March 20, 2009
Please Note: This opinion is overruled by Opinion 12-44 to the extent that the audience is limited to advocates for one side of a particular category of case.
This responds to your inquiry (09-58) asking whether you may participate as a judge in a moot court/mock trial demonstration at the 40th Anniversary Conference of the Excess/Surplus Lines Claims Association, a not-for-profit insurance trade association.
A judge may speak, write, lecture, teach and otherwise participate in extra-judicial activities subject to certain restrictions (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[B]). Accordingly, the Committee has previously determined that there is no ethical prohibition to a judge presiding over a moot court/mock trial provided the judge does not discuss pending or impending cases and the presentation is not used as a means to promote a particular point of view, to support a particular side, or to teach strategy.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 05-134 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court