Judges & Courts

Judicial Ethics Opinions

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-40

A judge may serve on an award selection committee for an award ceremony and reception for members of the legal profession, where the event is hosted at a law school and is co-sponsored by certain bar associations and local business entities.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-38

A judge may, in his/her capacity as a parent, express his/her concerns about the conduct of his/her child's public school teacher by (a) signing a petition addressed to the principal, along with other parents; (b) speaking directly with the teacher; and (c) writing to the principal about the teacher, provided the judge does not invoke his/her judicial status in doing so.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-41

A judge who is a defendant in federal court in his/her official capacity based on his/her prior judicial acts in a particular case (1) may continue to preside over any additional proceedings which come before him/her in the particular case, (2) may preside over other matters in which the judge's federal court co-defendants or their counsel appear, and (3) is not precluded from appointing an attorney to Part 36 or other appointments merely because the judge and the attorney are co-defendants in the federal action.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-50

If it is legal for an administrative law judge of a traffic bureau to accept a guilty plea from a pro se defendant that includes incarceration, then it is also ethical for a part-time judge to do so in his/her separate capacity as an administrative law judge.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-28

It is inconsistent with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct for a town supervisor to also serve as a security officer for the town court.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-33

Although a court should not simply advise a defendant of a police department's procedures for seeking a plea reduction, the court may develop a form, without the police department's or other prosecuting agency's involvement, listing all of a defendant's options, including the right to plead not guilty and proceed to trial and distribute the form to defendants or to advise a defendant orally of all his/her options.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-28

It is inconsistent with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct for a town supervisor to also serve as a security officer for the town court.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-24

A judge who presides in a criminal part may not lecture at an anti-violence program at a local correctional facility, where the attendees are persons who are incarcerated while either awaiting disposition of an unresolved case or awaiting sentence, and could appear before the judge as criminal defendants.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-33

Although a court should not simply advise a defendant of a police department's procedures for seeking a plea reduction, the court may develop a form, without the police department's or other prosecuting agency's involvement, listing all of a defendant's options, including the right to plead not guilty and proceed to trial and distribute the form to defendants or to advise a defendant orally of all his/her options.