In re Miller

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Professional Responsibility
  • Date Filed: 03-03-2016
  • Case #: S063788
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; En Banc.
  • Full Text Opinion

Rule 2.1(D) of the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct does not apply to judicial candidates.

Case recommended by the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability. After a formal hearing, the Commission recommended that the complaint be dismissed. A now-Circuit Court Judge took a course prior to his candidacy in trial work that was hosted at Stanford Law School but not given by the school. In a voter’s pamphlet during his candidacy, he referred to the trial academy as “at Stanford Law School.” A complaint was brought alleging that this statement was false in violation of Rules 5.1(D) and 2.1(D) of the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct. The Court held that rule 2.1(D) could not apply to a judicial candidate, as the rule specifically refers to “a judge” engaging in fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. In contrast, Rule 5.1(D) explicitly refers to “a judge or a judicial candidate”. Furthermore, the Court held that Rule 5.1(D) was not violated by the judicial candidate, because the inclusion of “at Stanford Law School” did not meet the definition of “false” within the meaning of that rule, and there was insufficient evidence to show knowing or reckless disregard for the truth by clear and convincing evidence.

The Court accepted the Commission’s recommendation and dismissed the formal complaint.

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