POLITICAL ADVERTISING USING "JUDGE"
WHEN NOT CURRENTLY HOLDING JUDICIAL OFFICE

Opinion No. 195 (1996)


QUESTION 1: Can an individual who resigned from a County Court at Law bench to run for a District Court bench, and who is currently practicing law as a civil defense attorney, use the title "Judge" in political advertisements without running afoul of Canon 5?

QUESTION 2: Can an individual who resigned from a County Court at Law bench to run for a District Court bench, and who is currently practicing law as a civil defense attorney, use election materials from previous campaigns for her county bench races that say only "Vote for Judge __________"?

ANSWER: No to both questions. Canon 5(2)(ii) provides that a judge or candidate for judicial office shall not knowingly misrepresent, among other things, the present position of the candidate. A judicial candidate who is not currently an active judge and who does not currently hold a judicial office cannot therefore use the title "Judge" in any political advertisements or campaign literature, and to do so would violate Canon 5(2)(ii).