October 7, 2013
This responds to your inquiry (13-107) asking whether it is ethically permissible for you to serve as an officer for a club for alumni of your college. The college will provide an operating budget for the club, and you will not engage in any fund-raising.
It is ethically permissible for a judge to serve as an officer of a not-for-profit entity, subject to the limitations set forth in 22 NYCRR 100.4(C). In particular, you should not serve as an officer if either the college or the club would be engaged in any proceeding that ordinarily would come before you or either is regularly engaged in adversarial proceedings in any court. Further, you may not be engaged in the direct solicitation of funds nor may you allow the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising or membership solicitation (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][a]; [b][i], [iv]).
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 11-143, 98-76 and 97-11 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)