December 5, 2002
Digest: The courthouse should not be used by a judge who has written a book, for the purpose of signing and selling copies of the book even if its subject matter is related to an on-going cultural event taking place in the courthouse.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.2(C)
A judge has written a book. An on-going cultural celebration that is taking place in the courthouse is somewhat related to the subject matter of the book. The judge asks whether he/she may “accept an invitation to participate in a book-signing in an empty courtroom during lunch time” as part of the cultural event that is taking place. The book would be for sale at that time.
In the opinion of the Committee, the judge should not be signing copies of the book in connection with the sale of the book at that time and place. The use of the courthouse, and the signing of copies of the book that are being sold would, in our view, be lending the prestige, of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge, and are therefore prohibited under section 100.2(C) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. 22 NYCRR 100.2(C).