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Opinion 125

The Commission has been asked for an Advisory Opinion as to the appropriateness of judges participating in a “Board of Ethics” with the duty of hearing complaints of violations of an Ethics Code, and making investigations and recommendations, as set out in Article III of the Ethics Code.

The proposed Ethics Code provides that all appeals from the decisions of the Board will be filed in the Superior Court and Rule 3.7(B)(1)(a) provides as follows:

“[J]udges shall not serve if it is likely that the organization will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before them….” 

In the light of this provision and the inherent nature of the Board, which is to investigate, consider and adjudicate, in an extra-judicial proceeding, controversial matters which may ultimately come before the Court, the question must be answered in the negative.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Canon 1, Rule 1.2(B), 2.8, 3.4, 3.7(A)(2), 3.7(B). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #18, #26, #103, #105, #158, #178, #194, #202.]

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