Rule 8.2. Statements Concerning Judges and Other Adjudicatory Officers.
(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct and/or the Rules Governing Standards of Conduct for Magisterial District Judges, as applicable.
(1) Assessments by lawyers are relied on in evaluating the professional or personal fitness of persons being considered for election or appointment to judicial office and to public legal offices, such as attorney general, prosecuting attorney and public defender. Expressing honest and candid opinions on such matters contributes to improving the administration of justice. Conversely, false statements by a lawyer can unfairly undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.
(2) When a lawyer seeks judicial office, the lawyer should be bound by applicable limitations on political activity.
(3) To maintain the fair and independent administration of justice, lawyers are encouraged to continue traditional efforts to defend judges and courts unjustly criticized.
The provisions of this Rule 8.2 amended December 5, 2016, effective in 30 days, 46 Pa.B. 8011. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (369550).
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