Opinions of the Judicial Ethics
Advisory Committee



2000


 Opinion
 Canon(s)
 Subject
 2000-01
5(E)(1)
May a Judge, who is named a trustee of property devised to him and his wife as a life estate, serve as trustee of that property?
 2000-02
4A and 4B
May a Judge in publishing an article as to the effect of new legislation make conclusions as to the constitutionality of that legislation?
 2000-03
 
Must a judge use the detailed fax transmittal form provided by the Department of Children and Family Services in order to comply with the judge's responsibility under Section 39.201, Fla. Stat. (1999), to report suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect to the Department of Children and Family Services?
 2000-04
2A and Commentary, 5A, and 4A
Whether a Civil Traffic Infraction Hearing Officer's attendance at the local police department's Citizens Police Academy violates the Code of Judicial Conduct?
 2000-05
Canons 4D and 5C(2
Whether a chief judge, as a member of a task force created under the auspices of the chief judge, may write an introduction and history of the task force for an informational brochure explaining the task force and gangs in general?

Whether a chief judge may write the above comments when the brochure will also contain comments from the sheriff?
 2000-06
superseded by Op. 10-31
2A, 2B, 4D, and 5C(3)
Whether a chief judge violates the code of judicial conduct by authoring a letter to lawyers within the circuit soliciting them to join legal aid organizations to perform pro bono work or pay $350 "in lieu of services" as a contribution to the legal aid organization?
 2000-07
receded from in Op. 03-04
2, 2B
Whether a judge may give a voluntarily statement to a police supervisor who is conducting an investigating of an officer who has lied under oath before the judge? (overruled by Op. 03-04 )
 2000-08
3B(3); 3B(4); 3B(5); 3C(2); 5D (5); 5D (5)(h)
May a judge and/or a court employee accept gifts, including money and redeemable gift certificates, from lawyers, vendors, or other third parties?
 2000-09
5, 5D(1)(a) & (b), and 5C(3)(b)(i)
Whether a judge may serve on the Board of Directors of the Collins Center for Public Policy, Inc., a not for profit corporation?
 2000-10
Canon 4A(2)
Whether a senior judge may send the enclosed announcement of his availability to serve, as a website on the internet, to be sent to Chief Judges in the State of Florida?
 2000-11
3E, 3E(1), 3E(1)(a)
When a criminal division judge's son-in-law has qualified as a candidate for election to the Office of Public Defender, is the judge required to disqualify himself from all cases involving the public defender's office or to request a transfer to a non-criminal division?
2000-12
7C(3); and Former Canon 7B(3)
Whether a judicial candidate involved in a re-election, who has no active opposition, may attend a political forum hosted by the National Hispanic Republican Assembly where all candidates will be invited to attend?
2000-13
5F, Preamble Definitions Section and Applications Section B
Whether a trial court law clerk employed by a judicial circuit act as an arbitrator in statutorily mandated conditionally binding arbitration?
2000-14
5, 5D(5)(a), and 5(D)(5)(h)
Whether judges may attend luncheons, receptions and social events that are sponsored by bar associations of either plaintiff's or defense lawyers?

Whether a judge may speak at a luncheon of a plaintiff's or defense lawyer's group on a law-related or trial-law-related subject for the edification of the members of the plaintiff's bar association or defense bar association?
2000-15
2B and 5C(3)(b)(iii)
Whether a judge may tape a public service announcement, which does not solicit volunteers or donations of time or money, for local not-for-profit organizations, where the announcements are to simply advise the community that these organizations exist and to increase public awareness of their various projects?
2000-16
7(1)(b)
Whether a judicial candidate may host a weekly radio talk show during the election season, and if elected, after the date of election?

Whether a judge elect may actively participate in non-judicial campaigns before he is sworn in as a circuit judge?

Whether a political party may support the candidacy of a judicial candidate?
2000-17
Recedes from JEAC Opinion 93-65
2B; Commentary to Canon 5(A); and Canon 5(C)(3)(b)(i) and (iii).
Commentary to Canon 3E(1)(d)
Whether a judge may participate in his/her child's school fund-raising activities by working in a concession stand?

Whether a judge, whose spouse is employed part-time with the police department, must disclose this association in cases in which the spouse has absolutely no involvement? (amended by Op. 05-07 )
2000-18
2B, 4A(1), and 4D(2)(d)
May a circuit court judge submit a written letter to Mothers Against Drunk Driving nominating a misdemeanor Judge and a felony Judge to receive an honor for "making our streets and highways safer"?
2000-19
7B(1) and 7C(1)
Whether a candidate for appointment to judicial office, who is also a candidate for election to judicial office, may raise funds through a committee to support his campaign?
2000-20
4, 4B, 5, 5D(5)(a), 5(D)(5)(h), and 6.
Whether a judge may attend a bar luncheon, sponsored by law firms and parties likely to come before the judge's court, where attendance fees for the judiciary are waived?
2000-21 (Election)
3B(9), 7 and 7A(3)(d)(iii)
Whether a judicial candidate who is not a judge should use a website with an address identifying himself as a judge if the website contains a disclaimer that he is not a judge?

Whether a judicial candidate may state that the opponent was ranked the worst of all county court judges in five out of eight categories in a bar poll?

Whether a judicial candidate may utilize voice recordings of the opponent recorded in open court proceedings during the campaign?

Whether a judicial candidate may comment to the media regarding his clients' pending criminal or civil cases?

Whether a judicial candidate's opponent may respond to the candidate's use of the judicial bar poll?

Whether a judge other than the inquiring judge may make comments to the press that appear to bolster an incumbent judge?

Whether it is proper for a judicial candidate's opponent to question the candidate's contributors regarding their campaign contribution?
2000-22 (Election)
7; 7A(3); 7A(3)(a); 7A(3)(d)(i); 7A(3)(d)(ii); 7A(3)(d)(iii); and 7C(3)
May a judicial candidate attend and speak at a partisan political event which is not a fundraiser and at which the opponent has likewise been invited to speak; and if so, may the candidate distribute campaign literature at the gathering?

May a judicial candidate attend and distribute campaign materials at a national rifle association fundraiser?

May a judicial candidate (opponent) ethically claim in campaign materials that the inquiring candidate is attempting to "buy the judgeship" with family money; and may the inquiring candidate respond to the charge by stating that the accuser (opponent) is attempting to "buy the judgeship" with campaign contributions?

May a judicial candidate post on an internet campaign website newspaper articles and editorials regarding the campaign?
2000-23 (Election)
7, 7A(3)(a), and 7A(3)(d)(iii)
Whether a judicial candidate (non-incumbent) may ethically publish a campaign advertisement that informs the public (in pertinent part) that the incumbent opponent entered into the deferred retirement option program (drop); that the opponent is already officially in retired status with the florida retirement system; that electing the non-incumbent will not deprive the incumbent of his/her retirement; that the advertisement quotes an excerpt from the drop contract
2000-24 (Election)
7, 7A(3)(d)(iii)
Whether a judicial candidate who has served as a civil traffic hearing officer, a parking ticket court hearing officer, and a special master for juvenile smoking court and animal control violations may use the phrase "quasi-judicial experience" in his campaign literature
2000-25
4D, 5, 5B(1), 5C(3)
May a judge return surplus campaign funds pro rata to each contributor, if included among the contributors are lawyers who may appear before the judge?

May a judge return surplus campaign funds pro rata to contributors, including lawyers, would the failure of a lawyer to negotiate such a refund create an appearance of impropriety on behalf of the judge?

May a judge participate as an officer or director of the local kiwanis club foundation and the legal aid society?
2000-26 (Election)
7, 7C(3), 7A(1)(d)
May a judicial candidate who has been invited, along with all other judicial candidates, attend a political party social gathering as the guest of the party for the purpose of socializing and talking one on one to other guests, but not to address the entire gathering?
2000-27 (Election)
7, 7A(3)(a), and 7A(3)(d)(iii)
May a judicial candidate have an advertisement filmed portraying the candidate addressing a mock jury in a court room as if the candidate were trying a case?
2000-28 (Election)
4, 4B
Whether a senior judge, subject to recall, may serve on a judicial election campaign practices committee, sponsored by a local bar association.
2000-29 (Election)
 
Whether a judicial candidate can publicize an endorsement of a political party obtained without inviting or interviewing any of the candidates.
2000-29 (Election)
Amended
 
Whether a judicial candidate can publicize an endorsement of a political party obtained without inviting or interviewing any of the candidates.
2000-30
3B(9)
Whether a circuit court judge may publicly comment about a legal proceeding while a related legal proceeding is impending
2000-31
2B, 5C(3)(b)(i), and 5C(3)(b)(iii)
May a judge act as the chairperson of a kickoff event for a fund-raising organization?
2000-32
3A; and Application of the Code of Judicial Conduct
Whether a Title IV D judicial hearing officer and/or general master may be permitted to practice law in non-family law cases in the judicial circuit where he/she hears Title IV D child support cases, and if permitted to handle such cases, are there any restrictions or limitations with regard to the handling of such cases

Whether a traffic hearing officer may be permitted to practice law in cases other than traffic cases in the same circuit in which he/she sits as a traffic hearing officer, and whether there are any restrictions in the handling of such cases

Whether an associate in the same law firm as a part-time Title IV D judicial hearing officer may be permitted to practice family law in the same circuit as the Title IV D judicial hearing officer in his/her firm so long as the associate does not handle Title IV D cases or otherwise appear before the Title IV D judicial hearing officer in his/her firm

What constitutes, in the opinion of the committee, a "court" and "forum" in which a Title IV D judicial hearing officer and/or traffic hearing officer, may not practice law, as referred to in opinions 95-8, 96-12, 98-12, 98-22, and 99-01 rendered by the committee?
2000-33
1, 2, 3C(2) and 3C(4)
Whether a judge may hire a current city councilman as a staff attorney.

Whether the staff attorney candidate's status as an elected official precludes the candidate from accepting the position based upon the Personnel Regulation for the Florida State Courts System, Section 5.03.4.A.
2000-34
Recedes from JEAC Opinions 74-04, 75-07, and 78-16
3E(1), 5D(4)
May a judge preside over a case in which a former law partner is an attorney of record, and the attorney's law firm is making payments to the judge pursuant to the terms of a promissory note?
2000-34 Amended
3E(1), 5D(4)
May a judge preside over a case in which a former law partner is an attorney of record, and the attorney's law firm is making payments to the judge pursuant to the terms of a promissory note?
2000-35
 
Should Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Opinion 00-32 be clarified to abrogate the suggestion that part-time traffic magistrates are completely prohibited from practicing law in their circuits?
2000-36
2, 3
May a part-time juvenile dependency hearing officer assigned to one or more counties in the circuit represent criminal defendants, in county or circuit court matters, in the same counties in which the hearing officer is assigned?

May a part-time juvenile dependency hearing officer assigned to one or more counties in the circuit represent criminal defendants, in county or circuit court matters, in counties of the circuit in which he/she does not sit as the hearing officer?

May a part-time juvenile dependency hearing officer assigned to one or more counties in the circuit represent litigants in family law cases, domestic violence, delinquency, etc. (other than dependency cases), in the same counties in which the hearing officer is assigned?

May a part-time juvenile dependency hearing officer assigned to one or more counties in the circuit represent litigants in family law cases, domestic violence, delinquency, etc. (other than dependency cases), in counties of the circuit in which he/she does not sit as a hearing officer?
2000-37
Preamble, 2B, 7
Whether a member of the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee may appear at a bar prosecution proceeding and provide expert testimony relating to the code of judicial conduct and judicial campaigns after receiving a subpoena.
2000-38
Application A(2)
May a part-time traffic magistrate who presides in traffic court in one county, represent clients charged with traffic-related felonies in the county in which he presides, and an adjoining county in the same judicial circuit
2000-39
 
May a judge-elect continue to handle cases in the local trial courts before the judge-elect takes the bench?