State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 94-06
May a judicial officer serve on a board for a non-profit organization to develop and administer a program for volunteer guardian ad litems? Would the use of the judicial officer's name on the letterhead and advice as to sources of funds fall within "assist[ing] the organization in raising funds" as provided in CJC Canon 4(C)? What can a judge do to assist in raising funds?
The following facts were supplied to the committee: A non-profit organization is being established to develop and administer a program for volunteer guardian ad litems to be appointed in the county superior court proceedings. The organization will be a CASA program, monitored by the national CASA organization. Fundraising will be a part of the activities associated with this non-profit organization but the judicial officer will not personally solicit funds. The letterhead will list the names of the directors and would be used in fundraising.
CJC Canon 4(C) provides that judges may serve on the board of an organization devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system and the administration of justice. Judicial officers may assist the organization in fundraising planning and may participate in the management and investment of funds, but should not personally solicit funds.
A judicial officer may serve on the board of this organization. The appearance of the judicial officer's name on the letterhead is appropriate even though the letterhead may be used for fundraising activities if the judicial officer's name appears in the same manner as the other members of the board of the organization.
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