June 16, 1994
(Judge/candidate mailing press
(release/photo to local
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
RE: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated May 5, 1994
You are an incumbent judge who will be up for re-election this year. You would like to mail a press release and a photograph to various local newspapers. All of our Committee members agree that there is no ethical impropriety in mailing such a press release announcing your candidacy. Your main concern seems to be whether your proposed activity would violate the present Canon 7(b)(3) since you have no active opposition. Our Committee only offers opinions concerning the ethical Canons and offer no opinions as to the various election laws that may apply.
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 Dell, Doughtie, Farina , Goldstein, Green, Kahn, Patterson , Rushing, Taylor, Tolton and Edwards, Esq.