April 4, 1989
Topic: Propriety of a judge being honored at an annual bar association dinner when the association publishes, in connection t herewith, a journal containing the judge’s name as its honoree and solicits advertisements for the journal, it being understood that the funds received by the association are used to defray part of the cost of the dinner in order to keep the cost of attendance reasonable and the dinner open to as many members as possible.
Digest: A judge may participate and be honored at a bar association dinner party funded by the proceeds of a journal published in connection therewith, which notes the judge's appearance as the association's honoree.
Rules: 22 NYCRR Section 100.4(c) and Section 100.5(b)(2)
In response to an inquiry from a judge, the Committee advises that where a bar association covers the cost of its annual dinner-dance by selling tickets and by selling advertisements in a journal published in connection with the dance, which is distributed only at the dance, and the funds raised are used solely to defray part of the cost of the event, it is permissible for the judge's name as the association's honoree to be recognized as such in the journal. Likewise the honoree may attend the event and receive the designated honor.
The fact that there is a journal serving a fund-raising function to reduce the cost of attendance at the function and thereby make it available to a greater number of lawyers, does not affect the applicability of the provision of 22 NYCRR section 100.5(b)(2) which states in the concluding sentence, “Nothing in this Part shall be deemed to prohibit a judge from being a speaker or guest of honor at a bar association function.”
The activity of the honoree clearly is not in conflict with 22 NYCRR Section 100.4(c), in that the honoree is not personally participating in public fundraising activities, but is a passive participant in the activity.
Pursuant to cited sections, this bar association activity not only is permitted to the judge, but is desirable and is to be encouraged for the improvement of the administration of justice.