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Judge Can't Write Letter Recommending Kid Be Allowed to Play Football

Sometimes judicial ethics opinions deal with interesting, cutting edge topics. And sometimes, they come out of South Carolina.

Via the Legal Profession Blog, comes this gem from the state Advisory Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct.

The opinion is concise, at four paragraphs, yet I'm not entirely sure I grasp the situation (typos aside). It seems a kid who appeared before this juvenile court judge wants to play football. For a school other than the one he would normally be slated to attend. The kid's mother worries that, though he will apparently be allowed to change schools for educational purposes, they might not let him on the field because of the whole geographic discrepancy.

So mom asked the judge to write a letter to the high school football authorities recommending that the child be permitted to be on the team. The committee said no go. That would constitute "lend[ing] the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interest of others."

But all hope is not lost. This letter would be bad only because the judge had not received some sort of "formal request." If the kid's lawyer makes a motion, it would be just ducky for the judge to write such a letter.

Now, having read that opinion, you might wonder, "What other similarly pressing issues could the committee possibly address? How on earth do you follow Opinion No. 6-2010 without the inevitable letdown?" The answer: with Opinion No. 7-2010, wherein the committee deems it perfectly acceptable for a law clerk to host a "jewelry party."

Posted by Eric Lipman on October 13, 2010 at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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