261 P.3d 1187 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2011), 2011-4, In re Judicial Ethics Opinion 2011-2

Docket Nº:2011-4.
Citation:261 P.3d 1187, 2011 OK JUD ETH 4
Case Date:August 19, 2011
Court:Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel

Page 1187

261 P.3d 1187 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2011)

2011 OK JUD ETH 4


No. 2011-4.

Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel.

August 19, 2011

Editorial Note:

The Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Panel are advisory only and can be relied by the Council on Judicial Complaints while recommending discipline of a Judge or a Judicial Candidate and not binding on the Council or Courts in the exercise of their judicial discipline responsibilities.


¶ 1 Questions: 1. May a sitting judge serve on the Board of Directors of a not-for-profit educational (university) foundation?

¶ 2 Answers: Yes, with certain conditions and restrictions.

¶ 3 Discussion: Canon 3 of the Oklahoma Code of Judicial Conduct " Extra Judicial Activities in General" in Rule 3.1 provides:

¶ 4 " A judge may engage in extrajudicial activities, except as prohibited by law or this Code. However, when engaging in extrajudicial activities, a judge shall not:

¶ 5 (A) participate in activities that will interfere with the proper performance of the judge's judicial duties:

¶ 6 (B) participate in activities that will lead to frequent disqualification of the judge;

¶ 7 (C) participate in activities that would appear to a reasonable person to undermine the judge's independence, integrity, or impartiality;

¶ 8 (D) engage in conduct that would appear to a reasonable person to be coercive; or

¶ 9 (E) make use of court premises, staff, stationery, equipment, or other resources, except for incidental use for activities that concern the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice, or unless such additional use is permitted by law. This Rule is also subject to the exceptions provided for in Rule 4.1A(10) and 4.1C.

Comment on Rule 3.1 states:

¶ 10 [1] To the extent that time permits, and judicial independence and impartiality are not compromised, judges are encouraged to engage in appropriate extrajudicial activities that concern the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, such as by speaking, writing, teaching, or participating in scholarly research projects. In addition, judges are permitted and encouraged to engage in educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic extrajudicial activities not conducted for profit, even when the activities do not involve the...

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