March 6, 2003
Digest: Under the circumstances, a judge may attend a purely social gathering of former members of the New York State Assembly of the same political party, which is being organized by present members of the Assembly of that political party.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(1)(g) Opinion 93-94 (Vol. XI).
A judge inquires as to whether the judge may attend an “Old Timers Night” function honoring former members of the New York State Assembly of a particular political party. The function is being arranged by current members of the Assembly of that political party. No political funds finance the event and the attendees pay their own way.
The Committee has previously opined that a judge may attend a purely social reunion dinner of the former members of a political club. Opinion 93-94 (Vol. XI). Since the event as described in the inquiry is in effect, a reunion and purely social in nature, the judge, in the opinion of the Committee, may attend. In our view, this event as described does not fall within the ambit of section 100.5(A)(1)(g) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct which proscribes attendance at “political gatherings.” 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(1)(g).