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The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) adopted a final opinion after twice considering public comments about whether judges may search their court’s electronic case management system (CMS) for information regarding a party, attorney, or facts relevant to the matter before the judge, according to a news release from the Judicial Branch of California Sept. 21.

The committee’s opinion recognizes judges are expected to and do use CMS searches to assist them in performing their judicial duties.

The California Code of Judicial Ethics, however, prohibits the use of a CMS to independently investigate adjudicative facts—facts that relate to the issues to be decided in the case—unless authorized by

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