January 25, 2001
A full-time judge may participate as a speaker on a panel which is part
of a continuing legal education program sponsored by a national accounting
firm where the judge is not being compensated and there are no matters
involving the sponsor that are pending in the judge's court.
22 NYCRR 100.2(C); 100.4(B);
A full-time judge has been invited to participate as a speaker on a state trial judges' panel at an intellectual property forum sponsored by a national accounting firm as part of a continuing legal education program. The judge would receive no compensation for his/her participation, but travel, food and accommodation expenses for the judge and the judge's spouse would be provided. As reported by the judge, there are no matters involving the sponsor pending in the judge's court.
Based on the facts presented, the Committee does not perceive any ethical barrier to the judge's participation. What is contemplated is not a prohibited business or financial activity under section 100.4(D) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, nor is the judge lending the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interest of others. 22 NYCRR 100.2(C). As stated in Opinion 00-100, in a similar situation, section 100.4(B) allows such activity, and under section 100.4(H)(1)(b), the judge and spouse may accept travel, food and lodging which are reasonable and appropriate for the occasion.