The Commission has been asked for an Advisory Opinion as to whether a part-time Magistrate may serve as a Director of Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc. (GLSP).
The GLSP is said to be a charitable organization which provides legal services to indigents on an uncompensated basis, and the members of the Board serve without compensation. The Board manages and directs the program, but Board members are not involved in providing legal services or in raising funds. It is stated that GLSP is not likely to be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the Magistrate Court.
Rule 3.7(A)(2) permits Judges to serve as members of an organization or governmental agency concerning the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice. Subsection (3) provides in part as follows:
Judges may assist such organizations in raising funds, and may make recommendations to public and private fund-granting agencies on projects and programs concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, but judges shall not personally solicit funds during public fundraising activities.
For that reason, the question must be answered in the affirmative, provided such service does not interfere with the proper performance of his duties by the Magistrate.
[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rules 1.2(B), 2.4(B), 3.1(A), 3.7(A)(1). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #15, #38, #105, #115, #125, #126, #138, #139, #156, #161, #174, #176, #178.]