JUDICIAL ETHICS – QUIZ
A thorough understanding of judicial ethics is a critical factor for any aspiring judicial
candidate. The intent of this quiz is to two-fold: (1) to insure that aspiring candidates
understand the unique rules that apply to judges; (2) to help new judges avoid the pitfalls
of violating ethical canons. This quiz is intended to be educational and helpful to judicial
1. Canon 1: Judges should uphold the ________________ and __________________
of the judiciary.
2. Judge A has a best friend who has opened a Driving school. Judge A sentences all
DUI offenders to attend and complete the DUI school operated by his best friend. What
Canons has the judge violated?
3. A friend from church asks the judge to write a recommendation letter on behalf of
the friend’s daughter. The friend requests that the recommendation letter be written on the
judge’s stationary. What Canon governs this request?
4. Judge is asked to be a character witness for a college room-mate who now has a
divorce proceeding in another circuit. Should the judge voluntarily appear? What if the
judge is subpoenaed?
5. Judge B has not read an advance sheet on recent appellate case law decisions in
years. What Canon governs?
6. Judge C has a case involving a neighborhood dispute that is being closely watched
by the media and several neighborhood organizations. There is a lot of public pressure to
rule in a certain way on this case. What Canon gives direction on partisan interests, public
clamor or fear of criticism?
7. Judge D is known to give scalding lectures to litigants and lawyers. Judge D is also
known to be highly impatient if the lawyers don’t try the case exactly how the judge thinks it
should be tried. Judge D regularly cuts off argument, especially if the judge has a luncheon
meeting. What Canon applies?
8. The prosecutor assigned to the judge wants to have regularly scheduled private
meetings with the judge prior to the call of the calendar to help prepare the judge for issues
on pending cases scheduled to come before the court. The prosecutor says that this will
save both offices substantial time. What Canon applies?
9. The judge has a reputation for taking matters under advisement. Oftentimes, it will
be months before the judge issues a ruling, sometimes only after numerous calls have
been made to the judge’s office. What Canon applies?
10. It is the second week of a medical malpractice trial involving several young children.
The local newspaper is doing a story on the trial. The reporter asks for some comments
from the judge & the judge’s law clerk about how the trial is going. What Canon applies?
Would your answer be the same if the judge was asked the question while in the
courtroom, in the presence of all parties?
11. Absent a request under the Uniform Rules of Court, should the judge let anyone take
photographs or record proceedings? What Canon applies?
12. It is judicial campaign season. The election is very acrimonious. The opponent is
charging the judge with having a substantial backlog. The judge’s opponent is scheduled
to have 2 upcoming trials before the judge. The judge insists on hearing those cases,
immediately to get them off the docket. Should the judge handle these trials? What Canon
13. Judge takes office and wants to appoint the judge’s own daughter as the judge’s
calendar coordinator. What Canon applies?
14. Judge’s grandson is in real estate. A zoning matter comes before the judge. The
judge finds out that the judge’s grandson owns adjacent land which could be affected. What
should the judge do? What Canon applies?
15. Judge is on the Board of Directors for a local bank and has been for years since the
time when judge was a practicing lawyer. The bank has a routine default judgment come
before the judge. No one contests the entry of the judgment. Should the judge sign off on
this routine judgment? Should the judge remain on the Board of Directors? What Canon
16. Judge’s spouse is successful in many business ventures. Unbeknownst to the judge,
the spouse has a tangential financial interest in a case before the judge. What Canon
17. What Canon gives the judge guidance on how to properly address disqualifications
issues on the bench?
18. Judge has received an invitation to be an honorary member of “Mothers Against
Drunk Drivers.” Should the judge accept this honorary appointment? What Canon
19. Can a judge be a speaker for a Continuing Legal Education seminar? What Canon
20. Can a judge appear before a legislative body and give testimony about changing a
law? What Canon applies?
21. Avocational activities: Judge may not engage in avocational activities which
_____________ from the _______________________ of their office or
_______________________ with the performance of their judicial duties.
22. Newly elected judge has been on the board of directors for United Way for a number
of years. The judge plans to solicit local lawyers to contribute to United Way. The judge
has a letter drafted which has been prepared on the judges new letterhead. What Canon
23. Judge and the judge’s former law partner, who still practices law, plan on buying a
new office building together. They have agreed that the new office building will be occupied
by non-lawyers. What Canon applies?
24. One of the judge’s former clients, who is also a long-term friend, has told the judge
that she wants the judge to be the executor and trustee of her estate. Should the judge
accept or decline this appointment? What Canon applies?
25. Can a full-time judge act as a mediator for compensation? What Canon applies?
Can a part-time judge act as a mediator for compensation? What Canon applies?
26. True or False: A judge should not accept appointment to a governmental
committee, commission, or other position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy on
matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system, or the administration of
justice, if acceptance of such appointment might reasonably cast doubt upon the judge's
impartiality or demean the judge's office.
27. Judges should not be expected or permitted to accept government appointments
that could interfere with the effectiveness and _______________________ of the judiciary.
28. True or False: A judge can hold certain offices in a political organization.
29. True or False: A judge can publicly endorse other judicial candidates for elected
30. A part-time judge is not required to comply with the following Canons. Please list.
The following questions track certain opinions from the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
See http://www.georgiacourts.org/agencies/jqc/index.html or search for Judicial
Qualifications Commission, Georgia.
31. Should a candidate for judicial office wear a candidate "badge" while in the local
courthouse and/or while trying cases? See JQC opinion #227.
32. Can a part-time magistrate appear as a lawyer in the Magistrate Court in which the
part-time magistrate serves?
What if all parties consent?
See JQC opinion 224.
33. True or False: Even without a showing of actual bias, prejudice or unfairness, and
regardless of the merits or timeliness of a Motion to Recuse, it is inappropriate for any trial
court judge to preside in any action wherein one of the parties holds a judicial office on the
same or any other court which sits in the same circuit. See JQC opinion 220.
34. Can a judicial candidate for election use the term “conservative” in political
advertising? See JQC opinion 214.
35. Judges can participate in local Family Violence Task forces but are limited to the
formulation, distribution and/or dissemination of family violence protocols to be used by the
judges. See JQC opinion 201.
36. True or False: A magistrate sitting by designation in another court is disqualified
from hearing a case involving another magistrate, who is a practicing lawyer, but only if the
magistrate offers recusal with disclosures to all parties. See JQC opinion 198.