March 27, 2013
This responds to your inquiry (13-21) asking whether you may accept an invitation from a not-for-profit fraternal organization to become a member of its national board. You indicate that, although the organization has had 40 cases referred to arbitration, none has been arbitrated in New York, and, further, the organization has never filed any lawsuits in New York.
It is ethically permissible for you to accept this invitation. However, you may not be personally involved in the solicitation of funds; may not use or permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising or membership solicitation; may not be personally involved in recruiting for the purpose of increasing the organization’s membership; and you may not serve in the role of prosecutor or arbitrator in connection with fraternal matters.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 11-137, 10-137, 03-58 and 99-165 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)