RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA

PART M. ACCESS TO JUDICIAL AND LAWYER DISCIPLINARY INFORMATION

RULE XXXVII. ACCESS TO JUDICIAL DISCIPLINARY INFORMATION WHEN CONSIDERING THE APPOINTMENT AND ASSIGNMENT OF JUDGES


The Supreme Court of Louisiana has plenary constitutional authority to assign a sitting or retired judge to any court. 1974 La. Const., Article V, Section 5A. The Court also has exclusive constitutional authority to appoint qualified persons to fill judicial vacancies. 1974 La. Const., Art. V, Section 22(B). Article V, Section 25 of the Louisiana Constitution concerns the Judiciary Commission, and confers upon the Commission the power to make recommendations to the Supreme Court of Louisiana concerning the discipline of state court judges. Article V, Section 25(C) also provides that the Supreme Court of Louisiana “shall make rules implementing this Section [25] and providing for confidentiality and privilege of Commission proceedings.”


In order to protect the public, the Supreme Court of Louisiana has a compelling interest in appointing and assigning sitting or retired judges who are not burdened by significant disciplinary impediments. The Court also has a compelling interest in appointing sitting or retired judges to committees, or to perform other court or quasi-judicial duties, who are not burdened by significant disciplinary impediments. In furtherance of protecting the public interest, the following Rule is adopted.


Upon request of the Court, Special Counsel to the Judiciary Commission shall provide judicial disciplinary information and documents concerning any sitting or retired judge to the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission. The Chief Executive Officer may provide this information to the Court for the limited purpose of allowing the Court to assess the suitability of judges for ad hoc or pro tempore appointments or assignments, for appointment to court committees, or to perform other court or quasi-judicial duties.


In any Judiciary Commission matter in which a file has been opened by the Commission, Special Counsel shall provide the complaint (if any) and other pertinent disciplinary information and documents to the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission. The Chief Executive Officer may provide this information to the Court for the limited purpose of allowing the Court to assess the suitability of judges for ad hoc or pro tempore appointments or assignments, for appointment to court committees, or to perform other court or quasi-judicial duties.


In the absence of the Chief Executive Officer, Special Counsel may provide relevant judicial disciplinary information to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer or to the Deputy Judicial Administrator/ General Counsel.


Information that is provided pursuant to this Rule shall be excepted from the confidentiality provisions of La. S. Ct. Rule XXIII, Section 23. Information that is provided pursuant to this Rule shall remain confidential within the Court.

[enacted effective January 17, 2008]