GRIEF COUNSELLING

Opinion No. 101 (1987)


QUESTION: Would it be a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct for a judge to work in conjunction with a professional therapist in group counselling of persons who have sustained grievous losses in their lives?

ANSWER: The committee has been informed that the classes are scheduled at such times as to not interfere with the judge's judicial duties and that the judge will be paid a stipend of $200 monthly, apparently to cover the cost of required insurance. Canon 5A permits a judge to speak and teach on non-legal subjects in his or her avocational activities provided those activities do not detract from the dignity of his or her office or interfere with the performance of his or her judicial duties. Subject to the limitations set out in Canon 5A, the committee is of the opinion that it would not be a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct for a judge to work with the described group counselling classes.