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June 29, 2000


Honorable Bill Mills
Circuit Judge, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit
Wilbur D. Mills Court Building
301 West Arch
Searcy, Arkansas 72143


RE: Advisory Opinion 2000-06


Dear Judge Mills:

You have requested an advisory opinion as to whether you may teach evening courses at Arkansas State University at Beebe, and whether you may be compensated for teaching as an adjunct professor.

Canon 4(A) of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct permits a judge to engage in extra-judicial activities so long as they do not cast reasonable doubt on the judge's capacity to act impartially, demean the judicial office, or interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties. Even more specifically, Canon 4(B) permits a judge to teach, speak or write on both legal and non-legal subjects. Further, Canon 4(H) permits a judge to be compensated for such work on the same basis as a non-judge. Within those guidelines, the Code of Judicial Conduct permits you to teach at the University level.

We have previously, in our opinion 95-05, approved such teaching at a private institution of higher education. The Code does not require that teaching at state universities be treated differently.

In regard to whether a judge may be compensated by a state university, your letter also refers to Article 7, Section 18 of the Arkansas Constitution; Ark. Code Ann. § 19-4-1604 and
§ 21-1-401; and Arkansas Attorney General Opinion 92-050. However, our authority is limited to providing interpretations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. We cannot interpret legislation, particularly 1999 Acts that may regulate employment by state agencies. Those interpretive matters belong to the courts or to the Attorney General.

Sincerely,


Howard W. Brill
For the Committee


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