State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 93-31
May a judicial officer permit a law student association to establish a scholarship fund in his or her honor? If so, may a judicial officer participate in a reception announcing the inception of the scholarship fund?
The following representations were made to the committee: 1) The scholarship fund will be administered by the law school foundation. To administer the fund the foundation requires: a) the judicial officer will not solicit money for the scholarship fund nor will the judicial officer be invited to be a speaker or guest of honor at fundraising events; and b) during the term in office, the judicial officer will remain unaware of the names of persons or organizations contributing to the scholarship fund, as well as the names of any declining to contribute. 2) During solicitation campaigns, all potential donors will be advised that the judicial officer is unaware of solicitations and will not be informed if contributions are made or declined. 3) Funds will not be solicited from the general public. Contributions will be sought from interest groups identified by the law student association and the foundation as supporting the goals of the scholarship fund. 4) The reception announcing the inception of the scholarship fund will not be a fundraising event. There will be a presentation of a commemorative plaque to the judicial officer and the judicial officer will give an acceptance speech upon presentation.
Given the presentations provided to the committee, a judicial officer may permit a law student association to establish a scholarship in his or her honor. The judicial officer may participate in a nonfundraising reception announcing the inception of the scholarship fund.
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