Rule 5. Ethics advisory committee.
The attorney members of the Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics and
Election Practices and four judges appointed by the supreme court shall function
as an ethics advisory committee. The committee has the authority to render
non-binding advisory opinions on hypothetical questions regarding the Nevada
Code of Judicial Conduct. The advisory opinions may also be issued by a panel of
the ethics advisory committee.
Any opinion issued by the committee expresses the judgment of
the committee and is advisory only. When it is determined that a request
warrants a written opinion, the opinion shall:
(a) Set forth hypothetical facts of the ethical question presented in a
general manner without identification of the requesting judge or judicial
candidate or any details of the request which would permit such identification;
(b) Identify the judicial canons or other authorities relied upon;
(c) Include a discussion and conclusion;
(d) Be signed by the chair or vice-chair of the committee; and Conclude
with the following statement:
"This opinion is issued by the Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics and
Election Practices. It is advisory only. It is not binding upon the courts, the
State Bar of Nevada, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, any person or
tribunal charged with regulatory responsibilities, any member of the Nevada
judiciary, or any person or entity which requested the opinion."
The ethics advisory committee may be divided into panels of eight
members each. The chair or vice-chair, one district judge, and one municipal
judge or justice of the peace shall be members of each panel.
3. Filing and delivery.
The formal advisory opinion shall be furnished by
personal delivery or certified mail to the person requesting the opinion. The
committee shall also file a copy of the opinion with the clerk of the supreme
court. All formal advisory opinions shall be numbered and maintained on file at
the committee's office, together with all materials considered by the committee
in adopting the opinion, and shall be available to any member of the bench or
bar upon request. A reasonable charge to defray the costs of reproduction of
such opinions and postage may be collected.
The committee shall not act on requests for opinions when any
of the following circumstances exist:
(a) There is a pending state bar or judicial discipline commission
complaint, investigation, proceeding, or litigation concerning the subject of
(b) The request constitutes a complaint against a member of the
(c) The request involves procedures employed by the judicial discipline
commission in processing complaints against judges.
(d) The request involves activities, the propriety of which depends
principally on a question of law unrelated to judicial ethics.
(e) Where it is known that the request involves a situation in litigation
or concerns threatened litigation or involves the propriety of sanctions within
the purview of the courts, such as contempt.
(f) The committee has by majority vote determined that it would be
inadvisable to respond to the request and has specified in writing its reasoning
to the person who requested the opinion.
Except for the opinions issued by the committee, all
meetings, deliberations, materials considered, and work product of the committee
shall be confidential.