This index includes all of the advisory opinions issued to date by the Committee on Judicial Ethics. Opinion 2003-11 and all subsequent opinions deal with provisions of the new Code of Judicial Conduct effective October 1, 2003 ("New Code").

Adoption of the New Code may render certain opinions decided under the Code as it existed prior to October 1, 2003 ("Old Code") no longer valid or appropriate. Many sections of the New Code are at least slightly different from cognate sections of the Old Code and the differences may produce different results.

If you have any doubt or concern about the validity of an earlier decision as applied to a current issue, please contact the Committee on Judicial Ethics with a request for informal advice or a formal opinion regarding the matter.


OpinionSubject
14-3 Serving on Board of Trust Whose Mission is to Distribute Funds for the Benefit of Persons in the Community Where the Judge Sits
14-2Attending and Presenting at a Regional Educational Drug Court Conference
14-1Receiving an award at a bar association event where sponsors have substantial business before the courts
13-1Accepting pro bono representation
12-3Hearing cases from former law firm in two-judge division of the Trial Court
12-2Duty to report attorney identified as "robosigner" to Board of Bar Overseers
12-1Meeting with Executive Director of Alternative Community Corrections Program
11-6Facebook: using social networking web site
11-5Hearing cases and disclosing when spouse is CPCS Appeals Unit staff attorney
11-4Research Study of Immigrant Women Subject to Domestic Abuse
11-3Hearing Cases Where Current Tenant and Former Law Partner is Mediator
11-2Speaking to the Local Chamber of Commerce
11-1Serving As Advisor to Bar Association Education Conference, Moderating Bench Bar Panel, Attending Bench Bar Reception, and Conference Ball
10-3Accepting award and money in recognition of community service
10-2Serving on Board of Directors, non-profit organization providing services to juveniles and families
10-1Attending Drug Conference, Expenses Reimbursed by Local Foundation
09-5Subpoena to Testify at a Deposition
09-4Deferred Associates Serving as Volunteer Interns/Law Clerks
09-3Serving on Statutory Commission
09-2Selling, Donating and Exhibitiing Landscape Photographs
09-1Receiving an Award at an Event Where Sponsors Have Substantial Business Before the Courts
08-12Serving on Hospital Ethics Committee
08-11Participating in Charity Walk; Charity Websites
08-10Serving as Guardian of Mentally Incompetent Ward
08-9Serving as Executor for Long-term Friend
08-8Serving as a Justice of the Peace
08-7Appointment to Government Committee
08-6Obligation to Report Attorney Misconduct to Board of Bar Overseers
08-5Appearing Before a Federal Court or Agency in Massachusetts; Announcing Name of Firm Judge Will Be Joining
08-4Attending Trial and Testifying in Litigation Involving Close Family Member
08-3Withdrawal From Trustee Position After Appointment to Judgeship
08-2Using Judge's Surname in Title of Former Law Firm During Dissolution; Receiving a Share of Fees Collected by Former Firm
08-1Trial Judge Being Interviewed by Author for Book about Criminal Case
07-10Unpublished Opinion
07-9Accepting Reimbursement of Travel Expenses for Drug Court Training Program
07-8Duty to Report Attorney and Judge for Misconduct in Another Court
07-7Reporting to Law Enforcement Authorities Impounded Information Learned From Criminal Defense Attorney
07-6Speaking at Conference Sponsored by Regular Litigant in Judge's Court
07-5Acting on Children's Educational Television Program
07-4Being Guest of Honor at Event Sponsored by Consortium of Law Firms and Other Organizations to Honor Judges of Color
07-3Umpiring Softball Games for a Fee
07-2Appearing Before Town Board Regarding Proposed Development on Land Jointly Owned by Judge and Spouse
07-1Serving as Co-Chair of Advisory Board for Civil Rights Project
06-7Serving on Board of Nonprofit Organization Devoted to Individuals With Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues
06-6Recusal -- Hearing Guardianship Cases Brought by Hospital Where Child's Spouse is Employed
06-5Writing Letter in Support of Nonprofit Organization That Assists Certain Litigants
06-4Owning Residential and Commercial Properties as Investments
06-3Attending and Testifying at Clerk-Magistrate's Hearing re Family Dog
06-2Testifying Pursuant to Subpoena at Former Client's Parole Hearing
06-1Recusal -- Lawyers and Litigants Who Appear Before Judge Have Patronized Business Establishment Owned by Judge and Judge's Family Members
05-10Acting as Judge on "People's Court" Type Television Program -- Serving as Consultant for Production Company
05-9Continuing in Roles of Executor and Trustee After Appointment to the Bench
05-8Family Member Placing Political Campaign Sign Outside Judge's Home
05-7Reporting to Proper Authorities Evidence of Possibly Illegal Conduct
05-6Serving as a "Call Firefighter" in Town Where Judge Resides
05-5Moderating Discussion on Local Public Access Radio Station
05-4Accepting Free Products and Services for Official Use
05-3Serving as Member and Officer of Inn of Court; Involvement in Fundraising and Recruitment
05-2Serving on Board of Trustees of Private, Nonprofit Hospital
05-1Using Court Stationery for Letter of Recommendation to Judicial Nominating Commission
04-10Recusal -- Judge's Family Member is Member of Committee for Public Counsel Services; and Judge Formerly Accepted Appointments from Committee for Public Counsel Services
04-9Maintaining Social Relationship With Neighbor, an Attorney Who Practices In Judge's Court
04-8Serving as Judicial Trustee for Massachusetts Bar Foundation
04-7Writing to District Attorney in Behalf of Former Client Who May Have Been Wrongfully Convicted
04-6Owning and Managing Residential and Commercial Properties as Investments
04-5Writing Letter at Court Employee's Request for Use in Disciplinary Proceeding
04-4Writing Unsolicited Letter for Use in Court Employee's Disciplinary Proceeding
04-3Involvement in Planning and Fund-Raising for Annual Conference of National Association of Women Judges
04-2Soliciting Contributions for Private School While Serving on Board of Directors
04-1Recusal -- Attorney is Former Client of Judge
03-18Being Featured in City's 350th Anniversary Publication
03-17Responding to Letter from Crime Victim Regarding Disposition of Case
03-16Serving on Governor's Commission on Corrections Reform
03-15Appointment to United Nations Panel on War Crimes, etc. in Foreign Country
03-14Serving on Advisory Committee for Department of Public Health Planning Grant
03-13Serving on Subcommittees of Governor's Commission on Criminal Justice Innovation
03-12Serving on Boston Bar Association Council
03-11Serving on Private School Investment Committees Following Adoption of New Code
03-10Duty to Report Ex Parte Communication from Attorney
03-9Continuing Use of Judge's Surname in Title of Former Firm
03-8Judge's Obligations When Child Runs for Political Office
03-7"Appearing" by Video (or by Letter to be Read Aloud) at Fundraiser Contributing to Fundraiser
03-6Communication with Executive and Legislative Branches Regarding Proposed Closing of Courthouse
03-5Serving on Boston Bar Association Council
03-4Recusal -- Spouse is Employed by Nonprofit Organization Serving the Disabled
03-3Serving as Executor of Estate of Family Friend
03-2Involvement as Trustee in Parents' Estate Plan
03-1Receiving Award from Chamber of Commerce
02-20Accepting Free Services from Surveillance Company
02-19Serving as Legislative Counsel to Municipality
02-18Participating in Parent Advisory Council for Special Education
02-17Recusal -- Fiancé is Assistant District Attorney
02-16Hosting Call-In Cable Television Show
02-15Serving as Special Adviser to Branch of Government Other Than Judiciary
02-14Attending Conference Where Case Pending on Appeal Will be Discussed
02-13Participating as Panelist at Conference -- Discussing Case Pending on Appeal
02-12Law School Event Honoring Alumni in Judiciary
02-11Retaining Membership in Masons, Assuming Leadership Role
02-10Filing Amicus Brief in Pending Appeal
02-9Recusal -- Prosecutor is a Former Student of Judge
02-8Meeting with Candidates for Register of Probate
02-7Accepting Artwork for Display in Courthouse (and Participating in Selection Committee)
Appearing in Video for Use by Pro Se Litigants
02-6Receiving Award from Local Bar Association
02-5Accepting Payment of Case-Related Travel Expenses from Litigants
02-4Duty to Report Misconduct of Judge and Lawyer
02-3Retaining Membership in Masons, Assuming Leadership Role
02-2Representing Self in Matter Before Another Court
02-1Participating in Activities of Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
01-18Creating, Exhibiting, and Selling Fine Art Paintings
01-17Hearing Cases of Attorneys Associated With Father
01-16Hearing Cases in County Where Son is Assistant District Attorney
01-15Attending Reception and Dinner for Retiring Mayor
01-14Serving on Board of Trustees of Savings Bank
01-13Accepting Indemnification of Legal Fees and Expenses
01-12Providing Judicial Administration Consulting Services
01-11Serving on Board of Directors of Nonprofit Publisher
01-10Hearing Matters Involving Certain Organization
01-9Serving as Trip Chaperone at Reduced Cost
01-8Retired Judge, Voice Mail Recording
01-7Juvenile Justice Roundtable Attend Meetings Probation Officer Attending
01-6Serving as Member or Officer of Condominium Board of Governors
01-5Hearing Matters Involving Organization, Judge on Board of Directors
01-4Child Fatality Review Team Participating Judge - Conflict Judge's Designee - Conflict
01-3Retired Judge Noticing and Taking Depositions Being Addressed Socially
01-2Signing Affidavit Supporting New Trial Motion
01-1Membership in Boy Scouts of America
00-9Serving on Board of Directors, Community Foundation
00-8Hiring Court Employees
00-7Attending, as Guest, Fundraising Event
00-6Participating in University Advertising Campaign
00-5Writing Letter Supporting Reinstatement to the Bar
00-4Participating in Charity Bike Ride
00-3Holding Social Function for Retiring Judge
00-2Accepting Durable Power of Attorney, Serving as Executor
00-1Receiving Extended Payout of Capital Investment in Former Firm
99-17Accepting Award at Fund-raiser
99-16Activities as Spouse of Candidate
99-15Joining/Contributing to Certain Organizations
99-14Serving as Part-Time Technical Consultant to Television Program
99-13Signing Nomination Papers
99-12Attending Program, Expenses Reimbursed by Organization(s) Appearing Before the Judge
99-11Attending Program, Expenses Reimbursed by Organization(s) Appearing Before the Judge
99-10Accepting "Man of the Year Award"
99-9Serving as Adjunct Professor and Sitting on Cases Involving Firm of a Trustee
99-8Propriety of Presiding on Cases Involving a District Attorney's Office When Spouse is First Assistant District Attorney
99-7Serving as "Master of Ceremonies"
99-6Serving on Board of Overseers of S.J.C. Historical Society
99-5Writing Letter of Recommendation to a Judge
99-4Accepting Payment of Travel Expenses
99-3Reporting Attorney's Conduct to Board of Bar Overseers
99-2Receiving Payments from a Research Institute for Papers to be Written
99-1Serving on Board of Directors of Center for Health Care Negotiation
98-20Duty to Disclose Information to Defense Counsel
98-19Recusal - Proceedings Involving Former Partner
98-18Being Honored by Bar Association
98-17Accepting Award and Money
98-16Attending Meetings of Domestic Violence Roundtables
98-15Commenting Publicly About Matter in Which Involved
98-14Maintaining Professional Corporation; Retaining Interest in Closely Held Corporation
98-13Serving on Community Policing Commission
98-12Reporting Contact by Another Judge
98-11Reporting Contact by Another Judge
98-10Discussing Pending Case With Other Judge
98-9Attending Meetings of Safe Neighborhood Initiative
98-8Serving as Bar Association Treasurer; as Chair of Board of Editors
98-7Serving as Elected Officer or Director of Golf Club
98-6Appearing as a Witness
98-5Bar Association Involvement in Court Celebration
98-4Political Activity by Family Members
98-3Accepting Compensation for Legal Services Rendered in Practice
98-2Accepting Award from Association Representing Service Providers
98-1Inclusion in Law School Booklet re Alumni Judges
97-10Implementing Case Management System
97-9Assisting Organizations to Educate Courts
97-8Touring Section of City With Certain Persons
97-7Serving as Mass. Bar Section Chair
97-6Recusal, Matters Involving Co-authors
97-4 , 97-5Testifying Before General Court Committee
97-3Serving as Executor
97-2Serving on Board of Directors of Nonprofit
97-2Writing Letter Attesting to Character
97-1Contributing to Mass. Bar Foundation
96-4Appointment to Task Force Concerning Admission Criteria for Public School
96-3Propriety of Presiding on Cases Involving a District Attorney's Office When Spouse is First Assistant District Attorney
96-2Serving on Board of Directors of Legal Services Organization
96-1Ordering Supervised Visitation at Center run by Children of Court's Family Service Officer
95-10Acceptance of Publishing Company's Donation of a CD-ROM Product
95-9Sending Letter of Recommendation to Executive Council
95-8Attendance at and Receiving Awards at Certain Events, and Making Contributions to Certain Organizations
95-7Acceptance and Use of Amtrak Rail Pass
95-6Recusal - Proceedings Involving Members of Former Law Firm
95-5Recusal from Ongoing Litigation
95-4Activities, Including Fundraising, on Behalf of A Not-for-Profit Corporation
95-3Appointment to Sub-Committee of Trustees Overseeing Conflict of Interest Policy
95-2Service as Shareholder and Treasurer of Investment Partnership
95-1Appointment as Director of Nonprofit Corporation
94-2Paying Discounted Bill for Legal Services
94-1Writing Letters of Recommendation,and Making Recommendations on Behalf of Judicial Candidates
93-3Owning Office Building with Attorneys as Tenants
93-2Invitation to Write a Forward to a Book
93-1Participation in a Publishing Business
92-4Being Named Man of Year, with Dinner and Program Book
92-3Obligation to Report Matter to Board of Bar Overseers
92-2Purchase of Tickets for and Attendance at Charitable Fund-Raiser Honoring a State Senator
92-1Hearing De Novo Retrials of Cases Tried by Judge's Father,an ADA, and Trials Involving The District Attorney's Staff
91-3Appointment to Advisory Committee to Hospital
91-2Appointment to Advisory Committee to Coalition of Agencies Whose "Clients" May Be Involved in Litigation
91-1Beneficial Interest in Office Building Leased to Party Appearing in Court
90-4Appointment As Director of Non-Profit Corporation
90-3Acceptance of Complimentary Books
90-2Appointment As Director of Organization Involved in Litigation
90-1Use of Biographical Material of Judge in Former Firm's Brochure
89-8Recusal - Impartiality re Party and Counsel
89-7Appointment of Certain Attorney as Guardian Ad Litem
89-6Appointment of Certain Attorney as Counsel
89-5Rental of Condominium, Not Available to Public, to Judges
89-4Appointment to Government Committee
89-3Separation of Judiciary From Fund-Raising Events
89-2Recusal - Proceeding Involving Former Partners
Appointment As Director of Legal Services Organization
89-1Donations For Decorating Court