September 15, 1982
This is in answer to your inquiry as to the propriety of appointing a relative to serve as guardian ad litem, receiver, or a master. Of the eight members of the Committee on standards of Conduct Governing Judges who responded to this inquiry, all were of the opinion that this activity violates Canon 3B(4), which provides in part "he should exercise his power of appointment only on the basis of merit, avoiding nepotism and favoritism". Two of the members also felt that to appoint a family member to these positions is to judicially recognize that person as competent to fill the role and would constitute the use of the judge's official position for the advancement of the family member.
James T. Carlisle, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court
Mr. Mark Hulsey, Chairman, Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission
Linda H. Yates, Managing Editor, Florida Bar Journal
Hon. Howard T. Markey, Chairman, Ethics Advisory Panel of the Judicial Conference of the U.S.
All references to the inquiring judge deleted
Participating members: Booth, Carlisle, Hewitt, Letts O'Connell