January 18, 1979
The Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges acknowledges your recent inquiry wherein you ask an opinion of the Committee on the propriety of a judge giving certificates of reference to members of the Bar applying for certification under the Florida Bar Designation Plan.
A majority of the responding members of the Committee are of the view that there is no prohibition by the Canons to a judge signing a certificate of reference and giving only the information therein called for. The members of the Committee do feel however, that all inquiries should be handled on a confidential basis.
Several members of the Committee feel that Canon 2B prohibits a judge from "waxing eloquent" in his response. The feel that only the information therein called for should be given. However several members of the Committee feel that a judge, if he is going to sign a certificate of reference, should be allowed to make whatever comments in his response as he feels appropriate.
We trust that the above opinion will be of assistance to you.
Tyrie A. Boyer, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Participating members: Judges Boyer, Carlisle, Haverfield, Hewitt, Letts, O'Connell, Richardson, Stephenson, Turner and Samuel J. Powers, Attorney