Opinion 79-15

November 19, 1979

Dear Judge:

This is in response to your letter of October 26th, 1979. You asked for the opinion of the Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges on whether you may seek the presidence (sic) of a bar association.

Of the eight members of the Committee who responded all were unanimous in their opinion that a judge could not run for the president of a bar association. The reasoning was that the judge places himself in a position where he must ask for votes or support from lawyers. The question will inevitable be raised whether the judge is exerting pressures on lawyers who must litigate before him. This gives at least the appearance of impropriety. While the same situation may be said to exist in judicial elections, it is to some measure tempered by the constraints of Cannon (sic) 7. Canon 7 has no application to a race for bar president.

Yours truly,

James T. Carlisle, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges

cc: All Committee Members
Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court
Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission
Florida Bar Journal
All references to the inquiring judge deleted

Participating members: Judges Booth, Carlisle, Haverfield, Letts, Richardson, Stephenson, Turner and Samuel Powers, Attorney