June 17, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (15-98) asking if it is ethically permissible for an association of magistrates to send a letter expressing its position concerning legislation addressing a perceived disparity in the distribution of monies collected by New York’s town and village courts, which affects the operation of such courts.
The Committee has previously determined that a judge may publicly express his/her points of view on issues directly implicating the law, legal system and administration of justice (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][iii]). Thus, it is permissible for an association of magistrates to so comment on behalf of its collective membership.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 14-139 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)