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The Court of Appeals has 19 judges. The six who accepted nonjudicial compensation in 2012 all said they had no reservations about doing so.
Judge Carol Hooten had the highest amount at $1,715, all from performing weddings as a district judge before she became an appellate judge. She said she no longer performs weddings. She also received $100 as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul; she donated it to the college.
Judge Thomas Kalitowski earned $1,500 from the University of Minnesota law school for co-teaching a fall semester seminar on appellate advocacy in 2012 and 2013. Judge John Rodenberg reported about $600 in 2012 for teaching at William Mitchell, performing weddings for friends and speaking to the Brown County Master Gardeners about pruning and grafting apple trees.
Several judges also recorded reimbursement payments, even though they weren’t sure they needed to be included in the disclosure reports.
Security concerns have been raised about judges having to disclose detailed financial information, said Gray of the Society for Judicial Ethics. While that’s important, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor, he said.
Several states limit the amount of money a judge can earn from extrajudicial activities, but Kritzer said he’s reluctant to endorse such a limit. He did question whether financial disclosures should include a judge’s spouse, partner, unmarried partner, children and siblings to prevent possible conflicts of interest.
“It’s hard to decide where it should end,” he said.
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