State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 94-03
May a part-time judicial officer also serve as a hearing examiner for drug forfeiture cases under RCW chap. 69.50?
The Preamble of the Code of Judicial Conduct permits a part-time judicial officer to engage in the practice of law (Canon 5(F)) and also to act as an arbitrator or mediator (Canon 5(G)).
A part-time judicial officer may serve as a hearing examiner for drug forfeiture hearings under RCW chap. 69.50 because a part-time judicial officer is permitted to devote time to another profession or occupation and may practice law. Additionally, proceedings relating to these hearings would not come before the judicial officer in the capacity of a municipal court judge.
This question is different than the one posed in Opinion 86-7 because that involved a full-time judicial officer.
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