December 12, 1975

Opinion 75-31

Canon 5C(2); 4C(2)

Dear Judge:

Your inquiry dated November 21, 1975, was forwarded to the members of the Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct. I now have replies from eight of the ten members.

You inquire whether under the Code of Judicial Conduct you may serve as a member of the Board of Directors of a non-profit corporation operating in the home health agency field. You also state that your wife and another person organized the corporation and that they will draw salaries only for work actually done in the health agency field and that you will serve gratuitously on the agency's Board of Director's. Further, you state it is unlikely that this corporation will be involved in litigation.

Three members of the committee find no conflict in your serving as a board member.

Three members recommend that you should not serve as a director of any business, 5C(2). They also note that Canon 4C, provides that a judge may serve as a director of an organization devoted to improvement of the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice. The expression of one would seem to be the exclusion of all others.

The other two members stated that serving on the board would not be in violation of the Code, provided.

1. There is no economic or political advantage of it membership.

2. A judge should not lend the prestige of his office to advance the private interests of others. Further

3. The changing nature of some organizations makes it necessary for a judge to regularly re examine the activities of the agency;

In summary, we suggest that you are in the best position to assess the application of Canon 2, 4, and 5, to the activities and extent of your participation therein.

With high esteem and warm personal regards, I am

Gunter Stephenson, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct

cc: All Committee members