December 7, 2016
PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (16-158) asking whether you may attend a “Casino Night” fundraiser at your child’s pre-school. You indicate you would participate as a player only and your name will not be used in connection with the fundraiser.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct allow a judge to contribute to charities and to attend charitable fund-raiser, although the judge must not personally solicit funds or permit the use of his/her name or the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][i], [iv]). Therefore, provided the event is lawful,1 there is no ethical prohibition against paying to attend and participating in the games as a player. The Committee does not believe that a charitable “Casino Night” to raise money for a pre-school presents the same concerns raised in Opinion 15-102, in which a commercial enterprise, i.e. the World Series of Poker, would have required the judge to sign a broad release and consent to use of the judge’s name, likeness, interviews and footage for promotional purposes.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 12-142; 07-161; 96-118 and 02-14 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Div., First Dep’t (Ret.)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Family Court Judge
Acting Justice, Supreme Court
1 See https://www.gaming.ny.gov/charitablegaming/