Judicial Campaign Seminars

Canon 5F(7) provides:

. . . . Persons who seek to have their name placed on the ballot as candidates for such judicial offices and the judicial candidates’ election committee chairpersons, or the chairperson’s designee, shall no later than 20 days after the qualifying date for candidates in the year in which they seek to run complete a two-hour course on campaign practices, finance, and ethics sponsored and approved by the Committee. Within ten days of completing the course, candidates shall certify to Committee that they have completed the course and understand fully the requirements of Mississippi law and the Code of Judicial Conduct concerning campaign practices for judicial office. Candidates without opposition are exempt from attending the course.

The Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention has set the Seminar for two dates:

Friday, May 18th at 2:00 p.m.

Friday, May 25th at 2:00 p.m.

The seminar will be held in the Supreme Court courtroom in the Gartin Justice Building.


Judicial Candidate Qualifying

A candidate must file a “Statement of Intent” to be a candidate for judicial office.  The deadline is 5:00 PM on the first Friday after the first Monday in May (May 11, 2018) prior to the general election.  Miss. Code Ann. §23-15-977.

A candidate must also file an “Affidavit of Judicial Candidate.”  In this affidavit, the candidate must agree abide by all laws for election for judicial office.  Miss. Code Ann. §23-15-977.1.

These documents and the required fee are filed with the State Board of Election Commissioners, at the Secretary of State’s office.

Want to be a Law Professor?

Hiring Announcement: University of Mississippi School of Law

THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL OF LAW is seeking an Instructor of Law to Serve as Associate Director for the LL.M. in Air and Space Law program. Applicants must have robust knowledge of air and/or space law; a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school; an LL.M. in Air and Space Law (or equivalent degree); and must be licensed to practice law.  Interested applicants can apply here: https://jobs.olemiss.edu/postings/13810.

Any questions should go to Ben Cooper at bcooper@olemiss.edu.

Social Media

I have presented a program on Social Media and the Law to the Trial and Appellate Judges, the Justice Court Judges, the Court Administrators and the Court Reporters.  I learned that social media use is extensive among lawyers.  I also learned and warned against problems that social media presents with jurors, witnesses, parties and court personnel.

Here is an excellent article on how Lawyers can use social media effectively.

Can a Judicial Election Candidate change his/her name for the election?

In this Feb. 5, 2018 Chicago Tribue article it explains that you can.  Here is the article.  e

Polish man’s name didn’t work for judicial candidate, so now he’s Shannon O’Malley

Cook County judge candidate Phillip Spiwak changed his name to Shannon P. O’Malley.

Chicago Tribune

In the hit AMC shows “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Bob Odenkirk plays Slippin’ Jimmy McGill, an Irish-American attorney who changes his name to the Jewish-sounding Saul Goodman to lend his business an air of legitimacy.

But if you’re running for judge in Cook County, history shows there’s no better name to have printed on the ballot than an Irish woman’s.

That appears to be the rationale behind the curious name switch adopted by the lawyer formerly known as Phillip Spiwak, a Schaumburg criminal defense and bankruptcy attorney who now goes by (say it with a brogue) Shannon P. O’Malley.

Spiwak unsuccessfully ran for judge in 2010 under his old name as a Republican candidate in Will County. He changed his name in 2012, according to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Now he’s running as a Democrat under his new name for a vacancy in Cook County’s 13th judicial sub-circuit, which includes Schaumburg, Palatine, Wheeling, Hanover and Barrington.

O’Malley — whose name change was first reported by Injustice Watch — did not return calls seeking comment Monday. But there is longstanding evidence that the luck of the Irish does indeed apply in Chicago’s judicial elections. Since at least the 1980s, candidates for judge in Cook County have been taking Irish names to boost their chances at the polls; a 2011 DePaul University study found that having the only Irish woman’s name in a judicial race is worth more than a party slating.

A 2007 state law attempted to bring an end to the practice of candidates changing their names to gain an electoral advantage, by requiring them to disclose their previous names on the ballot. But it only applies to candidates who have changed their names within three years of the election, and therefore does not apply to O’Malley.

Alas, for O’Malley, the seat is routinely won by Republicans. In a down-ballot race in which voters typically vote strictly on party lines, his name change in unlikely to be enough. ’Tis a shame!