We represent and defend judges in complaints and inquiries before the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission. If the Judicial Standards Commission receives a complaint, an Investigative Panel of the Commission will review the complaint and decide whether to order a formal investigation. If so, the judge will be contacted, advised of the allegations and given an opportunity to respond. The Commission also will conduct an investigation, including obtaining documents and interviewing witnesses, typically including the respondent Judge. At the conclusion of the formal investigation, the Investigation Panel will decide what action to take and whether to order that formal charges be brought against the Judge.
If formal charges are brought, a different Panel of the Commission hears the evidence and decides whether any violations occurred. If the Hearing Panel recommends disciplinary action after the formal evidentiary hearing, the matter goes before the North Carolina Supreme Court for a de novo decision based on the record before the Commission. We assist judges in conducting separate investigations and analysis, preparing written responses, preparing clients and representing them in interviews, defending them in formal evidentiary hearings before the Commission and representing them before the North Carolina Supreme Court when necessary.