Attending Law Day dinner as guest of dean

April 29, 2004

Opinion 2004-2

Dear Clerk:

This is in response to your letter of March 25, 2004. You are the First Assistant Clerk for the Court. You requested an opinion from the Committee regarding your ability to attend a Law Day Dinner as a guest of the Dean of a law school.

You include the following facts in your letter. You are a graduate of the law school that is sponsoring the Law Day Dinner. While you were a student, you participated in many law school activities, and you have remained active in the school since receiving your law degree. You have developed friendships with the Dean and others in the law school administration. You asked whether your attendance at the Law Day Dinner as a guest of the Dean (who has also permitted you to bring a guest) would be in violation of any section of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Courts. You requested an emergency opinion so that you could respond promptly to the invitation. On April 2, 2004, the Secretary of the Committee telephoned you to state that in the opinion of the members she contacted, your attendance at the dinner would not conflict with the provisions of the Code.

By this letter the Committee confirms the advice provided to you on an emergency basis. In the opinion of the members, your attendance at the Law Day Dinner is the type of activity permitted by the Code. From the facts you have presented, neither the performance of your duties nor the public's confidence in the integrity, impartiality and independence of the courts would be impaired by your attending the dinner. Because our authority is confined to the interpretation of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Courts, we do not address any obligations you may have under other laws, such as G.L. c. 268A.