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November 16, 2000

Honorable Vic Fleming
Municipal Judge
Little Rock Municipal Court, 2nd Div.
600 W. Markham
Little Rock, AR 72201

RE: Advisory Opinion # 2000-10

Dear Judge Fleming:

You have asked this committee whether it is permissible for someone elected or appointed to a judgeship to accept a robe from a bar association of which that person is a member.

This long standing and wide spread practice dates back some half a century to a time when judges in this state began wearing robes. We find nothing in the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct on which this tradition infringes, nor do any of the advisory opinions from other states criticize the practice. In our opinion, the acceptance of a robe from a bar association by a newly appointed or elected judge does not encroach on judicial ethics.

You also ask what restrictions, if any, would apply in the event of successive reelections by a judge to the same or different judgeship. While we see no particular ethical restraints arising from the scenario you pose, it would seem that at some point, practicality, if not ethical considerations, would mitigate against repeated robe giving.

Sincerely,


Steele Hays
For the Committee


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