CJEO maintains strict confidentiality. All communications with CJEO are confidential and all of the committee’s deliberations and operations are confidential. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80(h); CJEO rule 5.) CJEO opinions and summaries do not disclose names or identifying information. In addition, all records of the committee, including requests, suggestions, inquiries, replies, circulated drafts, documents, writings, files, communications with staff, and proceedings of the committee are maintained as strictly confidential and will not be disclosed outside of the committee. All information electronically gathered by the committee, including on this website, in all CJEO email accounts, and in the electronic files and email accounts of the committee members and CJEO staff, is maintained as confidential using available electronic security applications and other means. (CJEO rule 5(2).)
CJEO maintains internal confidentiality so that the identities of individuals requesting opinions and advice are not known to committee members during deliberations. (CJEO rule 5(d).)
Confidentiality may be waived by contacting the CJEO offices. All waivers must be in writing. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80(h); CJEO rule 5(e).) A waiver submitted by a judicial officer or candidate requesting an opinion or advice allows internal disclosure of the requesting party to committee members during deliberations. A waiver submitted by a member of the public commenting on a draft formal opinion allows CJEO to post the comment at the close of the comment period. In no case will CJEO waive confidentiality of the name of individuals requesting an opinion or advice. Judicial officers and candidates may waive confidentiality by asserting reliance on a CJEO opinion or advice in judicial or attorney discipline proceedings. The effect of such a waiver is to allow disclosure by CJEO of the requesting party in those proceedings.
In no case will the confidentiality of the committee’s deliberations or records be waived.