April 21, 1977
Re: Canon 5C
This is in response to your inquiry concerning:
1. Whether it is permissible for you to hear cases in which your former partner is involved inasmuch as he has agreed to handle certain cases to conclusion in which you maintain a monetary interest; and
2. Whether it is proper for you to sit on any case involving Okaloosa County, as you were attorney for the Board of County Commissioners several years ago and yet are owed attorney fees incident to some of the cases still pending.
The Committee unanimously agrees that it would be improper for you to sit upon any cases in which you have a monetary interest, whether the case involves your former law firm, former partner or Okaloosa County. Canon 5C(1).
The majority of the Committee, with one contrary opinion, are of the view that you should excuse yourself in all cases which were in your law firm prior to the time you assumed the bench. This includes cases which you referred to your former partner as well as other cases which were merely in the firm prior to your leaving.
It is the unanimous opinion of the Committee that there is no per se impropriety in your former law partner practicing before you. (Opinion No. 75-7)
The Committee unanimously was of the opinion that there is no impropriety in your sitting on cases involving Okaloosa County in which you have no monetary interest,
We appreciate your inquiry and trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Tyrie A. Boyer, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Participating members: Judges Haverfield, Hewitt, Marger, Murphee, Sample and Stephenson. Judge Boyer as Chairman.