MASTER MAY NOT PRACTICE IN COURT SERVED

Opinion No. 200 (1996)


QUESTION: May a master who is appointed by the county judge but serves at the will of the probate judge and hears mental health proceedings in the absence of the probate judge, practice in that probate court? The Mental Health and Retardation Code statute authorizing the appointment of the master (574.0085) specifically states that the master shall comply with the Code of Judicial Conduct in the same manner as the county judge.

ANSWER: No. Since the master is actually sitting for the probate judge, Canon 6B(3) clearly states that such person may not practice law in the court in which he or she serves.