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Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics
Informal Opinion Summaries

2009-26 (Emergency Staff Opinion issued August 11, 2009)
Practice of Law; Canon 5

Issue: A Judicial Official, many years ago when in private practice, prepared a document for a client. The client signed the document, as did various witnesses, but the Judicial Official failed to take the acknowledgment of the witnesses with respect to their signatures. The Judicial Official has now been asked to sign the acknowledgment and inquires whether signing an acknowledgment or providing an affidavit with respect to their signatures would constitute the practice of law in violation of Canon 5 (f).

Emergency Staff Opinion: The Judicial Official was advised that furnishing an acknowledgment or equivalent affidavit would not constitute the practice of law, but that he/she should take care to ensure that the post hoc circumstances of the acknowledgment are not concealed or implicitly misrepresented. If the Judicial Official has a clear recollection of witnessing the signatures, the Judicial Official was advised that he/she could sign the acknowledgment, dating it with the present date, provided it is accompanied by an affidavit explaining the time gap and the basis of the recollection.

Committee on Judicial Ethics



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