November 3, 2008
This responds to your inquiry (08-122) in which you ask whether you may serve as an Honorary Chairman of a memorial golf tournament sponsored by a local business and professional association.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a sitting judge from serving as a speaker or guest of honor at fund raising events or from soliciting funds for any organization (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][ii]). However, this Committee has previously advised that a judge may participate as “Honorary Chair” at a charitable fundraiser provided that his/her participation is unadvertised and ancillary to the event and that he/she does not engage in any fund-raising activities.
Please refer to Opinions 07-161, 07-118, and 04-141, enclosed for your convenience, which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court