November 22, 1993
Personal and Confidential
Volunteering as flight instructor to attorney
Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated October 13, 1993
You have requested an opinion from our Committee concerning the following situation:
You are a flight instructor and an attorney has requested that you fly with him on occasion in that capacity for the purpose of the attorney maintaining the required "currency" to be able to fulfill his private pilot's license requirements. You do not charge for this activity. All of our participating Committee members agree that your proposed activity would not violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.
As a precautionary note, we would add that a judge should always consider whether or not to disclose a personal, social relationship with an attorney if that attorney is appearing before the judge.
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, Farina, Goldstein, Green, Kahn, Patterson, Tolton and Edwards, Esq.