March 11, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This answers your inquiry (15-17) asking if you may play in a band, which usually performs without pay, at charitable events, block parties and parties for friends. Your name is not used to promote or advertise the band or events. The band gives eight to ten performances yearly, but is infrequently paid. You also ask if you may donate cash or services to charities when you perform.
It is ethical to perform and be paid occasionally if the band is not a business and your role is unadvertised (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[D]).
You may also attend charitable events and donate time collecting toys, food and clothing. However, you may not directly solicit items or time and, thus, may not ask others to do so. Also, when considering in-kind service donations, you must act consistently with judicial dignity (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[A]).
Enclosed, for your convenience are Opinions 14-127; 10-157; 10-22; 06-141; 06-114; 97-83; 94-58; 89-128 and Joint Opinion 09-192/09-231 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)