Committees

Current Supreme Court Committees



Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics

The Supreme Court is responsible for promulgating the Code of Judicial Ethics pursuant to Article VI, section 18(m), of the California Constitution. The Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics makes recommendations to the court regarding whether amendments to the Code are necessary or appropriate.

List of committee members

Invitation to Comment

The committee is currently seeking comment on a proposal to amend Canon 4C(3)(d)(iii) and Commentary of the Code of Judicial Ethics. Please note that comments received may become part of the public record. Please send your comments to invitations@jud.ca.gov. The deadline for comments is December 1, 2015.

SP15-09: Proposed Amendments to Canon 4C(3)(d)(iii) and Commentary of the Code of Judicial Ethics

Recent Committee Activity

California Code of Judicial Ethics: Revisions effective January 1, 2013 (showing markups)

Public Comment Sought On Proposed Changes to Code of Judicial Ethics (NR 17-11) (June 1, 2011)

Supreme Court Adopts Changes in Ethics Code for California Judges (Nov. 1, 2007)

Proposed Changes in Judicial Ethics Circulated for Public Comment (April 16, 2007)

Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions

About the Committee
The Supreme Court established the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) to help inform the judiciary and the public about judicial ethics. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80.) CJEO publishes formal advisory opinions, issues confidential written opinions, and provides oral advice on proper judicial conduct under the California Code of Judicial Ethics. In providing its advisory opinions, the committee acts independently of the Supreme Court, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Judicial Council, and all other entities. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80(b).)

Committee Members 
CJEO members are appointed by the Supreme Court as part of its constitutional responsibility to guide the conduct of judges and judicial candidates (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 18, subd. (m)). The court appoints members to CJEO with a strong background in judicial ethics and diverse courtroom experience. CJEO’s current members include judicial and subordinate judicial officers who have serving in courts of various sizes throughout the state and one retired judge.

Recent Supreme Court Activity About Committee Membership
Supreme Court Makes Reappointments to Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (December 21, 2015)
The Supreme Court announced the reappointment of Justice Ronald B. Robie of the Third District Court of Appeal, Justice Douglas P. Miller of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Four, and Judge Robert J. Trentacosta of the San Diego County Superior Court to each serve additional four-year terms as CJEO members.  Justices Robie and Miller were also reappointed to serve additional four-year terms as chair and vice-chair.   The reappointments are effective January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2019.

In related action, the Supreme Court also adopted amendments to the rule of court governing CJEO.  After inviting public comment on a proposal to amend rule 9.80 of the California Rules of Court, the court revised rule 9.80(d) & (g) to: (1) make CJEO members generally eligible to serve a third four-year term on the committee in the event the court wishes to reappoint them; (2) make initial CJEO members eligible to serve a second four-year term in the event the court wishes to reappoint them; (3) double the term of the chair from two years to four years, plus make the chair eligible to serve a third term in the event the court wishes to reappoint the chair; and (4) provide terms and term limits for the vice-chair that match those of the chair.

Recent Committee Activity 
Supreme Court Committee Provides Guidance to Judges on Attending Political Fundraising or Endorsement Events (March 4, 2016)
The committee issued CJEO Formal Opinion 2016-008, which provides guidance to judges on how to decide whether to (1) attend, (2) speak, or (3) appear as the guest of honor or receive an award at a political fundraising or endorsement event.  The opinion also advises judges who are campaigning what they may do at political events.  Finally, the opinion provides advisory measures to judges who have accepted a personal invitation to attend a political fundraising or endorsement event where it is likely that their attendance will be known to the event organizers and their judicial title might possibly be used to promote the event.

 The committee previously invited the public to comment on this advisory opinion in draft form. The comments submitted with a waiver of confidentiality are posted for public view on the CJEO website. CJEO Formal Opinion No. 2016-008 contains modifications adopted by the committee after carefully considering the comments received, including clarifications of the terminology, canon restrictions, and advisory measures.

Contact the Committee

The California Supreme Court
Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions
Earl Warren Building
350 McAllister Street, Room 1144A
San Francisco, California  94102

For More Information
On the committee and its opinions, visit the CJEO website.


Past Supreme Court Committees



Advisory Committee on Rules for Publication of Court of Appeals Opinions

The Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules for Publication of Court of Appeal Opinions is charged with reviewing the current standards used by the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court in determining which Court of Appeal opinions should be certified for publication and with making recommendations to the Supreme Court on what changes, if any, should be instituted to better ensure that appropriate cases are published. The 13-member committee is chaired by Supreme Court Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar.

Multijurisdictional Practice Implementation Committee

The Supreme Court Multijurisdictional Practice Implementation Committee was appointed to determine the specific rules and procedures necessary to implement recommendations for modifying the restrictions on the practice of law by attorneys who are not members of the State Bar of California. The committee submitted its report and recommendations to the Supreme Court, which has adopted the committee's proposed rules governing practice by non-California attorneys serving as in-house counsel, legal services attorneys, litigation attorneys in California in anticipation of litigation or in connection with litigation elsewhere, and non-litigation attorneys temporarily in California. The new rules took effect on November 15, 2004.

Implementation Committee for the Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions

After announcing in late 2007 that it would appoint a Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions, the Supreme Court appointed an Implementation Committee to make recommendations to the court on proposed procedures and rules for the new ethics committee. The Implementation Committee included the seven members of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics, two members nominated by the Commission on Judicial Performance, and two members nominated by the California Judges Association. The chair of the committee was Justice Richard D. Fybel of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three.  The California Supreme Court then adopted Rule 9.80, effective July 1, 2009, governing the practices and procedures to be followed by its new Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions.

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