Thursday, December 20, 2012

No Host, No Show

A recent opinion from the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee:


Whether the  inquiring judge may attend a religious organization’s fundraising dinner, after  the organization mailed invitations listing the inquiring judge as one of  several “hosts” without notifying the judge before the mailing?



The inquiring  judge and the judge’s spouse have attended a religious organization’s gala  dinner over the years.  The gala dinner  serves a fundraising purpose for restoring, preserving and supporting the religious  organization’s continued success.  The  inquiring judge’s spouse purchased an eight-person table for a considerable  amount of money before the invitations went out.  The invitations which were mailed by the gala  planning committee, of which the inquiring judge is not a member, clearly were  soliciting funds.  Included with the  invitation was a list of ten donors labeled as “hosts.”  The inquiring judge was listed as one of the  “hosts” with an abbreviated designation of title for Honorable (“Hon.”), along  with the inquiring judge’s spouse’s name.   Neither the inquiring judge nor the judge’s spouse authorized the committee  to send the invitations including the inquiring judge’s name.

The inquiring  judge quickly notified the committee of the mistake.  The inquiring judge directed the committee to  discontinue using the judge’s name in any further mailings for solicitation of  funds.

The inquiring  judge asks if the Code of Judicial Conduct would prohibit the judge’s attendance  at the gala dinner given the invitation’s listing of the judge as one of the  “hosts.

(Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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