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2023 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.742. Use of attorneys as court-appointed temporary judges

(a) Responsibility of the presiding judge

The presiding judge of the trial court is responsible for determining whether that court needs to use attorneys as temporary judges and, if so, the specific purposes for which attorneys are to be appointed as temporary judges.

(b) Conditions for the use of court-appointed temporary judges

The presiding judge may appoint an attorney as a court-appointed temporary judge only if all the following circumstances apply:

(1)  The appointment of an attorney to serve as a temporary judge is necessary to fill a judicial need in that court;

(2)  The attorney serving as a temporary judge has been approved by the court where the attorney will serve under rule 2.810 et seq.;

(3)  The appointment of the attorney as a temporary judge does not result in any conflict of interest; and

(4)  There is no appearance of impropriety resulting from the appointment of the attorney to serve as a temporary judge.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 10.742 amended effective January 1, 2017; adopted as rule 6.742 effective July 1, 2006; previously amended and renumbered as rule 10.742 effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2016.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivisions (a)-(b). These subdivisions provide that the presiding judge in each court is responsible for determining whether court-appointed temporary judges need to be used in that court, and these subdivisions furnish the criteria for determining when their use is proper. Under (b)(1), the use and appointment of court-appointed temporary judges must be based on judicial needs. Under (b)(3), an attorney serving as a temporary judge would have a conflict of interest if the disqualifying factors in the Code of Judicial Ethics exist. Under (b)(4), the test for the appearance of impropriety is whether a person aware of the facts might entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to act with integrity, impartiality, and competence. In addition to the disqualifying factors listed in the Code of Judicial Ethics, an appearance of impropriety would be generated if any of the limitations in family law, unlawful detainer, and other cases identified in the Code of Judicial Ethics are present.

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