State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 92-11
Would it be appropriate for a judicial officer to appoint the judicial officer's attorney/child to serve as a pro tem judge as a substitute for that judicial officer on an occasional basis?
CJC Canon 2 provides that judges should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all their activities. CJC Canon 3(B)(4) provides that judges should exercise their power of appointment only on the basis of merit, avoiding nepotism and favoritism. It is not appropriate for a judicial officer to appoint his or her attorney/child to serve as a pro tem judge because an appointment under these circumstances creates an appearance of impropriety and would be viewed as an act of nepotism.
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