December 14, 1988


Opinion 88/28

Participating in preview trial
of pending litigation by retired judge
Canon 2

Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated October 24, 1998

Dear Judge

You have telephonically requested an advisory opinion as to whether you, as a retired judge who frequently is called to active service, may conduct a "mock" trial of a pending lawsuit not assigned to you. You have indicated that the mock trial's result may or may not be relied upon by the parties in determining whether to pursue actual trial of the pending litigation. You have further advised that you would be paid a fee for your "judicial" service.

In reaching a determination that you are not prohibited from presiding over the mock trial, the Committee has drawn upon its Opinion No. 85/3, a copy of which is enclosed. We find adequate support in the ultimate result reflected in Opinion 85/3 to answer your question in the affirmative.

Two Committee members have expressed the view that your participation in the mock proceeding may, indeed, assist in the administration of the judicial system.

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