(cite as Neb. Rev. Code of Judicial Conduct §)
A judge may engage in extrajudicial activities, except as prohibited by law* or this Code. However, when engaging in extrajudicial activities, a judge shall not:
(E) make use of court premises, staff, stationery, equipment, or other resources, except for incidental use for activities that concern the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice, or unless such additional use is permitted by law.
(A) in connection with matters concerning the law,* the legal system, or the administration of justice;
(B) in connection with matters about which the judge acquired knowledge* or expertise in the course of the judge’s judicial duties; or
A judge shall not testify as a character witness in a judicial, administrative, or other adjudicatory proceeding or otherwise vouch for the character of a person in a legal proceeding, except when duly summoned.
A judge shall not accept appointment to a governmental committee, board, commission, or other governmental position, unless it is one that concerns the law,* the legal system, or the administration of justice.
(B) A judge shall not use the benefits or facilities of an organization if the judge knows* or should know that the organization practices invidious discrimination on one or more of the bases identified in paragraph (A). A judge’s attendance at an event in a facility of an organization that the judge is not permitted to join is not a violation of this Rule when the judge’s attendance is an isolated event that could not reasonably be perceived as an endorsement of the organization’s practices.
(A) Subject to the requirements of Rule 3.1, a judge may participate in activities sponsored by organizations or governmental entities concerned with the law,* the legal system, or the administration of justice, and those sponsored by or on behalf of educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organizations not conducted for profit, including but not limited to the following activities:
(2) soliciting contributions* for such an organization or entity, but only from members of the judge’s family,* or from judges over whom the judge does not exercise supervisory or appellate authority;
(3) soliciting membership for such an organization or entity, even though the membership dues or fees generated may be used to support the objectives of the organization or entity, but only if the organization or entity is concerned with the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice;
(4) appearing or speaking at, receiving an award or other recognition at, being featured on the program of, and permitting his or her title to be used in connection with an event of such an organization or entity, but if the event serves a fund-raising purpose, the judge may participate only if the fund-raising is incidental or the event concerns the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice; provided participation does not reflect adversely on the judge’s independence,* integrity,* or impartiality.*
(5) making recommendations to such a public or private fund-granting organization or entity in connection with its programs and activities, but only if the organization or entity is concerned with the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice; and
(1) Provide leadership in identifying and addressing issues involving equal access to the justice system; develop public education programs; engage in activities to promote the fair administration of justice; and convene or participate or assist in advisory committees and community collaborations devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system, the provision of services, or the administration of justice.
(2) Endorse projects and programs directly related to the law, the legal system, the administration of justice, and the provision of services to those coming before the courts, and may actively support the need for funding of such projects and programs.
(A) A judge shall not accept appointment to serve in a fiduciary* position, such as personal representative, executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, conservator, attorney in fact, or other representative, except for the estate, trust, or person of a member of the judge’s family,* and then only if such service will not interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties.
(B) A judge shall not serve in a fiduciary position if the judge as fiduciary will likely be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the judge, or if the estate, trust, or ward becomes involved in adversary proceedings in the court on which the judge serves, or one under its appellate jurisdiction.
(D) If a person who is serving in a fiduciary position becomes a judge, he or she must comply with this Rule as soon as reasonably practicable, but in no event later than one year after becoming a judge.
A judge shall not practice law. A judge may act pro se and may, without compensation, give legal advice to and draft or review documents for a member of the judge’s family,* but is prohibited from serving as the family member’s lawyer in any forum.
(A) A judge may hold and manage investments of the judge and members of the judge’s family.*
(D) As soon as practicable without serious financial detriment, the judge shall divest himself or herself of investments and other financial interests that might require frequent disqualification or otherwise violate this Rule.
(A) A judge shall not accept any gifts, loans, bequests, benefits, or other things of value, if acceptance is prohibited by law* or would appear to a reasonable person to undermine the judge’s independence,* integrity,* or impartiality.*
(2) gifts, loans, bequests, benefits, or other things of value from a member of the judge’s family*;
(4) commercial or financial opportunities and benefits, including special pricing and discounts, and loans from lending institutions in their regular course of business, if the same opportunities and benefits or loans are made available on the same terms to similarly situated persons who are not judges;
(8) gifts, awards, or benefits associated with the business, profession, or other separate activity of a spouse, a domestic partner,* or other member of a judge's family residing in the judge’s household,* but that incidentally benefit the judge.
(b) an event associated with any of the judge’s educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic activities permitted by this Code, if the same invitation is offered to nonjudges who are engaged in similar ways in the activity as is the judge; and
(A) Unless otherwise prohibited by Rules 3.1 and 3.13(A) or other law,* a judge may accept reimbursement of necessary and reasonable expenses for travel, food, lodging, or other incidental expenses, or a waiver or partial waiver of fees or charges for registration, tuition, and similar items, from sources other than the judge’s employing entity, if the expenses or charges are associated with the judge’s participation in extrajudicial activities permitted by this Code.
(B) Reimbursement of expenses for necessary travel, food, lodging, or other incidental expenses shall be limited to the actual costs reasonably incurred by the judge and, when appropriate to the occasion, by the judge’s spouse, domestic partner,* or guest.
(C) A judge who accepts reimbursement of expenses or waivers or partial waivers of fees or charges on behalf of the judge or the judge’s spouse, domestic partner, or guest shall publicly report such acceptance as required by Rule 3.15.
(A) A judge shall publicly report the amount or value of the following, unless, with respect to subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3) below, the amount or value of such items, alone or in the aggregate with other items received from the same source in the same calendar year, does not exceed $100 in the case of compensation, a gift, bequest, benefit, or other thing of value or does not exceed $1000 in the case of a loan:
(1) compensation received for extrajudicial activities as permitted by Rule 3.12;
(2) gifts and other things of value as permitted by Rule 3.13(C);
(3) reimbursement of expenses and waiver of fees or charges permitted by Rule 3.14(A); and
(4) regardless of amount, compensation, fees, honorariums, gratuities, gifts, or contributions received pursuant to Rule 3.16.
(1) real property in the judge’s name or in which the judge has a direct ownership interest, except real estate valued at less than $1,000 and the judge’s personal residence (“personal residence” refers to the judge’s principal dwelling-house and adjacent land used for household purposes, such as lawns and gardens);
(2) other financial interests and property held during the reporting period with a fair market value of $1,000 or more, except household goods, personal automobiles, and other tangible personal property unless such property was held primarily for sale or exchange;
(3) creditors to whom $1,000 or greater was owed or guaranteed by the judge or a member of the judge’s family residing in the judge’s household,* except:
(a) loans from a member of the judge’s family*;
(c) accounts payable, debts arising out of retail installment transactions, and loans from lending institutions in their regular course of business, if such accounts, debts, and loans are made available on the same terms to similarly situated persons who are not judges.
(C) When public reporting is required by paragraph (A), a judge shall report the date, place, and nature of the activity for which the judge received any compensation; the description of any gift, loan, bequest, benefit, or other thing of value accepted; and the source of reimbursement of expenses or waiver or partial waiver of fees or charges.
(A) The performance of marriage ceremonies by a judge during courthouse hours is permitted if there is no gift, honorarium, or payment of any kind received for such service. Courthouse hours include all hours when the court is open and in session, or the clerk’s office is open, including noon/lunch hours.
(B) A judge may accept a reasonable fee, honorarium, gratuity, gift, or contribution* to perform a marriage ceremony during noncourthouse hours, whether the ceremony is performed in the court or away from the court.
(C) Compensation, fees, honorarium, gratuities, gifts, or contributions derived from marriages shall be subject to public reporting. See Rule 3.15.