June 20, 1977
Re: Canon 5A
This is in response to your recent inquiry asking whether your acceptance of a teaching position at ________________ University is permissible under the Canons, particularly Canon 4A.. You indicate that you have been requested to teach a graduate seminar in juvenile justice and family law for two quarters during the next school year, involving one night a week, at a salary of $1000 per quarter. You recognize that Florida law requires approval of the Department of Administration for you to receive simultaneous compensation from two state agencies.
Nine members of this Committee are of the opinion that your proposed activity is completely in accord with our earlier opinions. In opinions 73-17, 75-28 and 76-21, judges have been advised by this Committee that their teaching endeavors do not conflict with Canons 4A or 5A, provided that those educational endeavors do not interfere with the performance of judicial duties. Fla. Const. Art. V, Sec 13. Indeed, Canon 4 encourages a judge to speak, write, lecture or teach on matters concerning the legal system and the administration of justice. Further, as you point out in your letter, the only person likely to be qualified to teach a course in juvenile justice and family law is a judge in the juvenile-family court division.
One of the nine members of the Committee who feels your proposed activity is consistent with the Canons, notes that in a time when it is difficult for a judge to live off of the salary allotted him, it would be a good idea for this Committee to "endorse the broad proposition that judges may and should accept paying employment in teaching positions related to law,..." as long as judicial duties do not thereby suffer.
In summary, therefore, assuming compliance with applicable state law concerning compensation form tow state sources and with the reporting requirements of Canon 6, this Committee sees no prohibition against your proposed activity.
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 Boyer, Carlisle, Hewitt, Marger, Murphee,
Stephenson and Samuel J. Powers, Attorney