August 29, 1995
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Service on Advisory Board
as legal advisor by Senior Judge
In re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your Inquiry Dated June 20, 1995
You are a senior judge and by that designation it is assumed that you are eligible for recall to judicial service. You inquire whether you may serve on the advisory board of International Assessment Systems, Inc. The corporation wants to pay you an honorarium of $250.00 per meeting and to issue you stock. The company provides psychological testing for forensic. Business and diagnostic purposes. It appears to be a for-profit corporation.
In the materials you included with the inquiry it appears that the corporation wishes for you to serve on the advisory board as its sole legal advisor. The eight responding members of the Committee unanimously agree that this activity is prohibited under the Code. A judge is not allowed to practice law under Canon 5G. You are not exempted from this requirement even though you are a retired/senior judge. Further, the provisions of the Code delineation what organizations a judge may participate in, allow a judge to be a non-legal advisor, but not a legal advisor. See, e.g.; Canon 4D and Canon 5C(3).
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 judges, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions by the Committee. Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges, 327 So.2d 5 (Fla. 1976).
Very Truly Yours,
Oliver L. Green, Jr., Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct
CC: All Committee Members
Office of the State Courts Administrator
(Name of judge deleted from this copy)
Participating Members:Judges Cardonne, Doughtie, Green, Kahn, Patterson, Rushing, Silverman and Tolton