This five-person committee of lawyers and judges does research and provides independent guidance to judges on issues that may violate the Code of Judicial Conduct. The committee helps ensure that judges operate with the very high standards of ethical behavior that the public has a right to expect.

Judicial Ethics Advisory Opinions

Title

Date

Comments

May 5, 2018

1. May a magistrate judge who previously served as staff attorney for the State Office of Child Support (OCS) preside over family court cases in which OCS is a party in the counties in which he worked, and if not, is there a time period after which he can do so?

2. Is that magistrate judge required to disclose his prior employment in cases in which OCS appears outside the region in which he previously represented OCS?

3. After appointment, may a magistrate judge continue to sit on the board of directors of a nonprofit community theater?

4. After appointment, may a magistrate judge continue to volunteer for a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions?

April 15, 2016

May a newly appointed judge receive fees he personally earned from client accounts, to be collected during the winding-up of his interest in his former law firm and after he takes office? 2. May a newly appointed judge retain an interest in real estate co-owned with his former law partners and occupied by his former law firm?

April 30, 2015

Is it proper for a probate judge to accept an appointment to serve on a state council or commission such as the Vermont Rail Council?

April 29, 2015

Is a judge who is the first cousin once removed of a state's attorney required to recuse himself from cases in which the state's attorney or one of his deputies appear before him?

December 16, 2013

May an elected judge serve on the board of a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization established to improve prison programming and reduce the number of incarcerated persons if the judge does not participate in fundraising?

July 22, 2010

May a sitting judge run for election in one or more probate districts in addition to the judge's home probate district?

Committee Members

Eileen Blackwood, Esq.

Chair

Honorable Brian J. Grearson

Chief Superior Judge

Honorable Lawrence H. Bruce

Probate Judge

Honorable Brian Valentine

Magistrate

Ian Carleton, Esq.

Member

Contact Information

Vicki Harty
Vermont Supreme Court
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609