Attorney Says That No Matter the Motivation, DiFiore Resignation Has ‘Appearance’ of Being Tied to Probe

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Professor Bruce Green discusses the resignation of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and overal work culture in the legal profession in a New York Law Journal article.

Even if it turns out that Chief Judge Janet DiFiore isn’t resigning because of the judicial ethics probe involving her spat with a longtime union head, the appearance that the two are interconnected is already there, a New York ethics lawyer said Tuesday.

Fordham University law school professor Bruce A. Green said it’s always a surprise to many in the legal community when a judge or lawyer voluntarily gives up a position of authority and prestige.

“But that probably shows a flaw in our professional culture. Lawyers and judges who have already made their mark should certainly be open to moving on to other challenges and experiences, and to making room for others, even if they are still capable of doing their current jobs. They don’t have to if they are fully capable and find their work fulfilling, but it shouldn’t be an anomaly for lawyers and judges to move on,” said Green, who doesn’t foresee anything criminal about writing the letter.

Green said he can’t imagine that the chief judge has any criminal liability.

“On the face of it, I don’t think she violated a disciplinary rule, though her letter was not well advised,” he said.

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