For the purposes of Sections 170 to 170.5, inclusive, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Judge” means judges of the superior courts, and court commissioners and referees.
(b) “Financial interest” means ownership of more than a 1 percent legal or equitable interest in a party, or a legal or equitable interest in a party of a fair market value in excess of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500), or a relationship as director, advisor or other active participant in the affairs of a party, except as follows:
(1) Ownership in a mutual or common investment fund that holds securities is not a “financial interest” in those securities unless the judge participates in the management of the fund.
(2) An office in an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization is not a “financial interest” in securities held by the organization.
(3) The proprietary interest of a policyholder in a mutual insurance company, or a depositor in a mutual savings association, or a similar proprietary interest, is a “financial interest” in the organization only if the outcome of the proceeding could substantially affect the value of the interest.
(c) “Officer of a public agency” does not include a Member of the Legislature or a state or local agency official acting in a legislative capacity.
(d) The third degree of relationship shall be calculated according to the civil law system.
(e) “Private practice of law” includes a fee for service, retainer, or salaried representation of private clients or public agencies, but excludes lawyers as full-time employees of public agencies or lawyers working exclusively for legal aid offices, public defender offices, or similar nonprofit entities whose clientele is by law restricted to the indigent.
(f) “Proceeding” means the action, case, cause, motion, or special proceeding to be tried or heard by the judge.
(g) “Fiduciary” includes any executor, trustee, guardian, or administrator.
(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 35. Effective January 1, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018