Opinion No. 99 (1987)*

QUESTION: May a former District judge, who has qualified to accept judicial assignments, act as an arbitrator or mediator when not on a judicial assignment?

ANSWER: The Code of Judicial Conduct does not mention former district judges, but Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. Art. 200a-1, Sec. 4.014(B) (Vernon 1987), places former judges in the same category as retired judges, when discussing "judges subject to assignment." Since the nature of the judicial assignments and duties are identical, your committee, for the purpose of this opinion, will consider a former judge in the same category as a "retired judge subject to recall" under the code.
Canon 5E states that a judge should not act as an arbitrator or mediator. However, Canon 8D states that Canon 5E is not applicable to retired judges, provided the judge should refrain from judicial service during the period of an extra-judicial appointment not sanctioned by Canon 5G.

Subject to the limitations in Canons 8D and 5G, your committee is of the opinion that a former judge may act as an arbitrator or mediator when not on a judicial assignment.


*Canon 8, Compliance, was amended effective December 16, 1987.