State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 91-10
Is it a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct for an attorney who sits as a pro tem court commissioner on the Family Law Motions Calendar to continue working as a pro tem commissioner while also working part-time on contract as an attorney advising Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) who volunteer to provide advocacy services for children in custody and visitation disputes?
If all CASA cases are screened out so that the pro tem commissioner does not hear cases which had CASAs, would the pro tem commissioners be in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct?
If it is not a violation to pro tem while acting as an attorney for CASA, would the pro tem violate the Code of Judicial Conduct by signing orders appointing a CASA worker to a case, knowing that in the position as the attorney for CASA, the attorney may become involved in litigation in the case directly on behalf of CASA?
It is a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct for an attorney who sits as a pro tem court commissioner on the Family Law Motions Calendar to contract as an attorney to advise Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) as those dual functions would create a conflict of interest and an appearance of impropriety under CJC Canon 2(A). Accordingly, it is not necessary to answer the last two questions.
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