Virginia's Judicial System


Home > Judicial Branch Agencies > Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission > Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee Opinions

Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee Opinions

2008 Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Committee

08-1 Propriety of Judge Serving as Pastor or Minister
[The Committee withdrew this opinion on February 17, 2010.]
03/09/2010

2006 Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Committee

06-1 Circumstances under which judges may send letters of recommendation. 10/12/2006

2003 Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Committee

03-4 A Judge May Serve As An Officer In The Judge Advocate General's Corps Of The Reserve Components Of The Armed Forces Of The United States (Amended May 21, 2004) 11/21/2003
03-3 Propriety of a Judge's Serving on Board of Non-Profit Corporation that Assists and Educates Members of the Legal Profession who Suffer from Chemical Dependency (Amended November 21, 2003) 07/18/2003
03-2 Propriety of a Judge Recommending a Candidate for a Judgeship to a Legislative Committee (Amended July 18, 2003) 05/16/2003
03-1 Recusal Based Upon Attorneys' Subleasing of Office Building Owned by Judge and a Subtenant Attorney's Family Relationship with Lessee 05/16/2003

2001 Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Committee

01-8 Recusal Based Upon Acquaintance With Party, Attorney or Witness 07/16/2001
01-7 Judge With Ownership Interest in a Building, a Part of Which is Subleased by Judge's Former Partner to an Attorney who Appears in Judge's Court. 07/16/2001
01-6 Propriety of a Judge's Signing Application for Appointment as a Notary 04/27/2001
01-5 Compensation for Judges Pro Tempore Appointed Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 17.1-110 04/27/2001
01-4 Propriety of a Judge Lecturing or Teaching in Police Training Programs 03/28/2001
01-3 Judge's Leaving Accumulated Funds In Former Law Firm's Profit Sharing Plan 03/28/2001
01-2 May a Judge Testify as to Facts Witnessed While He Was a Practicing Attorney but Before He Became a Judge? 03/12/2001
01-1 May a Judge Report a Physician for Over-Prescribing Drugs Based on Information Learned in the Course of a Child Custody Proceeding in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court? 02/07/2001

2000 Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Committee

00-9 Propriety of a Judge's Serving as Officer or Director of Property Owners Association 11/08/2000
00-8 Propriety of a Judge's Writing or Telephoning the Virginia State Bar Supporting a Petition for Reinstatement of an Attorney Whose License had been Surrendered or in Support of an Attorney Facing Disciplinary Action 09/11/2000
00-7 Judge's Responding to Legislator's Inquiry Regarding a Case 09/11/2000
00-6 Propriety of a Judge Serving as a Member of the Virginia State Crime Commission 07/17/2000
00-5 Whether A Judge Who Holds Stock in a Publicly Held Corporation Must Recuse Himself/Herself When That Corporation is a Party 07/17/2000
00-4 Circuit Court Judge Having Ex Parte Communications with Probation Officers 05/08/2000
00-3 Propriety of a Judge's Serving on Board of a Juvenile Group Home Which Accepts Court Referrals 03/27/2000
00-2 Judges Serving on Community Criminal Justice Boards 02/01/2000
00-1 Propriety of a Judge's Voting in a Primary Election or "Firehouse Primary" 02/01/2000

1999 Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Committee

99-8 Substitute Judge's Listing of Judicial Status in Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory 11/18/1999
99-7 Judge's Participating in Media Interviews Concerning Legal Issues 11/17/1999
99-6 Propriety of a Judge's Voting in a Primary Election or "Firehouse Primary" 11/15/1999
99-5 Judge's Receiving Ex Parte Letters from Prisoners 10/06/1999
99-4 Judge's Recusal When the Judge has Filed a Complaint Against One of the Lawyers with the Virginia State Bar 09/21/1999
99-3 Retired Judge's Soliciting Contributions for National Judicial College 09/21/1999
99-2 Substitute Judges Performing Marriage Ceremonies 06/06/1999
99-1 Substitute Judges Listing Position in Biographical Information 06/06/1999

Subject Index

Advancing Private Interests

Attorney Facing Disciplinary Problems -- 00-8
Attorney Seeking Reinstatement -- 00-8
Broadcast Commentary on Legal Subjects -- 99-7
Judge Pro Tempore - Fee -- 01-5
Judicial Candidate -- 03-2
Publicizing Substitute Judge Status -- 99-1

Advertising 

Legal Directory -- 99-8
Practice of Law -- 99-1

Appearing Before the Court

Former Partner, Associate -- 01-3

Appointment of Judges

Judges Pro Tempore -- 01-5
Recommending Candidates -- 03-2

Attorney

JAG Officer in Army Reserve -- 03-4

Bias and Prejudice

Complaint Against Attorney by Judge -- 99-4
Ex Parte Communication -- 00-4
Lecturing in Police Training Programs -- 01-4
Reporting Over-prescribing Physician -- 01-1

Board of Directors (Nonprofit)

Children -- 00-3
Housing Associations -- 00-9
Law-Related Organizations -- 00-3; 03-3

Charitable and Religious Activities

Charitable Organizations -- 00-3; 03-3
Religious Organizations-- 08-1

Civic Activities

Governmental Committee or Commission -- 00-2; 00-6
Holding Office -- 00-3; 00-9; 03-3

Compensation

Judge Pro Tempore -- 01-5
Weddings -- 99-2

Court Officials/Personnel

Probation/Parole Officers -- 00-4

Court Proceedings

Contempt -- 99-4
Discharge of Duties -- 01-5
Prompt Disposition -- 01-8
Public Comment -- 99-7

Courtesy and Civility

Attempted Ex Parte Communication -- 00-7

Disciplinary Proceedings

Contacting Bar on Behalf of Lawyer -- 00-8
Referral to Lawyers Helping Lawyers -- 03-3
Reporting Over-prescribing Physician -- 01-1

Disclosure

Judicially Obtained Information -- 01-1
Of Relationship -- 01-3; 01-7; 01-8; 03-1

Disqualification

Acquaintance of Judge -- 01-8
Attorney - Judge Was Best Man at Wedding -- 01-8
Attorney as Tenant and Sub-Tenant -- 01-7, 03-1
Attorney - Fellow Judges' Spouse -- 01-8
Attorney - Referral to Lawyers Helping Lawyers -- 03-3
Attempted Ex Parte Communication -- 00-7
Board of Directors (Nonprofit), Judge as Director -- 00-3; 03-3
Complaint Against Attorney -- 99-4
De Minimis Stock Ownership -- 00-5
Former Firm/Employer Appearing Before Judge -- 00-3
Judge - Former Prosecutor or Public Defender -- 01-8
Litigant - Attorney Who Regularly Appears Before Judge -- 01-8
Litigant - Prior Judicial Knowledge -- 01-8
Recusal Standards -- 01-8
Waiver of -- 00-4

Educational Activities

Lecturing/Teaching -- 01-4
Legal -- 01-4

Ex Parte Communication

Explain to Party -- 99-5
Legislator -- 00-7
Party -- 99-5
Probation/Parole Officers -- 00-4
Remedying Improper Communications -- 00-4

Financial Activities

Compensation -- 99-2
Homeowners Association -- 00-9
Investments -- 01-7
Involving Legal Profession -- 01-7; 03-1
Retirement and Pensions -- 01-3
Solicitation -- 99-1
Stock and Bond Ownership -- 00-5

Fund Raising (Charitable)

Judge Serving as Preacher -- 08-1
Passing Collection Plate 08-1
Solicitation -- 99-3

Impartiality

Attorneys as Tenant and Subtenant -- 01-7, 03-1
Attorney - Referral to Lawyers Helping Lawyers -- 03-3
Broadcast Commentary on Legal Subjects -- 99-7
Former Law Firm's Profit -Sharing Plan -- 01-3
Judge Serving as Preacher -- 08-1
Judge Pro Tempore - Fee Collection -- 01-5
Lecturing in Police Training Programs -- 01-4
Service Provider to Courts, Judge as Director -- 00-3; 03-3
Voting in Government Committee or Commission -- 00-2
Voting in Primary Elections -- 99-6; 00-1

Impropriety

Attempted Ex Parte Communication -- 00-7
Attorneys as Tenant and Subtenant -- 00-7; 03-1
Former Law Firm's Profit-Sharing Plan -- 01-3
Home Association, Officer or Director -- 00-9
Preacher or Minister -- 08-1
Substitute Judge Performing Wedding -- 99-2

Incompatible Offices

Crime Commission -- 00-6
JAG Officer in Army Reserve -- 03-4

Independence of Judiciary

Broadcast Commentary on Legal Subjects -- 99-7
Lecturing in Police Training Programs -- 01-4

Influence

Advancing Personal Interest -- 99-1; 99-8
Improper -- 00-3
Prestige of Office for Others -- 99-7; 00-8;03-2

Judges

Pro Tempore -- 01-5
Retired Judge -- 99-3
Substitute Judge -- 99-1; 99-2; 99-8

Landlord/Tenant

Attorneys as Tenant and Subtenant -- 01-7; 03-1

Law Practice

JAG Officer in Army Reserve -- 03-4

Lawyer Discipline

Contacting Bar on Behalf of Lawyer -- 00-8
Attorney - Referral to Lawyers Helping Lawyers -- 03-3

Lawyer, Relationship With

Former Firm, Partner, Associate -- 01-3

Letters of Reommendation

Propriety of Sending -- 06-1

Media

Advertising by Judge -- 99-1
Interviews/Appearances -- 99-7
Radio -- 99-7
Television -- 99-7

Membership Solicitation

Judge as Preacher -- 08-1
Membership in Religious Organization -- 08-1

Military Service

Practice of Law --03-4
Reserve Service -- 03-4

Name, Use of Judge's

Broadcast Commentary on Legal Subjects -- 99-7

Political Activity by Judge

Voting in Primary Elections -- 99-6; 00-1

Practice of Law

JAG Officer in Army Reserve -- 03-4

Prestige of Office

Bar Disciplinary Activity -- 00-8
Broadcast Commentary on Legal Subjects -- 99-7
Legal Directory -- 99-8
Notary Public Application -- 01-6
Publicizing Substitute Judge Status -- 99-1
Recommending Judicial Candidate -- 03-2
Letters of Recommendation -- 06-1

Real Estate

Homeowners Association -- 00-9
Joint Ownership -- 01-7
Landlord of -- 01-7; 03-1

Recommendation by Judge

Bar Disciplinary Organization -- 00-8
Notary Public -- 01-6
Judicial Candidate -- 03-2
Letters of Recommendation -- 06-1

Retired Judge

Fund Raising - See Fund Raising (Charitable) -- 99-3

Scope of Canons

Retired Judge -- 99-3

Substitute Judge

Advertising -- 99-1; 99-8
Weddings -- 99-2

Title, Use of Judge's

Advertising -- 99-1
Broadcast Commentary on Legal Subjects -- 99-7

Weddings

Authority to Perform -- 99-2
Compensation for Performing -- 99-2

Witness, Judge as

Character Witness -- 00-8; 01-6, 03-2
Fact Witness -- 01-2

Canons of Judicial Conduct Index

Canon 1

Canon 1 -- 01-4

Canon 2

Canon 2 -- 99-2; 99-6; 99-7; 00-1; 00-2; 00-3; 00-8; 00-9; 01-3; 01-4; 01-7
Canon 2A -- 99-2; 99-8; 00-3; 00-7; 01-3; 01-5; 01-7; 03-3; 08-1
Canon 2B -- 99-1; 99-7; 99-8; 00-3; 00-8; 00-9; 01-2; 01-5; 01-6; 03-2; 03-3; 06-1; 08-1

Canon 3

Canon 3A -- 00-9; 01-5
Canon 3B(1) -- 01-5
Canon 3B(4) -- 00-7
Canon 3B(5) -- 01-1; 01-4; 01-5
Canon 3B(7) -- 99-5; 00-7
Canon 3B(7)(a) -- 00-4
Canon 3B(7)(e) -- 00-4
Canon 3B(8) -- 01-5
Canon 3B(11) -- 01-1
Canon 3C(1)(a) -- 00-3
Canon 3D -- 99-4
Canon 3D(1) -- 08-1
Canon 3D(2) -- 03-3; 08-1
Canon 3E -- 00-4; 01-8; 03-1
Canon 3E(1) -- 00-7; 01-3; 01-7; 01-8; 03-3
Canon 3E(1)(a) -- 99-4
Canon 3E(1)(c) -- 00-5
Canon 3E(1)(d) -- 00-5
Canon 3(E)(2) -- 00-5
Canon 3F -- 00-4; 01-8

Canon 4

Canon 4 -- 99-3; 00-3
Canon 4A -- 00-3; 01-4; 03-3; 08-1
Canon 4A(1) -- 08-1
Canon 4A(3) -- 08-1
Canon 4B -- 00-4
Canon 4C -- 03-3; 08-1
Canon 4C(2) -- 00-6
Canon 4C(3) -- 99-3; 00-2; 00-3; 08-1
Canon 4C(3)(b)(i) -- 08-1
Canon 4C(3)(b)(iv) -- 08-1
Canon 4C(3)(b)(v) -- 08-1
Canon 4D -- 08-1
Canon 4D(1) -- 00-9
Canon 4D(1)(a) -- 99-2
Canon 4D(1)(b) -- 01-3; 01-7
Canon 4D(2) -- 00-9; 01-7
Canon 4D(3) -- 00-9; 08-1
Canon 4D(4) -- 00-5; 01-3; 01-7
Canon 4G -- 03-4

Canon 5

Canon 5 -- 99-6; 00-1
Cannon 5A(1)(c) -- 99-6; 00-1

Canon 6

Canon 6 -- 99-8
Canon 6A -- 01-5
Canon 6B -- 99-3
Canon 6C -- 99-8

Statutory Index

Title 2.2

§ 2.2-2805 -- 03-4

Title 9

§ 9-127 -- 00-6
§ 9-130 -- 00-6
§ 9-133 -- 00-6
§ 9-134 -- 00-6

Title 16.1

§ 16.1-69.12 -- 03-4
§ 16.1-69.21 -- 99-2
§ 16.1-69.48 -- 99-2
§ 16.1-237 -- 00-4
§ 16.1-227 -- 01-1
§ 16.1-302 -- 01-1
§ 16.1-305 -- 01-1
§ 16.1-309.1 -- 01-1

Title 17

§ 17.1-102 -- 03-4
§ 17.1-110 -- 01-5
§ 17.1-111 -- 01-5

Title 18.2

§ 18.2-460 -- 00-7

Title 19

§ 19.2-165 -- 00-4
§ 19.2-259 -- 00-4
§ 19.2-299 -- 00-4

Title 20

§ 20-23 -- 99-2
§ 20-25 -- 99-2
§ 20-27 -- 99-2

Title 47

§ 47.1-5(3) -- 01-6

Title 53

§ 53.1-145 -- 00-4
§ 53.1-183 -- 00-2

Title 54.1

§ 54.1-3935 -- 03-3

Rules of Court Index

Part IV

§ 1(B) -- 03-4