The Commission has been asked for an Advisory Opinion as to whether there is any legal or ethical problem with the appointment of an attorney who holds a State Bar Office, such as President or Secretary, being appointed to a judicial position, such as a State or Superior Court Judge, and, if not, could he continue to serve in both positions, or would he have to resign the State Bar position.
Rule 3.7(A)(2) provides, in part, as follows:
Judges may serve as members of an organization or governmental agency concerning the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice.
For that reason, subject to the limitations imposed by Canon 3, that such activities not involve solicitation of funds, or interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties, there would, in the opinion of the Commission, be no ethical reason why a State Bar Officer should not be appointed a judge, or why a judge should not be, or continue to be, a State Bar Officer. The Commission perceives no legal problem with such an appointment, or such continued service by a Judge, but expresses no opinion on this subject.
[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Canon 1, Rules 1.2(B), 3.1(A), 3.7. Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #15, #156.]