December 7, 2006
Digest: A judge may serve as a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Judicial Security.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3); Opinions 06-121; 05-155; 90-25 (Vol. V)
A Court of Claims Judge inquires whether it is ethically permissible for him/her to serve, without compensation, on the Advisory Board of the National Center for Judicial Security, consisting of members of both the Federal and State Judiciary. Its principal function will be to make recommendations to the Center on the implementation of measures for court security and for the protection of judges.
Section 100.4(C)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides that a Judge may “be a member or serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an organization or governmental agency devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice...” 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3). The Committee has previously interpreted this rule to allow judges to serve as members of the Bar Association’s Task Force on the Mandatory Retirement of Judges (Opinion 06-121); as a member of a committee to provide training for Judges assigned to Drug Courts (Opinion 05-155); or as a member of an Advisory Board of a Neighborhood Crime Prevention Program. Opinion 90-25 (Vol. V).
Each of these positions involved an extra judicial activity devoted to the improvement of law and the administration of justice. Security for judges clearly and appropriately falls within those categories.