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Opinion 154

The Judicial Qualifications Commission has been asked for an Advisory Opinion as to whether it is appropriate for an Assistant District Attorney to sit as a Municipal Court Judge in a court where he is authorized to prosecute and, if so, as to whether there are any circumstances under which it would be improper.

In Opinion No. 137 this Commission addressed the question as to whether it would be appropriate for a judge to also serve as a prosecuting attorney and, after calling attention to:

Opinion No. 70 where the Commission held that it would not be appropriate for a magistrate to serve as a constable in his own court for the reason that this would deny to him the appearance of impartiality essential to the proper discharge of his judicial duties; and

Opinion No. 34 where, in a somewhat comparable situation, the Commission concluded that a police officer should not serve as a Justice of the Peace because his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned . . . .

the Commission concluded that a judge should not also serve as an Assistant District Attorney.

As requested, the Commission has reconsidered this question and has reconfirmed its previous conclusion that a judge should not at the same time serve as an Assistant District Attorney.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Canon 1, Rules 1.2(B), 2.4(B), 2.11(A)(2), 3.10. Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #34, #70, #101, #151, #162, #172, #179, #181.]

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