Opinions of the Judicial Ethics
Advisory Committee



2015


 

 Opinion
 Canon(s)
 Subject
2015-01
3E(1), Commentary to Canon 3E(1)
Must a judge, who receives no alimony or support from the judge’s former spouse, disclose or enter a disqualification order when a former law partner of the judge’s former spouse appears before the judge and rents space from and shares a receptionist with the judge’s former spouse?
2015-02
5C(3)(b); Commentary to Canon 5C(3)(b)
May a judge attend an award luncheon to accept an award and be inducted into a County Hall of Fame sponsored by the county’s Women's History Coalition, where program advertisements are sold to raise funds for the sponsoring organization?

May the judge attend if the judge informs the organization that it cannot use the judge's name or office for fundraising in any way, such as by including the name or office in any advance publicity concerning the event, in the formal invitation, or in any advertisements or congratulatory messages in the program?

2015-03
3B (12) (original version numbered Canon 3B (11))
May a judge disclose nonpublic information that came up in a nonpublic domestic violence injunction case about a party to that case to the employer(s) of that party?
2015-04
2A, 4A, & 4B
Whether a judge can teach at a one day training session for judges, magistrates, and court staff on how to deal with domestic violence issues?
2015-05
4
May a judge, as a member of the Board of Directors of a District Court of Appeal Historical Society, encourage others to participate in a walk/run fundraiser that is sponsored by a bar association when the funds will support the bar association’s pro bono project?

May a judge participate in a walk/run fundraiser as a team captain and coordinate logistics for the team, such as snacks and T-shirts, when the project supports the bar association’s pro bono projects?

2015-06
2, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B(8), 3E(1)(b), 4, 4A(1), 4A(4), 4B, Commentary to Canon 4(B); Commentary to 3B(8)
May a judge give an educational presentation to the summer law clerks of the judge’s former law firm?
2015-07
5D(3), 5G, Definitions
May a senior judge may serve as the officer of the professional association (the “P.A.”) of the judge’s deceased spouse’s solo law practice in order to file a corporate report as part of the process of closing the practice.
2015-08
5F(2) and Application Section
May a senior judge mediate cases arising out of appeals from the circuit in which the senior judge presides?
2015-09
Definitions Section, 2A, 3C(2), 3C(4), 3E(1)(d), and Commentary to Canon 3C(4)
Whether Canon 3C(4) is violated if a judge continues to employ the judge’s judicial assistant, after the assistant marries the judge’s child.
2015-10
5A, 5D(1)(b), 5E, 5G

1. May a judge accept a fee, after taking the bench, for a case the judge referred to a law firm prior to the judge taking the bench?

2. Whether the judge is disqualified from presiding over cases in which the law firm to whom the judge made the referral is involved.

2015-11
5A & 5C

May a judge serve on the board of directors of a non-profit community organization for the purpose of assisting the organization to implement a program which assists persons previously convicted of crimes to find a job, mental health counseling, and a safe place to live?

2015-12
2A, and Commentary to Canon 2A

May a judge assume the position of officer of an organization, with the view that the judge would move up the officer ranks to the presidency, where the organization’s stated purpose is to benefit the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters in circumstances where the officers and firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty?

2015-13
4, 5C(3)(b), and 7C(3)

May a judge, who is facing re-election, attend a political rally sponsored by a local Chamber of Commerce when there is a minimum $50.00 charge for all invitees and the event is intended as a fundraiser for the Chamber?

2015-14
3E(1)

1. Whether the inquiring judge must recuse himself or herself from all mortgage foreclosure cases pending before the judge.

2. If the inquiring judge does not have to recuse from all pending mortgage foreclosure cases, must the inquiring judge recuse from all cases involving lawyers, lenders, or assignees involved in the judge’s residential mortgage foreclosure cases?

3. If recusal is not mandatory, is recusal nevertheless prudent?

4. Whether mandatory or prudent, for what period of time should recusal be employed?

5. If recusal is neither mandatory nor warranted as prudent, is disclosure required in all residential foreclosure cases?

6. If disclosure is not required in all residential foreclosure cases, is disclosure nevertheless required in those cases involving any of the lawyers, lenders, or assignees involved in the inquiring judge’s residential foreclosure cases?

7. If disclosure is not required, is it nevertheless prudent in all pending foreclosure cases?

8. Whether required or prudent, for what period of time should the inquiring judge make a disclosure?

2015-15

 

3(E)(1)(a), 5F(2); Commentary to Canons 3E(1), 5F(2); Application Section

May a senior judge serve as an appellate mediator where the cases arise from the appeal of cases within the appellate court’s jurisdiction, but from outside of the state judicial circuit where the inquiring judge serves as senior judge?