Opinions of the Judicial Ethics
Advisory Committee



2003


 

 Opinion
 Canon(s)
 Subject
 2003-01
5A, 5C(3)
May a judge, under the aegis of a nonprofit organization, serve in a leadership capacity to implement nonpartisan, citizen-developed recommendations to improve the community's quality of life by improving race relations?
 2003-02
4B
(1) Whether a recently elected judge may remain a member of the executive council of the trial lawyers section of The Florida Bar. If the judge may remain a member of such council, (a) may the judge chair committees where the chairmanship is appointed by the chairperson of the section; and (b) is the judge prohibited from holding office where historically the chair of such council is involved in lobbying issues, but may not have to personally be involved in the actual lobbying.
 2003-03
4B
May a judge participate in a law firm's litigation program by presiding over mock trials at a firm retreat to be held at a local resort?
 
2003-04
Overrules JEAC Opinion 98-15; Recedes from JEAC Opinion 2000-07
2B

Whether it is proper for a judge to review documents about a matter in which the judge would be a fact witness before the judge is subpoenaed to give a deposition or court testimony.

Whether it is proper for a judge to be interviewed by a lawyer about a matter in which the judge would be a fact witness before the judge is subpoenaed to give a deposition or court testimony.

 2003-05
2B

Whether a sitting judicial officer may permit a not for profit organization which is controlled by a voluntary bar association to solicit funds for a scholarship named for the judge.

 2003-06
2B

Whether it is ethically permissible for a judge to voluntarily appear in a videotape to be used in a personal injury settlement negotiation.

 2003-07
2A, 5A(1), 5C(3)(a) and 5G

May a judge, newly appointed to the county court, continue to serve on a hospital's ethics committee, when the county in which the hospital resides, and the county for which the judge serves, are in the same judicial circuit?

 2003-08
3E

1. Does the Code of Judicial Conduct require disqualification in all criminal cases that the judge's spouse is a "Child Victim Specialist" in the state attorney's office? If not, is the Code of Judicial Conduct satisfied if the judge only discloses the relationship in those cases in which there are allegations of sexual abuse to a child?

2. Does the Code of Judicial Conduct mandate the disqualification of a criminal division judge whose spouse is a "Child Victim Specialist" in cases in which the spouse has no involvement and in which there are no allegations of sexual abuse to a child?

3. Does the Code of Judicial Conduct mandate the disqualification of a criminal division judge whose spouse is a "Child Victim Specialist" in cases in which the spouse has no involvement, but in which there are allegations of sexual abuse to a child?

 2003-09
2B and 7

1. Whether a traffic hearing officer can write a letter to the chairman of a judicial nominating committee endorsing an applicant?

2. Whether a traffic hearing officer can make a financial contribution to a political candidate?

 2003-10
Recedes from JEAC Opinion 93-12
5d(5)(E) and (h), and 6B(2)

May a judge accept a free golf membership from a very close family friend whose involvement in any case would cause the judge to disqualify himself or herself?

 2003-11
4D

Whether the two circuit court judges presiding over juvenile delinquency court may belong to criminal justice and delinquency council which is open to all practitioners and all other interested citizens who support the goals and objectives of the council?

 2003-12
5E(1)

Whether a circuit court judge may remain as a Trustee for an irrevocable trust set up by the judge's former father-in-law for the former father-in-law's wife where the judge's former wife may receive the remainder of the irrevocable trust corpus and interest when the father-in-law's wife passes away and where the judge's children will receive the remainder of the trust proceeds when the judge's former wife passes away.

 2003-13
7, 7C(3)

1. Whether a blanket invitation in a political party newsletter inviting all judicial candidates to speak is sufficient to allow the candidate to attend and speak even if the opponent is not present.

2. Whether an invitation from the political party's president for a candidate and the candidate's opponent, which the candidate attends and the opponent does not attend, is permissible. If so, whether the candidate may speak, greet, and hand out literature.

3. Whether a candidate not invited to speak, may stand outside the function at the beginning or end of the political party meeting and hand out literature greeting the participants.

4. Whether a judicial candidate's volunteer workers may wear badges to vote for the candidate at party functions and hand out literature.

 2003-14
2, 3E(1)

1. May a judge appoint a psychologist, or the psychologist's business partner, to conduct psychological evaluations in criminal cases if the judge was previously engaged to be married to the psychologist, and the engagement ended over ten years ago?

2. Whether the judge is required to disclose the judge's prior relationship with the psychologist.

 2003-15
5

1. May a judge solicit funds on behalf of a law school alumni association from fellow judges within the Judicial Circuit?

2. May the results of the solicitation be published to encourage others to contribute?

 2003-16
4

Whether a judge may ethically partipate in a voluntary bar association's fundraising event by providing goods (including artwork or crafts made by the judge) for sale or auction, performing a skit, displaying a talent being a model, or otherwise performing at the event.

 2003-17
4, 5C(c)

Whether a judge may serve as a member of the board of directors on a public policy institute.

 2003-18

Receded from in Op. 07-16

2A, 3E(1)(d), 3F

Whether a judge is obligated to disclose and disqualify himself or herself when the law firm employing the judge's niece as a legal intern appears before the judge.

Whether a judge is obligated to disclose and disqualify himself or herself when a law firm appears before the judge that has employed the judge's brother as an expert witness in a different matter not pending before the judge.

 2003-19
2

May a judge communicate with a guardian ad litem in a post dissolution of marriage action involving a close personal friend which is pending outside the judicial circuit of the inquiring judge?

 2003-20
7, 7A(3)(b), 7C(1)

Whether a judge running for reelection may retain as a consultant a company in which another judge's spouse has an ownership interest.

 2003-21
Recedes from JEAC Opinion 80-01
5C(2), 5C(3)

May a judge serve on the board of trustees of a community college?

 2003-22
3E(1), 3F

Whether a judge is disqualified in all cases in which an attorney who was a member of the judge's re-election committee appears as an attorney of record in a case.

If the judge is not disqualified when an attorney appearing before the judge was a member of the judge's re-election committee, must the judge make a disclosure in each of those cases, and recuse himself or herself if requested to do so?

 2003-23
4B, 7A(1), and 7C(3)

Whether a judge, who is a candidate for re-election with no announced opposition, can speak to the League of Women Voters and the NAACP regarding adequate funding for the courts in implementation of Article V, Revision 7.

 2003-24
4D(2)(d)

May a Judge endorse a proposal by a county bar association seeking the appointment of a public guardian where the endorsement will be used to solicit funds?