Opinion

Opinion CJE Opinion No. 95-3

Date: 07/13/1995
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

After the Committee on Judicial Ethics issued this opinion, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court adopted a revised Code of Judicial Conduct. Because this opinion was rendered under a prior version of the Code, a judge should not rely on it without contacting the Committee on Judicial Ethics.

Contact for CJE Opinion No. 95-3

Committee on Judicial Ethics

Table of Contents

Appointment to Sub-Committee of Trustees Overseeing Conflict of Interest Policy

You have asked the Committee's advice about the propriety of your service on a sub-committee of a university's board of trustees that would oversee the university's conflict of interest policy for trustees, overseers, and officers. The university has adopted a detailed written policy statement prohibiting trustees and other officers from engaging in certain transactions and activities and requiring disclosure of others. Disclosures creating significant problems are to be reviewed by the subcommittee which decides whether to recommend that the full board or executive committee vote on the matter.

Canon 5(F) provides that a "judge should not practice law." While one does not have to be a lawyer to administer a conflict of interest policy, in our view, judges who administer such policies for a university are interpreting rules so much like the legal rules that govern lawyers, judges, and government officials that their work constitutes the "practice of law" for purposes of Canon 5(F).

Contact for CJE Opinion No. 95-3

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