July 27, 1988
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Application of Canon 7B(3) to judicial candidate
not seeking retention or reelection;
attendance of candidate at meetings
in private homes
Canon 7A, 7B, 7B(1), 7B(2), 7B(3)
Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated June 16, 1998
In your June 16 letter you stated that you are a county judge and have announced your candidacy for a circuit judgeship. You inquire as to whether 7B(3) applies to your candidacy since it refers to an incumbent judge seeking retention or reelection, Your second inquiry is whether you are prohibited from being present at private homes to meet persons.
Nine Committee members have answered the questions posed as follows:
1). Canon 7B(3) applies to your candidacy notwithstanding that your (sic) are not seeking retention or reelection to office. Canon 7B(1) incorporates Canons 7B(2) and Canon 7B(3).
2) The Committee's members find no prohibition in either Canon 7A or 7B which prohibits the attendance at a person's home in order for you to meet people.
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).
Richard H. Frank, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Participating Members: Judges Booth, Dell, Frank, Goldstein, Green, Levy, Shutter, Tolton 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. Walter K. Stapleton, 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