September 14, 2000
A part-time judge may purchase an advertisement in a telephone book that
advertises both the judge's law firm and the local YMCA.
22 NYCRR 100.2(C); 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i);
Opinion 92-70 (Vol. X); 00-70.
A part-time judge inquires whether the judge may purchase an advertisement that will appear on the cover of a telephone book to advertise both the judge's law firm and the local YMCA. The portion of the advertisement concerning the local YMCA will include text indicating that the judge's law firm paid for the advertisement, but will not identify the judge by judicial office.
Pursuant to section 100.2(C) of the Rules on Judicial Conduct, a judge must not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of others. In our view, the proposed advertisement does not violate this rule because it will not refer in any way to the judge's judicial office.
Further, a judge may not solicit contributions on behalf of charitable organizations. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i). Here, the portion of the advertisement which is devoted to a local YMCA is merely a contribution by the judge's law firm on behalf of a not-for-profit organization and does not involve the judge in fund-raising activity in any way. The text merely recites the various activities of the YMCA and does not ask for contributions. The Committee has previously concluded that judges are not prohibited from contributing to charities and, inasmuch as there is no solicitation of funds, the advertisement is not improper. See Opinions 92-70 (Vol. X); 00-70.