Testifying before Governor's Council on behalf of judicial nominee

June 19, 1996

Opinion 96-7

Dear:

This letter is in response to your request for advice from the Advisory Committee. On June 10, 1996 you wrote to ask the Committee's opinion on whether the Code of Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Courts prohibits an assistant clerk from testifying before the Governor's Council on behalf of a judicial nominee. You are an assistant clerk at the and have been asked to testify in support of a candidate for appointment to the bench of the Court.

In the opinion of the Committee, the Clerks' Code of Professional Responsibility would not prohibit a Clerk from testifying before the Governor's Council on behalf of a judicial nominee. In the view of the members, such activity is permitted under paragraph 4 (D) of Canon 4 which provides as follows: "Activities to Improve the Law. A Clerk-Magistrate may use his or her title to engage in activity to improve the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice. A Clerk-Magistrate may appear at public hearings and may otherwise consult with governmental bodies or officials on such matters."