April 25, 1988


Opinion 88/6

Personal business venture
Canon 5C

Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated February 9, 1988

Dear Judge

The Committee has considered your request for an opinion with respect to a plan to offer your boat for occasional charter. In your inquiry you have stated the conditions and circumstances which will govern the venture.

"1. Under no circumstances would I solicit charters from any member of the legal profession practicing in my court.

2. Under no circumstances would my office or title as judge be in any way connected with my offering of the boat for occasional charter.

3. My charter related business would be conducted exclusively through my home telephone and on my own personal time after hours, on week-ends, and during my authorized vacation.

4. Rates for charter will be competitive with the prevailing rate for similar vessels in the West Coast fishing community.

5. A complete list of the name address of all persons or entities availing themselves of the charter of my boat or any service connected therewith and all financial transactions will be disclosed annually in keeping with my obligation under financial disclosure."

Based upon your adherence to the five conditions set forth above, the Committee has determined that the chartering of your boat is consistent with the standards prescribed in Canon 5C.

The committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory to the inquiring party, to the Judicial Qualifications Commission and to the judiciary at large. Conduct that is consistent with an advisory opinion issued by the committee may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions issued by the committee. Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct for Judges 327 So2d 5 (Fla. 1976).

Cordially yours,

Richard H. Frank, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges

cc: All Committee Members

Participating Members: Judges Booth, Dell, Frank, Goldstein, Green, Levy and Attorney Page

All reference to the inquiring judge is deleted from the copies sent to the following individuals.

Mr. Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida
Linda Yates, Managing Editor, The Florida Bar Journal
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director, Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Hon. Howard T. Markey, Chairman, Ethics Advisory Panel of the Judicial Conference of the United States .
Jeffrey M. Shaman, Esquire, Director, Center for Judicial Conduct Organizations
Ms. Jean Underhill, Librarian, Broward County Law Library
Mr. Robert Wallace, Librarian, Dade County Law Library
Mr. Brian Polley, Librarian, Supreme Court of Florida