Legal Ethics

Judge can vie for cash prize in Jamaican Jerk cooking competition, so long as it's not a fundraiser


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The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee of the Florida Supreme Court has given its blessing to a state judge’s plan to cook up a storm at a culinary competition.

So long as it’s not a fundraiser, the inquiring judge is free to participate in a cooking contest at the 12th Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival that involves a cash prize for the winner, the committee said in an Oct. 9 opinion (PDF).

It allowed the event “because the contemplated cook-off does not appear to be a fundraiser and because participation in the cook-off would not appear to exploit the judge’s judicial position or involve the inquiring judge in frequent transactions or continuing business relationships with persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves.”

However, a fundraiser likely would be prohibited. “As has been previously opined by this committee, if the event is a fundraiser and the judge’s participation will be advertised or be used in a manner that would lend the prestige of the office for the advancement of the private interests of others, the judge would not be allowed to participate,” the opinion states.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

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