Thursday, March 26, 2009
Subject to certain conditions, a clerk-magistrate may also work at an automoblie dealership, according to a recent ethics opinion of the Massachusetts Committee on Ethical Opinions for Clerks:
In your letter of December 23, 2008, you request an opinion of this Committee concerning an employment opportunity to work part-time with an auto dealership. You are the First Assistant Clerk-Magistrate at the ______ Court. You state that you would be providing customer service and business assistance in matters involving the sale and service of automobiles for a dealership which is headquartered in ___ , MA. You indicate that you had previously worked for this dealership and that all dealerships are located well outside of the jurisdiction of the court where you work. You also indicate that your work would be performed outside the hours of the court. You seek the Committee's advice as to what professional or ethical factors you would have to consider in entering the arrangement described above.
In the opinion of the Committee, provided that you comply with the provisions of the Canons of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Courts cited below, your participation in the employment opportunity described in your letter is permissible under the Code. While we cannot predict what circumstances might arise regarding the sale and service of automobiles, we caution you to abide by the following Canons as your strict guideline when assessing what course of action you might adopt. Also, we advise you to review Opinion 94-11 which dealt with outside employment.