Opinion 13-159

January 21, 2014

Dear Judge:

         This responds to your inquiry (13-159) asking whether it is ethically permissible for you to serve on a committee that “reviews, interprets, and advises on Church matters and doctrines.”

         The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permit a judge to serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of a ...religious ...organization, not conducted for profit, subject to certain limitations (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3]). Therefore, unless service necessitates that you engage in impermissible activities, such as, inter alia, fund-raising, you may serve on the committee.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 12-177, 06-183, 05-17, 03-129, 02-128, and 95-123 which set forth some general guidelines applicable to the involvement in religious activities.


Very truly yours,

                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

Committee Chair