State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 93-18
May a full-time district court commissioner serve as a volunteer in the county's juvenile court conference committee diversion program?
Service as a volunteer in the county's juvenile court conference committee diversion program does not appear to be a per se violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Nevertheless, there are potential problems if a judicial officer serves on such a committee. The consequences of this participation should be considered in light of the following provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The presence of a judicial officer on a citizen panel would tend to interfere with the purpose of the committee; that is, to permit the citizen panel and the juvenile to work toward resolution of the juvenile's problem outside of the judicial system. The judicial officer's presence on the committee may cause confusion as to the role the judicial officer plays on the citizen panel since the other panel members may have difficulty distinguishing between the panel member's position as a judicial officer on the one hand and a panel member on the other.
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