LETTERHEAD OF FORMER JUDGE

Opinion No. 128 (1989)


QUESTION: May a former district judge use the following stationery letterhead for official correspondence while on assignment?

John Doe, District Judge
Formerly, Nine Hundred Ninety-ninth Judicial District
Post Office Box xxx
xxxxx, Texas (zip code)
(telephone)



ANSWER: No. The Committee is of the opinion that the letterhead may be misleading because the word "Formerly" modifies the word "District" and not the word "Judge". The Canon 3B provision that a judge should not use the prestige of his office includes the requirement that a judge should not use the prestige of his former office. The Committee believes that a judge should avoid any statement about his judicial status that could be ambiguous.

The Committee is also of the opinion that in official correspondence a former district judge may be identified as a former district judge or as a former judge of a court that is correctly identified.