November 1, 1976
Re: Canon 5C
This is in response to your recent letter inquiring whether it is permissible under the Code of Judicial Conduct to accept a gift from your former employer.
You indicate that you were recently elected to the office of County Judge; that the incumbent judge has resigned and that you have been appointed to fill out the balance of his term prior to the commencement of your effective term. You further indicated that you previously served as an assistant state attorney and that upon your ascendancy to the Bench you were presented with a gavel by the state attorney, your former employer.
The majority of the Committee has reviewed you inquiry and is unanimously of the opinion that the acceptance of a gift under these factual circumstances would not conflict with the Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 5C(4) sets forth with particularity those circumstances under which the acceptance of a gift is either permissible or impermissible. A judge's ascendancy to the Bench and the presentation of a gift incident thereto and in connection therewith fall within the spirit of the permissible limitations of Canon 5C(4)
We appreciate your inquiry and trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Chairman, Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Participating members: Carlisle, Hewitt, Murphee, Stephenson and Thomas MacDonald, Esquire