Opinions of the Judicial Ethics
Advisory Committee



2011


 

 Opinion
 Canon(s)
 Subject
2011-01
2A, 3B(9), 5A(1), 7, and 7C(1)

May a judge create and privately maintain a website designed primarily to focus high school students on college or trade school preparation?

2011-02
5D(1)(a), Canon 5D(2); Commentary to Canon 5; Application to the Code of Judicial Conduct, Section B(1)

Whether a senior judge who owns several residential mortgages on properties and receives income from those properties is prohibited from handling mortgage foreclosure matters?

2011-03
Commentary to Canon 4(D)(2); 4(D)(2)(b) & 5C(3)(b)(iii)

May a judge accept an award the Junior League has advertised it will bestow on the judge at a fundraising event?

If not, may the judge’s spouse or someone else in the community accept the award on the inquiring judge’s behalf?

2011-04
2A, 3B(9), 3B(10); 4B, 5A(1), 5B

May a Judge appear in a television public service announcement on juvenile needs and issues and encouraging parents to call a parenting help line sponsored and maintained by 2-1-1 Big Bend, a private nonprofit organization that provides confidential counseling and referrals?

2011-05
5C(2); 5C(3); Commentary to Canon 5C(2)

(1) Whether a Judge may chair an educational non-profit organization designed to assist, promote and support the public school board and superintendent in activities that advance and improve the quality of instruction in public schools system within the judge’s judicial circuit?

2011-06
4A(1)-(6), 4D(2), 5A(1)-(6), 5C(3)(b)

(1) Whether a Judge may assist in planning fundraising activities for a childcare program which provides supervised childcare to parents and guardians who are attending court-related matters.

(2) Whether a Judge may speak and be featured on a program and permit the Judge’s title to be used for a fundraiser for a program which provides supervised childcare to parents and guardians who are attending court-related matters.

(3) Whether a Judge may make a recommendation to public and private fund-granting organizations on behalf of a program that provides supervised childcare to parents and guardians who are attending court-related matters?

(4) To what extent may a judge be involved in fundraising for a program which provides supervised childcare to parents and guardians who are attending court related matters if the program is under the umbrella of an organization that has an advocacy component?

2011-07
4A & 4B, and Commentary to Canon 4B

May a judge publicly identify and explain the potential consequences to the judicial branch of proposed legislation, if enacted into law, or of proposed constitutional amendments, if approved as amendments to the Florida Constitution?

2011-08
3E(1)

Whether a judge who intends to seek re-election is disqualified from presiding over a case in which the law partner and campaign treasurer of an attorney who has qualified to run against the judge is an attorney for one of the parties.

2011-09
7(2)

May a civil traffic infraction hearing officer remain in that position while campaigning for election as a county judge?

2011-10
2A (Commentary), 5D(5), 7A(1)(b), 7A(3)(b), 7D

Whether a judge’s spouse hosting a campaign event for a candidate at the home of the judge and spouse poses any potential ethical violations for the judge.

2011-11
Overruled by In Re: Amendments to the Code of Judicial Conduct, 141 So.3d 1172 (Fla. 2014).
5F(2)

May a senior judge who has contracted with a mediation group to provide mediation services, permit the mediation group to display the judge's image in its advertisements or to display the judge's image or professional biography on its website.

2011-12
4D, 4A(1)-(6), 4D(2)(b), 5, and 5C(3)(b)

May a judge attend a fundraiser for a respected veterans’ organization if the judge will be one of several individuals honored at the event and more than half of the funds raised at the event will be used to assist veterans identified by the courts as needing financial assistance.

2011-13
2B, 4D(2)(a), 5D(3)(b)(i), 5D(3)(b)(iii), the Commentary to Canon 4D(2) and 5C(3)

The Inquiring Judge has been involved in a “financial literacy” program which educates families in dependency matters on better ways to budget their limited resources.  The Inquiring Judge would like to write a letter introducing the program and to invite local banks and businesses to consider assisting in this program.

2011-14
4, 5, 5B, 5C and 5C(3)(b)

May a judge serve as a member of the wait staff at a charitable organization’s fundraiser luncheon when the wait staff will be comprised of only elected officials and contributions will be solicited and collected at the event by the non-judicial wait staff?

2011-15
Recedes from Opinions 10-23 and 10-30
4, 4D(2)(b), 5, 5C(3)(b) & Commentary

May a judge seeking re-election in 2014 be a hole sponsor at a charity golf tournament hosted by the young lawyers section of the local bar association if the proceeds raised at the event will benefit various non-law related projects?

2011-16
(3)(B)(7); (3)(B)(9); and (3)(B)10; and 4

May a judge speak to a conference of judges, court administrators, and others interested in the administration of justice, concerning a trial presided over by the judge, the result of which is being appealed.

2011-17
2, 3B(1), and 3E(1)

Whether a judge is required to recuse himself/herself when an attorney who is appearing in a case before the judge is the spouse of an attorney representing the judge in an unrelated civil matter, where the spouses are, and always have been, in different firms?

Whether a judge is required to disclose to the parties that an attorney who is appearing in a case before the judge is the spouse of an attorney representing the judge in an unrelated civil matter, where the spouses are, and always have been, in different firms?

2011-18
2A, 3(B)(9), 4A, 4B, 5A, and 5B

May a judge permit criminal arraignments to be broadcast nationally on television by a regular network?

May a judge be paid pursuant to a contract with a television network for a teaching segment which would involve explaining the law, sentencing choices, and interviewing different “players” in the court system?

2011-19
2A, 4A, 4D, and Application of The Code of Judicial Conduct

May a retired judge who wishes to preside as a senior judge in the future be a board member of the Innocence Project of Florida?

2011-20
(Elections)
7A(1)(b)

Whether judicial candidates who are running in different races may travel together to campaign speaking events if the candidates do not publicly endorse each other for office.

2011-21
Recedes from Opinions 77-12 and 77-04
2A, 3E, and Application of The Code of Judicial Conduct

May a judge preside over felony arraignments in a county where the judge’s spouse is the supervisor of the State Attorney’s Office?