November 10, 1988


Opinion 88/24

Membership in Alcohol, Drug and
Mental Health (ADA) Planning Council
Canon 4C

Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated August 30, 1998

Dear Judge

You have asked whether you may serve as a member of he Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health (ADA Planning Council created by section 394.715 of Florida Statutes. It is my understanding that you have been furnished with our opinion numbered 85/10 and the Supreme Court minutes rejection our opinion in 86/8. I have also enclosed Opinions 79/13 and 77/13.

Eight members of the Committee perceive the ADA Council in parallel with DUI schools with the result that participation is not prohibited by Canon 4C.

One member of the Committee hold the view that you should not become a member of the ADA for the reason that it is administered by the HRS. In reaching that conclusion, the dissenting member distinguishes between an entity, such as the DUI school which is administered by the judicial branch, and the HRS program implemented by the executive branch. The fear expressed by this member is that membership on the board of directors of these types of organizations creates difficulties under Canons 4 and 5.

The committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory to the inquiring party, to the Judicial Qualifications Commission and to the judiciary at large. Conduct that is consistent with an advisory opinion issued by the committee may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions issued by the committee. Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct for Judges 327 So2d 5 (Fla. 1976).

Cordially yours,

Richard H. Frank, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges

cc: All Committee Members

Participating Members: Judges Booth, Dell, Frank, Goldstein, Green, Levy, Shutter, Tolton and Attorney Page

All reference to the inquiring judge is deleted from the copies sent to the following individuals.

Mr. Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida
Linda Yates, Managing Editor, The Florida Bar Journal
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director, Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Hon. Walter K. Stapleton, Chairman, Ethics Advisory Panel of the Judicial Conference of the United States .
Jeffrey M. Shaman, Esquire, Director, Center for Judicial Conduct Organizations
Ms. Jean Underhill, Librarian, Broward County Law Library
Mr. Robert Wallace, Librarian, Dade County Law Library
Mr. Brian Polley, Librarian, Supreme Court of Florida