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Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics
Informal Opinion Summaries

2009-35 (October 29, 2009)
Event, attendance/appearance; Awards & Honors; Speaking; Canons 2 & 5

Issue: May a Judicial Official be included on a “Wall on Honor” for distinguished high school alumni at a ceremony sponsored by the Judicial Official’s former high school alumni association?

Response: A Judicial Official has been invited by the Judicial Official’s high school alumni association (hereinafter, “Association”) to be included on the high school’s “Wall of Honor”. The Judicial Official is one of nine alumni who will be presented with a plaque to be added to the “Wall of Honor” at an induction ceremony. Each inductee is permitted to speak for a few minutes and a reception follows. The Association does not charge the inductees, the person who nominated the inductee, and one guest of the inductee to attend the reception. However, each additional guest is requested to make a ten dollar donation to help cover the cost of the food provided at the reception. The Association pays for the food and all other costs from its treasury, including the cost of the plaques, custodial staff, flowers, etc. and keeps any donations to help offset the cost of the food. Each year the Association incurs a net expense for the program. Based upon the information provided, the participating members of the Committee unanimously determined that it was ethically permissible for the Judicial Official to attend the Association’s induction ceremony and reception because the event is not a fundraising event within the meaning of Canon 5 and will not otherwise compromise the Judicial Official’s duty under Canon 2 to promote confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

Committee on Judicial Ethics

 


 

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