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May 17, 2007
Chief Justice Announces Judicial Canon Review During Speech Before Ohio State Bar

Chief Justice Honored as Legal Educator by Ohio State Bar Association

Chief Justice Thomas J. MoyerChief Justice Thomas J. Moyer of the Supreme Court of Ohio today announced the appointment of a task force, led by retired appellate Judge Thomas Bryant, to do a comprehensive review of Ohio's Code of Judicial Conduct, which governs the behavior of judges. The announcement came during a speech at the Ohio State Bar Association's conference & annual meeting in Cincinnati.

The important initiative involves the review and revision of the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct, which was last updated 10 years ago in 1997. The task force will review the code, accept public comment and recommend a new Code of Judicial Conduct for Ohio judges. The update will be based on the substantive additions and revisions to the American Bar Association's Model Code of Judicial Conduct that were adopted in February by the ABA's House of Delegates. The review will make Ohio one of the first states to adopt changes based on the model code.

“I am very pleased that Judge Thomas Bryant has agreed to chair the Task Force on the Code of Judicial Conduct,” Chief Justice Moyer said. “The task force will begin its important work just as soon as all members are appointed.”

Bryant is retired from the 3rd District Court of Appeals and former chair of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline.

Chief Justice Moyer also was honored today by the Ohio State Bar Association with its 2007 Friend of Legal Education Award for his nearly 20 years of contributions to legal education.

“During his 20-year tenure, Chief Justice Moyer has exhibited his commitment to legal education through programs with law schools, the bench, bar and general public,” said John S. Stith, OSBA President. “Chief Justice Moyer is more than an advocate of legal education. Since taking office, he has been the driving force to create a range of educational opportunities that have elevated all legal education – for law schools, for the profession and for the public understanding of the law and courts.”

Chief Justice Moyer thanked the bar's Legal Committee on Education, which nominated him for the award.

“From my earliest days on the bench I have believed that education – the pursuit of knowledge and critical thinking – are vital to the development of a competent lawyer and indispensable to the creation of an effective citizen,” Chief Justice Moyer said. “For our profession, perpetual learning is vital to keeping pace with changes to the law and the growing complexity of the disputes we are called to address. Each new case, each new mediation, each new contract we negotiate brings with it an opportunity to learn. And for the general public, knowledge about the courts enhances confidence that an impartial judiciary is fulfilling its constitutional responsibility.”

In awarding its 2007 Friend of Legal Education Award, Stith commended Chief Justice Moyer for the many legal education projects he has initiated during his tenure with the court, including the Off-Site Court Program, which the Chief Justice created 20 years ago and today is being modeled by other states. The program is designed to educate high school students and other Ohioans about the judicial system. Twice each year, the Supreme Court of Ohio relocates from the capitol city and holds court in another community, selecting a different county each time. Hundreds of high school students from throughout the host county participate.

More recently, Chief Justice Moyer has taken a place on the national stage in preparing judges on how to successfully incorporate emerging science and technology into trials and proceedings. He has helped create the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Project. The goal of this national consortium is to train 700 resource judges in the United States and foreign jurisdictions by the end of the decade. Twenty Ohio judges are participating in this ground breaking program, which is supported through the College.

Chief Justice Moyer made history with the formal opening in December 2005 of the Supreme Court's Visitor Education Center, which is dedicated to informing the public about the history and role of the judiciary – part of the Court's ongoing effort to increase public awareness and foster understanding of Ohio's court system. As part of this mission, the OSBA also recognized Chief Justice Moyer's role in permitting cameras in courtrooms, and initiating the live broadcast of all Supreme Court oral arguments on cable television and the Internet.

The Ohio State Bar Association is a voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students.

Editors: The text of Chief Justice Moyer's speech is available online at: www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/speeches.

For a print-quality, high-resolution image of Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, visit this link: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/news/images/justices/moyer_highres.zip.

Supreme Court Contacts: Chris Davey or Andrea M. Strle, 614.387.9250
OSBA Contact: Ken Brown, 614.746.2457