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Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics
Informal Opinion Summaries

2010-27 (September 8, 2010)
Fundraiser; Event, attendance/appearance; Name, Use of; Canons 2 & 5; New CJC (effective 1-1-11): Rules 1.2 & 3.7

Issue: A union is sponsoring a golf tournament fundraiser for the benefit of a judicial branch employee who was tragically injured in a motorcycle accident. The event will not occur during normal work hours and the employee is not a litigant who has come or is likely to come before the inquiring Judicial Officials. The cost to attend the tournament is $150 per person and includes lunch, dinner and a $5 credit at the pro shop. Hole, tee and cart sponsorships are available at the cost of $150, $100, and $50, respectively. All proceeds from the tournament will go to the injured employee. The Judicial Officials indicate that they will not participate in the solicitation of funds for the event.

  1. May the Judicial Officials attend and participate in the fundraiser?
  2.  May the Judicial Officials make a contribution or sponsor a hole, tee or cart at the fundraiser?

Response: Based upon the facts presented, the Committee unanimously determined that the Judicial Officials (1) may attend the tournament at their own expense and participate (play golf) in the fundraising event and (2) may contribute money and sponsor a hole, tee or cart to help the injured judicial branch employee. The Judicial Officials, however, should consider the propriety of using their judicial title in connection with the fundraiser to determine whether it implicitly lends the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interests of others in violation of Canon 2. If judicial titles are used in connection with the fundraiser, the Judicial Officials should retain the right to review and pre-approve the use of any biographical information about the Judicial Officials to ensure that the information is not used for any solicitation purposes in potential violation of Canon 5(b)(2). 

Committee on Judicial Ethics



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