Administrative Order No. 35
JUDICIAL ETHICS COMMITTEE
- Effective September 1, 1995, a Judicial Ethics Committee of five members
is established consisting of three members of the Judiciary and two other
members to be appointed by the Supreme Court. Initial appointments shall be
for staggered terms - two members for three years, two members for two years,
and one member for one year. The initial appointments of the members of the
Judiciary shall be for one three-year term, one two-year term, and one
one-year term. Thereafter appointments shall be for a three-year term.
Whenever a member resigns or the office is otherwise vacant, the Supreme Court
shall appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term. The chair shall be
designated by the Supreme Court.
- The members of the Committee shall be reimbursed for reasonable and
necessary expenses related to the performance of their duties and shall
receive per diem compensation equivalent to that provided by law for
comparable boards and commissions. The members of the Judiciary shall be
reimbursed the normal state employee expenses. The Commissioner of Finance and
Management shall pay from the judicial appropriation all expenses of the
Committee when expenses are submitted on proper vouchers approved by the Court
Administrator or the Court Administrator's designee.
A judge or candidate or potential candidate for judicial office who has
requested and received an advisory opinion of the Judicial Ethics Committee
shall not be immune from disciplinary action for conduct in reliance on that
opinion, but compliance with the advisory opinion is a factor properly to be
taken into account in any disciplinary proceeding arising from such conduct.
- The Committee
- shall render advisory opinions on matters involving the interpretation
and application of the Vermont Code of Judicial Conduct on its own
initiative, or at the request of any court in this state, or the Judicial
Conduct Board, or an individual judge, or a candidate or potential candidate
for judicial office, provided that an opinion may not be issued on a matter
that is pending before a court or the Judicial Conduct Board against a judge
or candidate that involves a claim of violation of the Code of Judicial
Conduct by that judge or candidate except on request of the court or that
- shall maintain and publish compilations of its redacted opinions,
indexed and up-to-date, in a manner that will make them available to the
courts, the Judicial Conduct Board, individual judges, and members of the
- may make recommendations to the Supreme Court regarding amendments to
the Vermont Code of Judicial Conduct.
- Advisory opinions of the Judicial Ethics Committee may be received and
considered on questions involving the interpretation of the Vermont Code of
Judicial Conduct in any proceeding in the courts of this state or before the
Judicial Conduct Board.
- With the exception of redacted opinions approved for publication pursuant
to this order, all inquiries, replies, records, documents, files, and
proceedings pertaining to the interpretation of the Vermont Code of Judicial
Conduct and the rendering of advisory opinions with respect thereto shall be
confidential, and unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court shall not be
open to the public, the media, or any person not involved in the rendering of
the advisory opinions, excepting only the staff and members of the Judicial
Ethics Committee and their professional associates actively involved in
working on an advisory opinion for any member, and any justice of the Supreme
Court. No member of the Committee, its staff, or professional associates shall
publicly disclose the identity of another individual whose conduct or inquiry
was the subject of an advisory opinion without the consent of that individual.
Adopted May 3, 1995, eff. September 1, 1995.