November 10, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (11-121) asking whether you may moderate a debate of a local college debating team, wherein the proposed topics are matters of current local interest in your town.
It is ethically permissible for you to moderate such a debate provided you avoid creating the perception that you espouse a particular viewpoint on any matters of public or political controversy or that you are involved with partisan political issues.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 07-63 which relates to this issue (see also 22 NYCRR 100.5[A]).
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)