July 30, 2012
This responds to your inquiry (12-93) asking whether it is ethically permissible to accept an appointment to sit on both the plaintiffs’ counsel and defense counsel insurance and negligence committees of your local bar association.
Pursuant to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, a judge may be a member of an organization devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C]). Furthermore, participation in bar associations and other legal organizations is to be encouraged. Accordingly, it is ethically permissible to join these committees.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 07-126; 02-84; 97-14; and 95-42 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)