RULE 1.1

Compliance with the Law*

A judge shall comply with the law.

RULE 1.2

Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary

A judge should act at all times in a manner that promotes-and shall not undermine-public confidence in the independence* integrity,* and impartiality* of the judiciary and shall avoid impropriety* and the appearance of impropriety.


[I] Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by improper conduct and conduct that creates the appearance of impropriety. This principle applies to both the professional and personal conduct of a judge.

[2] A judge should expect to be the subject of public scrutiny that might be viewed as burdensome if applied to other citizens, and must accept the restrictions imposed by the Code.

[3] Conduct that compromises or appears to compromise the independence, integrity, and impartiality of a judge undermines public confidence in the judiciary. Because it is not practicable to list all such conduct, the Rule is necessarily cast in general terms.

[4] Judges should participate in activities that promote ethical conduct among judges and lawyers, support professionalism within the judiciary and the legal profession, and promote access to justice for all.

[5] Actual improprieties include violations of law or provisions of this Code. The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judge engaged in impropriety.

[6] A judge should initiate and participate in community outreach activities for the purpose of promoting public understanding of and confidence in the administration of justice. In conducting such activities, the judge must act in a manner consistent with this Code.

RULE 1.3

Avoiding Abuse of the Prestige of Judicial Office

judge shall not abuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests* of the judge or others or allow others to do so.


[1] It is improper for a judge to abuse or attempt to abuse his or her position to gain personal advantage or deferential treatment of any kind. For example, it would be improper for a judge to allude to his or her judicial status to gain favorable treatment in encounters with traffic officials. Similarly, a judge must not use judicial letterhead to gain an advantage in conducting his or her personal business.

[2] A judge may provide a reference or recommendation for an individual based upon the judge’s personal knowledge, and if there is no likelihood that the reference or recommendation would reasonably be perceived as an attempt to exert pressure by reason of the judicial office. A judge may provide a general letter of recommendation assessing the qualifications and experience of an individual who has worked under the judge’s supervision.  The general letter of recommendation may be submitted to any prospective employer, including individuals and entities that regularly appear before the judge’s court.  In making such references or recommendations, the judge may refer to his or her judicial office and use official letterhead only for employment or educational opportunities.

[3] Judges may participate in the process of judicial selection by encouraging individuals to apply for judicial office and communicating with appointing authorities and screening committees,

[4] Special considerations arise when judges write or contribute to publications of for-profit entities, whether related or unrelated to the law. A judge should not permit anyone associated with the publication of such materials to exploit the judge’s office in a manner that violates this Rule or other applicable law. In contracts for publication of a judge’s writing, the judge should retain sufficient control over the advertising to avoid such exploitation.