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Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics
Informal Opinion Summaries

2008-19 (December 10, 2008)
New Judge; Transition to Bench; Former Law Firm; Compensation;
Canons 2, 3(c) & 5(c); Rule 1.5(e) of the Rules of Professional Conduct

Issue: May a Judicial Official accept payment from the Judicial Official’s former law firm (1) for work done on contingency fee lawsuits that were pending at the time the Judicial Official was appointed to the bench, or (2) for cases initiated for clients that the Judicial Official brought to the firm prior to the Judicial Official’s appointment to the bench?

Response: Based upon the facts presented, which involved a single payment to be made for a case the Judicial Official worked on and which was approved by his/her former law firm and the client, the Committee unanimously agreed that it is ethically permissible for the Judicial Official to accept payment provided the amount to be paid reasonably reflects the work the Judicial Official performed on the case. The Judicial Official should also consider whether the decision to accept payment may affect the Judicial Official’s qualification to hear matters involving the client, opposing parties and the law firm. 

Committee on Judicial Ethics



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