October 19, 2006
This is in response to your inquiry (06-103) in which you seek the Committee’s advice concerning whether you may accept an honorarium and an airline ticket from a church in [ ] that has invited you to speak at a Women’s Day Program. You have stated that this is not a fund-raising event.
Section 100.4(H)(1) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides that a full-time judge may receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses for permissible extra-judicial activities, provided that it does not exceed a reasonable amount nor exceed what a person who is not a judge would receive for the same activity. 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(1)(a). See Opinion 94-57 (V. XII) (“a full-time judge may receive compensation for permissible extra-judicial activity.”) Expense reimbursement is limited to the actual costs incurred. 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(1)(b). Based on the information provided, the honorarium and the payment of the airline ticket appear to be appropriate and reasonable and may be accepted by you. See Opinion 98-36 (Vol. XVI); 97-56 (Vol. XV).
Further, section 100.4(H)(2) of the Rules, requires that any full-time judge who receives compensation in excess of $150 make a public report of same to the office of the clerk of the judge’s court. 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(2).
You should, therefore, file an appropriate disclosure to the extent that what you receive by way of honorarium, and excluding actual costs for travel, lodging, meals and the like, exceeds the $150 threshold.