Proposed Rules ArchivesGR 29 - Judicial Services Contracts
Purpose: This rule is intended to address conflicts between contracts for judicial services, the requirements of General Rule 29, and judicial independence. Personal services contracts are frequently offered to part-time municipal court judges as a basis for their employment. These contracts often include provisions that define and limit the power and authority of the judge in ways that conflict with General Rule 29, Chapter 3.50 and Chapter 44.49.160 RCW. They often characterize the employment of the judicial officer as an independent contractor and divest the presiding judge of court management authority.
The Ethics Advisory Committee's Ethics Opinion 99-9, addressing the propriety of judges entering into judicial services contracts, cautioned about contract provisions that "create an impropriety or appearance of impropriety concerning a judge's activities." New judges may be unknowingly lured into ethical jeopardy by the content and form of these personal services contracts.
In addition, there has been recent discussion within the Administrative Office of the Courts and some courts concerning the categorization of pro tem judges as 'employees' as opposed to 'independent contractors' for purposes of taxes and benefits. The IRS and Social Security Administration have taken the position that pro tem judges and pro tem commissioners are considered employees for federal tax purposes. If a pro tem is classified as an "employee," certainly the judge must be also. Not all municipal governments take this position.
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|