Friday, December 18, 2009
The web page of the Ohio Supreme Court has this summary of a recent advisory ethics opinion:
[The opinion] addressed the following question: “Is it proper for a judge, at personal expense, to distribute bookmarks, imprinted with the judge’s name, picture, and a historic quote regarding jury service, to jurors who serve in the judge’s courtroom?”
The opinion finds that the practice is permissible under the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct, but cautions judges to thank jurors soon after their service ends and to “use a uniform method of thanking the jury that is in keeping with the dignity of jury service and the furtherance of the administration of justice.” Further, a judge should consider whether it is prudent to do so at personal expense rather than at court expense in the Ohio Elections Commission’s advice in Op. 89-4 that a public officeholder’s purchase with personal funds of items distributed to promote a possible future candidacy is a reportable expenditure pursuant to R.C. 3517.10.
The opinion may be found through this link. (Mike Frisch)