September 18, 2017
This responds to your inquiry (17-117) asking whether you may permit a non-profit organization to advertise that you will be speaking at a non-fund-raising event co-sponsored by several not-for-profit religious and/or educational organizations.
Mere disclosure of the identity of the sponsoring organizations in an advertisement, without more, cannot reasonably compromise your neutrality, detract from the dignity of judicial office or otherwise create an appearance of impropriety (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[A]-). Of course, in any speaking engagement, a judge may not comment about any pending or impending proceeding in any court within the United States or its territories and must not make pledges, promises or commitments inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of judicial office (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[B] and [a]-[b]).
We are unable to advise “if there are any future implications … to be aware of.” If there is a particular question that arises, you may write to the Committee again.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 15-125 which addresses 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