Dr. Fair performs child custody evaluations. She is well known in both the legal and psychological communities. Recently, Dr. Fair received solicitations for contributions from a candidate for judge in her county, Deloris True. She has worked with Attorney True on numerous occasions and believes that she would be a real asset as a judge in her community. She clearly wants this individual to be elected as a judge.
However, if Attorney True is elected as judge, Dr. Fair will likely appear before her in court as an expert witness. Will contributing to the campaign of the judicial candidate be contraindicated because it could lead to a perception of bias in future court cases? Is the contribution warranted because Dr. Fair believes that Attorney True is highly qualified for that position?
In her state, political contributions over $50 are in the public domain and anyone could see that Dr. Fair made the contribution. Dr. Fair would like to show her financial support by contributing more than $50. (Dr. Fair has already ruled out giving 10 checks for $49.95.). Concerned about ethics and reputation, Dr. Fair contacts you for a consult.
What are the potential ethical issues involved in the situation?
What are the competing ethical principles?
What are your suggestions for Dr. Fair?