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This page lists just a few of the judges, administrators, and other professionals working actively in the area of ethics and ethics codes for court employees.  If you have a particular interest in ethics for courts and court employees and would like to be listed here as a potential writer or speaker, please e-mail  We welcome any correspondence or questions you may have on ethics in the courts.

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Peter Kiefer received his Bachelors from Santa Clara University, and his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. Peter began his career working for the Judicial Administration Program at USC. He then became an analyst for the Clara Superior Court in San Joe, California. He and his family moved to Oregon where he worked as an analyst for the Multnomah District Court in Portland. He was hired as Director of the Trial Court Programs Division for the Oregon Judicial Department’s Office of the State Court Administrator where he worked for almost fifteen years. Peter and his family moved to the Bay Area where he worked as Manager of Trial Court Programs Division for the California Administrative Office of the Courts. Peter is currently Criminal Court Administrator for the Maricopa Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona. Peter has enjoyed co-editing The Court Manager ethics column with Karl Thoennes for many years now. Contact Information: Criminal Court Administrator, Maricopa Superior Court, 201 W. Jefferson, Phoenix, AZ 85003; Phone 602-506-1447; Fax 602-506-1183, pkiefer@[remove this]



Judge Timothy J. Baland is a former District Court Judge in Minnesota’s 7th Judicial District, and served as an international judge for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo in 2005. He completed his law degree at Cornell Law School, served as law clerk to the Chief Justice of the State of Minnesota, practiced law both privately and as an assistant public defender, and served on the state’s judicial evaluation committee. He has delivered a number of Law & Literature seminars to judges and attorneys in Ethics & Elimination of Bias training. Judge Baland received a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to Spain, and authored a number of articles on legal and literary topics, including in the Cornell International Law Journal.  In the Fall of 2006 Judge Baland returned to Kosovo for another term as an international judge with the United Nations.  Contact:



Karl Thoennes began his career in the courts in Alaska in 1988, ultimately working as a division supervisor in Anchorage. In 1998 he was appointed as a county court administrator in Minnesota’s 7th Judicial District, and in 2004 was appointed Administrator for South Dakota’s 2nd Judicial Circuit, the state’s largest by population. For the past six years, together with Peter Kiefer, Karl has been a regular columnist on ethics in The Court Manager, a national publication for court leaders. Karl has spoken at a number of state, regional, national, and international programs including conferences for the National Association for Court Management, other professional associations, schools, and universities. His international work includes speaking on court ethics at the 2005 conference in Guam for group of Pacific Island nations and territories, and the World Ethics Forum at Keble College in Oxford, England in 2006. He holds a Masters degree in public administration from the University of Alaska, completed two graduate seminars in public policy and government in Sapporo, Japan, and is a 2007 Fellow with the Institute for Court Management at the National Center for State Courts. Contact: Second Judicial Circuit, 425 N. Dakota Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Phone: 605-367-5920. Fax: 605-367-5979. E-mail:


bulletCynthia Gray.  Since October 1990, Cindy has been director of the American Judicature Society’s Center for Judicial Ethics, a national clearinghouse for information about judicial ethics and discipline. She summarizes recent cases and advisory opinions, answers requests for information about judicial conduct, writes and edits the Judicial Conduct Reporter, and directs the Center’s day-to-day activities and special projects. She has made numerous presentations at judicial education programs on judicial ethics topics. Most recently, she is author of Reaching Out of Overreaching: Judicial Ethics and Self-Represented Litigants, "The Line Between Legal Error and Judicial Misconduct: Balancing Judicial Independence and Accountability," Hofstra Law Review (summer 2004), and Ethics and Judges’ Evolving Roles Off the Bench: Service on Governmental Commissions, A Study of Judicial Discipline Sanctions. She has also written An Ethics Guide for Judges and Their Families and the related discussion guide; When Judges Speak Up: Ethics, the Public, and the Media; An Ethics Guide for Part-Time Lawyer Judges; Communicating with Voters: Ethics and Judicial Campaign Speech; Ethics Training for Non-Lawyer Judges; the Handbook for Judicial Conduct Commission Members; and eight background papers on key issues in judicial ethics. She is also co-author of the Judicial Conduct and Ethics Curriculum. A 1980 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, Cindy clerked for Judge Hubert L. Will of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois for two years and was a litigation attorney in two private law firms for eight years.