Opinions of the Judicial Ethics
Advisory Committee


1999

 Opinion

 Canon(s)

 Subject
 99-1
1, 2A, 3 and 5G
Whether a General Master may handle adoptions as a volunteer attorney for the Department of Children and Families?
 99-2
Recedes from JEAC Opinion 93-56
3C(1), 3E(1) and 6B(2)
Whether a judge who has dated an attorney must disclose/recuse himself in cases where the attorney and/or the firm for which she works is counsel of record?
 99-3
2, 5D(5)(a-h), 6B
Whether the former law firm of new judge may sponser and pay expenses for post-investiture reception? Whether attorneys in community may sponsor and pay expenses for reception for new judge one week after investiture?
 99-4
Overrules Ops. 76-09 and 90-02
2B
Whether a judge may execute an affidavit relating to matters within his knowledge pertaining to a case which the judge handled while in private practice?
 99-5
2, 2B
Whether a judge may write a an unsolicited letter of commendation to a newspaper to recognize social service organizations for providing services to persons appearing befor the judge?
 99-6
4A, 4B, 4C, 7D & Application of the Code of Judicial Conduct
Whether a retired judge eligible for recall may write a letter to a United States senator and express his views on the impeachment trial fo the President of the United States?
 99-7
4D, 5C(2)
Whether a judge may serve on the Board of Directors for a County Commission on Substance Abuse?
 99-8
3B(6)
Whether a judge may permit lawyers to inquire of members of the venire regarding matters which directly or indirectly seek to elicit information regarding their religious beliefs, assuming that religion is not otherwise an issue in the proceeding?
 99-09
5C(3)(b), 5C(3)(b)(i), 5C(3)(b)(iii), and Commentary to 5C(3)(b)
Whether a judge may receive an award and be inducted into a County Women's Hall of Fame at an annual luncheon where program advertisements have been sold to raise funds for the organization?
 99-10
3 and 3C(4)
Whether Canon 2 or 3C(4) is violated if a judge's spouse is hired/appointed as a court program specialist in the same division as the judge when the judge recuses himself from voting on the individual to fill the position?
 99-10 Amended
3 and 3C(4)
Whether Canon 2 or 3C(4) is violated if a judge's spouse is hired/appointed as a court program specialist in the same division as the judge when the judge recuses himself from voting on the individual to fill the position?
 99-11
4D, 4D(1), 5C()2)
Whether a judge may serve on a county fire board?
 99-12
4D, 5C(2)
Judge as member - Task Force created to assist and facilitate implementation of recent legislation, signing resolution as member of Task Force
 99-13
Recedes from JEAC Opinion 79-02
2, 3E(1), Commentary to Canons 2 & 3E(1)
Whether a judge who is currently represented by an attorney must recuse himself/herself whenever members of the attorney's firm appear before the judge on contested or uncontested matters, whether or not recusal is requested?
 99-14
4B, Commentary to Canon 4B
Whether a judge may write a monthly newspaper column on the judicial system?
 99-15
5C(3)(b), 5C(3)(b)(i), 5C(3)(b)(iii), and Commentary to 5C(3)(b)
Whether a judge may be a guest speaker at an annual college alumni banquet, when the banquet is the main fund-raiser for the alumni club?
 99-16
5F, Application of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Section B
Whether a retired judge who mediates circuit court cases may be recalled to serve as a county judge in an outlying district?
 99-17
Recedes from JEAC Opinion 95-39
1, 2A, 3, 5, and Application of the Code of Judicial Conduct
Whether a general master/child support hearing officer may serve on the board of directors of a charitable organization?
 99-18
2A, 2B, 4, 4A, and Commentary to 4A
Whether a group of family division judges may present annual professionalism awards to selected attorneys whom the judges believe deserving of a professionalism award?
 99-19
3B(7)
Whether there is an appearance of impropriety when there are unsworn comments of a law enforcement officer attached to a traffic citation when the comments are not disclosed to the defendant, even if the judge does not read the comments?

Whether a judge is engaging in improper ex parte communications by reviewing unsworn comments of a law enforcement officer attached to a traffic ticket when the comments are not disclosed to the defendant?
 99-19 Amended
3B(7)
Whether there is an appearance of impropriety when there are unsworn comments of a law enforcement officer attached to a traffic citation when the comments are not disclosed to the defendant, even if the judge does not read the comments?

Whether a judge is engaging in improper ex parte communications by reviewing unsworn comments of a law enforcement officer attached to a traffic ticket when the comments are not disclosed to the defendant?
 99-20
2A, 4B, 4D, 5C(3) and Commentary to Canon 4A.
Whether a judge may serve on the Board of Directors of a Non-Profit Corporation created to provide prepaid legal service plans?

Whether a judge may serve on The Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee?
 99-21
Canons 4A, 4B, 4C, 5C(3)(b)(iii) and Commentary to Canon 4B.
Whether a judge may participate in Partners in Crisis, a group organized to lobby the legislature to increase funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment?
 99-22
Canon 2B and Commentary, and Canon 5C(3) and Commentary
Whether a judge may send a letter to local businesses encouraging them to participate in "Character Counts", and identify himself as a member of the judiciary in the letter?

Whether a judge may send a letter to local businesses encouraging them to participate in "Character Counts", on official letterhead?
 99-23
Canon 5D(5)(a) and Commentary; Canon 5D(5)(h) and Commentary; and Canon 6B(2)
Whether a judge may accept reimbursement for his airline ticket and hotel room expenses when honored at the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers annual meeting?
 99-24
Canons 4, 4B, 4C and 4D(2).
Whether it is permissible for a judge or group of judges to organize a non-profit organization devoted to the improvement of the law, legal system or administration of justice, the main objective is the promotion of the benefits of merit selection and retention of circuit and county trial court judges?
 99-25
Canon 2; Canon 3E(1); Commentary to Canon 2; and Commentary to Canon 3E(1
Whether a judge whose spouse is currently represented by an attorney must recuse himself/herself whenever members of the attorney's firm appear before the judge on contested or uncontested matters, whether or not recusal is requested?
 99-25 Amended
Canon 2; Canon 3E(1); Commentary to Canon 2; and Commentary to Canon 3E(1
Whether a judge whose spouse is currently represented by an attorney must recuse himself/herself whenever members of the attorney's firm appear before the judge on contested or uncontested matters, whether or not recusal is requested?
 99-26
Canons 2, 3B(9), 4, 7 and 7A(3)
May a judge establish a web page on the internet to prepare for an upcoming election campaign; and to provide general information to the public?
 99-27
Canon 2B; Canon 4B and Commentary; Canon 4D(2) and Commentary; Canon 4D(2)(a); Canon 4D(2)(d); Canon 5C(3)(b)(i); Canon 5C(3)(b)(iii); Commentary to Canon 5C(3)(b).
Whether a Judge may participate at a Bench and Bar Professionalism Seminar which is advertised by the Bar Association and by the local news media as a fund-raising seminar?
 99-28
Canons 2 and Commentary, 3E, and 3F
Whether a Claims Compensation Judge, whose spouse practices workers' compensation law in a different district, must disqualify himself/herself from all unrelated cases in which one of the parties is represented by his/her spouse?

Whether a Claims Compensation Judge, whose spouse practices workers' compensation law in a different district, must recuse himself/herself from all unrelated cases in which one of the parties is represented by his/her spouse?
 99-28 Amended  
Canons 2 and Commentary, 3E, and 3F
Whether a Claims Compensation Judge, whose spouse practices workers' compensation law in a different district, must disqualify himself/herself from all unrelated cases in which one of the parties is represented by his/her spouse?

Whether a Claims Compensation Judge, whose spouse practices workers' compensation law in a different district, must recuse himself/herself from all unrelated cases in which one of the parties is represented by his/her spouse?