Opinion 13-156

December 19, 2013

Dear Justice:

         This responds to your inquiry (13-156) asking whether it is ethically permissible for a photograph of you and your sibling to appear in a family video which will be presented in your sibling’s honor at the annual meeting of a social welfare action organization which engages in lobbying. You indicate that you will not be identified by title or position in the video presentation; that the organization will not use the video for solicitation of funds or members; and that the meeting hosts will not solicit funds during the meeting at which the video will be shown.

         It is ethically permissible for you to appear in the video supporting your sibling as your limited participation in the video will not raise any reasonable inference that you are directly or indirectly participating in the organization’s lobbying activities or otherwise engaged in any impermissible political activity, provided that you will not be identified by title or position and that you are not associated with any fund-raising activities.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 07-179; 00-31 and 97-07 which address this issue.


Very truly yours,



George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

Committee Chair