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May 20, 1998



 

Judge Milas AButch Hale, III
Hale & Young, P.L.L.C.
4801 North Hills Boulevard Suite 1550
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116

Re: Advisory Opinion 98-03

Dear Judge Hale:

Your question is a follow-up to our advisory opinion 98-02, in which we concluded that a municipal judge, as a continuing part-time judge, should not accept representation of criminal defendants in the circuit in which the prosecuting attorney, who appears before the judge, has jurisdiction. To prevent the appearance of impropriety, the private law practice of the judge must be subordinated to the judicial responsibility.

Your letter states that at the time of the issuance of our opinion, you were involved in the representation of such a client in your private capacity. Section D of the Application Provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct recognizes that a judge can and should comply with some provisions Aas soon as reasonably possible@. In addition, our opinion places the burden on the judge to decline the initial representation. Further, our opinion raised this issue of first impression and should be applied prospectively.

Accordingly, we conclude that you are permitted to complete your representation in the pending matters, but should decline such representation henceforth.

Sincerely,

 

Howard W. Brill

For the Committee

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