July 29, 1994
(Appearance in advertising
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
RE: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated May 24, 1994
You have requested an opinion from our committee concerning your appearance in an advertising commercial for American Suzuki Motor Corporation along with your husband. This advertisement would feature you as a lawyer and make no comment that you are a judicial candidate. Seven members of our Committee concur that there would be no ethical impropriety in appearing in this advertisement as long as there was a separation between your candidacy and this commercial venture. While lawyer/candidates are required to conform with many of the judicial canons, they are obviously permitted to continue to practice law and engage in commercial activities that do not detract from the dignity appropriate to judicial office. Two of our Committee members feel that the commercial venture would detract from the dignity appropriate to judicial office and thus would recommend that you do not participate.
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 and Tolton