Judicial Ethics & Disqualification

Lawyers and clients considering action against a judge should heed the common warning: “If you are going to shoot the king, you had better kill him.”

Most lawyers face difficulty determining whether a judge’s conduct actually constitutes a serious violation of a judicial canon.

Michael Downey of Downey Law Group, however, has taught the judicial canons and helped draft numerous requests for recusal, motions to disqualify, and judicial ethics complaints. This experience helps Mr. Downey evaluate whether a judge’s purported misconduct will constitute a serious violation of judicial ethics rules and determine what course a lawyer or litigant should take against a judge for wrongful conduct.

In 2014, Mr. Downey also defended a sitting judge facing charges before the Missouri Commission on the Retirement, Removal, and Discipline of Judges. The Commission stopped the proceedings mid-course after Mr. Downey’s blistering cross-examinations helped reveal the political motivation and dishonesty of certain parties who had induced the filing of ethics charges and were assisting the Commission’s investigation of the judge.

The Delicate Art of Booting Judges