May 26, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (11-39) asking several questions about numerous ethical concerns implicated in being honored as outgoing president of your religious organization at a dinner dance and in a commemorative journal.
If the dinner dance is not a fund-raiser, you may be honored and be the subject of speeches and awards, regardless of who else is honored along with you.
If the event is a fund-raiser, however, you may not be the speaker or guest of honor, except that you may accept an unadvertised award that is ancillary to the event.
Your name may not be listed in a journal as an honoree, either singly or with others, if the journal is being issued for fund-raising purposes or in advance of the event. If the journal is just a “Thank You” journal with no named honoree and given out at the event, your name may be mentioned among several people receiving thanks. However, your name may not be used to promote the sale of the journal or to solicit funds.
Although your spouse, as a non-judge, is not subject to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, you may not use, or knowingly permit others to use, your spouse to accomplish indirectly what you are not permitted to do directly.
Finally, you may be honored at any event where the money paid to your religious institution is to cover costs of the event only and does not include a donation.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 04-57; 96-122; 94-147; 90-192 and 88-13 which address these issues. See also 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii).
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)