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Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics
Informal Opinion Summaries

2008-25 (December 18, 2008)
Off the Bench Conduct; Media; Canons 2, 3 & 4

Issue: May a Judicial Official participate on a “Law Talk” segment of a local radio station program devoted to the Judicial Branch’s foreclosure mediation program?

Response: Based upon the facts presented, including that the request involves a single appearance for an educational program related to the law, the program will be hosted by a private attorney and also include a foreclosure mediator who is employed by the Judicial Branch, and that members of the public will be able to call-in to the show and ask questions, the Committee unanimously approved the Judicial Official’s participation subject to the following conditions: (1) the appearance does not interfere with the Judicial Official’s judicial duties, (2) the Judicial Official does not give opinions which would cast doubt on the Judicial Official’s impartiality, (3) the Judicial Official is careful not to express opinions or to present the topic in any way that would indicate that the Judicial Official has a predisposition with respect to particular cases, (4) the Judicial Official’s presentation is factual and instructive about the procedures and parameters of the subject matter but does not include comments about any pending matters, and (5) the Judicial Official retains the right to review and pre-approve the use of any biographical information about the Judicial Official used to advertise the segment in order to avoid a violation of Canon 2(b)’s prohibition against lending the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of others.

 

Committee on Judicial Ethics

 


 

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