Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics
Canon 5. A judge should regulate his extra-judicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with his judicial duties.
A. Avocational activities. A judge may write, lecture, teach, and speak on nonlegal subjects, and engage in the arts, sports, and other social and recreational activities, if such avocational activities do not detract from the dignity of his office or interfere with the performance of his judicial duties.
Complete separation of a judge from extra-judicial activities is neither possible nor wise; he should not become isolated from the society in which he lives.
B. Civic and charitable activities. A judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon his impartiality or interfere with the performance of his judicial duties. A judge may serve as an officer, director, trustee, or nonlegal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization or institution not conducted for the economic or political advantage of its members, subject to the following limitations:
(1) A judge should not serve if it is likely that the organization or institution will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before him or will be regularly engaged in adversary proceedings in any court.
The changing nature of some organizations and of their relationship to the law makes it necessary for a judge regularly to re-examine the activities of each organization with which he is affiliated to determine if it is proper for him to continue his relationship with it.
(2) It is desirable that a judge not solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization or institution, or use or permit the use of the prestige of his office for that purpose, but he may be listed as an officer, director, or trustee of such an organization or institution.
(3) A judge should not give investment advice to such an organization or institution, but he may serve on its board of directors or trustees even though it has the responsibility for approving investment decisions.
A judge’s participation in an organization devoted to quasi-judicial activities is governed by Canon 4.
C. Financial activities.
(1) A judge should refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on his impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of his judicial duties, or exploit his judicial position.
(2) Subject to the requirements of subsection (1), a judge may hold and manage investments, including real estate, and engage in other remunerative activity including the operation of a business.
(3) A judge should manage his investments and other financial interests to minimize the number of cases in which he is disqualified.
(4) Neither a judge nor a member of his family residing in his household should accept a gift, bequest, favor, or loan from anyone if it reflects expectation of judicial favor.
(5) For the purposes of this section “member of his family residing in his household” means any relative of a judge by blood or marriage, or a person treated by a judge as a member of his family, who resides in his household.
(6) Information acquired by a judge in his judicial capacity should not be used or disclosed by him in financial dealings or for any purpose not related to his judicial duties.
D. Fiduciary activities. A judge should not serve as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, or other fiduciary, if such service will interfere with the proper performance of his judicial duties. As a fiduciary, a judge is subject to the following restrictions:
(1) He should not serve if it is likely that as a fiduciary he will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before him.
(2) While acting as a fiduciary, a judge is subject to the same restrictions on financial activities that apply to him in his personal capacity.
E. Arbitrator. A judge should not act as an arbitrator or mediator.
F. Practice of law. A judge should not practice law.
G. Extra-judicial appointments. It is desirable that a judge should not accept appointment to a governmental committee, commission, or other position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy on matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice or unless required by law. A judge, however, may represent his country, state, or locality on ceremonial occasions or in connection with historical, educational, and cultural activities.