Opinions of the Judicial Ethics
Advisory Committee



2009


 

 Opinion
 Canon(s)
 Subject
2009-01
3E(1), 5D(5), 5D(5)(c) 5D(5)(e), 5D(5)(h), and Commentary to Canons  3E(1), 5D(5)(h)

(1)        Whether the inquiring judge’s acceptance of a weekend trip to Maine with an attorney eight to nine years ago requires the judge to continue recusing from cases handled by the attorney and the attorney's law firm.

(2)        Whether disclosure on the record of the last eight to nine years of voluntary recusal and the reason therefor is required.

2009-02
5B2 now Canon 5C(3(b)(iii)

Whether the inquiring judge may require DUI probationers to pay for and attend a victim impact panel course where the course is presented by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and where the fee paid to MADD will help fund its operations.

2009-03
1, 2, 3C(2)

May a judicial circuit use the volunteer services of retired attorneys, who no longer practice law, to perform the functions of judicial staff attorneys?

2009-04
5, 5C, 5C(2), 5C(3), & 5C(3)a&b

Whether a judge may serve as an officer of the alumni association of a public university in Florida?

2009-05
1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

May a retired judge sit as a senior judge and as a traffic infraction hearing officer in the same judicial circuit?

2009-06
4D, 5C(1) and 5C(2) & Commentary to Canon 5

Whether a judge may serve on a local county ethics commission for the purpose of establishing a code of ethics for the county commission?

2009-07
4D, 5C, 4D(2)(b), 5C(3)(b)(iii)

Whether the inquiring judge may attend and receive an award at ORT America’s Jurisprudence Award Tribute event which is a fundraiser for an organization that is mainly involved in education programs both domestically and internationally?

2009-08
4D, 5A(1)

Whether the inquiring judge, who serves as president of the local Inn of Court, may contact members of legislature on behalf of that organization to suggest passage or defeat of legislation relating to the funding and duties of the judiciary?

2009-09
5G

Whether a recently appointed judge may receive a fee for legal work performed prior to taking office.

2009-10
1, 2, 3F, 4, 5, 5F(2), Commentary to Canon 5F(2), and former Commentary to the Application of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Section B

Whether a senior judge may preside over the trial of a civil case when the senior judge currently is providing mediation services in the same circuit in the same type of cases, the senior judge has not previously provided mediation services to the attorneys or parties involved in the trial, and the attorneys and parties on both sides of the case have requested that the senior judge preside over the trial. 

2009-11
2A, 2B, & 5A

Whether a judge may be a member of a newly created committee of a nonprofit organization named Women in Distress?

2009-12
5, 5C(3), Commentary to Canons 5A and 5C(3)(b)

May a judge sit on a synagogue committee that determines if members qualify for a reduction in membership dues?

2009-13
2A, 2B, 3E(1), 4D, 5A, 5C(3)(a), 7

Whether the inquiring judge may become a member of a local gun club in order to use its shooting range, where the gun club requires proof of membership in the National Rifle Association as a condition precedent to membership in the club.

2009-14
5(1), 5C(2)

May a chief judge appoint members to a Board of Ethics created by municipal ordinance for the benefit of the municipal government?

2009-15
4D(1), 4D(2)(b), 5C(3)(b)(i), and 5C(3)(b)(iii)

Whether the inquiring judge may permit a local non-profit legal services corporation, in their fundraising campaign, to use a video interview of this judge,  filmed while in private practice, wherein he exhorts lawyers, law firms and corporations to partner with the legal services corporation.

2009-16
2B, 3E(1)(b), 5A, 5D(5)(e), 5D(5)(h), and 6B(2)

(1)  Whether a judge may exchange lesser-valued hockey tickets with a close personal lawyer friend whose law firm purchases higher-valued hockey tickets with access to the firm’s suite/skybox.

(2) May the judge consider the aggregate value of the tickets exchanged in complying with the gift reporting requirement of Canon 6B? 

(3) Whether the tickets are exempt from the gift reporting requirement of Canon 6B, if the aggregate value of the tickets exchanged is even or less than $100.

2009-17
3B(7)(c), Commentary to Canon 3B(7),  Application Section

May a magistrate and a judge communicate on a point of law at any point in a case without the communication being prohibited as ex parte?

2009-18
Preamble, 5E(1) and (2)

May a judge serve as trustee of a trust created by the judge’s grandfather for the benefit of the judge’s uncle?

2009-19
4, 4A(1), 4B, 4D(2)(a); Commentary to Canon 4B

Whether a judge may endorse The Sedona Conference Cooperation Proclamation by allowing his or her name to be listed as an endorser, and by promoting, distributing, and speaking at bar association meetings in support of the proclamation and its principles.

2009-20
2B; Commentary to Canon 2A

Whether a judge may post comments and other material on the judge's page on a social networking site, if the publication of such material does not otherwise violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Whether a judge may add lawyers who may appear before the judge as "friends" on a social networking site, and permit such lawyers to add the judge as their "friend."

Whether a committee of responsible persons, which is conducting an election campaign on behalf of a judge's candidacy, may post material on the committee's page on a social networking site, if the publication of the material does not otherwise violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Whether a committee of responsible persons, which is conducting an election campaign on behalf of a judge's candidacy, may establish a social networking page which has an option for persons, including lawyers who may appear before the judge, to list themselves as "fans" or supporters of the judge's candidacy, so long as the judge or committee does not control who is permitted to list himself or herself as a supporter.