May 4, 2000
A candidate for judicial office may attend a conference of the National
Conference of Insurance Legislators which is being held during the Window
22 NYCRR 100(Q); 100.5(A)(5)(z);
Opinion 97-152 (Vol. XVI ).
A judge, who is a candidate for election to higher judicial office inquires as to the propriety of attending a conference of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators ("NCOIL") in order to "meet and socialize with former colleagues and friends of the organization."
The inquiry indicates that the judge was a member of the organization at a time when the judge was a State legislator. The organization is described as "non-political" and as one that "concerns itself with insurance issues and legislation."
The Committee has previously opined against judicial attendance at legislative caucuses that have a "political agenda." See Opinion 97-152 (Vol. XVI). NCOIL, although described as "non-political," appears to have a legislative agenda, which could be regarded as bringing it within the category of "political."
Here, however, inasmuch as the inquiring judge is within the Window Period governing political activity of candidates for judicial office, the judge may attend the conference which is being held during the Window Period, even if the organization is regarded as political. In our opinion, such attendance is not inappropriate political activity by a candidate for judicial office.