February 21, 1977
Re: Canon 5B
This is in response to your recent letter inquiring whether it would be permissible for a judge to serve as a member of the board of directors of a community college foundation.
You advise that since becoming a Circuit Judge on January 3, 1977, you have been asked to serve on the board of directors of the college foundation. You advise that the foundation functions as a general support for the community college, receiving gifts, donations, bequests and devises; in turn, its assets are used for scholarships and other educational purposes.
The Committee has reviewed your inquiry and is unanimously of the opinion that subject to the provisions of Canon 5B(1)(2)(3), Code of Judicial Conduct, it is permissible for you to serve on the board of directors of a community college foundation.
Canon 5B recognizes a judge's participation in civic and charitable activities and specifically provides that a "judge may serve as an officer, director, trustee, or non-legal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization not conducted for economic or political advantage of its members," subject to certain delineated restrictions set forth in Canon 5B(1)(2)(3).
As the Commentary to Canon 5A aptly points out: "Complete separation of a judge from extra judicial activities is neither possible nor wise; he should not become isolated form the society in which he lives."
Accordingly, subject to the admonitions contained in Canon 5 B(1)(2)(3). you may serve as a director of the _____________ Community College Foundation.
We appreciate your inquiry and trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Chairman, Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Participating members: Boyer, Carlisle, Hewitt, Murphee, O'Connell, Sample and Stephenson