The Baumgartner Rule?

The state Supreme Court has clarified its ethics rules for judges and posted them on its website effective this week.

The wide-ranging policy makes it clear that if you are an attorney or judge, and you know of a judge who is using drugs and alcohol and is not fit to hear cases, you really ought to report them. The rules also say a judge may not retaliate against a judge or attorney who reports their alleged misconduct.

The rules also cover campaign dos and don’ts, and detailed instructions on when and how judges are to be recused.

Knox County’s court system is in a mess given the removal of Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner for drug problems and legal arguments over whether he was sufficiently impaired to force the retrial of a slew of cases including a horrendous double murder.

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