State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 02-07
May a judicial officer accept a door prize awarded at a CLE program?
The judicial officer entered a door prize drawing at a CLE and won. The prize is a treatment plan certificate to a substance abuse treatment center. The certificate indicates the value of the out-patient treatment program is several thousand dollars.
The judicial officer would like to donate the prize to an organization such as the lawyer assistance program because the judicial officer has no use for the program.
There is no specific provision in the Code which addresses this issue beyond CJC Canon 2(B) which provides in part that judges should not lend the prestige of the office to advance the private interests of others. Even though there is no prohibition on accepting a door prize, the judicial officer should advise the prize sponsor that the fact the door prize was won by a judicial officer should not be used in any promotional or other manner which would use the prestige of the judicial office to benefit the prize sponsor.
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