September 23, 1993
Personal and Confidential
Canon 2 - Appointment of friend/accountant as receiver
Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges - Your inquiry dated August 13, 1993
You question whether a judge may appoint an accountant to serve as a receiver or as an accountant on a case when the accountant and his firm prepare the judge's personal tax return and one of the accountants is a personal friend.
All eight Committee members responding agree that the judge could appoint an accountant who is a personal friend and who does the judge's personal tax return but disclosure is required and both parties would have to agree to the appointment
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).
Very truly yours,
Nath C. Doughtie, 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 Doughtie, Goldstein, Green, Kahn, Patterson, Rushing, Taylor and Tolton