These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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19-Judge Conflicts

Judges may participate in fundraising activities on behalf of "therapeutic" or "problem solving" courts, but must comply with all of the Model Judicial Code's limitations on fundraising and other activities. For instance, judges may not sign solicitation letters, but may appear on the letterhead of a not for profit organization (presumably including letterhead used in fundraising letters). Although judges would not automatically have to disqualify themselves from matters in which one of the lawyers contributed to such an organization, the judge would have to consider such disqualification (taking into account "both the size and the importance of contributions known by the judge to have been made by lawyers or parties who come before her"). Judges may endorse such organizations "only when it is clear that no political or business profit making interest is involved."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn