Canon 2.2: Personal Relationships

A court professional shall recruit, select, and advance personnel based on demonstrated knowledge, skills, abilities, and bona fide work–related factors, not on favoritism.

A court professional shall avoid appointing, assigning, or directly supervising, a family member, or attempting to influence the employment or advancement of a family member.

Where circumstances dictate that one must work directly with a family member, a court professional shall report the circumstance to an appropriate authority, regularly assess the situation, and take remedial action at the earliest time


In the preamble, the committee urged that courts define the term “family” before adopting this code. This canon provides added detail to canon 1.3 which calls professionals to conduct business in an unbiased manner. This canon specifically points to relying only on knowledge, skills, and abilities in the personnel process.

The third section of this canon specifically addresses circumstances in small courts where working with a family member may be unavoidable.