Las Vegas Sun

January 25, 2015

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Ethics panel clears judge to use letterhead

CARSON CITY — A state panel says a district judge does not violate the ethics code by using his staff and official letterhead to send a letter to jurors after a trial thanking them for their service and asking how to improve the system.

A judicial rule says a judge is prohibited from using “judicial letterhead to gain an advantage in conducting his or her personal business.” It also prohibits the judge from using the court offices, staff, equipment and other resources “for extrajudicial purposes, except where incidental and related to the legal system or administration of justice.”

The state Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics said in an advisory opinion issued Thursday that the proposed conduct by the judge is not the type of communications prohibited by the judicial rule.

It said this proposed letter promotes public understanding and confidence in the administration of justice.

The judge who asked for the opinion was not identified.

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