September 12, 1989
Digest: Provided that the judge's function as host of a university alumni association luncheon does not involve fund raising or otherwise interfere with judicial duties, a judge may so act.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(a)(b)
A judge inquires whether the judge may serve as host of a university alumni association luncheon. The function of the host is to greet and introduce the guest speaker, make the final arrangements with the restaurant and receive the reservation forms with enclosed checks payable to the alumni association.
The luncheon is not a fund raising event. The cost of a reservation is for the expenses of the luncheon only.
The judge further inquires whether the host should designate another person to receive the reservations and checks.
Although a judge may participate in civic, charitable and educational activities that do not involve the judge in fund raising, participation must be performed in a manner that will not reflect adversely on the performance of judicial duties. Nor should it interfere with the proper performance of those duties. (22 NYCRR Section 100.5[a][b].) Thus the judge may act as host of this event within the parameters of the rule.
As to the judge's further inquiry concerning receipt of checks and reservations, while the Committee believes that it would be preferable for the judge to assign those duties to another member, if that is practicable, the Committee sees no violation of the rules of ethics if the judge also performs those tasks.