CJEO has collected the following sources of support and practical guidance for court commissioners in the performance of their duties.

CJEO Advisory Opinion Requested by a Court Commissioner

Prohibition on Fundraising while a Subordinate Judicial Officer, CJEO Oral Advice Summary 2014-009 [a state court commissioner is prohibited from soliciting funds or engaging in fundraising activities on behalf of a governmental, civic, or charitable organization while holding state judicial office]

CJEO Advisory Opinions of General Interest to Court Commissioners

The following advisory opinions provide general advice that may assist court commissioners in responding to ethical questions:

Judicial Consultations with Other Judges CJEO Formal Opinion 2022-020
Commenting on or Endorsing Legal Education Books Written by Others CJEO Expedited Opinion 2022-048
Disqualification Obligations for Participants in the California Judicial Mentor Program (CJMP) CJEO Expedited Opinion 2022-045
Disqualification for Civics Education Activities in Matters Involving School District Mask and Vaccine Mandates CJEO Expedited Opinion 2021-044
Service on the California Access to Justice Commission or Child Welfare Council CJEO Expedited Opinion 2021-043
Social Media Posts About the Law, the Legal System, or the Administration of Justice CJEO Expedited Opinion 2021-042
Service on a Governmental Task Force CJEO Expedited Opinion 2021-041
Gift Exchanges Between Judges and Their Staff CJEO Expedited Opinion 2021-039
Disclosure of Campaign Contributions in Trial Court Elections CJEO Formal Opinion 2019-013
Disqualification for Prior Appearance as a Deputy District Attorney in Another Proceeding CJEO Oral Advice Summary 2016-017
Attending Political Fundraising or Endorsement Events CJEO Formal Opinion 2016-008
Use of Judicial Title on a Scholarship Fund CJEO Oral Advice Summary 2015-011
Disqualification for Prior Appearance as a Deputy District Attorney in a Nonsubstantive Matter CJEO Formal Opinion 2015-007
Accepting Gifts of Little or Nominal Value Under the Ordinary Social Hospitality Exception CJEO Formal Opinion 2014-005
CJP Disciplinary Decisions Involving Misconduct by Court Commissioners
  • Public Admonishment of Former Commissioner Ann Dobbs (2019) [A commissioner failed to rule in a timely manner on numerous matters, failed to complete salary affidavits attesting to whether she had any cases pending for over 90 days, and failed to complete any of the cases that she took home to finish after her retirement]
  • Public Censure of Former Commissioner Joseph J. Gianquinto (2018) [A commissioner posted information on his public Facebook page that reflected, among other things, anti-Muslim sentiment, anti-gay marriage sentiment, strong political views, and contempt for the poor]
  • Public Admonishment of Commissioner Mark Kliszewski (2017) [A commissioner allowed court staff to make offensive and inappropriate comments relating to race, gender, and sexual conduct in the courtroom when court was not in session and the commissioner made profane and derogatory comments about a court interpreter to other court staff and in the presence of the interpreter]
  • Public Admonishment of Commissioner Alan Friedenthal (2012) [A commissioner made discourteous and denigrating remarks to litigants, attorneys, and related parties, attempted to engage in humor at the expense of litigants, repeatedly brought up in open court complaints about him that litigants had filed, and commented on internet postings by litigants about his handling of cases]
Statutory Resources
  • California Government Code sections 72190, 1, 72190.2 (Powers and Duties of Commissioners)
  • California Code of Civil Procedure section 259 (Powers of Commissioners)