Tuesday, December 21, 2021

No Speaking Objection

A Staff Report on the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct has issued two advisory opinions that replace six previous opinions interpreting the former Code of Judicial Conduct.

Advisory Opinion 2021-11 provides guidance to judges engaging in the extrajudicial activities of teaching or speaking.

The board concludes that teaching and public speaking are permissible activities under the Code of Judicial Conduct, provided the activities do not interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties and the compensation does not exceed that paid to someone who is not a judge.

The opinion reminds judges that they may not receive compensation for giving a speech due to a state law that prohibits a public official from receiving an honorarium. This opinion replaces Advisory Opinions 1986-02, 1989-28, 1994-12, and 1995-9.

Advisory Opinion 2021-12 affirms the ability of a judge to provide a letter of recommendation or serve as a reference when the judge has personal knowledge of an individual.

The board advises that a judge’s requisite personal knowledge should be based on more than a mere acquaintance or occasional social interaction. This opinion replaces Advisory Opinions 1995-05 and 1998-04.

(Mike Frisch)


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