Opinion 90-159

October 23, 1990


Digest:         A judge may not permit a not-for-profit corporation to name a research institute after the judge.


Rules:          22 NYCRR §100.5(b)(2)




         A judge states that a tax exempt, not-for-profit corporation, whose sole concern appears to be health care, wishes to establish an institute for research of substance abuse. The corporation’s president intends to recommend to the board of directors that the institute be named after the inquiring judge. The president states that this action is to honor the judge as a pioneer in drug education in the area and as one who has been recognized by various alcohol and substance abuse groups for this work.


         While there is no specific proscription to having an institute named after a judge, section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator confirm an implicit interdiction. Section 100.5(b)(2) provides:


No, judge shall solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, purpose, but may be listed as an officer, director or trustee of such an organization, provided, however, that no such listing shall be used in connection with any solicitation of funds. No judge shall be a speaker or the guest of honor to an organization’s fundraising events, but he or she may attend such events. Nothing in this Part shall be deemed to prohibit a judge from being a speaker or guest of honor at a bar association or law school function.


         Although the president of the corporation has promised not to use the judge’s title in the corporation’s solicitation, it would be impossible to raise funds for the organization without using the judge’s name, if the judge’s name is part of the institution’s name. Accordingly, the judge should not consent to having the institute named after the judge, as this would be a violation of the prohibition against fundraising.