ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct
Terms explained below are noted with an asterisk (*)
in the actual Sections of the Code where they appear. In addition,
hyperlinks to these Sections where terms appear are referred
to after the explanation of each term below.
"Aggregate" in relation to contributions
for a candidate under Sections 3E(1)(e)
denotes not only contributions in cash or in kind made directly
to a candidate's committee or treasurer, but also, except
in retention elections, all contributions made indirectly
with the understanding that they will be used to support the
election of the candidate or to oppose the election of the
candidate's opponent. See Sections 3E(1)(e),
"Appropriate authority" denotes
the authority with responsibility for initiation of disciplinary
process with respect to the violation to be reported. See
"Candidate." A candidate is a
person seeking selection for or retention in judicial office
by election or appointment. A person becomes a candidate for
judicial office as soon as he or she makes a public announcement
of candidacy, declares or files as a candidate with the election
or appointment authority, or authorizes solicitation or acceptance
of contributions or support. The term "candidate"
has the same meaning when applied to a judge seeking election
or appointment to non-judicial office. See Preamble
and Sections 5A,
"Continuing part-time judge."
A continuing part-time judge is a judge who serves repeatedly
on a part-time basis by election or under a continuing appointment,
including a retired judge subject to recall who is permitted
to practice law. See Application
"Court personnel" does not include
the lawyers in a proceeding before a judge. See Sections 3B(7)(c)
"De minimis" denotes an insignificant
interest that could not raise reasonable question as to a
judge’s impartiality. See Sections 3E(1)(c)
"Economic interest" denotes ownership
of a more than de minimis legal or equitable interest, or
a relationship as officer, director, advisor or other active
participant in the affairs of a party, except that:
(i) ownership of an interest in a mutual or common investment
fund that holds securities is not an economic interest in
such securities unless the judge participates in the management
of the fund or a proceeding pending or impending before
the judge could substantially affect the value of the interest;
(ii) service by a judge as an officer, director, advisor
or other active participant in an educational, religious,
charitable, fraternal or civic organization, or service
by a judge’s spouse, parent or child as an officer,
director, advisor or other active participant in any organization
does not create an economic interest in securities held
by that organization;
(iii) a deposit in a financial institution, the proprietary
interest of a policy holder in a mutual insurance company,
of a depositor in a mutual savings association or of a member
in a credit union, or a similar proprietary interest, is
not an economic interest in the organization unless a proceeding
pending or impending before the judge could substantially
affect the value of the interest;
(iv) ownership of government securities is not an economic
interest in the issuer unless a proceeding pending or impending
before the judge could substantially affect the value of
the securities. See Sections 3E(1)(c)
"Fiduciary" includes such relationships
as executor, administrator, trustee, and guardian. See Sections
"Impartiality" or "impartial"
denotes absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against,
particular parties or classes of parties, as well as maintaining
an open mind in considering issues that may come before the
judge. See Sections 2A,
"known" or "knows"
denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person’s
knowledge may be inferred from circumstances. See Sections
"Law" denotes court rules as well
as statutes, constitutional provisions and decisional law.
See Sections 2A,
"Member of the candidate’s family"
denotes a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or
other relative or person with whom the candidate maintains
a close familial relationship. See Section 5A(3)(a).
"Member of the judge’s family"
denotes a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent,
or other relative or person with whom the judge maintains
a close familial relationship. See Sections 4D(3),
"Member of the judge’s family residing
in the judge’s household" denotes any
relative of a judge by blood or marriage, or a person treated
by a judge as a member of the judge’s family, who resides
in the judge’s household. See Sections 3E(1)
"Nonpublic information" denotes
information that, by law, is not available to the public.
Nonpublic information may include but is not limited to: information
that is sealed by statute or court order, impounded or communicated
in camera; and information offered in grand jury proceedings,
presentencing reports, dependency cases or psychiatric reports.
See Section 3B(12).
"Periodic part-time judge." A
periodic part-time judge is a judge who serves or expects
to serve repeatedly on a part-time basis but under a separate
appointment for each limited period of service or for each
matter. See Application
"Political organization" denotes
a political party or other group, the principal purpose of
which is to further the election or appointment of candidates
to political office. See Sections 5A(1),
"Pro tempore part-time judge."
A pro tempore part-time judge is a judge who serves or expects
to serve once or only sporadically on a part-time basis under
a separate appointment for each period of service or for each
case heard. See Application
"Public election." This term includes
primary and general elections; it includes partisan elections,
nonpartisan elections and retention elections. See Section
"Require." The rules prescribing
that a judge "require" certain conduct of others
are, like all of the rules in this Code, rules of reason.
The use of the term "require" in that context means
a judge is to exercise reasonable direction and control over
the conduct of those persons subject to the judge’s
direction and control. See Sections 3B(3),
"Third degree of relationship."
The following persons are relatives within the third degree
of relationship: great-grandparent, grandparent, parent, uncle,
aunt, brother, sister, child, grandchild, great-grandchild,
nephew or niece. See Section 3E(1)(d).
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