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Ex-Judge Seeks Answers on Moonlighting Laws

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A retired judge seeks the court's help in determining whether California's anti-moonlighting laws for judges precludes her from taking a university teaching job. Candace Cooper was re-elected in 2006 as presiding judge over California's Court of Appeal.

She resigned two years into her 12-year elected term, which is to expire in 2018.

Cooper says she would like to seize upon teaching opportunities, "but is reluctant to do so" because she is "concerned that a few non-judicial interpretations" of California's so-called "anti-moonlighting" laws "preclude her from any public employment during the remainder of her term for which she was elected."

She also worries in her lawsuit filed in Superior Court that accepting public employment would cause her to forfeit her state retirement benefits and health insurance.

"The plain text of (the law) suggests it as an 'anti-moonlighting' provision aimed at sitting judges and has nothing to do with impairing the employment opportunities of judges who have resigned or retired," the lawsuit states. "

She seeks a declaration from the court that the law only applies to sitting judges and not those who have retired.

She is represented by Elwood Lui with Jones Day.

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