South Florida Corruption 

Gavel with blood

Justice will not be served until those

­who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are

 

YouTube
Hell-Fire-South-Florida-Corruption
Hell-Fire-South-Florida-Corruption

Canons

Canon 1

A Judge Shall Uphold the Integrity And Independence of the Judiciary

An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct, and shall personally observe those standards so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved. The provisions of this Code should be construed and applied to further that objective.

Canon 2

A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in all of the Judge’s Activities

A.  A judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

B.   A judge shall not allow family, social, political or other relationships to influence the judge’s judicial conduct or judgment. A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others; nor shall a judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge. A judge shall not testify voluntarily as a character witness.

C.   A judge should not hold membership in an organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin. Membership in a fraternal, sororal, religious, or ethnic heritage organization shall not be deemed to be a violation of this provision.

Canon 3

A Judge Shall Perform the Duties of Judicial Office Impartially and Diligently

A. Judicial Duties in General.

The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all the judge’s other activities. The judge’s judicial duties include all the duties of the judge’s office prescribed by law. In the performance of these duties, the specific standards set forth in the following sections apply.

B. Adjudicative Responsibilities.

(1) A judge shall hear and decide matters assigned to the judge except those in which disqualification is required.

(2) A judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it. A judge shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism.

(3) A judge shall require order and decorum in proceedings before the judge.

(4) A judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and shall require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.

(5) A judge shall perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice. A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct manifest bias or prejudice, including but not limited to bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, and shall not permit staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control to do so. This section does not preclude the consideration of race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other similar factors when they are issues in the proceeding.

(6) A judge shall require lawyers in proceedings before the judge to refrain from manifesting, by words, gestures, or other conduct, bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, against parties, witnesses, counsel, or others. This Section 3B(6) does not preclude legitimate advocacy when race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other similar factors are issues in the proceeding.

(7) A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person’s lawyer, the right to be heard according to law. A judge shall not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, or consider other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties concerning a pending or impending proceeding except that:

(a) Where circumstances require, ex parte communications for scheduling, administrative purposes, or emergencies that do not deal with substantive matters or issues on the merits are authorized, provided:

(i) the judge reasonably believes that no party will gain a procedural or tactical advantage as a result of the ex parte communication, and

(ii) the judge makes provision promptly to notify all other parties of the substance of the ex parte communication and allows an opportunity to respond.

(b) A judge may obtain the advice of a disinterested expert on the law applicable to a proceeding before the judge if the judge gives notice to the parties of the person consulted and the substance of the advice and affords the parties reasonable opportunity to respond.

(c) A judge may consult with other judges or with court personnel whose function is to aid the judge in carrying out the judge’s adjudicative responsibilities.

(d) A judge may, with the consent of the parties, confer separately with the parties and their lawyers in an effort to mediate or settle matters pending before the judge.

(e) A judge may initiate or consider any ex parte communications when expressly authorized by law to do so.

(8) A judge shall dispose of all judicial matters promptly, efficiently, and fairly.

(9) A judge shall not, while a proceeding is pending or impending in any court, make any public comment that might reasonably be expected to affect its outcome or impair its fairness or make any nonpublic comment that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing. The judge shall require similar abstention on the part of court personnel subject to the judge’s direction and control. This Section does not prohibit judges from making public statements in the course of their official duties or from explaining for public information the procedures of the court. This Section does not apply to proceedings in which the judge is a litigant in a personal capacity.

(10) A judge shall not, with respect to parties or classes of parties, cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of the office.

(11) A judge shall not commend or criticize jurors for their verdict other than in a court order or opinion in a proceeding, but may express appreciation to jurors for their service to the judicial system and the community.

(12) A judge shall not disclose or use, for any purpose unrelated to judicial duties, nonpublic information acquired in a judicial capacity.

C. Administrative Responsibilities.

(1) A judge shall diligently discharge the judge’s administrative responsibilities without bias or prejudice and maintain professional competence in judicial administration, and should cooperate with other judges and court officials in the administration of court business.

(2) A judge shall require staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control to observe the standards of fidelity and diligence that apply to the judge and to refrain from manifesting bias or prejudice in the performance of their official duties.

(3) A judge with supervisory authority for the judicial performance of other judges shall take reasonable measures to assure the prompt disposition of matters before them and the proper performance of their other judicial responsibilities.

(4) A judge shall not make unnecessary appointments. A judge shall exercise the power of appointment impartially and on the basis of merit. A judge shall avoid nepotism and favoritism. A judge shall not approve compensation of appointees beyond the fair value of services rendered.

D. Disciplinary Responsibilities.

(1) A judge who receives information or has actual knowledge that substantial likelihood exists that another judge has committed a violation of this Code shall take appropriate action.

(2) A judge who receives information or has actual knowledge that substantial likelihood exists that a lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar shall take appropriate action.

(3) Acts of a judge, in the discharge of disciplinary responsibilities, required or permitted by Sections 3D(1) and 3D(2) are part of a judge’s judicial duties and shall be absolutely privileged, and no civil action predicated thereon may be instituted against the judge.

E. Disqualification.

(1) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where:

(a) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party’s lawyer, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;

(b) the judge served as a lawyer or was the lower court judge in the matter in controversy, or a lawyer with whom the judge previously practiced law served during such association as a lawyer concerning the matter, or the judge has been a material witness concerning it;

(c) the judge knows that he or she individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse, parent, or child wherever residing, or any other member of the judge’s family residing in the judge’s household has an economic interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding or has any other more than de minimis interest that could be substantially affected by the proceeding;

(d) the judge or the judge’s spouse, or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such a person:

(i) is a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, or trustee of a party;

(ii) is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding;

(iii) is known by the judge to have a more than de minimus interest that could be substantially affected by the proceeding;

(iv) is to the judge’s knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding;

(e) the judge’s spouse or a person within the third degree of relationship to the judge participated as a lower court judge in a decision to be reviewed by the judge.

(f) the judge, while a judge or a candidate for judicial office, has made a public statement that commits, or appears to commit, the judge with respect to:

(i) parties or classes of parties in the proceeding;

(ii) an issue in the proceeding; or

(iii) the controversy in the proceeding.

(2) A judge should keep informed about the judge’s personal and fiduciary economic interests, and make a reasonable effort to keep informed about the economic interests of the judge’s spouse and minor children residing in the judge’s household.

F. Remittal of Disqualification.

A judge disqualified by the terms of Section 3E may disclose on the record the basis of the judge’s disqualification and may ask the parties and their lawyers to consider, out of the presence of the judge, whether to waive disqualification. If following disclosure of any basis for disqualification other than personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, the parties and lawyers, without participation by the judge, all agree the judge should not be disqualified, and the judge is then willing to participate, the judge may participate in the proceeding. The agreement shall be incorporated in the record of the proceeding.

Canon 4

 

A Judge Is Encouraged to Engage in Activities to Improve the Law, the Legal System, and the Administration of Justice

A.  A judge shall conduct all of the judge’s quasi-judicial activities so that they do not:
(1)  cast reasonable doubt on the judge’s capacity to act impartially as a judge;
(2)  undermine the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality;
(3)  demean the judicial office;
(4)  interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties;
(5)  lead to frequent disqualification of the judge; or
(6)  appear to a reasonable person to be coercive.

B. A judge is encouraged to speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in other quasi-judicial activities concerning the law, the legal system, the administration of justice, and the role of the judiciary as an independent branch within our system of government, subject to the requirements of this Code.

C. A judge shall not appear at a public hearing before, or otherwise consult with, an executive or legislative body or official except on matters concerning the law, the legal system or the administration of justice or except when acting pro se in a matter involving the judge or the judge’s interests.

D. A judge is encouraged to serve as a member, officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an organization or governmental entity devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system, the judicial branch, or the administration of justice, subject to the following limitations and the other requirements of this Code.

(1) A judge shall not serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor if it is likely that the organization

(a) will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the judge, or

(b) will be engaged frequently in adversary proceedings in the court of which the judge is a member or in any court subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the court of which the judge is a member.

(2) A judge as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor, or as a member or otherwise:

(a) may assist such an organization in planning fund-raising and may participate in the management and investment of the organization’s funds, but shall not personally or directly participate in the solicitation of funds, except that a judge may solicit funds from other judges over whom the judge does not exercise supervisory or appellate authority;

(b)  may appear or speak at, receive an award or other recognition at, be featured on the program of, and permit the judge’s title to be used in conjunction with an event of such an organization or entity, but if the event serves a fund-raising purpose, the judge may participate only if the event concerns the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice and the funds raised will be used for a law related purpose(s);

(c) may make recommendations to public and private fund-granting organizations on projects and programs concerning the law, the legal system or the administration of justice;

(d) shall not personally or directly participate in membership solicitation if the solicitation might reasonably be perceived as coercive;

(e) shall not make use of court premises, staff, stationery, equipment, or other resources for fund-raising purposes, except for incidental use for activities that concern the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice, subject to the requirements of this Code.

Canon 5

 

A Judge Shall Regulate Extrajudicial Activities to Minimize the Risk of Conflict With Judicial Duties

A. Extrajudicial Activities in General. A judge shall conduct all of the judge’s extra-judicial activities so that they do not:

(1)  cast reasonable doubt on the judge’s capacity to act impartially as a judge;
(2)  undermine the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality;
(3)  demean the judicial office;
(4)  interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties;
(5)  lead to frequent disqualification of the judge; or
(6)  appear to a reasonable person to be coercive.

B. Avocational Activities. A judge is encouraged to speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in other extrajudicial activities concerning non-legal subjects, subject to the requirements of this Code.

C. Governmental, Civic or Charitable Activities.

(1) A judge shall not appear at a public hearing before, or otherwise consult with, an executive or legislative body or official except on matters concerning the law, the legal system or the administration of justice or except when acting pro se in a matter involving the judge or the judge’s interests.

(2) A judge shall not accept appointment to a governmental committee or commission or other governmental position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy on matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system, the judicial branch, or the administration of justice. A judge may, however, represent a country, state or locality on ceremonial occasions or in connection with historical, educational or cultural activities.

(3) A judge may serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, sororal or civic organization not conducted for profit, subject to the following limitations and the other requirements of this Code.

(a) A judge shall not serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor if it is likely that the organization

(i) will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the judge, or

(ii) will be engaged frequently in adversary proceedings in the court of which the judge is a member or in any court subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the court of which the judge is a member.

(b) A judge as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor, or as a member or otherwise:

(i) may assist such an organization in planning fund-raising and may participate in the management and investment of the organization’s funds, but shall not personally or directly participate in the solicitation of funds, except that a judge may solicit funds from other judges over whom the judge does not exercise supervisory or appellate authority;

(ii) shall not personally or directly participate in membership solicitation if the solicitation might reasonably be perceived as coercive;

(iii) shall not use or permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising or membership solicitation.

D. Financial Activities.

(1) A judge shall not engage in financial and business dealings that

(a) may reasonably be perceived to exploit the judge’s judicial position, or

(b) involve the judge in frequent transactions or continuing business relationships with those lawyers or other persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves.

(2) A judge may, subject to the requirements of this Code, hold and manage investments of the judge and members of the judge’s family, including real estate, and engage in other remunerative activity.

(3) A judge shall not serve as an officer, director, manager, general partner, advisor or employee of any business entity except that a judge may, subject to the requirements of this Code, manage and participate in:

(a) a business closely held by the judge or members of the judge’s family, or

(b) a business entity primarily engaged in investment of the financial resources of the judge or members of the judge’s family.

(4) A judge shall manage the judge’s investments and other financial interests to minimize the number of cases in which the judge is disqualified. As soon as the judge can do so without serious financial detriment, the judge shall divest himself or herself of investments and other financial interests that might require frequent disqualification.

(5) A judge shall not accept, and shall urge members of the judge’s family residing in the judge’s household not to accept, a gift, bequest, favor or loan from anyone except for:

(a) a gift incident to a public testimonial, books, tapes and other resource materials supplied by publishers on a complimentary basis for official use, or an invitation to the judge and the judge’s spouse or guest to attend a bar-related function or an activity devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice;

(b) a gift, award or benefit incident to the business, profession or other separate activity of a spouse or other family member of a judge residing in the judge’s household, including gifts, awards and benefits for the use of both the spouse or other family member and the judge (as spouse or family member), provided the gift, award or benefit could not reasonably be perceived as intended to influence the judge in the performance of judicial duties;

(c) ordinary social hospitality;

(d) a gift from a relative or friend, for a special occasion, such as a wedding, anniversary or birthday, if the gift is fairly commensurate with the occasion and the relationship;

(e) a gift, bequest, favor or loan from a relative or close personal friend whose appearance or interest in a case would in any event require disqualification under Canon 3E;

(f) a loan from a lending institution in its regular course of business on the same terms generally available to persons who are not judges;

(g) a scholarship or fellowship awarded on the same terms and based on the same criteria applied to other applicants; or

(h) any other gift, bequest, favor or loan, only if: the donor is not a party or other person who has come or is likely to come or whose interests have come or are likely to come before the judge; and, if its value, or the aggregate value in a calendar year of such gifts, bequests, favors, or loans from a single source, exceeds $100.00, the judge reports it in the same manner as the judge reports gifts under Canon 6B(2).

E. Fiduciary Activities.

(1) A judge shall not serve as executor, administrator or other personal representative, trustee, guardian, attorney in fact or other fiduciary, except for the estate, trust or person of a member of the judge’s family, and then only if such service will not interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties.

(2) A judge shall not serve as a fiduciary if it is likely that the judge as a fiduciary will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the judge, or if the estate, trust or ward becomes involved in adversary proceedings in the court on which the judge serves or one under its appellate jurisdiction.

(3) The same restrictions on financial activities that apply to a judge personally also apply to the judge while acting in a fiduciary capacity.

F. Service as Arbitrator or Mediator.

(1) A judge shall not act as an arbitrator or mediator or otherwise perform judicial functions in a private capacity unless expressly authorized by law or Court rule. A judge may, however, take the necessary educational and training courses required to be a qualified and certified arbitrator or mediator, and may fulfill the requirements of observing and conducting actual arbitration or mediation proceedings as part of the certification process, provided such program does not, in any way, interfere with the performance of the judge’s judicial duties.

(2) A senior judge may serve as a mediator in a case in which the senior judge is not presiding only if the senior judge is certified pursuant to rule 10.100, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators. Such senior judge may be associated with entities that are solely engaged in offering mediation or other alternative dispute resolution services but that are not otherwise engaged in the practice of law. However, such senior judge may in no other way advertise, solicit business, associate with a law firm, or participate in any other activity that directly or indirectly promotes his or her mediation services. A senior judge shall not serve as a mediator in any case in which the judge is currently presiding. A senior judge who provides mediation services shall not preside over the same type of case the judge mediates in the circuit where the mediation services are provided; however, a senior judge may preside over other types of cases (e.g., criminal, juvenile, family law, probate) in the same circuit and may preside over cases in circuits in which the judge does not provide mediation services. A senior judge shall disclose if the judge is being utilized or has been utilized as a mediator by any party, attorney, or law firm involved in the case pending before the senior judge. Absent express consent of all parties, a senior judge is prohibited from presiding over any case involving any party, attorney, or law firm that is utilizing or has utilized the judge as a mediator within the previous three years. A senior judge shall disclose any negotiations or agreements for the provision of mediation services between the senior judge and any of the parties or counsel to the case.

G. Practice of Law. A judge shall not practice law. Notwithstanding this prohibition, a judge may act pro se and may, without compensation, give legal advice to and draft or review documents for a member of the judge’s family.

Canon 6

Fiscal Matters of a Judge Shall be Conducted in a Manner That Does Not Give the Appearance of Influence or Impropriety; a Judge Shall Regularly File Public Reports as Required by Article II, Section 8, of the Constitution of Florida, and Shall Publicly Report Gifts; Additional Financial Information Shall be Filed With the Judicial Qualifications Commission to Ensure Full Financial Disclosure

A. Compensation for Quasi-Judicial and Extrajudicial Services and Reimbursement of Expenses.

A judge may receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses for the quasi-judicial and extrajudicial activities permitted by this Code, if the source of such payments does not give the appearance of influencing the judge in the performance of judicial duties or otherwise give the appearance of impropriety, subject to the following restrictions:

(1) Compensation. Compensation shall not exceed a reasonable amount nor shall it exceed what a person who is not a judge would receive for the same activity.

(2) Expense Reimbursement. Expense reimbursement shall be limited to the actual cost of travel, food, and lodging reasonably incurred by the judge and, where appropriate to the occasion, to the judge’s spouse. Any payment in excess of such an amount is compensation.

B. Public Financial Reporting.

(1) Income and Assets. A judge shall file such public report as may be required by law for all public officials to comply fully with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the Constitution of Florida. The form for public financial disclosure shall be that recommended or adopted by the Florida Commission on Ethics for use by all public officials. The form shall be filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics on the date prescribed by law, and a copy shall be filed simultaneously with the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

(2) Gifts. A judge shall file a public report of all gifts which are required to be disclosed under Canon 5D(5)(h) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The report of gifts received in the preceding calendar year shall be filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics on or before July 1 of each year. A copy shall be filed simultaneously with the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

(3) Disclosure of Financial Interests Upon Leaving Office. A judge shall file a final disclosure statement within 60 days after leaving office, which report shall cover the period between January 1 of the year in which the judge leaves office and his or her last day of office, unless, within the 60-day period, the judge takes another public position requiring financial disclosure under Article II, Section 8, of the Constitution of Florida, or is otherwise required to file full and public disclosure for the final disclosure period. The form for disclosure of financial interests upon leaving office shall be that recommended or adopted by the Florida Commission on Ethics for use by all public officials. The form shall be filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics and a copy shall be filed simultaneously with the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

C. Confidential Financial Reporting to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

To ensure that complete financial information is available for all judicial officers, there shall be filed with the Judicial Qualifications Commission on or before July 1 of each year, if not already included in the public report to be filed under Canon 6B(1) and (2), a verified list of the names of the corporations and other business entities in which the judge has a financial interest as of December 31 of the preceding year, which shall be transmitted in a separate sealed envelope, placed by the Commission in safekeeping, and not be opened or the contents thereof disclosed except in the manner hereinafter provided.

At any time during or after the pendency of a cause, any party may request information as to whether the most recent list filed by the judge or judges before whom the cause is or was pending contains the name of any specific person or corporation or other business entity which is a party to the cause or which has a substantial direct or indirect financial interest in its outcome. Neither the making of the request nor the contents thereof shall be revealed by the chair to any judge or other person except at the instance of the individual making the request. If the request meets the requirements hereinabove set forth, the chair shall render a prompt answer thereto and thereupon return the report to safekeeping for retention in accordance with the provisions hereinabove stated. All such requests shall be verified and transmitted to the chair of the Commission on forms to be approved by it.

D. Limitation of Disclosure.

Disclosure of a judge’s income, debts, investments or other assets is required only to the extent provided in this Canon and in Sections 3E and 3F, or as otherwise required by law.

Canon 7

A Judge or Candidate for Judicial Office Shall Refrain From Inappropriate Political Activity

A. All judges and Candidates.

(1) Except as authorized in Sections 7B(2), 7C(2) and 7C(3), a judge or a candidate for election or appointment to judicial office shall not:

(a) act as a leader or hold an office in a political organization;

(b) publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office;

(c) make speeches on behalf of a political organization;

(d) attend political party functions; or

(e) solicit funds for, pay an assessment to or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, or purchase tickets for political party dinners or other functions.

(2) A judge shall resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate for a non-judicial office either in a primary or in a general election, except that the judge may continue to hold judicial office while being a candidate for election to or serving as a delegate in a state constitutional convention if the judge is otherwise permitted by law to do so.

(3) A candidate for a judicial office:

(a) shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it, and shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism;

(b) shall maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office and act in a manner consistent with the impartiality, integrity, and independence of the judiciary, and shall encourage members of the candidate’s family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct in support of the candidate as apply to the candidate;

(c) shall prohibit employees and officials who serve at the pleasure of the candidate, and shall discourage other employees and officials subject to the candidate’s direction and control from doing on the candidate’s behalf what the candidate is prohibited from doing under the Sections of this Canon;

(d) except to the extent permitted by Section 7C(1), shall not authorize or knowingly permit any other person to do for the candidate what the candidate is prohibited from doing under the Sections of this Canon;

(e) shall not:

(i) with respect to parties or classes of parties, cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises, or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of the office; or

(ii) knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent;

(iii) while a proceeding is pending or impending in any court, make any public comment that might reasonably be expected to affect its outcome or impair its fairness or make any nonpublic comment that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing. This section does not apply to proceedings in which the judicial candidate is a litigant in a personal capacity.

(iv) commend or criticize jurors for their verdict, other than in a court pleading, filing, or hearing in which the candidate represents a party in the proceeding in which the verdict was rendered.

(f) may respond to personal attacks or attacks on the candidate’s record as long as the response does not violate Section 7A(3)(e).

B. Candidates Seeking Appointment to Judicial or Other Governmental Office.

(1) A candidate for appointment to judicial office or a judge seeking other governmental office shall not solicit or accept funds, personally or through a committee or otherwise, to support his or her candidacy.

(2) A candidate for appointment to judicial office or a judge seeking other governmental office shall not engage in any political activity to secure the appointment except that:

(a) such persons may:

(i) communicate with the appointing authority, including any selection or nominating commission or other agency designated to screen candidates;

(ii) seek support or endorsement for the appointment from organizations that regularly make recommendations for reappointment or appointment to the office, and from individuals; and

(iii) provide to those specified in Sections 7B(2)(a)(i) and 7B(2)(a)(ii) information as to his or her qualifications for the office;

(b) a non-judge candidate for appointment to judicial office may, in addition, unless otherwise prohibited by law:

(i) retain an office in a political organization,

(ii) attend political gatherings, and

(iii) continue to pay ordinary assessments and ordinary contributions to a political organization or candidate and purchase tickets for political party dinners or other functions.

C. Judges and Candidates Subject to Public Election.

(1) A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office that is filled by public election between competing candidates shall not personally solicit campaign funds, or solicit attorneys for publicly stated support, but may establish committees of responsible persons to secure and manage the expenditure of funds for the candidate’s campaign and to obtain public statements of support for his or her candidacy. Such committees are not prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions and public support from any person or corporation authorized by law. A candidate shall not use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the candidate or members of the candidate’s family.

(2) A candidate for merit retention in office may conduct only limited campaign activities until such time as the judge certifies that the judge’s candidacy has drawn active opposition. Limited campaign activities shall only include the conduct authorized by subsection C(1), interviews with reporters and editors of the print, audio and visual media, and appearances and speaking engagements before public gatherings and organizations. Upon mailing a certificate in writing to the Secretary of State, Division of Elections, with a copy to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, that the judge’s candidacy has drawn active opposition, and specifying the nature thereof, a judge may thereafter campaign in any manner authorized by law, subject to the restrictions of subsection A(3).

(3) A judicial candidate involved in an election or re-election, or a merit retention candidate who has certified that he or she has active opposition, may attend a political party function to speak in behalf of his or her candidacy or on a matter that relates to the law, the improvement of the legal system, or the administration of justice. The function must not be a fund raiser, and the invitation to speak must also include the other candidates, if any, for that office. The candidate should refrain from commenting on the candidate’s affiliation with any political party or other candidate, and should avoid expressing a position on any political issue. A judicial candidate attending a political party function must avoid conduct that suggests or appears to suggest support of or opposition to a political party, a political issue, or another candidate. Conduct limited to that described above does not constitute participation in a partisan political party activity.

D. Incumbent Judges. A judge shall not engage in any political activity except (i) as authorized under any other Section of this Code, (ii) on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system or the administration of justice, or (iii) as expressly authorized by law.

E. Applicability. Canon 7 generally applies to all incumbent judges and judicial candidates. A successful candidate, whether or not an incumbent, is subject to judicial discipline for his or her campaign conduct; an unsuccessful candidate who is a lawyer is subject to lawyer discipline for his or her campaign conduct. A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office is subject to Rule 4-8.2(b) of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

F. Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office. Each candidate for a judicial office, including an incumbent judge, shall file a statement with the qualifying officer within 10 days after filing the appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository, stating that the candidate has read and understands the requirements of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. Such statement shall be in substantially the following form:

STATEMENT OF CANDIDATE FOR JUDICIAL OFFICE

I, ___________________________, the judicial candidate, have received, have read, and understand the requirements of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct.

___ Signature of Candidate ___

___ Date ___

 

Florida Code of

 

Judicial Conduct

Go Back Hand
south-florida-corruption-logo