State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 86-05
Is it proper for a pro tempore judge to hear cases in which members of the firm of the regular part-time municipal court judge appear?
Our answer is premised on the following representations provided to the Committee: 1) pro tempore judges are appointed by the mayor pursuant to RCW 3.50.090; 2) presently, there is a standing panel of five pro tempore judges; 3) all parties are advised as to the identity of the pro tempore judge and have the opportunity to file affidavits of prejudice; and 4) the regular part-time judge has no role in the selection of pro tempore judges.
It is proper under the Code of Judicial Conduct for a pro tempore judge to hear cases in which members or the firm of the regular part-time judge cannot influence the selection of pro tempore judges.
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