434 P.3d 15 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2018), 2018-8, Judicial Ethics Opinion 2018-8

Docket Nº:2018-8
Citation:434 P.3d 15
Judge Panel:The Honorable April Sellers White, (Retired), Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel Member, The Honorable Edward C. Cunningham, (Retired), Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel Chair, The Honorable William C. Hetherington, (Retired), Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel Member, The Honorable Allen McCall, (Retired),...
Case Date:October 19, 2018
Court:Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel

Page 15

434 P.3d 15 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2018)


No. 2018-8

Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel

October 19, 2018

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.



The question presented to the Advisory panel asks for an Advisory Opinion from a duly elected District Judge who does not have an opponent and is not involved in the 2018 election process. His question is whether or not his participation as a board member for Parents Helping Parents, Inc. as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, which includes his image, description of his judicial position and a quote from him in a promotional brochure available online, violates any judicial ethical rules.

[ ¶2] ANSWER



Parents Helping Parents, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission statement reads as follows: "Through a network of communities, Parents Helping Parents, Inc., provides education, resources, shared experiences and support to parents whose children, no matter the age, are struggling with substance use disorder." Contained in the brochure is a picture of the District Judge describing him as "Presiding Judge for the Cleveland County Adult Drug Court Program" and quotes him as follows "Substance use affects the individual, but it affects the entire family. Even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, patience, compassion, accountability all play together. Just don’t give up hope. Parents Helping Parents is a place where you can learn how."

Our Code of Judicial Conduct, Appendix 4, Section Rule 3.7 provides -"Participation in Educational, Religious, Charitable, Fraternal, or Civic Organizations and Activities", subpart (A) allows for "... a Judge to participate in activities sponsored by organizations or governmental entities concerned with the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice, and those...

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