May 29, 1975
Re: Canon 5D
Re: Standards of Judicial Conduct
This will acknowledge and thank you for your letter of May 22, 1975, wherein you inquire as to whether you may, in conformity with the Code of Judicial Conduct, accept the executorship of an estate of a close friend, but not a member of your family.
It is my opinion that Canon 5D prohibits a member of the judiciary from acting as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, or other fiduciary for any estate except that of a person who was, or is, a member of his family.
In this connection, I enclose a copy of an inquiry from another judge that raises almost the identical question, and the Committee's answer thereto.
I am forwarding your letter along with this reply to members of our committee, and should a majority of them disagree with me, I will advise you promptly.
It is my opinion that your acceptance of service as an executor of an estate of a person who was not a member of your family would not be compatible with the Code of Judicial Conduct.
/s/ GUNTER STEPHENSON, as Chairman
Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct
cc: all members