News Release

Ethics Committee Issues Advice About Fundraising by Retired Judges Engaged in Private Dispute Resolution Services

Supreme Court ethics committee issues guidance to retired judges who are privately retained about fundraising activities.
May 11, 2022

The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) has issued advice about whether a retired judge who engages in private dispute resolution services may participate in fundraising activities to support a law school scholarship established in the judge’s name. 

In CJEO Expedited Opinion 2022-047, the committee concludes retired judges who are privately retained and do not sit by assignment through the Temporary Assigned Judges Program or serve as court-appointed neutrals are not subject to the restrictions on judicial conduct contained in the California Code of Judicial Ethics, including the restraints on fundraising. Therefore, they are not subject to any code prohibitions related to soliciting funds for educational or charitable organizations or encouraging others to do so.

Retired judges, or active judges looking ahead to retJudge Michael Garcia (Ret.)iring, will benefit from the guidance in this opinion about participation in fundraising activities following retirement," said committee member Judge Michael Garcia (Ret.).

About the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO)
The Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions is a 12-member advisory committee that includes appellate justices, trial court judges, a retired judge, and a commissioner. The committee is appointed and authorized by the California Supreme Court, but its work is independent of the court, the Judicial Council, and all other entities. Its opinions are advisory and do not necessarily reflect the views of the California Supreme Court or any other entity. 

The committee issues formal, informal, and expedited advisory opinions on proper judicial conduct pursuant to the California Code of Judicial Ethics and other authorities. CJEO posts its opinions on the CJEO website for the benefit of the bench and the public.