September 23, 2010
This responds to your inquiry (10-134) asking whether you may accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from your high school at its alumni dinner. Neither the award nor your name and position will be used to advertise the dinner.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct specifically permit a judge to accept an un-advertised award, even if the award is presented at a fund-raising event, as long as the award is ancillary to the event (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][ii]). In addition, the Committee has previously ruled that a judge may speak upon accepting an award, but the remarks must be limited to a brief expression of thanks.
Enclosed for your convenience are Opinions 05-42, 01-51 and 01-30 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)