FORMER JUDGE AS AN ARBITRATOR

Opinion No. 124 (1988)*


QUESTION: Would a former district judge, who has consented to be subject to assignment, violate the code of judicial conduct by acting as an arbitrator or mediator?

ANSWER: Canon 5E of the Code of Judicial Conduct Act states "A judge should not act as an arbitrator or mediator." However, a former district judge who has complied with the Court Administration Act, Art. 74.054(3) is placed by Canon 8G of the code in the same category as a senior judge. Canon 8G(1) states, "[A former district judge]... is not required to comply with Canon 5E," but Canon 8G(2) qualifies this exception by stating "[A former district judge]... should refrain from judicial service during the period of extra-judicial appointment permitted by Canon 5G."

The committee is of the opinion that a former district judge who has qualified under Art. 74.054(3) may act as an arbitrator or mediator provided the judge refrains from performing judicial service during the period of an extra-judicial appointment.

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*Canon 5E was amended effective December 19, 1989.