Opinion 90-98

September 18, 1990

NOTE: The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct were amended in 1996. Please see new Rule 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii) (a judge may accept an unadvertised award ancillary to a not-for-profit organization’s fund-raising event), and Opinion 04-141 (a judge may introduce and present an award to an honoree at a not-for-profit organization’s fund-raising dinner, provided that the judge’s presence and role as the presenter of the award are unadvertised).


Digest:         A part-time judge who is an officer of a charitable organization, may not present an award during a fund-raising dinner.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2).


         A part-time judge, who is president of a charitable religious organization asks whether it is permissible for the judge to present an award at the organization’s fund-raising dinners and events.

         The provision governing the inquiry is section 100.5 (b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator which states, “no judge shall be the speaker or the guest of honor at an organization’s fund-raising events . . .” Since the presenter of an award at such events customarily publicly expresses praise for the award’s recipient, a judge’s presenting of an award at a fund-raising event or speaking at the event would violate this provision. Accordingly, the judge may not present an award at a fund-raising event.