Proscription Against Communications Concerning a Proceeding Law and Legal Definition

Judges are subject to certain ethical standards and have a duty to be impartial. Judges can neither initiate nor consider ex parte or other communications concerning a pending or impending proceeding outside the presence of the parties. There is “proscription against communications concerning a proceeding.” Standards of conduct are defined by state law.

According to Washington Code Of Judicial Conduct, Canon 3 the proscription against communications concerning a proceeding includes communications from lawyers, law teachers, and other persons who are not participants in the proceeding, except to the limited extent permitted. It does not preclude judges from consulting with other judges, or with court personnel whose function is to aid judges in carrying out their adjudicative responsibilities. An appropriate and often desirable procedure for a court to obtain the advice of a disinterested expert on legal issues is to invite the expert to file a brief amicus curiae. [Wash. CJC 3 (commentary)]