2009-20 (Emergency Staff
Opinion issued June 16, 2009)
Disclosure/Disqualification; Canon 3
member of a Judicial Official’s staff is seeking to
apply for a position with a law firm that is either
in the midst of a trial before the Judicial Official
or recently had a trial before the Judicial
Official. Does the Judicial Official have an
obligation to prohibit the court employee from
applying or if the employee is permitted to apply,
does the Judicial Official have an obligation to
remove the employee from any cases involving the law
firm or take any other measures (a) at the time of
the application, (b) if the employee receives an
interview or (c) if the employee receives an offer
that is to start at a future date?
Emergency Staff Opinion:
Judicial Official was advised not to prohibit the
court employee from applying for the position.
However, should the court employee apply for the
position with the law firm, whether the firm is
appearing presently before the court or not, the
Judicial Official should not allow the employee to
work on any cases involving that law firm and should
ensure that the employee has no further dealings on
the Judicial Official’s behalf with that firm for a
reasonable period of time under the circumstances.
If necessary, the Judicial Official may need to
arrange a temporary reassignment of the staff
person. In rendering this opinion, staff considered
JE 2008-08 and Florida Opinion 2006-32.