In Dicta

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Judicial ethics

"In a highly unusual action, the Florida Supreme Court launched an investigation last month to determine whether a court employee leaked sensitive information in a pending case.

Dozens of court employees were questioned and computers were examined after a contentious civil case was settled just days before the court decided in favor of an injured worker and against an insurance carrier last month. The court considered the settlement's timing "suspicious," court spokesman Craig Waters said.

"The confidentiality of the court is a very serious matter," Waters said. But the court's inspector general, Ken Chambers, found no evidence of a leak, Waters said.

Chief Justice Barbara Pariente approved the investigation because of a "widespread rumor" in South Florida legal circles that a confidential settlement may have been hastened by insider information."

We should applaud this courageous action by the Florida Supreme Court.

Hat tip: How Appealing.