The Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee (IJEC), a joint committee of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois Judges Association, has released answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as a resource for judges and attorneys seeking election or retention to judicial positions in Illinois.

The resource provides answers to common practical and ethical questions asked by judicial candidates. Recognizing that many candidates may be unfamiliar with the provisions of the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct and Illinois Election Code that govern judicial elections, the FAQs are designed to help those who plan to run for judicial office conform with the applicable requirements.

“In the more than 25 years since the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee was created, questions concerning the ethics rules applicable to judicial elections have been among the most frequent subjects of inquiries that we have received from judicial candidates,” said Steven F. Pflaum, the Chair of the IJEC and a partner in the Chicago-based law firm of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP. “The FAQs released today distill the IJEC’s advice and opinions regarding some of the most common and important ethics issues confronting judicial candidates. The FAQs will help judicial candidates demonstrate, with respect to their campaigns, the kind of irreproachable conduct expected of those who are seeking a position conferring responsibility for interpreting and applying the law.”

“The FAQs resource answers questions that every single lawyer and judge will face during a judicial election or retention campaign,” said Raymond McKoski, Vice Chair of the IJEC. “It provides invaluable assistance in all aspects of a campaign from circulating nominating petitions, to fundraising, to soliciting endorsements, to winding up a law practice before taking the bench. No one should begin a campaign without closely reviewing the FAQs and supplying a copy to their election committee.”

Issues faced by candidates for judicial election in Illinois are generally governed by the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct or the Illinois Election Code. The IJEC’s published opinions provide additional guidance regarding those issues.

Offered as a public service, the FAQs are not intended to offer legal advice, provide a comprehensive analysis applicable to specific factual scenarios, or constitute a substitute for a candidate’s own legal research and judgment. The views of the IJEC expressed in the FAQs and its published opinions are not binding on the Judicial Inquiry Board, the Illinois Courts Commission, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, or the courts.