April 27, 1993

Opinion 93-28

Part-time judges/Traffic Magistrates


You state you are a traffic court magistrate and your law partner has a criminal defense practice including defense of criminal traffic charges. Considering Opinion 92-48 (a traffic magistrate is prohibited from representing defendants in the criminal traffic division of county court), you ask whether you law partner's practice precludes your service as a traffic magistrate.

All eight participating Committee members agree that the nature of your law partner's law practice does not preclude your service.

The Committee recommends and suggests that you forward your inquiry to the Florida Supreme Court's Traffic Review Committee and/or the Florida Bar's Traffic Court Rules Committee because your inquiry may have judicial policy implications and this opinion is an interpretation of Traffic Court Rule 6.630i (Code of Judicial Conduct).

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).

Sincerely yours,

Harvey Goldstein, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges


cc: All Committee Members
Office of State Court Administrator (name of Judge deleted from this copy)

Participating members: Judges Dell, Doughtie, Farina, Goldstein Green, Kahn, Rushing and Edwards, Esq.