Related to:

Opinion Opinion 92-7

Date: 10/06/1992
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Ethical Opinions for Clerks of the Courts

Unpaid, volunteer work in connection with private dispute resolution business.

Dear Clerk:

The Committee has considered the questions raised in your further letter of August 24, 1992 enumerating various actions which you propose to take on an unpaid, volunteer basis in connection with the conduct of a private dispute resolution business. It is the Committee's opinion, for the reasons set forth in its previous letters to you, that the proposed activities are prohibited by Canons 4(C) and 5(C)(1). They remain, in the Committee's view, business activities despite the statement that you will not be compensated for them.

The Code's regulation of personal activities contains similar restraints in Canons 4(B) and 5(A) which we believe would also cover this situation.

Finally, we note that Chief Justice Liacos has called for a task force on the subject of private dispute resolution services which will include in its considerations the appropriateness of associations by judicial officials and employees with private dispute resolution interests. The task force's recommendations, when issued, may provide future additional guidance to you on this matter.


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