Related to:

Opinion Opinion 93-1

Date: 06/16/1993
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Ethical Opinions for Clerks of the Courts

Serving as member of city's election commission.

Dear Clerk:

This letter is in response to your letter of April 12, 1993 to the Advisory Committee on Ethical Opinions for Clerks of Courts.

In your letter you state that the mayor of the city of ________ wishes to appoint you as a member of the city's Election Commission. The Commission is the regulatory body which governs the conduct of elections within the city. You note that is in _______ County, and the _______ Court, where you are the Clerk Magistrate, is in _______ County. You ask the Advisory Committee's opinion as to whether there would be any conflict with your position as clerk magistrate in your accepting the appointment to the commission.

Canon 6(E) of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Courts deals with the subject of appointments and provides, in part: "Except for activities to improve the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice, as permitted by Canon 4 (D ), a Clerk-Magistrate shall not accept appointment within the geographical jurisdiction of the court in which he or she serves to a governmental position if there is a substantial likelihood that matters involving that committee, commission or other governmental position will come before the Clerk- Magistrate or the court in which the Clerk-Magistrate serves. . . .

You have pointed out that the commission to which you were offered an appointment is not within the geographical jurisdiction of the court in which you serve. In the opinion of this Committee, provided that you conduct Commission business in accordance with the Code's provisions on outside activities, there would be no conflict with the Code in your accepting the appointment.


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