OWNERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION

Opinion No. 129 (1989)


QUESTION: If a lawyer owns and practices law in a professional corporation and then becomes a judge, may the judge continue to own, and may the judge receive a salary from, the corporation while pending matters are being completed by other lawyers?

ANSWER: No. Canon 5F provides that a judge should not practice law, and the Committee is of the opinion that a judge should not own or receive a salary from an existing corporation whose only purpose is the practice of law. The liquidation of the assets of a law practice professional corporation is governed by the Canon 5C(3) provision that a judge's financial interests that might require frequent disqualification should be disposed of as soon as the judge can do so without serious financial detriment.