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Opinion 157

The Judicial Qualifications Commission has been asked for an Advisory Opinion as to: (1) whether it would be appropriate to appoint the law clerk of a Superior Court Judge to the position of part-time Assistant Magistrate in the same judicial circuit in which he/she serves as a law clerk, and (2) whether a Superior Court Judge should preside over the trial of a criminal defendant for whom his law clerk has sworn out a warrant while sitting as a part-time Assistant Magistrate.

The first question set out above should be answered in the affirmative except for the fact that such an appointment may create disqualification problems for the judge as illustrated by the answer to the second question below.

The second question must be answered in the negative for the reason that the judge would be disqualified to preside in the trial of a criminal defendant for whom his law clerk had sworn out the warrant upon which he is being tried.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rules 1.2(B), 2.8, 3.10, Application Provisions. Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #59, #87, #88, #91, #116, #184, #193, #195.]

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