The first time any term listed below is used in a Rule in its defined sense, it is followed by an asterisk (*).
“Appropriate authority” means the Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications and the Nebraska Supreme Court Counsel for Discipline. See Rules 2.14 and 2.15.
“Compensation” for purposes of Rules 3.12, 3.15, and 3.16 means any money or thing of value received, or to be received as a claim on future services, whether in the form of a fee, salary, expense, allowance, forbearance, forgiveness, interest, dividend, royalty, rent, capital gain, or any other form of recompense then constituting income under the Internal Revenue Code. The income must, however, be for services and does not include income, interest, or dividends received by reason of investment.
“Contribution” means both financial and in-kind contributions, such as goods, professional or volunteer services, advertising, and other types of assistance, which, if obtained by the recipient otherwise, would require a financial expenditure. See Rules 3.7, 3.16, 4.1, and 4.4.
“De minimis” means an insignificant interest that could not raise a reasonable question regarding the judge’s impartiality. See Rule 2.11.
“Domestic partner” means a person with whom another person maintains a household and an intimate relationship, other than a person to whom he or she is legally married. See Rules 2.11, 3.13, and 3.14.
“Economic interest” means ownership of more than a de minimis legal or equitable interest. Except for situations in which the judge participates in the management of such a legal or equitable interest, or the interest could be substantially affected by the outcome of a proceeding before a judge, it does not include:
(1) an interest in the individual holdings within a mutual or common investment fund;
(2) an interest in securities held by an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization in which the judge or the judge’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child serves as a director, an officer, an advisor, or other participant;
(3) a deposit in a financial institution or deposits or proprietary interests the judge may maintain as a member of a mutual savings association or credit union, or similar proprietary interests; or
(4) an interest in the issuer of government securities held by the judge.
See Rules 1.3, 2.11, and 3.2.
“Fiduciary” includes relationships such as personal representative, conservator, attorney in fact, executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian. See Rules 2.11, 3.2, and 3.8.
“Fourth degree of relationship” includes the following persons: great-great-grandparent, great-uncle or great-aunt, brother, sister, great-great-grandchild, grand nephew or grand niece, or first cousin. See Rule 2.11.
“Gift” for purposes of Rules 3.13, 3.15, and 3.16 means a payment, subscription, advance, forbearance, rendering or deposit of money, services, or anything of value, unless consideration of equal or greater value is given therefor. Gift shall not include a commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business; a gift received from a member of the judge's family*; a breakfast, luncheon, or dinner, or other refreshments consisting of food and beverage provided for immediate consumption; or the occasional provision of transportation within the State of Nebraska.
“Impartial,” “impartiality,” and “impartially” mean absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, or their representatives, as well as maintenance of an open mind in considering issues that may come before a judge. See Canons 1, 2, and 4, and Rules 1.2, 2.2, 2.10, 2.11, 2.13, 3.1, 3.7, 3.12, 3.13, 4.1, and 4.2.
“Impending matter” is a matter that is imminent or expected to occur in the near future. See Rules 2.9, 2.10, 3.13, 3.15, and 4.1.
“Impropriety” includes conduct that violates the law, except for traffic violations unless they also included a potential jail sentence, court rules, or provisions of this Code, and conduct that undermines a judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality. See Canon 1 and Rule 1.2.
“Independence” means a judge’s freedom from influence or controls other than those established by law. See Canons 1 and 4, and Rules 1.2, 3.1, 3.7, 3.12, 3.13, and 4.2.
“Integrity” means probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character. See Canon 1 and Rules 1.2, 3.1, 3.7, 3.12, 3.13, and 4.2.
“Judicial candidate” means any person, including a sitting judge, who is seeking selection for or retention in judicial office by election or appointment. A person becomes a candidate for judicial office as soon as he or she makes a public announcement of candidacy, declares or files as a candidate with the election or appointment authority, authorizes or, where permitted, engages in solicitation or acceptance of contributions or support, or is nominated for election or appointment to office. See Rules 2.11, 4.1, 4.2, and 4.4.
“Knowingly,” “knowledge,” “known,” and “knows” mean actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person’s knowledge may be inferred from circumstances. See Rules 2.11, 2.15, 2.16, 3.2, 3.6, and 4.1.
“Law” encompasses all court rules adopted by the Nebraska Supreme Court, including the Workplace Harassment Policy and Drug-Free Workplace Policy, as well as statutes, constitutional provisions, and decisional law. See Rules 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.7, 3.9, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5.
“Member of the candidate’s family” means a spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or other relative or person with whom the candidate maintains a close familial relationship.
“Member of the judge’s family” means a spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or other relative or person with whom the judge maintains a close familial relationship. See Rules 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, and 3.11.
“Member of a judge’s family residing in the judge’s household” means any relative of a judge by blood or marriage, or a person treated by a judge as a member of the judge’s family, who resides in the judge’s household. See Rules 2.11, 3.13, and 3.15.
“Nonpublic information” means information that is not available to the public. Nonpublic information may include, but is not limited to, information that is sealed by statute or court order or impounded or communicated in camera, and information offered in grand jury proceedings, presentencing reports, dependency cases, or psychiatric reports. See Rule 3.5.
“Pending matter” is a matter that has commenced. A matter continues to be pending through any appellate process until final disposition. See Rules 2.9, 2.10, 3.13, 3.15, and 4.1.
“Personally solicit” means a direct request made by a judge or a judicial candidate for financial support or in-kind services, whether made by letter, telephone, or any other means of communication. See Rule 4.1.
“Political organization” means a political party or other group sponsored by or affiliated with a political party or candidate, the principal purpose of which is to further the election or appointment of candidates for political office. For purposes of this Code, the term does not include a judicial candidate’s campaign committee created as authorized by Rule 4.4. See Rules 4.1 and 4.2.