Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, May 12, 2022


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Supreme Court Committee:

Retired Judges Aren’t Bound by Code of Judicial Ethics


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The California Supreme Court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions declared yesterday that retired judges who are not serving on assignment aren’t bound by requirements of the Code of Judicial Ethics.

The committee acted in response to an inquiry by a retired jurist whose services are available through an alternative dispute resolution outfit as to whether it’s permissible to participate in fundraising activities in support of a law school scholarship established in the inquirer’s name.

“Retired judges who are privately retained and do not sit by assignment through the Temporary Assigned Judges Program or work as temporary judges, referees, or court-appointed arbitrators are not subject to the restrictions on judicial conduct contained in the California Code of Judicial Ethics, including the restraints on fundraising,” the committee responded in an expedited opinion. “Therefore, those retired private judges are not subject to any code prohibitions related to soliciting funds for educational or charitable organizations or encouraging others to do so.”

Retired Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Garcia, a member of the committee, commented:

“Retired judges, or active judges looking ahead to retiring, will benefit from the guidance in this opinion about participation in fundraising activities following retirement.”


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