January 20, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (10-178) asking whether you may participate in a panel discussion about a Court Consolidation report paid for by [your] County.
A judge may speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in extra-judicial activities (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[B]), as long as such activities are not incompatible with judicial office nor cast doubt on the capacity to act impartially as a judge, detract from the dignity of judicial office, or interfere with the judge’s judicial duties (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[A]-).
The Committee previously has advised that a judge may engage in extra-judicial activities that concern the law, the legal system and the administration of justice (see Opinions 10-24; 09-50; 07-109). Because the panel discussion is about Court Consolidation, you may participate as a panelist.
I have enclosed Opinions 10-24, 09-50 and 07-109 for your information.