371 P.3d 1178 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2016), 2016-1, Judicial Ethics Opinion 2016-1

Docket Nº:2016-1
Citation:371 P.3d 1178, 2016 OK JUD ETH 1
Party Name:Judicial Ethics Opinion 2016-1
Judge Panel:Honorable Milton C. Craig, Chairman, Honorable Jerry Salyer, Member, Honorable Edward C. Cunningham, Member.
Case Date:March 28, 2016
Court:Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel
 
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Page 1178

371 P.3d 1178 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2016)

2016 OK JUD ETH 1

Judicial Ethics Opinion 2016-1

2016-1

Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel

March 28, 2016

Honorable Milton C. Craig, Chairman, Honorable Jerry Salyer, Member, Honorable Edward C. Cunningham, Member.

OPINION

#1 Question:

May a judge who has been voted the " Judge of the Year" by a law related organization accept the award and take part in an acceptance video made by that organization?

#2 Facts:

A judge has been voted " Judge of the Year" by a law-related organization. The organization wants the judge to take part in an acceptance video that will be shown as part of an awards ceremony at a banquet, posted on the organization's website and published on YouTube.com. Members of the organization will appear before the judge as witnesses in future cases. The judge and family will be provided complimentary tickets to the banquet.

#3 Answer:

The judge may accept the award. However, the judge should not take part in an acceptance video to be used for the purposes set forth above.

#4 Discussion:

The inquiring judge brings to our attention the following Rules and Comments in the Oklahoma Code of Judicial Conduct.

Canon 1, Rule 1.3 - Avoiding Abuse of the Prestige of Judicial Office

" A judge shall not abuse the prestige of the judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others, or allow others to do so."

Canon 2, Rule 2.4 - External Influences on Judicial Conduct

" (C) A judge shall not convey or permit others to convey the impression that any person or organization is in a position to influence the judge."

Canon 3, Rule 3.7-Participation in Educational, Religious, Charitable, Fraternal, or Civic Organizations and Activities

" Comment 2. Even for law-related organizations, a judge should consider whether the membership and purposes of the organization, or the nature of the judge's participation in or association with the organization, would conflict with the judge's obligation to refrain from activities that reflect adversely upon a judge's...

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