March 24, 1994
(CANON 5C (4)
(Accepting gift certificates in
(recognition of retirement
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
RE: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated February 17, 1994
You have requested an opinion from our Committee concerning the propriety of accepting $500.00 in gift certificates from anonymous donors and the Jacksonville Women Lawyer's Association. This gift certificates are in honor of your retirement. You do not know the names of the specific donors and will report the income on your financial disclosure. Canon 5C (4) states that a judge may accept a gift incident to a public testimonial to the judge. All of our Committee members responding see no ethical problem in your being honored by this gift.
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.