January 20, 1984

Opinion No. 84/1
Judge's participation on condominium board of directors

Dear Judge

This is in response to your inquiry of December 5, 1983, as to whether you can serve on the board of directors of a condominium. You specifically urge us to reconsider our Opinion No. 81/7. In Opinion 81/7 we held that a judge should not serve in that capacity because "with the volume of condominium litigation and the many adverse interests in that type of an association that have to be represented by the board" it is likely that the board will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the judge or would be regularly engaged in adversary proceedings before a court.

As you point out in your letter, the condominium is your home. A home owner enters into relationships with contractors, sub-contractors, service providers, neighbors, etc. All of these relationships can provoke litigation. You pointed out that a condominium dweller is not significantly different than the individual home owner, except that he must deal with these people through a board.

Although the eight members of the Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges who responded to your inquiry felt your argument most cogent, all were unanimous that we should not recede from Opinion No. 81/7. One member, who sits on an appellate court, expressed the views of all of us that "experience has shown that the volume of litigation involving associations so far exceeds litigation arising out of individual home ownership that no realistic comparison can be made of the likelihood of judicial conflict."

Yours truly,

James T. Carlisle
Chairman, Committee on Standards of
Conduct Governing Judges

cc: All Committee Members