July 27, 1997


Opinion 88/17

Gift of air passes
Canon 2, 3 and 6

Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated June 10, 1998

Dear Judge

In your inquiry you state that your son works for a major airline and as a benefit of that employment you and your wife are permitted to travel at reduced rate in accordance with a pass issued by the airline. You inquire as to whether you may ethically accept this offer of practically free air transportation.

In response to your inquiry none Committee members find nothing impermissible in your acceptance and use of the pass. Your inquiry expresses an awareness of the recusal obligation should the airline appear before you as a litigant. You will, of course, be required to report the gift in your annual disclosure reports.

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, 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