JUDGE AS PROBATE COUNSEL FOR
FAMILY MEMBER

Opinion No. 47 (1979)*


QUESTION: May a judge subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct appear as counsel in the probate of the will of a member of his family as that term is used in Canon 5D?

ANSWER: No. The practice of law is forbidden by Canon 5F. While a judge is permitted to engage in certain fiduciary activities under Canon 5D, appearance as counsel is impermissible under the Code. Incidental counseling with immediate members of the family is not considered by the Committee to constitute the practice of law.

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*Canon 8G, concerning applicability of the Code to retired judges was amended effective December 16, 1987.