Now that he has eliminated guardian ad litems for education, Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert Mulligan [a/k/a "The CJAM] has come up with another bright idea – his plan, which looks like it will happen – let the big money firms pay for the
SJC’s Trial Court’s law clerks and pick them out, too. No I am NOT kidding!
THIS is ethics reform? What our friend Ernie would call “Yet another Massachusetts-style Nationwide Search”
To quote the MBA ethics committee:
Andrew L. Kaufman, chairman of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s ethics panel, called the plan “a problem of judicial ethics for the trial courts” and added that the arrangement raises ethical issues for the sponsored clerks themselves.
“There’s a problem for the law clerks with respect to the Code of Professional Conduct governing lawyers, by reason of the fact that they are being paid by a private law firm while working in the judicial branch,” Kaufman said.
According to the CJAM, it will be fine for the law clerks to actually be paid by firms as long as they keep it a secret, the public doesn’t know, and the law clerks don’t brag on facebook or twitter.
Note by David: I have edited the post and the title to clarify that these law clerks will be employed by the trial court, not by the SJC. As far as I can tell from the article, the SJC will continue to select and pay its own law clerks.