Opinion 74-5
May 3, 1974

Re: Canon 5

Dear Judge

The procedure, as outlined in your letter of April 19, 1974, for the purchase of a small tract of acreage north of Tampa, could furnish reasonable grounds for criticism.

That is, a judge would be buying a law suit which must be litigated in the circuit he serves. Further, he is having the suit brought in the name of a person who has no interest in the litigation and further, the judge is having financial and business dealings with an attorney who practices before him

It appears that Canon 5 C(l) is applicable. It seems that an isolated transaction between a judge and a lawyer would not be improper. Nonetheless, it is the suggestion of a lack of impartiality and impropriety and the effect that such an appearance has on the confidence of the public in the judiciary that suggests a restrictive course of conduct.

It is the consensus of the Committee that you should reject the offer to purchase under the terms and conditions as outlined in your letter.

Committee on Standards of Judicial