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Judicial campaign conduct forums slated for May

first_imgThe time has come again for people seeking election as state judges in 2006 to be trained in the strict rules governing judicial campaigns. And word from the state’s highest court is plain: Those who do not attend or heed the training sessions can and will be judged by what they refused to learn.These “candidate forums” now are being planned across the state by the Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar Board of Governors. Forums are held every election year with the help of the court’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and the state’s trial court chief judges, and have become a standard part of every judicial candidate’s homework.The importance of these forums recently was underscored in a judicial ethics case before the Supreme Court against a sitting judge for alleged campaign misconduct. Justices specifically asked what information was available to the accused judge in candidate forums prior to the election.The one-hour forums are preliminarily scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 18 and 19, in all circuits in which there will be contested judicial elections.The forums will emphasize the importance of integrity and professionalism among candidates for judicial office and the consequent impact of campaign conduct on public trust and confidence in the courts.Chief judges will open the forums with brief remarks stressing the nonpartisan character of judicial races, then present a videotaped introduction by Chief Justice Barbara Pariente. Representatives of the Bar Board of Governors will speak briefly regarding the Bar’s role in judicial elections.Members of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee will then provide a summary review of Canon 7 of Florida’s Code of Judicial Conduct, call attention to informational resources, and further impress upon candidates, campaign staff, and others in the community the seriousness with which the Supreme Court views any abuse of the election process.“The Florida Supreme Court has adopted rules that govern judicial elections and prohibit conduct that is detrimental to public confidence in the system,” Chief Justice Pariente said. “Together with the Judicial Qualifications Commission and The Florida Bar, we have vigorously enforced these rules and will continue to do so.”Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee Chair Marjorie Gadarian Graham agreed. “The JEAC is strongly committed to improving campaign practices among those seeking election to judicial office,” Graham said. “Canon 7 violations can be avoided, along with any number of very serious disciplinary and other consequences. The committee cannot emphasize enough the importance of integrity and professionalism among candidates for judicial office and the consequent impact of campaign conduct on public trust and confidence in the courts.”The JEAC is charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting judges and judicial candidates. The committee’s elections booklet, An Aid to Understanding Canon 7, will be distributed at all forums, first to candidates and campaign managers, then to others as available.An online version of the Canon 7 booklet may be accessed on the Supreme Court’s Web site at www.floridasupremecourt.org, by clicking “Decisions & Rules,” then, under “Other Supreme Court Documents,” selecting the link to the Code of Judicial Conduct and clicking “Canon 7.”All candidates for judicial office and their campaign managers are encouraged to attend the upcoming forums. Local bar association presidents, state and county political party chairs, representatives of the print and broadcast media, as well as members of the general public, are welcome to participate.Though preliminarily scheduled in all circuits, the following forums — all beginning at 1 p.m. — will go forward only in those circuits in which qualifying results in contested judicial elections­: • First Circuit — Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties­­ — Friday, May 19, M.C. Blanchard Building ­Courtroom 101­190, Governmental Center­, Pensacola­. • Second Circuit — Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties — Friday, May 19, Leon County Courthouse ­Commission Chambers­, 301 South Monroe St., ­Tallahassee­. • Third Circuit — Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, and Taylor counties — Thursday, May 18, Suwannee County Courthouse, ­First Floor, Courtroom B­200, South Ohio Ave., ­Live Oak.­ • Fourth Circuit — Clay, Duval, and Nassau counties — Friday, May 19­, Duval County Courthouse­, Courtroom 4­330, East Bay St., ­Jacksonville­. • Fifth Circuit — Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties —Thursday, May 18, Marion County Judicial Center, ­Fifth Floor Conference Room­110, N.W. First Ave., ­Ocala.­ • Sixth Circuit — Pasco and Pinellas counties — Thursday, May 18, Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center­, Fourth Floor, Courtroom 1­14250, 49th St., North ­Clearwater­. • Seventh Circuit — Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, and Volusia counties — Friday, May 19­, Volusia County Courthouse, Annex­ Courtroom, 10­125 E. Orange Ave., Daytona Beach.­ • Eighth Circuit — Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union counties — Thursday, May 18, Alachua Criminal Justice Center, ­Jury Assembly Room­ 220, S. Main St., ­Gainesville.­ • Ninth Circuit — Orange and Osceola counties, Thursday, May 18, Orange County Courthouse, ­23rd Floor, Judicial Conference Room, ­425 North Orange Ave., Orlando­. • 10th Circuit — Hardee, Highlands, and Polk counties, Friday, May 19­, Polk County Courthouse, ­Ninth Floor Judicial Conference Room­ 255, North Broadway, Bartow­. • 11th Circuit — Miami-Dade County —­ Thursday, May 18­, Dade County Courthouse, Courtroom 4-2­73, W. Flagler St., Miami. • 12th Circuit ­ — DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties — Thursday, May 18, Sarasota Judicial Center, ­Room 810­202, Ringling Blvd., ­Sarasota.­ • 13th Circuit — Hillsborough County­ —Friday, May 19, George Edgecomb County Courthouse, ­Sixth Floor Judicial Conference Room, 800 E. Twiggs­, Tampa.­ • 14th Circuit — Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties — Thursday, May 18, Bay County Courthouse, ­Jury Assembly Room, 202­300 E. Fourth St., ­Panama City. • 15th Circuit­ — Palm Beach County —­Thursday, May 18­, Palm Beach County Courthouse, ­Judicial Dining Room, ­205 North Dixie Highway­, West Palm Beach.­ • 16th Circuit — Monroe County, Friday, May 19, Monroe County Courthouse Annex, ­Fourth Floor Grand Jury Room­, 502 Whitehead St., ­Key West.­ • 17th Circuit — Broward County — Thursday, May 18, Broward County Courthouse, ­Courtroom 400­, 201 S.E. Sixth St., ­Ft. Lauderdale. • 18th Circuit­ — Brevard and Seminole counties­, Friday, May 19, Historic Titusville Courthouse, ­Courtroom 6­506, South Palm Ave., ­Titusville. • 19th Circuit­ — Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties — Friday, May 19­, St. Lucie West Annex­ Courtroom M­, 250 N.W. Country Club Drive, ­Port St. Lucie.­ • 20th Circuit — Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties­ — Friday, May 19, Lee County Justice Center­Courtroom C­, 1700 Monroe St.­, Ft. Myers­.Questions regarding the upcoming forums may be directed to Cal Goodlett, Office of the State Courts Administrator, at (850) 922-0350 or, via e-mail, at [email protected] Judicial campaign conduct forums slated for May April 30, 2006 Regular Newscenter_img Judicial campaign conduct forums slated for Maylast_img

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