October 27, 1988
NOTE: MODIFIED BY RULE 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i)
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct were amended in 1996. Rule 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i) now provides as follows:
(b) A judge as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor, or a member or otherwise:
(i) may assist such an organization [an organization devoted to the law, the legal system or the administration of justice or an educational, religious, charitable, cultural, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for profit] in planning fund-raising and may participate in the management and investment of the organization's funds, but shall not personally participate in the solicitation of funds or other fund-raising activities.
Topic: Propriety of acting supreme court justice in the criminal term serving as a member on the legal and admissions subcommittee of the board of directors of a residential cooperative.
Digest: The judge may serve on co-op’s board of directors, but may not serve on the legal and admissions subcommittee.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2(a); 100.2(c); 100.5(b); 100.5(c)(1); 100.5(c)(2). Canons 2A and 2B.
An acting supreme court justice inquires whether he may serve on the the board of directors and as a member of the legal and admissions subcommittee of the board for a shareholders’ residential cooperative.
A judge may serve on the board of directors of a residential cooperative, as it is unlikely that a cooperative would be a party to litigation before the criminal part in which the acting supreme court justice sits, and as the board is not an enterprise organized for profit [see Advisory Opinion No. 88-98].
While section 100.5(b) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator allows a judge to serve on the board of directors of a residential cooperative, a judge should not serve in the capacity of a legal or investment advisor, nor should the judge participate in decisions which are likely to lead to litigation. Therefore, the judge may not serve on the legal and admissions committee of the board.
This opinion is advisory only and does not bind either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.