November 10, 1988

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL


Opinion 88/20

Disqualification not required where
relationship is not within the third degree
Canon 3

Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated July 21, 1998

Dear Judge


In your communication dated July 21, 1988, you have asked if you are ethically foreclosed from handling matters in which your nephew's father-in-law appear.

A majority of the Committee has determined that you are not disqualified from presiding over matters in which your nephew's father-in-law and brother-in-law are involved.

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

RHF/jf
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