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Opinion 167

Opinions are requested with respect to the following questions:

(1) May the presiding judge of a State Court use the title “Judge” before his name in literature and advertisements in a campaign for Judge of the Superior Court?

(2) May any “Lower Court Part-Time Judge” refer to himself as “Judge” in a campaign for election and advertising connected therewith in a campaign for the Superior Court Bench?

(3) If the answer to number two is affirmative would the “Lower Court Part-Time Judge” be required to specify the “Lower Court Part-Time” Judge position which he holds whenever he refers to himself as a “Judge” in a campaign for election and advertising connected therewith to the Superior Court Bench?

(4) Must any “Lower Court Part-Time Judge,” if he chooses to refer to himself as a “Judge” in his campaign for election and advertising connected therewith, clearly state that he is not currently a Judge on the bench in the Superior Court?

(5) May any “Lower Court Part-Time Judge” use a photograph of himself seated at his bench wearing his judicial robe in his advertising and campaign for the Superior Court bench?

These issues have been previously addressed in Opinion No. 55 with respect to an incumbent judge seeking re-election to the same office. In this instance, the facts presented involve a lower court part-time judge who is not an incumbent in the office to which he aspires. Nevertheless, the individual seeking election is in fact a judge and, accordingly, may properly refer to himself as such in political advertising so long as the judicial position which he currently holds is clearly specified therein and such advertisements are not otherwise misleading.

Accordingly, questions 1, 2, 3 and 5 are answered in the affirmative and question 4 is answered in the negative.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Canons 1.2(B) and 4.2(A). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #55, #56, #83, #90, #211, #212.]

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