December 11, 1990
Digest: A judge may not serve on the honorary committee for a fundraising dinner to benefit a lawyers’ association.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)
A judge inquires about the propriety of accepting an invitation to serve on the honorary committee for a fundraising dinner on behalf of a lawyers’ association. This association will celebrate its anniversary and honor several lawyers at the dinner.
Section 100.5(b)(2) provides, in part:
No judge shall be a speaker or the guest of honor at an organization’s fundraising events, but he or she may attend such event. 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.
The judge may not serve on the honorary committee for this fundraising dinner, even though run by a lawyers’ association, because this activity would involve fundraising, and thus, goes beyond the permissible activity of being a guest of honor or speaker.