- The director of the office of administrative hearings has elected to establish a code of judicial conduct for administrative law judges. See Section 2 for applicability. This code is included as part of the deskbook of the office of administrative hearings.
- The bases for this code are the Model Code of Judicial Conduct for Federal Administrative Law Judges, the Model Code of Judicial Conduct for Administrative Law Judges of State Central Panels, A Model Code of Judicial Conduct for State Administrative Law Judges drafted by the American Bar Association National Conference of Administrative Law Judges, the Model Code of Judicial Conduct for State Administrative Law Judges adopted by the Board Governors of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges, the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct for Administrative Law Judges at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, and the North Dakota Code of Judicial Conduct. These other codes together provide a broad view of standards for ethical conduct of administrative law judges. These other codes have been carefully considered and portions incorporated into this code where appropriate. Some modifications to incorporated portions were made to ensure conformity with state law and the policy of the office of administrative hearings.
- The code consists of seven canons (sections 4 through 10). The preface section, the applicability section, and the definitions section, are not canons. The applicability section states who is subject to the canon’s provisions. The definitions section defines some of the terms used in the canons.
- Each canon itself is the title to one of seven sections. Then, the section itself contains the explanation of the canon which is followed by a commentary containing further explanation. The canons and sections 4 through 10, along with the definitions and applicability sections, are authoritative. Commentary is not intended as a statement of additional rules. Commentary is made to provide, by explanation and example, more detailed guidance about the applicability of specific sections, or parts thereof, and to further facilitate an understanding of and use of the code. Some of the canons, their explanation, or the commentary may contain references to other applicable statutes and rules regarding the conduct or activity of administrative law judges as state employees or as administrative law judges. In addition to complying with this code, administrative law judges must also comply with other applicable statutes and rules governing the conduct and activity of state employees and administrative law judges. Each administrative law judge is responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all other applicable laws.