July 17, 2001
This is in response to your inquiry (01-31) concerning possible publication of a book of short stories based upon your experiences on the bench.
We enclose for your consideration Opinion 99-145, which states that the commercial publication of fictional works by a judge is not prohibited. However, we note that you make reference to cases over which you have presided. Section 100.2(B)(8) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibits any public comment about pending or impending proceedings. This prohibition applies even if you use fictional names “to protect both the innocent and the guilty.” Moreover, as stated in Opinion 99-145, care must be taken to avoid exploitation of your judicial position in the promotion of the published work. Should your work be accepted for publication and you have specific questions concerning marketing and promotion, we would be glad to entertain a further inquiry at that time.