January 26, 2006
Note: This opinion has been modified to the extent it suggests “the formatting must be ‘identical’ to the organization’s regular letterhead” in order for section 100.4(C)(3)(b)(iv) to apply (Opinion 15-219).
Digest: A judge’s name may be listed on a not-for-profit charitable organization’s regular letterhead as an officer, and such letterhead may be printed in a pamphlet soliciting donations.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(iv); Opinion 96-20 (Vol. XIV).
A judge, who is an officer of a not-for-profit charitable organization, inquires whether it is permissible for his/her name to appear on the organization’s regular letterhead in a pamphlet mailed by the organization in connection with an annual solicitation of donations.
Pursuant to section 100.4(C)(3)(b)(iv) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, a judge may serve as an officer of a not-for-profit charitable organization, and the judge’s name may be listed on the organization’s regular letterhead which is being used for fund-raising solicitations. The fact that the letterhead is being printed in a pamphlet used for fund-raising does not constitute an impermissible participation in fund-raising. In addition, the judge’s judicial designation may be set forth, if comparable designations are used for other persons on the letterhead. Opinion 96-20 (Vol. XIV).