Receded from in Opinion 84-24

Opinion 79-7

July 18, 1979


Dear Judge:


You have inquired concerning your obligation t recuse yourself in the following five specified instances, which I quote from your letter:

1. Must I continue to recuse myself in cases where my brother-in-law appears as counsel?

2. Must I continue to recuse myself in cases where my brother-in-law's partners or associates appear as counsel?

3. Must I continue to recuse myself in cases where members of the firm of which my son-in-law is a law clerk, appear as counsel while he is still serving in the capacity of law clerk?

4. Must I continue to recuse myself in cases where my son-in-law, after becoming a member of The Florida Bar, will appear as counsel.

5. Must I recuse myself, after my son-in-law becomes a member of The Florida Bar, in cases where other members of his firm appear as counsel?

The majority of the Committee believes the matter is controlled by the Committee's prior opinion of September 7, 1978, decision 78-20. A copy of the opinion is attached.

Specifically, the Committee unanimously recommends that you must recuse yourself in situations numbered 1 and 4, above. A majority of the Committee , six of the nine members voting, recommend that recusal is not required in situations 2 and 5. A majority of the Committee, seven of nine members voting, recommends that recusal is not required in situation number 5. One of the members voting with the majority recommends that, as stated in our prior opinion 78-20, you should offer to recuse yourself in situations 1, 3 and 5, even though recusal is not required. A minority of the Committee, two members, believe you should recuse yourself in all five instances, and one member recommends that recusal be required in all instances except number 3.

The Committee appreciates your inquiry and trusts that these recommendations will be helpful to you.

With best wishes.

Sincerely,


Anne C. Booth, Acting Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges



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