January 5, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (14-170) asking if you may agree to be honored by a local chamber of commerce for your service as a civic leader. The organization will present the award during an annual fundraising dinner. The organization’s president has assured you the award “is not the main component of the dinner and it is not used as a means to raise funds for the [organization].” The president also indicates that neither your name nor your position as a local court justice will be used by the organization to raise funds or increase attendance, and that your name and position will not be used on any promotional materials for the event.
Although a judge may not be a speaker or the guest of honor at an organization’s fund-raising event, a judge may accept an award at a not-for-profit civic or charitable organization’s fund-raising event if the award is unadvertised and ancillary to the event (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][ii]; Opinions 01-51 [Vol. XX]; 01-30 [Vol. XIX]; 96-52 [Vol. XIV]). Therefore, you may receive the award you describe as it will be unadvertised and ancillary to the local chamber of commerce’s annual dinner (see Opinion 11-81).
Enclosed for your convenience are Opinions 11-81, 01-51, 01-30 and 96-52.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)