June 17, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (15-109) asking if, as part of your job responsibilities, you may engage in fund-raising from alumni, parents and friends of the university. Specifically, you inquire if you may continue to solicit funds from individuals who reside outside your court’s jurisdiction or outside New York State.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a judge from lending the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising, soliciting membership, or advancing the private interests of the judge or others (see 22 NYCRR 100.2[C]; 100.4[C][b][iv]). These provisions do not, on their face, contain any geographical limitation. Further, a judge must not personally participate in the solicitation of funds or other fund-raising activities (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][I]). While you may help plan events behind the scenes, under the circumstances presented, you may not directly participate in fund-raising or soliciting the alumni, parents or friends of the university or its community, no matter where they are located (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][I], [iv]).
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 14-66 and 88-134 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)