Topic: Judge serving on board of directors of civic group devoted to helping disadvantaged people develop skills necessary to secure employment.
Digest: A judge may serve as a member of the board of directors of a civic group devoted to helping disadvantaged people develop skills necessary to secure employment, provided the judge in no way allows his or her name to be used in connection with fundraising or grant applications.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5 (b)(2); Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5B(2)
A judge asks whether it is proper to serve as a member of the board of directors of a civic group whose primary mission is to train disadvantaged people in the basic communication skills which are necessary and helpful to one seeking employment.
The Committee believes that such participation by a judge is proper and to be encouraged so long as the judge engages in no fundraising activities nor allows his or her name to be included on any grant applications. The judge must make sure that his or her name is excluded from any such efforts or applications. This prohibition would require that all stationery and written material used in connection with any fundraising, and grant applications, exclude any reference to the judge’s membership on the board of directors.
This opinion is advisory only and does not bind either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.