TERMINOLOGY

As amended through October 8, 2020
TERMINOLOGY

"Aggregate," in relation to contributions for a candidate, means not only contributions in cash or in kind made directly to a candidate's campaign committee, but also all contributions made indirectly with the understanding that they will be used to support the election of a candidate or to oppose the election of the candidate's opponent. See RJCs 2.11 and 4.4.

"Appropriate authority" means the authority having responsibility for initiation of disciplinary process in connection with the violation to be reported. See RJCs 2.14 and 2.15.

"Contribution" means both financial and in-kind contributions, such as goods, professional services, advertising, and other types of assistance, which, if obtained by the recipient otherwise, would require a financial expenditure. "Contribution" includes but is not limited to a contribution as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated section 2-10-102(4). See RJCs 2.11, 2.13, 3.7, 4.1, and 4.4.

"De minimis," in the context of interests pertaining to disqualification of a judge, means an insignificant interest that could not raise a reasonable question regarding the judge's impartiality. See RJC 2.11.

"Economic interest" means ownership of more than a de minimis legal or equitable interest. Except for situations in which the judge participates in the management of such a legal or equitable interest, or the interest could be substantially affected by the outcome of a proceeding before a judge, it does not include:

an interest in the individual holdings within a mutual or common investment fund;

an interest in securities held by an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization in which the judge or the judge's spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child serves as a director, an officer, an advisor, or other participant;

a deposit in a financial institution or deposits or proprietary interests the judge may maintain as a member of a mutual savings association or credit union, or similar proprietary interests; or

an interest in the issuer of government securities held by the judge.

See RJCs 1.3 and 2.11.

"Fiduciary" includes relationships such as executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian. See RJCs 2.11, 3.2, and 3.8.

"Impartial," "impartiality," and "impartially" mean absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, as well as maintenance of an open mind in considering issues that may come before a judge. See Canons 1, 2, and 4, and RJCs 1.2, 2.2, 2.10, 2.11, 2.13, 3.1, 3.12, 3.13, 4.1, and 4.2.

"Impending matter" is a matter that is imminent or expected to occur in the near future. See RJCs 2.9, 2.10, 3.13, and 4.1.

"Impropriety" includes conduct that violates the law, court rules, or provisions of this Code, and conduct that undermines a judge's independence, integrity, or impartiality. See Canon 1 and RJC 1.2.

"Independence" means a judge's freedom from influence or controls other than those established by law. See Canons 1 and 4 and RJCs 1.2, 3.1, 3.12, 3.13, and 4.2.

"Integrity" means probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character. See Canon 1 and RJC 1.2.

"Judicial candidate" means any person, including a sitting judge, who is seeking selection for or retention in judicial office by election or appointment. A person becomes a candidate for judicial office as soon as he or she makes a public announcement of candidacy, declares or files as a candidate with the election or appointment authority, authorizes or, where permitted, engages in solicitation or acceptance of contributions or support, or is nominated for election or appointment to office. "Judicial candidate" includes but is not limited to a "candidate" as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated section 2-10-102(3). See RJCs 2.11, 4.1, 4.2, and 4.4.

"Judicial Settlement Conference" means a mediation conducted by a judicial officer as defined in Tenn. Sup. Ct. Rule 31.

"Knowingly," "knowledge," "known," or "knows" mean actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances. See RJCs 2.11, 2.13, 2.15, 2.16, 3.6, and 4.1.

"Law" encompasses court rules as well as statutes, constitutional provisions, rules and regulations, and decisional law. See RJCs 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9, 3.1, 3.4, 3.9, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, and 4.5.

"Member of the candidate's family" means a spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or other relative or person with whom the candidate maintains a close familial relationship.

"Member of the judge's family" means a spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or other relative or person with whom the judge maintains a close familial relationship. See RJCs 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, and 3.11.

"Member of the judge's family residing in the judge's household" means any relative of a judge by blood, adoption or marriage, or a person treated by a judge as a member of the judge's family, who resides in the judge's household. See RJCs 2.11 and 3.13.

"Nonpublic information" means information that is not available to the public. Nonpublic information may include, but is not limited to, information that is sealed by statute or court order or impounded or communicated in camera, and information offered in grand jury proceedings, dependency and neglect cases, or psychiatric reports. See RJC 3.5.

"Pending matter" is a matter that has commenced. A matter continues to be pending through any appellate process until final disposition. See RJCs 2.9, 2.10, 3.13, and 4.1.

"Personally solicit" means a direct request made by a judge or a judicial candidate for financial support or in-kind services, whether made in person or by letter, telephone, or any other means of communication, including electronic communication. See RJC 4.1.

"Political organization" means a political party or other group sponsored by or affiliated with a political party or candidate, the principal purpose of which is to further the election or appointment of candidates for political office. "Political organization" includes but is not limited to an affiliated political campaign committee as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated section 2-10-102(1), a multi-candidate political campaign committee as defined in Tennessee Code Annotated section 2-10-102(9) and a political campaign committee as defined in Tennessee Code Annotated section 2-10-102(12). For purposes of this Code, the term does not include a judicial candidate's campaign committee created as authorized by RJC 4.4. See RJCs 4.1 and 4.2.

"Public election" includes primary and general elections, partisan elections, nonpartisan elections, and retention elections. See RJCs 4.2 and 4.4.

"Third degree of relationship" includes the following persons: great-grandparent, grandparent, parent, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, nephew, and niece. See RJC 2.11.