Calendar Item 1238

Print this page
Legislative Committee ReportClose Window X
Petition is amended as follows:
Amend the title of ¶2607, amend the sub-paragraph ¶2607.2, and add a new sub-paragraph after ¶2607.2 as follows:
  
Amend title of ¶2607 by adding “and Conflicts of Interest,” so that the title will read, “Confidentiality, Ex Parte Communication, and Conflicts of Interest.”
  
Amend ¶2607.2 as follows:
2. Prior to the decision of a case in question, members of the Judicial Council shall not discuss with any party matters of substance pending in the judicial process unless all parties are privy to the discussion. Nor shall  Additionally, the members of the Judicial Council or staff should make every effort to not allow to be published or communicated , including electronic communications, to third parties any matters of substance pending in the judicial process, including electronic communications.
The Judicial Council shall in all cases in which a decision or memorandum is issued set forth the specific provisions of the Constitution or the Discipline that provide the basis of the decision and the rationale that led to the conclusion.  Each decision or memorandum shall include the names of each participating member of the Judicial Council and how each voted on the matter.  Each decision or memorandum shall indicate each member absent or recused on the matter.  Each member who is recused on a matter shall provide a statement of reasons for recusal which shall be attached to the decision or memorandum.

Add new ¶2607.3, ¶2607.4, and ¶2607.5 as follows:
  3.    Members of the Judicial Council shall endeavor to maintain exemplary ethical standards, and to avoid, insofar as is reasonably possible, the appearance of impropriety.  To that end, a member of the Judicial Council shall not participate or take part in deliberations on any matter as to which such member has a conflict of interest which could be expected to adversely affect the member's ability to consider and act upon such matter with the requisite and expected degrees of objectivity and neutrality.  “Conflict of interest,” as contemplated in this paragraph, shall include without limitation the following:
    a.    No member shall participate in or take part in deliberations on a matter arising from or directly involving a ruling, request for declaratory judgment, or controversy of the Annual Conference from which he or she is elected or to which he or she belongs.
        b.    No member shall participate in or take part in deliberations on a matter in which an interested party has special access to or history of access to the member, including, but not limited to, membership in the same small group, a pastoral relationship (including that of a bishop to a clergy member of the council), or an employee-employer relationship.
c.    No member who receives compensation for services rendered or commissions of any kind from an individual or agency who is a party in a matter shall participate in or take part in deliberations on such matter.
d.    No member shall participate in or take part in deliberations on a matter directly or indirectly affecting his or her business, income, or employment.  The term business shall include the business, mission, or operations of a non-profit organization, including church-related entities.
e.    No member shall participate or take part in deliberations on a matter involving a person or persons with whom such member has a personal relationship which could be expected to adversely affect the member’s ability to consider and act upon such matter with the requisite and expected degrees of objectivity and neutrality.
f.    No member shall participate in or take part in deliberations in a matter originating from an annual conference in which a member of the Judicial Council has held church membership or served under appointment in any of the previous four years.
        4.    All present and potential conflicts of interest of a member shall be disclosed by him or her as soon as reasonably possible.  A conflict of interest shall be identified, whenever possible, prior to the convening of a Judicial Council session so that appropriate arrangements may be made for the temporary seating of lay and/or clergy alternates to preserve a quorum.
    5.    Any party to a matter before the Judicial Council shall have the right to challenge any member or alternate member of the Judicial Council for conflict of interest, by written motion to recuse that member filed under such procedures as the Judicial Council shall adopt, which motion shall be considered and ruled upon prior to hearing or consideration of such matter by the Judicial Council.