Judges & Courts

Judicial Ethics Opinions

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-133

Principal law clerks who are appointed to serve part-time as SCAR hearing officers during regular court hours as part of their job responsibilities are subject to the same restrictions as sitting judges with respect to political activities.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-142

A judge who presides in a collaborative problem-solving court may, on behalf of his/her court, accept an award and associated monetary grant to the court from a not-for-profit organization at a non-fund-raising event and may make appropriate remarks to express appreciation for the award.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-139

A judge may attend a non-political retirement celebration for an elected official, even if there is a charge for admission.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-123

A judge may not use a title for his/her law-related book which suggests that the book is a partisan guide for law enforcement. However, the judge may lecture on legal topics covered in his/her book for audiences that consist primarily or exclusively of law enforcement personnel, provided that the judge does not manifest a predisposition to decide cases in a certain way, does not provide partisan advice on litigation strategy or how better to obtain convictions, and does not discuss the topic in a manner that would compromise the judge's apparent or actual impartiality.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 14-14

Whether a judge may preside when members of the Public Defender's office appear before him or her if the Public Defender serves as the judge's co-counsel in another court.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-148

A full-time judge may serve as Supervising Judge of the criminal trial courts in the same judicial district where the judge's adult emancipated child is a non-supervising felony prosecutor.

Judicial Ethics

Judicial Ethics

Judicial Ethics

Judicial Ethics Opinion 14-08

Whether it is ethically permissible for judges to participate in local public radio stations' on-air fund drives.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-130

A part-time judge may not maintain simultaneous employment as a pistol permit clerk in the local sheriff's department.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-191

Whether it is ethically permissible for a judge to refer a defendant, as part of his/her sentencing, to the "Alive at 25" program

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-82

A judge may not teach a law school course on the prosecution of a highly publicized local criminal case, where the criminal trial recently occurred in the judge's jurisdiction and a related civil case is pending.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-82

A judge may not teach a law school course on the prosecution of a highly publicized local criminal case, where the criminal trial recently occurred in the judge's jurisdiction and a related civil case is pending.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 14-05

It is impermissible to host a court website on a social network that will display third-party advertisements in connection with the court's page.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-79

A judge may not participate as a presenter at a victim impact panel in the jurisdiction where the judge presides, but may participate in such a panel in another jurisdiction.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-62

Where a prospective witness in a criminal case is the presiding judge's former client and a jury will hear the evidence and render a verdict, the judge may preside after full disclosure of the prior representation to all sides, including the pro se defendant and his/her standby counsel. If a party objects to the judge's continued participation in the case, the judge has the sole discretion to recuse or continue to preside.

Judicial Ethics Opinion 13-72

A part-time attorney/judge who occasionally performs arraignments for a neighboring municipality's court, but is not an "acting" member of that court and continues to sit as a judge of his/her own court when performing such arraignments, may be included on a list of attorneys who are willing to serve as compensated arbitrators in that municipality.

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 13-40

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 13-50

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 13-41

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 13-33

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.