Legal Ethics Opinion #1548

Private Attorney Contracting With the Commonwealth's Attorney to
Collect Unpaid Fines When Associated Attorney is Substitute Judge
In Commonwealth's Attorney's Jurisdiction

You have inquired whether an attorney in private practice (or his
law firm) may contract with the Commonwealth's Attorney to
collect unpaid fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties in
criminal cases when another attorney in the law firm is a
substitute judge who occasionally sits in the criminal, traffic
and civil divisions of the General District Court in the
jurisdiction in which the Commonwealth's Attorney prosecutes

At its August l0, l993 meeting, the Committee concluded that any
response to your question as to whether or not the substitute
judge must disclose, waive, and/or recuse himself in the
circumstances described, requires an interpretation of judicial
ethics, rather than the Virginia Code of Professional
Responsibility.  The interpretation of the Canons of Judicial
Conduct are, obviously, beyond the purview of this Committee;
questions related to those Canons should be directed to the
Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission by the substitute judge. 
See LEO #845. 

Committee Opinion
August 12, 1993