Is a Judge asking in open court defense attorney and the prosecutor to lunch to discuss case unethical?

My husbands attorney and the prosecutor went to lunch to discuss case. Is this unethical?

Asked on September 17, 2017 under Criminal Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not improper so long as he brought both sides in for the discussion: judges may--and often do--"conference" with lawyers for both sides to discuss issues in the case, possibly resolving it via a plea or settlement, etc. The judge cannot favor one side over the other, but may meet with the two lawyers for this reason. While the conference is typically done in the judge's chambers, there is no ethical or legal reason why the discussion cannot be held over lunch.

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