Rule 5.0. Confidentiality.
Communications to and from the Board are confidential except as described here. Establishing the confidentiality of Board proceedings and communications to and from the Board is critical to encourage Judicial Officers and candidates for judicial office to seek ethics opinions and advice from the Board. Encouraging Judicial Officers and candidates for judicial office to seek ethics opinions and advice from the Board will promote ethical conduct and the fair administration of justice. The need for preserving confidentiality outweighs the need for disclosure in the interest of justice. Therefore, to implement Pa.R.J.E.A.B. No. 105, and to promote ethical conduct by Judicial Officers and candidates for judicial office and to encourage them to seek ethics opinions and advice from the Board, the following confidentiality requirements and exceptions apply to Requests and other matters before the Board:
With the exception of Opinions and General Ethics Guidance published by the Board under Pa.R.J.E.A.B. No. 204(b) and (c), all Opinions, inquiries, replies, circulated drafts, records, documents, writings, files, communications with Staff, work product of the Board or Staff, and deliberations and proceedings of the Board are confidential.
5.2. Members and Staff.
Members of the Board and Staff may not disclose (outside the Board or Staff) any confidential information, including identifying information, obtained by the Board or Staff.
5.3. Waiver of Confidentiality by Judicial Officer.
A Judicial Officer or candidate for judicial office may waive confidentiality, and such a waiver must be in writing. If a Judicial Officer or candidate making a request for an Opinion or Advice waives confidentiality or asserts reliance on an Opinion or Advice in judicial or attorney discipline proceedings, such Opinion or Advice no longer is confidential under these Rule. Notwithstanding any such waiver, Board deliberations and all other records concerning the Request shall remain confidential.
5.4. Conclusion of Service by Members of the Board.
Board Members shall return to Staff or destroy any records in their possession at the end of their terms of service.
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