March 18, 1994
(Accepting fee earned prior to
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
RE: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated February 1, 1994
You have requested an opinion from our Committee concerning the payment of an attorney's fee which you earned prior to assuming the Bench. This fee was from a case you had worked on and then referred to another law firm. All members of our Committee responding agree that you may accept a fee earned prior to assuming the Bench as long as any division of fees is in compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers. (See Rule 4-1.5(f)(g)).
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 So.2d 5 (Fla.1976).
Very truly yours,
Nath C. Doughtie, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Office of the Courts Administrator (name of judge deleted from this copy)
Participating members: Judges Doughtie, Farina , Goldstein, Green, Kahn, Patterson , Rushing, Taylor, Tolton and Edwards, Esq.