Section 10A.1. (a) There is hereby created a committee which shall be known as the Judicial Ethics Committee to consist of seven (7) members appointed by the Court as follows:
One (1) judge from the Court of Appeals or Court of Criminal Appeals;
One (1) trial judge from each grand division of the state;
One (1) general sessions judge licensed to practice law in this state;
One (1) juvenile court judge licensed to practice law in this state; and,
One (1) municipal court judge licensed to practice law in this state.
(b) The committee shall select its own chair.
(c) Each member shall serve for a term of four (4) years. Vacancies on the committee for an unexpired term shall be filled for the remainder of the term.
Section 10A.2. The committee shall act under the rules it may from time to time promulgate, but shall act only with the concurrence of three (3) or more members.
Section 10A.3. Members of the committee shall receive no compensation for their services but may be reimbursed by the Administrative Office of the Courts for their travel and other expenses incidental to the performance of their duties.
Section 10A.4. The committee shall exercise the powers and perform the ordinary and necessary duties usually carried out by judicial ethics advisory bodies. By the concurrence of a majority of its members it shall issue Formal Ethics Opinions on proper professional conduct when requested to do so by a judge who is governed by the Code of Judicial Conduct, except that an opinion may not be issued in a matter that is the subject of a pending disciplinary proceeding. Formal Ethics Opinions shall be filed by the committee in the Administrative Office of the Courts. Said office shall distribute a copy of such opinions to all judges governed by the Code of Judicial Conduct or see that such opinions are published in a publication generally available to judges.
Section 10A.5. Requests for Formal Ethics Opinions shall be addressed to the committee in writing, stating the factual situation in detail, accompanied by a short brief or memorandum citing the Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct involved and any other pertinent authorities and shall contain a certificate with the opinion that the matter is not the subject of a pending disciplinary proceeding.
Section 10A.6. A Formal Ethics Opinion shall constitute a body of principles and objectives upon which judges can rely for guidance.
[Adopted by order filed April 25, 2006; effective July 1, 2006.]