Formal Advisory Opinions

Opinions as to whether actual or contemplated conduct on the part of a judge conforms to the requirements of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Formal Advisory Opinions issued prior to 2007 under previous versions of the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct should not be relied upon.

Descriptions of the opinions are generalized and are not intended to supersede the text of the actual opinion.


  • 2007-01 – May a judge participate on an interview board hiring a chief of police?
  • 2007-02 – Questions about when a judge may send letters of recommendation.
  • 2007-03 – May a judge complete the Board of Law Examiner’s Certificate of Moral Character for bar applicants?
  • 2007-04 – Fact-specific question about an international teaching position offered to a judge.

2008 none


  • 2009-01 – May a judge serve as the manager of an LLC or PLLC?
  • 2009-02– Questions about disqualification when a new judge had formerly served as an ADA.
  • 2009-03 – May a judge utilize a listserv to obtain advice on the law applicable to a pending proceeding?
  • 2009-04 – This opinion has been superseded by Formal Advisory Opinion No. 2015-03.
  • 2009-05 – Must a sitting judge resign before becoming a candidate for the office of clerk of superior court?
  • 2009-06 – May a judge hold membership in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Political Caucus?
  • 2009-07 – Fact-specific question about disqualification based on a judge’s prior defense of the defendant.
  • 2009-08 – May an emergency/recalled judge accept a portrait following their retirement as an active judge?


  • 2010-01 – May a judge enter an ex parte order for an attorney to be admitted to practice pro hac vice?
  • 2010-02 – May a judge purchase advertising in a banquet brochure displaying the judge’s business card and a congratulatory remark?
  • 2010-03 – Questions about a judge providing consultation on a grant request and publishing a book.
  • 2010-04 – May an emergency/recalled judge accept compensated appointment as a tribal judge?
  • 2010-05 – This opinion has been superseded by Formal Advisory Opinion No. 2015-03.
  • 2010-06 – May a judge serve on the board of trustees for a not-for-profit hospital?
  • 2010-07 – May a judge sponsor or consent to being listed as a sponsor on a fundraising event?
  • 2010-08 – Questions about ex parte orders under HIPPA.


  • 2011-01– May an emergency/recalled judge accept appointment to municipal airport authority board?
  • 2011-02 – Fact-specific question about disqualification based on an attorney’s prior legal representation of the judge
  • 2011-03 – May a judge serve as a mentor in an organized mentor program for attorneys?

2012 none


  • 2013-01 – May a judge solicit members of the judge’s church to serve on a steering committee overseeing a Habitat for Humanity project?
  • 2013-02 – Questions about the limitations on a judge’s ability to participate in civic and charitable fundraising activities.


  • 2014-01 – May a judge maintain membership in voluntary bar associations?
  • 2014-02 – Should a judge preside over matters where a party has complained to the Judicial Standards Commission?
  • 2014-03 – Questions about a judge’s obligations concerning federal I-918B forms.


  • 2015-01 – What are the ethical obligations of a judge adopting or fostering a child through a local Department of Social Services?
  • 2015-02 – May a judge require that a criminal defendant proceed without the assistance of all counsel based upon a waiver of appointed counsel only?
  • 2015-03 – Questions about potential conflicts of interest created by family members working in the legal profession.


  • 2016-01 – Questions about domestic cases involving only self-represented litigants.


  • 2017-01 – Must a judge resign his or her judicial office to run for district attorney?
  • 2017-02 – Questions about tardiness and delay in convening court sessions.


  • 2018-01 – May a judge serve as a manager of real estate investment LLC for the judge’s personal real estate holdings?


  • 2020-01 – Under what circumstances may a judge participate in school-sponsored truancy intervention programs?


  • 2022-01 – Does a judge have to report Foster Care Payments on their Canon 6 report?


  • 2023-01 – Tips for New Judges
  • 2023-02 – Tips on the Use of Official Letterhead