Advisory Opinions

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Updated through August 13, 2014

JUDGES

Abortion

Acting judge (Judge Pro Tempore)

Advertising

Affidavit of Disqualification

Appointments by judges

Appointment of judge

Arbitrator

Assigned judge

Attorney representing judge

Bar Association

Books
(See also JUDGES, Educational activities)

Business and Financial activities
(See also JUDGES, Educational activities; JUDGES, Continuing Legal Education)

Campaign activities

Certified Public Accountant

Charitable contributions

City council member

Continuing legal education

County court judge

Disqualification-financial interest

Disqualification--bias or prejudice toward witness

Disqualification--bias toward lawyer in a proceeding

Disqualification--judge had previous involvement as lawyer

Disqualification--partners appearing before judge or magistrate

Disqualification—relative or relative’s firm appearing before judge

Disqualification—judge’s relative is party or witness in proceeding

Disqualification--quasi-judicial activities

Disqualification--extra-judicial activities

Disqualification--remittal

Domestic violence protocol

Donations

Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)

Duty to report

Educational activities

Endorsements
(See also JUDGES, Recommendations)

Executor

Facebook

Farming

Favoritism

Fiduciary

Financial Disclosure - (See FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS)

Firm Name

Former judge - (See JUDGES, Practice of law--former judge)

Fundraising for campaign

Fundraising for candidacy for appointment to fill vacancy in an elected office

Fundraising for educational/religious/charitable/fraternal/civic

Gifts
(See also JUDGES, Donations)

Honorarium

Judicial law clerk

Jurors

Legislative agent

Letterhead

Member or officer

Nepotism

Parades

Political Activities
(See also JUDGES, Campaign activities, JUDGES, Speech)

Political Donations

Practice of law--acting judge

Practice of law--court commissioner

Practice of law--former judge

Practice of law--full-time judge

Practice of law--part-time judge, referee, or magistrate

Private judge

Pro tempore judge - (See JUDGES, Acting judge)

Real Estate Salesperson

Recommendations
(See also JUDGES, Endorsements)

Referee of sports

Relatives

Retired judges

Sentencing

Social Networking Site

Specialized Dockets

Speech
(See also JUDGES, Educational Activities)

Sports

Telephone/ Telethon/Television

Transition from bar to bench

Travel, Meals, and Lodging

Trial lawyers association

Visiting Judge - (See JUDGES, Assigned judge)

Wills

JUDICIAL EMPLOYEES
(see also JUDGES, Judicial Law Clerks
)


JUDGES

Abortion

Op. 89-33 candidates for judicial office commenting on abortion

Acting judge (Judge Pro Tempore)

Op. 87-49 acting judge's compliance with Code of Judicial Conduct; may not serve as lawyer in a proceeding in which he or she served as judge or in any other related proceeding

Op. 88-5 acting judge appointed by municipal court hearing cases in which lawyer for one of the parties is related to appointing judge; compliance with Code of Judicial Conduct

Op. 90-08 judge pro tempore acting as leader or holding office in political organization

Op. 91-23 cites other state opinion regarding a part-time judge appointing attorney in judge's firm as a judge pro tempore

Op. 98-8 full-time judge, part-time judge, full-time magistrate, part-time magistrate, or judge pro tempore serving as a member of a state or county executive committee or a political party or as a member of a county board of elections

Op. 2004-10 part-time municipal court judge appointing son or daughter as acting judge to serve during the judge's vacation

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Advertising

Op. 87-42 judge allowing picture on wall of store in exchange for free neckties

Op. 94-4 judge allowing picture on DARE program card

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Affidavit of Disqualification

Op. 98-2 attorney stating in an affidavit of disqualification of a judge that the attorney has filed a disciplinary grievance against the judge when the grievance has not been certified as a formal complaint

Op. 2014-1 Standard for Judicial Disqualification When Counsel Is a Participant in the Judge’s Current Election Campaign

Appointments by judges

Op. 87-14 part-time referee practice of law before the appointing judge

Op. 87-36 part-time referee practice of law before the appointing judge

Op. 88-5 acting judge hearing case where one of lawyer is related to the appointing municipal judge; visiting judge hearing case

Op. 88-6 retired judge registered as a private judge being appointed to visiting judgeship

Op. 89-1 judge appointing spouse of current court employee; retention of long-term employee of court now married to judge

Op. 91-23 part-time judge appointing law firm member to position of referee

Op. 92-9 appointing local attorney as campaign committee chairperson, campaign committee members or chairperson appearing before judge

Op. 93-2 judge appointing attorney as fiduciary of an estate or as attorney for the mentally incompetent, or as counsel for an indigent juvenile, when attorney is employed by judge's son as an associate in a law practice

Op. 93-4 judge appointing relatives to represent indigent parties

Op. 94-1 municipal court judge appointing a deputy bailiff who owns a private tenant eviction business

Op. 2003-7 judge appointing attorney to serve as special prosecutor in the same county (and even in the same court) in which the attorney represents criminal defendants

Op. 04-10 part-time municipal court judge appointing son or daughter as acting judge to serve during the judge’s vacation

Appointment of judge

Op. 98-6 judge becoming candidate for appointment by a county central committee to fill the office of prosecuting attorney when a vacancy occurs in that office

Op. 2002-9 judge appointed member of Ohio Children's Trust Fund Board; judge appointed member of a County Family and Children First Council

Op. 2003-9 judge serving on judicial corrections boards for community-based correctional facilities and programs

Op. 2005-8 retired judge who engages in the practice of law also serving as a private judge; retired judge who serves as assigned judge also serving as private judge

Arbitrator

Op. 89-22 judge serving as trustee of a claimant’s fund and acting as an arbitrator

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Assigned judge

Op. 87-9 retired judge engaged in visiting judge assignments serving as a member of county courthouse restoration committee

Op. 88-5 visiting judge appointed by Chief Justice hearing case where lawyer is related to elected judge

Op. 88-6 retired judge registered for referrals as private judge pursuant to R.C. §2701.10 also being eligible for appointment by Chief Justice for a visiting judgeship pursuant to Ohio Const. Art. IV §6(C)

Op. 88-34 retired judge not eligible for recall to judicial service endorsing or participating in the campaign of a judicial candidate or a non-judicial candidate

Op. 2005-8 retired judge who engages in the practice of law also serving as a private judge; retired judge who serves as assigned judge also serving as private judge

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Attorney representing judge

Op. 89-34 judge's recusal when attorney who represents judge in a pending law suit represents clients in judge's court; rule of necessity

Bar Association

Op. 90-05 judge suggesting to local bar association programs or interests the bar may wish to pursue

Op. 91-29 judge endorsing candidate for elective office bar ass'n

Op. 2011-3 Abusing the Prestige of Judicial Office: Bar Association Elections

Books
(See also JUDGES, Educational activities)

Op. 87-8 judge writing foreword to a book on the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution

Op. 95-4 court, justice, or judge accepting complimentary books from publisher that does business with court

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Business and Financial activities
(See also JUDGES, Educational activities; JUDGES, Continuing Legal Education)

Op. 88-7 judge as paid consultant for persons seeking elective office elective office

Op. 89-17 judge holding shares in former legal professional association

Op. 91-8 lawyer in proceeding rents office space in real estate co-owned by judge and judge’s spouse

Op. 91-10 judge in partnership for profit to provide continuing legal education; judge preparing and presenting legal and non-legal educational materials for compensation

Op. 91-14 judge’s ownership of stock in a party to a proceeding

Op. 91-27 judge’s active involvement in advising, planning, and organizing a proposed joint venture

Op. 94-12 judge’s compensation for teaching law topics at colleges

Op. 95-9 judge’s compensation for motivational speeches and teaching continuing legal education classes

Op. 95-10 judge co-owning farm with spouse, raising beef cattle, and selling hay, grain, and seed; certified public accountant/judge gratuitously preparing tax returns for self, family and others

Op. 98-12 extrajudicial business activities by full-time judges and full-time magistrates; family business exception; delivering newspapers or driving a package delivery truck

Op. 03-6 judge as referee of soccer games

Op. 04-3 magistrate serving on or seeking election or re-election to a local, city, or state board of education; magistrate serving on or seeking election or re-election to a board of county commissioners; magistrate serving as trustee of a condominium association

Op. 06-1 judge or magistrate maintaining or using active license as real estate salesperson

Op. 2009-1 full-time magistrate engaging in outside employment as an independent contractor performing legal research projects for a legal publishing company

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Campaign activities

Op. 87-2 use of term "re-elect"

Op. 87-6 candidates' public debate

Op. 87-23 opponent's law firm appearing before judge

Op. 87-30 making promises/pledges

Op. 87-37 fund raising 120 day rule"

Op. 88-17 contributions to other candidates and parties

Op. 89-15 use of title "judge"; identifying incumbent by title; use of "for judge"; shared advertising

Op. 89-33 commenting on abortion

Op. 90-8 judge pro tempore as leader/officer political org

Op. 90-24 contributions to candidates and parties

Op. 92-9 appointing local attorney as campaign committee chairperson, campaign committee members or chairperson appearing before judge

Op. 92-11 signing nominating petitions or declaration of candidacy petitions; attending political dinners, sitting at speaker's table, introductions

Op. 92-16 use of title "referee," "senior referee," "judge" in campaign advertisement

Op. 93-9 participation in parades

Op. 96-7 judge or judicial candidate using judicial campaign funds to purchase a ticket to another candidate’s fund raiser

Op. 96-8 use of title "magistrate" in campaign advertisement; identifying division of court on which the magistrate serves; magistrate wearing judicial robe in campaign advertisement

Op. 97-6 incumbent judge forming campaign committee prior to the time period for soliciting and receiving funds; campaign committee expending funds outside the time period; campaign committee sending letters outside the time period asking attorneys to serve on the committee

Op. 98-6 judge becoming a candidate for appointment by a county central committee to fill the office of prosecuting attorney when a vacancy occurs in that office

Op. 98-7 individual establishing a judicial campaign committee and terminating a nonjudicial campaign committee by disbursement of remaining nonjudicial funds through contributions to a political party or to other candidates as permitted under state law

Op. 98-8 full-time judge, part-time judge, full-time magistrate, part-time magistrate, or judge pro tempore serving as a member of a state or county executive committee of a political party or as a member of a county board of elections

Op. 98-11 judicial candidate seeking election to court of common pleas permitting his or her campaign committee to accept contributions from the clerk of court or the employees of the clerk of court of the common pleas court to which the candidate is seeking election

Op. 2001-1 judge's spouse is a candidate for elected public or judicial office; judge appearing in family picture and being listed by name with or without the title "judge" in the spouse's campaign literature; judge allowing campaign signs promoting the spouse's candidacy to be place on real estate jointly owned by the judge and spouse

Op. 2002-3 judge communicating to the public regarding a proposed state constitutional amendment regarding drug treatment in lieu of incarceration

Op. 2002-8 judicial campaign speech

Op. 2002-13 magistrates engaging in campaign activities, such as going door to door to talk with people, going door to door to distribute campaign literature, placing yard signs, or participating in a telephone bank, on behalf of the appointing judge who is seeking re-election; public endorsement; use of personal funds to make contribution to a candidate for judicial or public office.

Op. 2003-8 magistrate who is a judicial candidate appearing in a judicial robe in photographs used in campaign advertising; magistrate using title “magistrate” when listed as a contributor in a dinner program of a political party; using personal or campaign funds to attend social or fund-raising political events, to support or oppose candidates for public office, to contribute to a political party or attend events sponsored by a political party; use of campaign funds at judicial fundraising event that categorizes or identifies participants by the amount of contribution

2004-4 magistrate running for election as judge using the term or title “magistrate” in judicial campaign materials and identifying the court and division on which he or she serves.

2009-8 judicial candidate using phrase “Endorsed by (or a nominee of) the Democratic Party” or “Democratic Party Endorsed (or nominee)” or Endorsed by (or a nominee of) the Republican Party” or “Republican Party Endorsed (or nominee)”

2009-10 judge thanking jurors for their service by a sincere verbal expression of appreciation, a letter of appreciation, a certificate of appreciation, or a small but dignified memento, such as a bookmark imprinted with the judge’s name, picture, and historic quote; personal expense or court expense; purpose might trigger expenditure reporting requirements of R.C. 3517.10

2009-11 judge making a charitable contribution from personal or judicial campaign funds in an election or non-election year; use of name and title in connection with the charitable contribution

2014-1 Standard for Judicial Disqualification When Counsel Is a Participant in the Judge’s Current Election Campaign

Certified Public Accountant

Op. 95-10 judge continuing to prepare tax returns for self, family and others after taking the bench

Charitable contributions

Op. 2009-11 judge making a charitable contribution from personal or judicial campaign funds in an election or non-election year; use of name and title in connection with the charitable contribution

Op. 2010-4 judge, who has sentenced offender for a felony or a misdemeanor offense, granting the offender’s request to fulfill a community control sanction of community service by making a financial contribution to a charitable organization

City council member

Op. 2009-7 newly appointed domestic relations magistrate continuing to serve out a term as an elected member of city council

Continuing legal education

Op. 87-41 referee’s participation in continuing legal education

Op. 91-10 partnership for profit to provide cont. legal ed., preparing and presenting legal and non-legal educational materials for compensation

Op. 95-8 accepting offer to attend trial lawyers association meeting without paying registration fee

Op. 95-9 compensation for teaching continuing legal education classes or courses; compensation for presenting motivational speeches

County court judge

Op. 87-29 county court judge appear as lawyer in county court

Op. 89-20 county court judge married to common pleas judge in same county

Op. 91-2 county court judge representing defendant on a traffic violation pending in municipal court in other county

Op. 94-2 county court judge, partners, and associates, practicing law in county court where judge sits by assignment

Op. 2005-4 county court judge, law partners, and associates appearing in county court before another county court judge

Disqualification-financial interest

Op. 89-17 full-time judges holding shares in their former legal professional association

Op. 91-8 lawyer in proceeding rents office space in real estate co-owned by the judge and the judge's spouse.

Op. 91-14 judge's ownership of stock in a party to a proceeding

Op. 95-3 newly elected judge hearing cases advocated by former partner when judge is receiving income from former partnership

Disqualification--bias or prejudice toward witness

Op. 89-19 witness is a police officer and is judge's spouse

Op. 91-13 witness is health care professional who has counseled or treated judge and/or judge's wife

Disqualification--bias toward lawyer in a proceeding

Op. 87-23 campaign opponent of a judge representing party in a proceeding before the judge

Op. 89-32 judge's filing of disciplinary complaint against lawyer

Op. 89-34 lawyer represents judge in pending lawsuit; prosecutor or assistant attorney general represents judge in pending lawsuit; lawyer's associates appearing before; less populated jurisdictions

Op. 92-9 lawyer on judge's campaign committee appearing before judge; firm member of lawyer appearing before

Op. 98-2 attorney stating in an affidavit of disqualification of a judge that the attorney has filed a disciplinary grievance against the judge when the grievance has not been certified as a formal complaint

Op. 2014-1 Standard for Judicial Disqualification When Counsel Is a Participant in the Judge’s Current Election Campaign

Disqualification--judge had previous involvement as lawyer

Op. 87-38 referee hearing case she or he previously filed as prosecutor; referee hearing case based upon new facts or circumstances involving a client for whom he or she appeared as a prosecuting attorney; referee hearing any case brought by the prosecutor's office where he or she previously worked

Op. 91-2 part-time judge who has represented criminal defendant taking any future judicial action against that individual

Disqualification--partners appearing before judge or magistrate

Op. 87-22 part-time judge's partner/son/law director appearing before part-time judge

Op. 87-29 county court judge's partner or associate appearing before county court judge

Op. 87-36 part-time referee's firm members appearing before part-time referee; appearing before other judges or referees in same division

Op. 91-20 attorney who co-counsels with part-time referee in private practice appearing before part-time referee

Op. 94-2 county court judge, partners, and associates, practicing law in county court where judge sits by assignment

Op. 95-3 newly elected judge hearing cases advocated by former partner when judge is receiving income from former partnership

Op. 98-3 partners and associates of part-time magistrate practicing law in the court on which the part-time magistrate serves

Op. 2005-4 county court judge, law partners, and associates appearing in county court before another county court judge

Disqualification—relative or relative’s firm appearing before judge

Op. 87-22 son/daughter/partner appearing before part-time judge

Op. 87-24 spouse who is prosecuting attorney appearing before spouse who is judge; appearing before other judges in county

Op. 87-38 husband of appointed full-time referee appearing before the appointing judge; husband's firm members appearing before either the appointed referee or the appointing judge

Op. 88-5 son of appointing judge appearing before the appointed acting judge; appearance before a visiting judge

Op. 89-10 brother-in-law appearing as criminal defense lawyer before judge

Op. 90-17 spouse of probate judge appearing before probate judge in uncontested matters in probate court

Op. 91-8 attorney employed by, associated with or a partner of judge's spouse appearing before judge

Disqualification—judge’s relative is party or witness in proceeding

Op. 87-24 recusal includes instances where judge's spouse is a party to a proceeding

Op. 89-19 material witness is a police officer and is judge's spouse

Disqualification--quasi-judicial activities

Op. 89-22 judge serving as trustee of a claimant's fund set up by out-of-state bankruptcy court

Disqualification--extra-judicial activities

Op. 87-3 probate-juvenile judge serving as board member of county mental health foundation

Op. 87-32 part-time referee serving as member or officer of local Bd of Educ

Op. 89-29 probate-juvenile judge serving as board member of county mental health foundation

Disqualification--remittal

Op. 87-24 when spouse who is prosecuting attorney appears before judge; appearance by other prosecutors

Op. 89-10 when brother-in-law who is criminal defense lawyer appears before judge

Op. 89-34 when lawyer who represents judge in a pending lawsuit appears before the judge; rule of necessity discussed

Op. 91-8 when lawyer in a proceeding is affiliated with a law firm with which a lawyer-relative of the judge is affiliated

Op. 91-13 remittal applicable to disqualification due to economic interest or family relationship but not applicable to disqualification due to personal bias or prejudice to witness

Op. 91-14 when judge owns stock in a party to a proceeding

Op. 2014-1 Standard for Judicial Disqualification When Counsel Is a Participant in the Judge’s Current Election Campaign

Domestic violence protocol

Op. 96-5 judge endorsing model protocol for responding to domestic violence

Donations
(See also JUDGES, Gifts)

Op. 2004-5 municipal court judge accepting a donation of ten carbines to a court’s probation department for use in court security

Op. 2004-6 municipal court judge establishing and chairing an arts committee to commission an artist and decide upon artwork for the court’s historic building

Op. 2004-13 municipal court judge preparing and signing a letter requesting local businesses to donate small items for use as program rewards and incentives for defendants in mental court; judge directing court employees to solicit such donations

Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)

Op. 94-4 judge's picture on DARE program trading card

Duty to report

Op. 89-32 judge reporting lawyer misconduct

Educational activities

Op. 86-2 instructing class at university, reimbursement

Op. 87-8 writing foreword book on constitution

Op. 89-3 member of board of trustees of a college

Op. 89-21 writing articles for publication, compensation

Op. 89-28 teaching courses on law, legal system, and the administration of justice

Op. 90-5 suggesting to bar association programs or interests to pursue

Op. 91-10 partnership for profit to provide cont. legal education; preparing and presenting legal and non-legal educational materials for compensation

Op. 92-14 soliciting or accepting support for educational meeting

Op. 94-12 compensation for teaching at state or private colleges or universities on law, legal system, and the administration of justice

Op. 95-8 judge attending trial lawyers association meeting without paying registration fee

Op. 95-9 compensation for teaching continuing legal education classes; compensation for motivational speeches

Op. 99-1 trustee on board of county community college

Op. 2005-2 association of judicial employees charging vendors a fee to set up a booth at the association’s educational conference or permitting vendors to sponsor a meal, reception, open house, or other similar activity at the conference

Op. 2006-3 probate judge teaching a course on adult protective services at a training program for employees of county departments of job and family services and receiving compensation

Op. 2006-7 municipal court judge serving on the board of trustees of a non-profit corporation that provides mental health and counseling services that defendants use to fulfill conditions of probation and that contracts with the court to provide services for the court's mental health program docket

Endorsements
(See also JUDGES, Recommendations)

Op. 91-29 judge’s name on list of supporters of candidate for elective office in bar associations

Op. 92-11 judge signing nominating petitions or declaration of candidacy petitions; attending political dinners

Op. 96-5 judge endorsing model protocol for responding to domestic violence

Op. 2009-8 judicial candidate using phrase “Endorsed by (or a nominee of) the Democratic Party” or “Democratic Party Endorsed (or nominee)” or Endorsed by (or a nominee of) the Republican Party” or “Republican Party Endorsed (or nominee)”

Op. 2011-3 Abusing the Prestige of Judicial Office: Bar Association Elections

Executor

Op. 91-21 executor of close friend's estate

Op.92-5 judge serving as executor and preparing and filing probate documents

Facebook

Op. 2010-7 judge being a friend on a social networking site with a lawyer who appears as counsel in a case before the judge.

Farming

Op. 95-10 co-owning farm with spouse and continuing to raise beef cattle and selling hay, grain, and seed after taking the bench as a full-time judge

Favoritism

Op. 91-23 part-time judge appointing attorney in his/her law firm as referee

Op. 93-2 judge appointing attorney who is employed by judge's son as associate in a law practice

Fiduciary

Op. 91-21 executor of close friend's estate

Op. 92-5 executor/administrator preparing and filing probate documents

Financial Disclosure - (See FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS)

Firm Name

Op. 87-48 judge’s name included in firm name

Former judge - (See JUDGES, Practice of law--former judge)

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Fundraising for campaign

Op. 87-37 for judicial campaign; 120 day rule

Op. 89-15 outside group raising funds for judicial campaign

Op. 90-24 donations to political parties and candidates

Op. 96-7 using judicial campaign funds to purchase a ticket to another candidate’s fund raiser

Fundraising for candidacy for appointment to fill vacancy in an elected office

Op. 98-6 judge becoming a candidate for appointment by a county central committee to fill the office of prosecuting attorney when a vacancy occurs in that office

Fundraising for educational/religious/charitable/fraternal/civic

Op. 87-3 not-for-profit mental health foundation

Op. 87-9 county courthouse restoration committee; use of judge's name

Op. 87-50 retirement plan board of Catholic Diocese

Op. 89-3 member of college board of trustees

Op. 90-16 trustee of public non-profit foundation that administers a trust named for a deceased judge that provides law school scholarships for minority students; use of judge's name

Op. 95-13 fund-raising telethon to general public

Gifts
(See also JUDGES, Donations)

Op. 95-4 accepting complimentary books from publisher that does business with the court

Op. 95-8 accepting offer to attend trial lawyers association meeting without paying registration fee

Op. 98-10 accepting honorary membership to a country club; accepting a round of golf or a ticket to a sports event from an attorney

Op. 2009-10 judge thanking jurors for their service by a sincere verbal expression of appreciation, a letter of appreciation, a certificate of appreciation, or a small but dignified memento, such as a bookmark imprinted with the judge’s name, picture, and historic quote; personal expense or court expense; purpose might trigger reporting requirements of R.C. 3517.10

Honorarium

Op. 94-12 compensation for teaching at colleges on the law, legal system, or administration of justice

Op. 95-9 compensation for teaching continuing legal education; compensation for motivational speaking

Op. 2006-3 probate judge teaching a course on adult protective services at a training program for employees of county departments of job and family services and receiving compensation

Judicial law clerk

Op. 89-26 judicial clerk registered as "inactive" attorney

Op. 95-5 judge giving recommendation on behalf of judicial law clerk

Op. 97-4 judicial law clerk concurrently engaging in the part-time private practice of law

Jurors

Op. 2009-10 judge thanking jurors for their service by a sincere verbal expression of appreciation, a letter of appreciation, a certificate of appreciation, or a small but dignified memento, such as a bookmark imprinted with the judge’s name, picture, and historic quote; personal expense or court expense; purpose might trigger expenditure reporting requirements of R.C. 3517.10

Legislative agent

Op. 97-8 retired judge eligible for recall to judicial service serving as a legislative agent for several judges associations

Letterhead

Op. 87-48 judge's name on former firm's letterhead, professional notices or included in firm's name

Op. 93-8 former judge in private practice using statements as to prior judicial positions held or titles "Judge," "Honorable," or "Former Judge"

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Member or officer

Op. 87-3 board of incorporated not-for-profit mental health foundation board; fundraising

Op. 87-9 member of county court house restoration committee; fundraising

Op. 87-13 local government committee (county hazardous materials task force)

Op. 87-32 local board of education (referee)

Op. 87-50 board of trustees retirement fund Catholic Diocese; fundraising

Op. 89-03 board of trustees of a college; fundraising

Op. 89-22 asbestos trustee

Op. 89-29 community mental health board

Op. 90-16 trustee of charitable, non-profit foundation; use of judge's name in fundraising

Op. 91-11 member or officer of board of directors of nonprofit corporation providing services to court by contract

Op. 98-8 full-time judge, part-time judge, full-time magistrate, part-time magistrate, or judge pro tempore serving as a member of a state or county executive committee or a political party or as a member of a county board of elections

Op. 99-1 trustee on board of a county community college

Op. 2002-9 judge appointed member of Ohio Children's Trust Fund Board; judge appointed member of a County Family and Children First Council

Op. 2003-4 whether president/CEO and employees of nonprofit organization that operates a cummunity-based correctional facility and program on which judge serves as a member of judicial corrections board are judicial officers or employees for purposes of Ohio Ethics Law

Op. 2003-9 judge serving on judicial corrections boards for community-based correctional facilities and programs

Op. 2004-3 magistrate serving on or seeking election or re-election to a local, city, or state board of education; magistrate serving on or seeking election or re-election to a board of county commissioners; magistrate serving as trustee of a condominium association

Op. 2006-7 municipal court judge serving on the board of trustees of a non-profit corporation that provides mental health and counseling services that defendants use to fulfill conditions of probation and that contracts with the court to provide services for the court's mental health program docket

Op. 2009-7 newly appointed domestic relations magistrate continuing to serve out a term as an elected member of city council

Nepotism

Op. 89-1 retention of employee married to judge; judge appointing spouse of court employee

Op. 93-4 judge appointing attorney to represent indigent parties when the attorney is related to the judge

Op. 04-10 part-time municipal court judge appointing son or daughter as acting judge to serve during the judge’s vacation

Parades

Op. 93-9 participating in parades

Political Activities
(See also JUDGES, Campaign activities, JUDGES, Speech)

Op. 88-7 serving as paid consultant for candidates for elective office

Op. 90-8 judge pro tempore as member of political party executive committee or as board member of a political party club

Op. 92-11 signing nominating petitions or declaration of candidacy petitions; attending political dinners, sitting at head table, introductions

Op. 93-9 participating in parades

Op. 98-8 full-time judge, part-time judge, full-time magistrate, part-time magistrate, or judge protempore serving as a member of a state or county executive committee or a political party or as a member of a county board of elections

Political Donations

Op. 88-17 contributions by judges, judicial candidates and campaign committees

Op. 90-24 contributions by judges, referees

Op. 96-7 judge or judicial candidate using judicial campaign funds to purchase a ticket to another candidate’s fund raiser

Op. 2003-8 magistrate who is a judicial candidate appearing in a judicial robe in photographs used in campaign advertising; magistrate using title “magistrate” when listed as a contributor in a dinner program of a political party; using funds to attend social or fund-raising political events

Practice of law--acting judge

Op. 87-49 acting judge serving as a lawyer in a proceeding in which he served as judge or in any related proceeding

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Practice of law--court commissioner

Op. 88-10 commissioner of court of claims serving as special assistant attorney general

Practice of law--former judge

Op. 93-8 former judge in private practice using statements as to prior judicial positions held or titles "Judge," "Honorable," or "Former Judge"

Op. 05-5 former magistrate, now privately practicing law, representing a person in post-decree matters when he or she served as magistrate in the person’s original divorce or dissolution action

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Practice of law--full-time judge

Op. 88-36 full-time judge/referee preparing wills relatives

Op. 91-25 full-time judge prosecuting patent applications

Op. 92-5 judge/executor preparing and filing probate documents

Op. 95-10 full-time judge preparing tax returns for others

Practice of law--part-time judge, referee, or magistrate

Op. 87-14 part-time domestics referee practicing law

Op. 87-22 part-time municipal judge practicing law; practice by partners and members of part-time judge's law firm

Op. 87-29 part-time county court judge's practice of law; practice by partners, shareholders, associates, employees, subcontractors of part-time county court judge's law firm

Op. 87-36 part-time juvenile referee practicing law; practice by members of part-time referee's firm

Op. 91-2 part-time county court judge representing a defendant on a traffic violation pending in municipal court in another county; accepting private employment in a matter upon the merits of which the judge has acted in a judicial capacity; discussion of compliance section; discusses compliance section language "court subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the court"

Op. 94-2 county court judge, partners, and associates, practicing law in the court where the judge sits by assignment

Op. 98-3 part-time municipal court magistrate or common pleas court magistrate practicing law in the court on which he or she serves or on which the appointing judge serves; law partners and associates of part-time magistrate practicing law in the court on which the part-time magistrate serves

Op. 2005-4 county court judge, law partners, and associates appearing in county court before another county court judge

Private judge

Op. 88-6 retired judge registered for referrals as private judge pursuant to R.C.§2701.10 being eligible for appointment by Chief Justice for a visiting judgeship pursuant to Ohio Const. Art. IV §6(C)

Op. 2005-8 retired judge who engages in the practice of law also serving as a private judge; retired judge who serves as assigned judge also serving as private judge

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Pro tempore judge - (See JUDGES, Acting judge)

Real Estate Salesperson

Op. 06-1 judge or magistrate maintaining or using active license as real estate salesperson

Recommendations
(See also JUDGES, Endorsements)

Op. 95-5 recommendations on behalf of law school applicants; judicial law clerks; and individuals seeking appointment to a federal judgeship

Op. 98-4 recommendations for applicants seeking certification as attorney specialists

Op. 2011-3 Abusing the Prestige of Judicial Office: Bar Association Elections

Referee of sports

Op. 2003-6 judge as referee of soccer games

Relatives

Op. 87-22 son/partner who is city law director appearing before father/judge

Op. 87-24 spouse who is prosecuting attorney appearing before judge; other attorneys in prosecutor's office appearing before judge

Op. 87-38 spouse of referee and spouses law firm members appearing before judge and referee who was former assistant prosecutor

Op. 88-5 son appearing before acting judge

Op. 88-36 judge preparing wills for relatives

Op. 89-1 court's retention of employee who is judge's spouse

Op. 89-10 brother-in-law appearing before judge

Op. 89-19 spouse is police officer & material witness

Op. 89-20 spouses are county court judge and common pleas judge in same county

Op. 90-17 relative of judge appearing before probate judge in uncontested estate proceedings

Op. 91-8 appearance before judge by attorney employed by, associated with, or in partnership with judge's spouse

Op. 2001-1 judge's spouse is a candidate for elected public or judicial office; judge appearing in family picture and being listed by name with or without the title "judge" in the spouse's campaign literature; judge allowing campaign signs promoting the spouse's candidacy to be place on real estate jointly owned by the judge and spouse

Op. 2004-10 part-time municipal court judge appointing son or daughter as acting judge to serve during the judge’s vacation

Retired judges

Op. 87-9 retired judge eligible for recall to judicial service serving as a member of a county courthouse restoration committee

Op. 88-5 visiting judge appointed by Chief Justice hearing a case where the lawyer is related to the elected judge of the court where the visiting judge is sitting

Op. 88-6 retired judge registered for referrals as private judge pursuant to R.C.§2701.10 being eligible for appointment by Chief Justice for a visiting judgeship pursuant to Ohio Const. Art. IV §6(C)

Op. 88-34 retired judge not eligible for recall to judicial service endorsing or participating in the campaign of judicial or non-judicial candidates

Op. 93-8 former judge in private practice using statements as to prior positions held or titles such as "Judge," "Honorable," or "Former Judge"

Op. 97-8 retired judge eligible for recall to judicial service serving as a legislative agent for several judges associations

Op. 2005-8 retired judge who engages in the practice of law also serving as a private judge; retired judge who serves as assigned judge also serving as private judge

Op. 2013-3 Use of Judicial Titles by Former Judges

Sentencing

Op. 2010-4 judge, who has sentenced offender for a felony or a misdemeanor offense, granting the offender’s request to fulfill a community control sanction of community service by making a financial contribution to a charitable organization

Social Networking Site

Op. 2010-7 judge being a friend on a social networking site with a lawyer who appears as counsel in a case before the judge.

Specialized Dockets

Op. 2003-4 whether president/CEO and employees of non-profit organization that operates a community-based correctional facility and program on which judge serves as member of judicial corrections board are judicial officers or employees for purposes of Ohio Ethics Law

Op. 2004-13 municipal court judge preparing and signing a letter requesting local businesses to donate small items for use as program rewards and incentives for defendants in mental court; judge directing court employees to solicit such donations

Op. 2006-7 municipal court judge serving on the board of trustees of a non-profit corporation that provides mental health and counseling services that defendants use to fulfill conditions of probation and that contracts with the court to provide services for the court's mental health program docket

Op. 2009-2 juvenile court judge (or court staff) accepting travel expenses (payment or reimbursement of travel, meals, and lodging from the owners of a private placement facility that receives or seeks to receive placements of juveniles by the court; juvenile court judge (or court staff) attending a conference and accepting a gratuitous non-conference meal paid for by a private placement facility that receives or seeks to receive placements of juveniles by the court; reporting on annual financial disclosure statement

Speech
(See also JUDGES, Educational Activities)

Op. 87-6 candidates public debate

Op. 87-30 candidate promising to treat criminal offenses in a certain way if elected; announcing sentencing policy for criminal cases

Op. 87-40 speaking out against organization member of

Op. 87-44 opinions on local tax and merit selection plan

Op. 89-33 candidates on disputed legal or political issues

Op. 87-13 appointment to government committee

Op. 91-29 judge’s name on list of supporters for candidate for bar association office

Op. 92-11 introducing a partisan candidate; signing nominating petitions

Op. 2002-3 judge communicating to the public regarding a proposed state constitutional amendment regarding drug treatment in lieu of incarceration

Op. 2002-8 judicial campaign speech

Sports

Op. 98-10 accepting honorary membership to a country club; accepting a round of golf or a ticket to a sports event from an attorney

Op. 2003-6 judge as referee of soccer games

Telephone/ Telethon/Television

Op. 89-15 judicial candidates sharing television advertising time

Op. 95-13 judge participating in a fund-raising telethon to the general public

Transition from bar to bench

Op. 87-48 judge's name used on former firm’s letterhead, professional notices, or firm name

Op. 89-17 judge holding shares in legal professional association

Op. 95-3 newly elected judge hearing cases advocated by former partner; winding up law practice

Op. 95-10 co-owning farm with spouse and continuing to raise beef cattle and sell hay, grain, and seed after taking the bench as a full-time judge; judge who is certified public accountant continuing to prepare tax returns for self and family after taking the bench as a full-time judge

Op. 2007-2 judge receiving accounts receivable from former law firm for legal services provided by the judge prior to assuming judicial office; judge receiving retirement benefits from former law firm pursuant to law firm agreement; reporting on financial disclosure statement

Travel, Meals, and Lodging

Op. 2009-2 juvenile court judge (or court staff) accepting travel expenses (payment or reimbursement of travel, meals, and lodging from the owners of a private placement facility that receives or seeks to receive placements of juveniles by the court; juvenile court judge (or court staff) attending a conference and accepting a gratuitous non-conference meal paid for by a private placement facility that receives or seeks to receive placements of juveniles by the court; reporting on annual financial disclosure statement

Trial lawyers association

Op. 95-8 offer to judges to attend association meeting without paying registration fee

Visiting Judge - (See JUDGES, Assigned judge)

Wills

Op. 88-36 judge preparing wills for relatives

Op. 91-21 judge as executor and devisee

Op. 92-5 judge serving as executor, preparing and filing probate papers

JUDICIAL EMPLOYEES
(see also JUDGES, Judicial Law Clerks)

Op. 91-28 clerk and deputy clerk of the Court of Claims filing of financial disclosure statements

Op. 94-1 deputy bailiff of a municipal court privately owning tenant eviction business

Op. 92-18 attorney who is court administrator accepting offer to author a handbook and to receive royalties from a legal publisher that does business with the court

Op. 2001-5 court-employed attorney/mediator conducting private fee-paid mediations

Op. 2002-10 probation officer employed in a municipal court department of probation soliciting or accepting employment by a for-profit company that operates a drivers' intervention program for defendants found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and sentenced by the court to attend a drivers' intervention program as a condition of probation

Op. 2003-4 whether president/CEO and employees of nonprofit organization that operates a cummunity-based correctional facility and program on which judge serves as a member of judicial corrections board are judicial officers or employees for purposes of Ohio Ethics Law

Op. 2004-013 municipal court judge preparing and signing a letter requesting local businesses to donate small items for use as program rewards and incentives for defendants in mental court; judge directing court employees to solicit such donations

Op. 05-002 association of judicial employees charging vendors a fee to set up a booth at the association's educational conference or permitting vendors to sponsor a meal, reception, open house, or other similar activity at the conference

Op. 09-002 juvenile court judge (or court staff) accepting travel expenses (payment or reimbursement of travel, meals, and lodging from the owners of a private placement facility that receives or seeks to receive placements of juveniles by the court; juvenile court judge (or court staff) attending a conference and accepting a gratuitous non-conference meal paid for by a private placement facility that receives or seeks to receive placements of juveniles by the court; reporting on annual financial disclosure statement

Op. 09-004 domestic relations lawyer-mediator preparing necessary legal documents for filing by or on behalf of one or both parties in a domestic relations proceeding; application of ethical rules and Ohio Ethics Law to subsequent representation by court employee lawyer-mediator