State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 86-04
Is it proper for a part-time judge to also act as an assistant manager of a local medical clinic when one of the job requirements is to actively solicit payment of accounts receivable?
Our answer to this question is premised on the following representation provided to the Committee: The part-time judge does not hear cases in which the clinic is a party but occasionally hears cases in which patients are parties.
It is proper under the Code of Judicial Conduct for a part-time judge to act as an assistant manager of a local medical clinic even though the job requires the assistant manager to actively solicit payments of accounts receivable. However, the part-time judge should not in any way identify his or her judicial capacity while engaged in the role of assistant manager of the medical clinic. [CJC Canon 2(B).] Further, the part-time judge should recuse himself or herself in any case in which one of the parties has or had an outstanding account with the medical clinic.
There may be other circumstances in which the part-time judge may need to consider whether disqualification is appropriate in light of the employment relationship with the medical clinic. [CJC 1, 2(B) Canon 3(C).]
The part-time judge should recuse himself or herself in any action in which the medical clinic is a party. [CJC Canon 3(C).]
Our answer assumes that the part-time judge can comply with the requirements of CJC 5(c) (7) and not utilize any information acquired by the part-time judge in his or her judicial role while working as the clinic’s assistant manager. If the judge cannot comply, then the part-time judge could not serve in this dual capacity.
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