Judicial Ethics

Resources: California Judicial Education Framework (CA 2022)

Judicial Council of California Center for Judicial Education & Research home page at http://www2.courtinfo.ca.gov/protem/

Judicial Guidance for Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: Bench Guides

The SRLN Administrative Office of the Courts Working Group has collected court system resources that provide guidance for judges for cases involving self-represented parties. Here is a selection of Bench Guides:
Alaska Court System logo

Video: Re-Imagining Family Law Procedures (Alaska 2016)

Video featuring the Honorable Vanessa White, Judge of the Superior Court at Palmer Alaska, and Stacey Marz, Director of the Alaska Court System's Self-Help Services.

Poster: Alaska Pledge of Fairness

From Justice Dana Fabe's blog post at http://proceduralfairnessblog.org/2013/07/08/alaskans-receive-courts-ple....

Report: NCSC Judicial Conduct Reporter (Gray 2014)

This issue of the Judicial Conduct Reporter includes an indepth look at how states are addressing the ethics issues posed by sel

SRLN Brief: Procedural Fairness / Procedural Justice (SRLN 2015)

Research has shown that when defendants and litigants perceive the court process to be fair, they are more likely to comply with court orders and follow the law in the future—regardless of whether they “win” or “lose” their case.
Letter Z, Author's last name initial

Article: The Disconnect Between the Requirements of Judicial Neutrality and Those of the Appearance of Neutrality when Parties Appear Pro Se: Causes, Solutions, Recommendations, and Implications (Zorza 2004)

In this article Richard Zorza explores the concept of engaged neutrality which, when employed by the judge, creates a more transparent and arguably more ethically neutral playing field for the self-represented litigant.
California Judicial Council seal

Resource: Handling Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: A Benchguide for Judicial Officers (California 2007; 2019)

This January 2007 (updated April 2019) benchbook to assist judicial officers in the handling of cases involving self-represented litigants is the first of its kind.

Research: Judge - SRL Communications Research (SRLN 2007)

Through funding from the State Justice Institute, the California Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Maryland Judiciary, the Self-Represented Litigation Network conducted two research projects this year (2006-2007).
Letter G, Author's last name initial

Article: No Legal Advice from Court Personnel - What Does that Mean (Greacen 1995)

This is the seminal article that explores the underlying rationale that resulted in the blanket prohibition of clerk's not being able to provide information to the public for fear that it would be advice.