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Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics
Informal Opinion Summaries

2009-02 (January 27, 2009)
Off the Bench Conduct; Charitable Activities; Gifts; Family;
Canons 2, 3, 5 & 7

Issue: May a Judicial Official attend a fundraising charity dinner at which a relative will be presented with an award for the relative’s years of public service?

Response: The information provided concerning this request indicates the following facts: the Judicial Official contemplates attending a fundraising charity dinner hosted by a nonprofit organization to honor the Judicial Official’s relative, the Judicial Official will not be a speaker or a guest of honor, the funds raised will go towards various charities, the nonprofit organization does not engage in political activity or contribute to any political party or candidates, the nonprofit has no connection with a political party except its founding membership, the organization has recognized or given awards to individuals from the other major political party, the organization is neither a party to nor has stated a public position on the merits or resolution of any matter pending before the Judicial Official, and the award recipient is not presently before and is not likely to come before the Judicial Official. The Committee unanimously agreed that the Judicial Official may attend the event subject to the following restrictions: (1) the Judicial Official may accept a ticket to the event from his or her relative pursuant to Canon 5 (c) (4) (B) unless the honoree is not a “relative” as that term is defined in Canon 3 (b) (5), in which case the Judicial Official must report the gift pursuant to Canon 5 (c) (4) (C) if the value of the ticket exceeds $100; and (2) the Judicial Official shall not act in a manner that would cause doubt as to his or her impartiality. 


Committee on Judicial Ethics



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