Opinions of the Judicial Ethics
Advisory Committee



2007


 

 Opinion
 Canon(s)
 Subject
2007-01
3(E)(1) and 3(E)(1)(c)

Whether a part-time traffic magistrate can rent office space from a law firm that handles traffic infraction matters, traffic appeals, and criminal traffic matters?

Whether a part-time traffic magistrate can work as an independent contractor with a law firm that handles traffic infraction matters, traffic appeals, and criminal traffic matters?

2007-02
3E, 3F, 5, 5D(1)(b) & 5D(4) and Commentary to Canon 3E(1)

May a judge remain the beneficiary of a land trust along with some of the judge’s former law partners?

Whether disqualification is required in cases in which the judge’s former partners, who are still co-beneficiaries of a land trust, appear as counsel.

2007-03
4, 4A, 4B, 4D, 4D(1), 5, 5A, 5C(2)

May a judge accept an appointment to membership on the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, created in article xi, section 6 of the Florida Constitution?

2007-04
2, 2(A), 2(B), 4, 4(A), 4(D)(2)(a) & (d); 5(A), 5(C), 5(C)(3)(b)(i) & (iii)

Whether a judge may provide items to be sold at auction at a fundraiser held by the sheriff of the county in which the judge holds office, when the items are readily identifiable as items made by the judge?

Whether a judge may donate auction items to fundraisers held by other community organizations, when the items are readily identifiable as items made by the judge?

2007-05
2A, 2B, 3E, 3E(1), 5A(1), 5D(1)(a), 5D(5)(h) and Commentary to Canon 3E(1), 5D(1) and 5D(5)(h)

May a judge who presides over drug court solicit or receive “incentive gifts” from lawyers or law firms for use as rewards to Drug Court program defendants/participants?

2007-06
2B and Commentary to Canon 2B

Whether a judge may write a letter of recommendation for a former staff attorney who has applied for a Harvard Law School Heyman Fellowship.

2007-07
 2A, 2B, 4A, 5A, 5A(1), 5A(2), 5B, 5C(2), and 5C(3)(b)(iii) and Commentary to Canons 2B, 3E(1) and 5

Whether a photograph of a judge wearing a judicial robe and identifying the judge as a judge can be used on billboards and other campaign materials in a public relations campaign conducted by a county library system?

2007-08
4D, 5C(2), & 5C(3) and Commentary to Canon 5C(2)

May a judge accept a position on the board of trustees for a branch campus of a state university?

2007-09
2B, 4A(3), 4B, 4D(2)(a), 4D(2)(d), 5A(3), 5C(3)(b), 6A, 6B

May a judge participate in a panel discussion as part of a continuing legal education seminar sponsored by a private organization?

If so, must the organization be non-profit in nature?

May the judge receive compensation for expenses and/or an honorarium for the judge’s participation in the seminar?

May the judge permit the sponsoring organization to include the judge’s photo and/or biographical information when advertising the seminar?

2007-10
3F, 3E(1), 3F, 5, 5D(1)(b), 5D(2), 5D(4)

If the local legal aid leases an office building owned by a sitting circuit court judge, is disqualification required whenever lawyers from the local legal aid appear before the judge?

2007-11
3E(1)(c) and Commentary to Canon 3E(1)

Is disqualification required in all cases in which the sheriff’s department is involved when a family member of the judge is employed by the department?

2007-12
5F(2) (emphasis supplied)

May a senior judge advertise mediation services to unrepresented persons in publications not directed to lawyers as long as the senior judge does not indicate that the senior judge ever served as a judge?

2007-13
7

1.  May a judge, whose spouse plans to run for election to a nonpartisan public office, attend the spouse’s nonpartisan “meet and greet” campaign gatherings at the judge’s home and at the homes of friends and neighbors?

2.  May the judge appear as the candidate’s spouse in a family photograph to be used in the spouse’s campaign?

2007-14
3E(1) and 3F

Whether a judge is obligated to disqualify himself or herself when a lawyer from a law firm employing the judge's spouse as a paralegal appears before the judge.

2007-15
6A

May a county judge who is a member of the local canvassing board accept an offer from the supervisor of elections to reimburse the judge or otherwise help defray expenses for a seminar on the law applicable to canvassing boards?

2007-16
Recedes from JEAC Opinion 2003-18
3E

Whether a judge is automatically disqualified in all cases involving a law firm that employs the judge’s son-in-law, who is a third year law student, as a law clerk?

Whether a judge should disclose that his son-in-law is employed by the law firm as a law clerk?

2007-17
3E(1), Commentary to Canon 3E(1), and 3F

Whether a judge should disclose to the state when a criminal defense attorney appearing before the judge is currently on the judge’s campaign committee.

Whether a judge should disqualify himself or herself when a criminal defense attorney appearing before the judge is currently on the judge’s campaign committee.

If disqualification is required, whether disqualification extends to other members of the defense attorney’s law firm.

2007-18
2B, 4A, 4D(2)(a), 5C(b)(3)(ii) & (iii), Commentary to Canon 5C

May the inquiring judge solicit businesses for donations of gift certificates and coupons to be used as rewards for good behavior by juveniles on probation?

May the inquiring judge solicit others to volunteer their time to serve a nonprofit organization?

2007-19
2, 3B(7), Commentary to Canon 2A

Whether a judge may review sworn arrest reports and other probable cause documents and make a preliminary probable cause finding prior to a defendant’s first appearance hearing.

Whether a judge may enter his or her preliminary probable cause finding on a final nonadversarial probable cause determination form prior to a defendant’s first appearance hearing.

2007-20
4B, 7, 7A(1)(d), 7B(2), 7C(2), 7C(3)

Whether a judge may attend a partisan ladies group monthly luncheon to address improvements in the law, the legal system and the administration of justice in the area of expediting permanency for children from foster care through adoption.

2007-21
2A, 2B, 4, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5A, 5B, and 5C, 5D

May a judge be an advisory board member, with or without compensation, for an internet company which will not sell legal services or legal advice but will provide divorce information, such as, where to find a lawyer, appropriate forms at the clerk’s office, a child support calculator, online support groups and chat rooms, psychologists, and counselors?

May a judge write an informative article about the divorce process to be published on the internet company’s divorce information website?