H620: Update ALJ Code of Conduct. Latest Version



AN ACT to update the code of judicial conduct for administrative law judges.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  G.S. 7A‑754 reads as rewritten:

§ 7A‑754.  Qualifications; standards of conduct; removal.

Only persons duly authorized to practice law in the General Court of Justice shall be eligible for appointment as the Director and chief administrative law judge or as an administrative law judge in the Office of Administrative Hearings. The Chief Administrative Law Judge and the administrative law judges shall comply with the Model Code of Judicial Conduct for State Administrative Law Judges, as adopted by the National Conference of Administrative Law Judges, Judicial Division, American Bar Association, (revised August 1998), American Bar Association Model Code of Judicial Conduct for State Administrative Law Judges dated August 2018, as amended from time to time, except that the provisions of this section shall control as to the private practice of law in lieu of Rule 3.10 of Canon 4G, 3, and G.S. 126‑13 shall control as to political activity in lieu of Canon 5. 4. Failure to comply with the applicable provisions of the Model Code may constitute just cause for disciplinary action under Chapter 126 of the General Statutes and grounds for removal from office. Neither the chief administrative law judge nor any administrative law judge may engage in the private practice of law as defined in G.S. 84‑2.1 while in office; violation of this provision shall constitute just cause for disciplinary action under Chapter 126 of the General Statutes and shall be grounds for removal from office. Each administrative law judge shall take the oaths required by Chapter 11 of the General Statutes. An administrative law judge may be removed from office by the Director of the Office of Administrative Hearings for just cause, as that term is used in G.S. 126‑35 and this section.

SECTION 2.  This act is effective when it becomes law and applies to conduct on or after that date.