Wednesday, July 16, 2008
McKeown to Chair National Codes of Conduct Committee
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced yesterday that Judge M. Margaret McKeown has been selected to chair the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the national policy-making body for federal courts.
A member of the committee since 2001, McKeown, 57, was appointed chair by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and will serve a three-year term beginning Oct. 1. She succeeds U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist of the Western District of Michigan.
The committee offers ethics advice, training and other information on the application of the Codes of Conduct for federal judges and other judicial branch employees. It also advises judges and employees on adherence to Titles III and VI of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, which apply to gifts and honorariums.
Over the last year, the committee has been reviewing proposed revisions to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges in response to changes adopted by the American Bar Association in February 2007 amending its Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The Code of Conduct was initially adopted by the Judicial Conference in 1973 and substantially revised in 1992.
McKeown, who maintains chambers in San Diego, said she was “privileged” to accept the chief justice’s appointment, noting that “[a]ll of us who serve on the committee recognize the importance of ethics in assuring public confidence in the judiciary.”
Appointed to the Ninth Circuit in 1998, she practiced law with the firm of Perkins Coie from 1975 until joining the bench, and was a partner in Seattle and Washington, D.C., focusing on complex litigation, intellectual property, antitrust and trade regulation. She was also White House Fellow from 1980 to 1981, serving as special assistant to the secretary of the interior and special assistant at the White House.
McKeown attended college at the University of Wyoming, and graduated from Georgetown University Law School in 1975. She also received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University in 2005.
In addition to her service on the Codes of Conduct Committee, McKeown serves on the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit’s Public Information and Community Outreach committee.
A former member of the ABA Commission for the Revision of the Model Justice Code, she currently chairs the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Judges Association, the Advisory Board of the American Judicature Society, the ABA World Justice Project Commission, and the American Law Institute.
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