May 19, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-67) asking whether, as a full-time justice, you may participate, without compensation, in a commercially produced documentary comparing various judicial systems around the world.
The Committee has advised that a judge may participate in a commercially produced documentary as long as the judge does not create an appearance that they are an “active participant” in the business entity that is producing the film. Therefore, you may participate in such an enterprise provided you do not accept compensation or promote the program to the public at large. In addition, the process must not interfere with the proper conduct of judicial proceedings and you must adhere to all applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct, including the rule prohibiting comment on pending or impending cases in the United States and its territories.1
Accordingly, it is permissible to be a guest lecturer to discuss criminal procedure in the court system, subject to these limitations.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 17-163/18-
03/18-21 and 20-215 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice