State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 85-02
Is it ethically permissible and appropriate for an incumbent judge, in a contested election, to use complimentary comments concerning the court’s operation and personnel during that judge’s tenure in office in the campaign for re-election, where those comments originate, unsolicited, from attorneys and others who have come into contact with the court and its personnel?
It is proper under CJC Canon 7(B) for a judge to utilize unsolicited comments from attorneys and others who have come into contact with the court and its personnel.
Permission to use the comments should not be elicited by the judge personally but rather by the campaign committee.
The Committee suggests that actual permission be obtained before using the comment, and the substance of the comment and whether the speaker was acting in a personal or representative capacity should be reduced to writing in order to avoid the possibility of misunderstandings.
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