10-year terms.
Pennsylvania appeals courts typically employ panels of three judges when reviewing cases brought before them, except those concerning children and some cases that originated in the Court of Common Pleas, where all judges sit together for hearings en banc. After 2022’s election cycle has passed and two of its seats open up on the bench will have become vacant, likely leading to greater Democratic influence on its decisions.
Sean joined OGC in January 2023 after spending 10 years as Senior Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Pennsylvania State Senate Judiciary Committee. In his current position at OGC he oversees operations management as well as employee training, development, and retention initiatives.
Pennsylvania’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) fulfills multiple roles and focuses on systemwide administrative matters. Additionally, OGC provides legal support to both the Governor’s Office and executive branch agencies; additionally it oversees legislative and policy issues affecting Pennsylvania as a whole.
The court consists of seven justices appointed to 10-year terms and two associate justices appointed for five-year terms, in addition to an advisory board made up of members including attorneys and judges from magisterial district courts or Philadelphia arraignment courts.
New York State Bar Association
As part of your admission into the New York bar, you sign an ethics code. If you violate it, discipline may be imposed by the New York State Bar Association; it oversees and advocates for improvements in law practice while upholding diversity and inclusivity across gender, race, national origin, religion age and sexual orientation.
The New York State Bar Association offers its members a Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP), designed to aid those experiencing difficulty with their legal careers or who may be suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues. Counselors provide free, confidential counseling sessions for attorneys and non-attorney legal professionals alike; workshops and seminars help members address specific issues; those experiencing mental health or substance abuse problems may even qualify for financial grants as well as additional support services.
LAP is administered by a committee of five volunteer lawyers appointed by the New York City Bar Foundation and private funds, funded by them both. As the only panel of its kind in the US, this LAP handles complaints regarding attorney misconduct as well as suicide investigations and potential professional negligence allegations. Appointed by the Supreme Court of New York State, their decisions remain strictly confidential.
United States jurisdictions often regulate attorney conduct by creating bar associations and disciplinary agencies that investigate and resolve complaints about attorney misconduct, many with websites where you can find information on how to file such complaints against an attorney and view any possible disciplinary history if applicable.
The New York State Bar Association is a voluntary membership organization for attorneys. Its House of Delegates serves as its governing body, while over sixty standing, special, and other committees make policy recommendations directly to the Supreme Court and hold conferences, institutes, monitor legislation and host institutes for lawyer education. Furthermore, NYSBA boasts 25 specialized substantive law sections which publish legal materials.
New Jersey Supreme Court
New Jersey Supreme Court cases often carry great legal weight as New Jersey’s highest appeals court. When legal matters that impact public interest arise or when decisions by lower appellate courts conflict, New Jersey Supreme Court judges have wide judicial authority and may hear cases relating to constitutional law, redistricting plans or death penalty decisions.
The Supreme Court of Florida comprises a Chief Justice and six associate justices. To serve on the Court, justices must be nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed to a position on the bench, judges typically serve an initial seven year term; after which time their term can either continue until age 70 is reached or they can be removed either in one of three ways:
In addition to serving as an appeals court, the Supreme Court serves as an administrative head for state’s court system. They can grant or deny cases from being heard before them depending on circumstances; furthermore, the Court determines appropriate legal rules for its courts it oversees.
Appealing a case before the Supreme Court begins by filing a petition with it and having it reviewed and decided by them. You can amend your petition as necessary or even request oral arguments on this subject matter.
New Jersey’s disciplinary system holds great power over its over 40,000 attorneys, as the process is guided by its Rules of Professional Conduct; all lawyers should familiarize themselves with them and uphold them when conducting legal practice. Lawyers in New Jersey must complete continuing legal education courses on ethics and conduct. The state has eighteen district ethics committees that operate by county or region for discipline of lawyers. Clients, attorneys or judges may file a grievance alleging a breach of professional conduct by an attorney. Once filed, an investigation ensues to assess any reasonable grounds that there might be for discipline to take place; should an act of misconduct by a judge be found guilty, appropriate measures can be taken such as censured without pay suspension and/or removal from office.
Second Judicial Department
The Second Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of New Mexico can be considered a “hot bench”. When hearing oral argument, judges pose difficult questions that challenge even experienced lawyers, necessitating appeal lawyers to prepare carefully prior to appearing before them – often for weeks and even months prior – before appearing before this Court. They should become acquainted with both trial court record and legal issues involved with each case they choose to appeal before appearing.
Each Appellate Division comprises 21 judges and a presiding judge, as well as additional justices designated by the Governor according to workload needs. Any additional justices appointed would sit alongside their presiding judge and require approval by the Chief Justice before being approved as appointed justices.
Judge Lujan not only serves as judge for the Second District Court of Appeals, she is also co-chair of the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission and works to expand access to civil legal services for low-income New Mexicans in all parts of New Mexico. A graduate of University of New Mexico School of Law, Judge Lujan has specialized in personal injury litigation since 1996 – particularly wrongful death, product liability, and malpractice claims.
Judge Lavelle has been serving on the bench of Family Court since 2009. Prior to that, she practiced Family Law for 28 years – frequently providing continuing legal education seminars on Family Law issues as a frequent presenter at these seminars. Furthermore, Judge Lavelle served as chairperson of the Family Law Section at New Mexico Bar Association from 2006 – 2013.
Judge Baca-Miller was appointed to the bench on February 2, 2021 and currently sits as part of Division XX of the Second Judicial District Court, hearing expungement matters and presided over DWI Specialty Court Program proceedings. She graduated from University of New Mexico School of Law as an attorney before serving as law clerk to Justice Charles W. Daniels of New Mexico Supreme Court; additionally she serves as part of Pro Bono Committee of Supreme Court of New Mexico.